Experiencing the Digital Nomad Life: 2-Month Remote Working of CTO Kei Shimizu in Vietnam


Greetings, I am Kei Shimizu, currently serving as the CTO at VoicePing Inc., Tokyo. Today, I’d like to share with you my enriching experience of working remotely for two months in two contrasting yet fascinating Vietnamese cities: Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi.

The first thing that struck me about these places was their climatic indulgence. Coming from Tokyo, which has four distinct seasons including a frigid winter, the warm, balmy weather of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi was a refreshing change. I could pack lightly, which was a weight off my shoulders, literally and figuratively.

The second striking aspect was the ease of commute. Grab motorbike services in Vietnam are not just prevalent, but also highly affordable, comparing favorably to Tokyo’s train fares. Weaving through the streets with a friendly driver at the helm became my new favorite way to explore the cities’ unique architecture and vibrant street life.

More Productivity - Less Hassle

One of the key factors that greatly facilitated my remote working experience was the ubiquitous presence of quaint and comfortable cafes, many of which are open 24 hours. The aroma of fresh, locally sourced coffee brewing provided the perfect accompaniment to my work hours. It was an incredible pleasure to sit down, order a rich Vietnamese iced coffee, and get down to business with a view of the bustling city life outside.

Living and working in Tokyo, I had become accustomed to the hustle and bustle, the rush of a never-sleeping metropolis. However, life in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is different. It’s not that these cities are less dynamic – they are simply less frantic. There is a unique blend of energy and tranquility that makes these cities more relaxed and livable. This environment helped me to focus and be more productive without feeling overwhelmed.

A relax Cafe with Open View

The Vietnamese cities never sleep, much like Tokyo, but with a different pace. Businesses run until midnight, and there are plenty of interesting activities to partake in once the sun goes down. From night markets to food stalls, from local music performances to late-night cafes, the Vietnamese nightlife is a unique experience in itself.

Ho Chi Minh City at Night

Good friend & Good food!

During my stay, I had the chance to meet many new friends. The Vietnamese people are known for their hospitality and warmth, and they did not disappoint. Each interaction enriched my understanding of their culture and way of life, and the experience was a testament to how remote working can also serve as a cultural exchange.

Of course, my Vietnamese adventure would be incomplete without mentioning the local cuisine. Vietnamese food is a gastronomic delight that is as diverse as it is delicious. From the classic Pho to the exquisite Banh Mi sandwiches, every dish was a feast for the senses.

Banh Xeo - My favorite dish


In conclusion, my two months working remotely in Vietnam were not just about maintaining productivity in a different setting. It was an opportunity to immerse myself in a rich and vibrant culture, make new connections, and enjoy the charm and vibrancy of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

With the help of VoicePing, I was confident to keep up my productivity and communication with my teammates in Tokyo. VoicePing really helps me experience how it feels like to be a true digital nomad.

I hope my experience can inspire others to explore the enriching potential of remote working abroad. The world is indeed our office!

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