Emptiness == Fullness; God == Evil; You == I; Everything == Void; I == You; Good == Bad; Birth == Death;

Infinity == Everything; You == God; a > b > c > d > a;

All == One;

How's Medellín/Colombia not like Chiang Mai/Thailand

published at: 25 jan 2019
dateline: medellín, colombia

I’ve heard plenty of times that Medellín in Colombia is called Chiang Mai - 2, and compared with it, due to the fact that both cities are considered ideal for digital nomads and thought to have many similarities.

I disagree with perceiving Medellín like Chiang Mai. Although, Medellin is modern and may be confortable for living for digital nomads, it’s not like Chiang Mai of Thailand. And not even remotely.

  • Medellín is more dangerous than Chiang Mai. In Chiang Mai you can walk during night, at any place and most likely nothing will happen to you.

  • the center of Medellín and some areas running through the center - San Antonio - along the metro line are a) durty b) disgusting c) noisy d) with lots of poor and homeless people e) with heavy traffic g) with the smell of pee. And not only the center of Medellín is such. The north is. The outskirts are. The areas of Poblado, Envigado and Itagui aren’t, these are relatively safe and clean.

  • Medellín is several times bigger than Chiang Mai in terms of population and territory. The massive concreate pillars of metro line look like the ones of the sky train in Bangkok.


center of medellin, station prado

  • the Colombian food is worse than Thailand food. Thailand food is diverse and mostly healphy. On the picture one of the Colombian dishes - “arepa con chócolo”. Being neither tasty, nor bad, it doesn’t digest well.

colombian food - arrepa with chócolo

  • Chiang Mai gives the impression of being more relaxed, friendly, safe. Medellín on the other hand gives the impression of being brutal.

  • Medellín has poor and, hence, dangerous neighbourhoods, some of them look like favels in Brazil. In Chiang Mai and Thailand as a whole there’s no such term “poor and dangerous neighbourhood”. It has poor areas, they’re not dangeruos because of this reason.

  • renting a motorbike in Colombia for a foreigner - is this possible? I imagine that it should be. However, it’s not as easy as in Thailand. Besides, motorbikes in general in Colombia aren’t popular.

  • massage salons and bars where the local girls would invite foreigners “welcome, welcooooome”, or rather “bienvenido, bienvenidooooooo” don’t exist in Colombia.

  • on the weekends most Colombian shops and cafés get closed. In Bogotá on Saturdays and Sundays some areas look like a ghost town. In Medellín this is the case too, although to a lesser extent. In Thailand and in Asia in general, on the other hand, the weekends is when life abounds, some activities take place only on weekends.

Medellín has its advantagies, of course.


street singers in medellin

medellin, view to poblado

The bottom line is, the 2 cities have more distinctions than similarities. Medellín may be a hub for digital nomads in South America. However, it isn’t like Chiang Mai.

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