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What You Need to Know About Remote Work in Nepal (2020)

By:- Abhishek Acharya

Nepal is a highly sought after destination for adventure tourism. The country is home to hundreds of mountains including 8 out of 10 highest mountain peaks in the world. Nepal is a paradise for adrenaline junkies offering them the unrivaled dare.

man standing on field between cliffs

The country is small, but it comes packed with abundant landscapes and terrains making it a perfect destination for adventure seekers. Explore the country's mountainous views, trekking routes, delightful villages, glorious temples, monasteries, and sublime jungle adventures. You can observe the traces of the origin of one of the world's greatest religions. The origin of Buddhism is rooted in the Terai region of Nepal. Thus, Nepal serves as a symbol of hope and peace along with the enchanting charm it carries.

 

The culture of working remotely from Nepal has already started. Nepalese themselves find such jobs in job board sites such as JobsNepal.com, merojob.com, LinkedIn or freelancing sites such as Upwork and Fiverr. Digital nomad culture is also flourishing in Kathmandu. Digital nomads have already started coming to Kathmandu and have already started organizing events. According to the cultural lifestyle magazine ECSNEPAL, travel bloggers, photographers, programmers, web developers, content writers, and travel agents make up the digital nomad crowd of Nepal. In Kathmandudigitalnomads.com's words "Kathmandu is an upcoming destination in the digital nomad community for its cheap living, great outdoor opportunity, and its vibrant expat community".

 

But, I read that the internet connection in Nepal is bad and there is a frequent power outage? 

Some information you find on the internet regarding this is outdated. Things are quickly evolving in Nepal and what was true then is not anymore. Some articles since have been updated but old forum posts regarding this might mislead the readers. One of the major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Nepal, WorldLink, offers 60 Mbps of internet speed. Other similar ISPs seem to provide services up to at least 40 Mbps. Cafes and other public services in Kathmandu have started providing free WiFi access to customers. 

 

You would often read complaints about the power outage and a lack of high-speed internet connectivity and these issues largely don't exist anymore. There might be some issues with internet connectivity depending upon where exactly you are but that too can be avoided if you plan your trip carefully. 

 

The issue of glitchy internet connection can easily be solved by choosing the right Co-working space in Kathmandu. Apart from that, telecom operators such as Smart telecom, Ncell, and NTC also offer 4G data services. You can purchase a tourist pack enabled SIM card if you present your passport at the airport or from any local store. For a detailed article on how to purchase a SIM Card in Nepal as a foreigner, click here.

 

Kathmandu as a center of operation for digital nomads

 As we've mentioned in our previous article, Kathmandu is the fastest growing city in southeast Asia which means that the number of services provided such as internet services, free WiFi, work-friendly cafes, Co-working spaces and the number of new services popping up is much higher here compared to other parts of Nepal. This city can serve as a base for a digital nomad where they can operate from and from where they can travel to nearby destinations when the workload decreases.

men's sitting green chair reading newspaper

 

The rise of Co-working culture in Kathmandu

The internet speed in Kathmandu has ballooned over the last couple of years. This has led to a rise of freelancers who work from home for foreign clients and individuals who are doing remote work for foreign companies. Since not everyone has good internet connectivity at home and not everyone needs to set up an office for their work, Co-working spaces such as Hausala coworking space, ME10, Work  Around, Lindu, Hamro Office, Ventures Cafe and Rem.Work HQ, have opened up. Co-working spaces such as Rem.Work, provide open offices where you pay a monthly, weekly or a daily fee and get access to their space including internet, desks, printers, coffee machines, etc. 

 

Meetups and community 

Community events for digital nomads are held every now and then in Nepal. Facebook groups such as 'Kathmandu Digital Nomads' and 'Kathmandu hang out' serve as a platform for digital nomads operating from Kathmandu to connect with each other, ask questions and plan events. You can also meet other nomads and exchange knowledge in a Co-working space.

unknown persons sitting indoors

 

Inexpensive living

According to nomadlist.com, the cost of living in Kathmandu is only $682 per month on average. There are about 1000 Airbnb listings with an average cost of $611 per month. Food and beer are very inexpensive here. Beer can cost $2-$4 depending upon the restaurant. Quoting directly from one of the answers on Quora, “Nepal is dirt cheap to live in”. 

pathway between houses

 

Spiritual enrichment

If you are into spirituality and meditation, then you can spend time in any of the nearby monasteries. Some of them even offer private stays and meditation courses such as Kopan Monastery which lies on the outskirts of Kathmandu. You can also spot various yoga studios that offer yoga and meditation classes to locals and foreigners alike.

Buddha statue during daytime

 

Nightlife

Thamel, Kathmandu and Pokhara city, have the best nightlife experiences to offer. You can spot party hotspots in these areas where you can enjoy amazing food and music with jazzy vibes. Nepal is considered being a safe place for travelers due to low crime rates, and due to the availability of nightlife only in these couple of areas. There is active police protection in these areas which ensures your safety while partying or roaming around at night.

ferris wheel during nighttime

 

Alternatives to Kathmandu?

Bhaktapur and Pokhara can make nice short term alternatives to Kathmandu but Kathmandu is leagues ahead when it comes to remote working culture. Kathmandu would be the optimal location to operate from for a digital nomad due to the sheer number of services one can access to get things done on time with ease and networking opportunities the city brings. Bhaktapur and Pokhara can rather serve you as a temporary location to work from when the workload is not heavy. 

 

Conclusion

 

If you are a digital nomad seeking to do remote work from Nepal, then our advice would be to use a Co-working space such as Rem.Work as a base of operation and go on an adventure trip to other parts of Nepal when the workload diminishes. A Co-working space would assure that you are provided with the services that are needed to get your work done seamlessly. After your remote work necessities are sorted, you can always have fun traveling around this beautiful country. 


 

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