Going Nomad in SE Asia

I am planning on trying out the nomad lifestyle for awhile in SE Asia (and maybe a bit further afield – Japan, Australia…).

I need to work while I am traveling and for me that requires a reliable “broadband” connection. Even just 1 Mbps is acceptable as long as it is reliable, though 5 Mbps is better. I need to use a out 1 Gb a day. I work from my condo now and plan to work from my room as I travel (working from a coffee shop or shared location won’t work for me).

I plan to visit places for 1 to 3 months such as: Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand (Chiang Mai maybe elsewhere), Bali (Ubud probably), Japan… I’ll do tourist stuff and travel around in countries while visiting.

Internet options, wifi at hotel or serviced apartment good?
city (Siem Reap?, Phnom Penh?):

Bali (Ubud probably):

(maybe Langkawi, Penang)

Chiang Mai: Curious Cat Digital Nomad Guide to Chiang Mai (as I am planing on going their next I am collecting and sharing what I find here)
maybe elsewhere:

city (Hoi An?):


Questions (if you have any ideas, please leave a comment):
What kind of wifi can I expect in the various countries and cities in a budget hotel or serviced apartment? For good wifi/internet are there specific lodgings suggested?
Would a mobile cell phone plan be best for certain countries cities? Reliable, good bandwidth, not very expensive for 1-2 Gb of data a day? I am assuming tethering from an iPad mini to my laptop won’t be an issue, right?
Will I have trouble traveling to any country with just a plane ticket in, but without purchasing the next plan ticket?
Which countries offer visa on arrival (for USA)? Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand do. Vietnam seems to require something in advance, I am looking into the details.
What will cost of budget (but not super cheap) hotel or service apartment be? $1,000 to $1,500 is fine for a nice place. Tips on looking for options in each location?
How do people deal with the limited amount of physical mail (and things like businesses that require an address and occasionally mail something that might be needed)?
Co-working spaces, hacker spaces, startup meetups etc. for each location (to meet others, I prefer to work in my room)?
Blogs and websites for each location?
Good times of year, or times to avoid for each location?

Niamey Grand Market

I think this photo is from the Niamey Grand Market in Niger, Africa.

People at the Niamey Grand Market

We lived in Nigeria (my Dad was a Chemical Engineering professor) and took a trip during winter vacation through Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin. I am nearly certain the photo is in Niger and very likely Niamey but it is possible it is elsewhere.

My mom and brother are in the photo, which is likely taken by my father (or maybe by me). In this part of the trip we were quite far off the beaten path. The only foreigners we noticed were a National Geographic film crew at the market.

My brother and I enjoyed the trip at times but also got tired of things and the attention we would get. We would often be surrounded and pointed and even poked at sometimes. Nothing that really was a big deal but as kids it sometimes got to be annoying.

We even would stop the car in the middle of the Sahel to eat lunch and were surrounded within 20 minutes when there didn’t seem to be hardly anyone around. I imagine this just happened occasionally but was memorable after we wanted to escape being the the center of attention and couldn’t even get away in seemingly nearly deserted areas.

Of course, now I treasure what an experience it was even more than I did at the time. At another time at this market (I think, or at another market) my Mom was negotiating from some mats made of straw and leather. It was difficult as we didn’t speak any common language but beyond that they didn’t use “arabic numerals” (or that was maybe a negotiating tactic – most places did use arabic numerals this was the only time we ran into that problem).

Eventually it worked out when my Mom just put out the cash directly. This isn’t a great for various reasons (not the least of which people will grab it and hold on – making it hard for you to walk away). So this was a last resort but she did it this time.

Later on that same trip we were out of money and Mom and Dad wanted some statues (outside Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso) and we bartered for blue jeans and other things that I can’t remember. We had the art from that trip around our house the rest of my childhood (and it is still there).

Related: Cheetahs in KenyaGiza Pyramids in EgyptDad and me on a beach in Malaysia