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Digital Nomads in Asia: Your Guide to Working Remotely in Asia

A digital nomad is technically not a job or a position, but the ultimate work-travel lifestyle many aspire to have. These are enterprising individuals who work remotely or for themselves, whether as writers and travel bloggers, or under technical fields and design. The opportunities are endless!

And with the rise of remote work and freelancing positions, more people are looking into exploring the world while on the job. Digital Nomad can join an all-inclusive Digital Nomad Retreats (Programs) or attending one of the popular Digital Nomad Events & Conferences worldwide.

Asia is one of the best continents to start your life as a digital nomad!”

One of the most popular areas to stay in are within Asia, known for its spectacular attractions, delicious food, and more! But before you start packing your bags, where should you go first and how can you start staying there for the long-term?

Read on to learn more about the wonders of Asia as a digital nomad!

Digital Nomads in Asia: Where to Stay

Asia is one of the most popular continents for digital nomads, particularly Southeast Asian countries. These are the top five areas to stay in and the factors to consider living here as a digital nomad:

1. Philippines

If you want to live in comfort and surrounded by everything you need, then you’ll love the Philippines. Sure, the food can be touch-and-go for some travelers (for me, I find Filipino cuisine delicious!), but they make up for it with their convenience and friendly locals.

And let’s not forget the absolutely amazing destinations you can work in! The country offers co-working and co-living spaces in different areas, from the busy city of Manila down to the beach-laden cities of Cebu and Palawan.

Philippines is very cheap and offers great food- prepare to explore your tastebuds!”

Long-term accommodation isn’t hard to find, as you can simply contact an agent who can find something according to your preference and budget.

Fortunately, the cost of living isn’t as high compared to Western countries, so expect to shell out less than $2,000 a month for your accommodation, food, Internet, and other daily expenses. This can give you a very comfortable life as a digital nomad already! If you’re on a budget, then you can still live well for less than $1,500.

As fr the digital nomad community, you can find many remote workers and freelancers, either working for private companies, startups, or freelancers. Just watch out for the slow internet, and you’re good!

2. Thailand

Thailand is the country of smiles, where you’ll be greeted by locals willing to help you out! This is a vibrant country with a relatively low cost of living and lots of options to stay in as a digital nomad.

The number one digital nomad destination is in Chiang Mai, a beautiful city located in the northern mountains, having a well-established community. It’s best for all types of digital nomads, especially first-timers trying to travel to a new country!

Thailand boasts of fast Internet speed and beautiful destinations, so you can work by the beaches or in areas with stunning views of the mountains. And not to worry, as everywhere is safe, as long as you avoid minor dropshipping or lifestyle scams!

However, they are still accessible, so you can experience local festivals or head to the busy city and work in their co-working cafes.

As mentioned, the cost of living is quite low, you can expect to shell out less than $2,000 a month and still live in comfort. If you plan to stay there for the short-term, they offer a 30-day visa upon arrival, which you can extend once for $55.

3. Vietnam

You can’t go wrong in Vietnam, from their vast history down to the amazing food! Their cities are bursting with life and culture, and you can go anywhere while learning something new about the country’s tradition and people.

The cost of living is one of the cheapest in Southeast Asia, so you’re able to live comfortably with less than $1,000 in most areas. Accommodation is vast as well, with apartments in busy cities or by beaches, costing up to $500 monthly. So you get to have fun roaming around the bustling cities, or enjoy relaxing activities by their natural attractions.

As for the community, expect to find like-minded digital nomads, as Vietnam is the next go-to destination after Thailand. You’ll love both the digital nomads and locals, who are enthusiastic and always willing to make things work for new remote workers.

But take note that the internet speed isn’t the fastest, but is more reliable in bigger cities, particularly in Ho Chi Minh.

When going to Vietnam, you’re permitted to stay for up to 15 days. If you want to go longer than that, apply for your visa in advance, obtaining either one or three-month visas.

4. Cambodia

While Cambodia may not be on top of a digital nomad’s list, it’s a must-visit! It’s charming with such a vast history for a small country. Plus, it opens your eyes to so many adventures and lessons, from kayaking by their traditional fishing rivers down to visiting their many sacred temples.

cambodia nomad

The cost of living is similar to Vietnam, so you can live well for under $1,000 monthly. While rent is high, you can save on food, as street food is dirt cheap and you can cook at home!

Their community is also another reason why you should visit the country, as the digital nomad life is booming. There are now more co-working areas with great Internet connection and ex-pats you can connect with.

However, like Vietnam again, you should watch out for the Internet connection! It can be speedy, though most times, you can expect an average of 3-4MBPS.

When planning to go to Cambodia, you can get a 30-day tourist visa and avail of an e-class visa that allows you to extend your stay.

5. India

India is a mythical land with a beautiful culture you can immerse yourself in for years! It’s another popular destination among many digital nomads not only for its spectacular landscapes and fun parties. They are also well known for their business with their love for technology and engineering developments.

Photo by Julian Yu on Unsplash

While there are a few safety issues, India is a magical country with such beauty and delicious cuisine.”

Plus, you can’t deny it has a low cost of living, as rent can range between $300 to $600, depending on where you want and its inclusions. Furthermore, purchasing local in humble areas is quite cheap, costing up to $150 to $300 monthly. You can expect to spend $1,500 to live comfortably in a good area.

The Internet may not be the best, but you can find areas with speedy connections digital nomads will appreciate. Besides this, you’ll find a huge community of digital nomads, especially when visiting any of their co-working spaces.

But be wary, as India may not be the safest and you’ll need to be careful, especially if you’re a new digital nomad traveling for the first time. Beyond that, you can enjoy India and its attractions while at work.

Wrapping It Up

If you’re thinking of becoming a digital nomad and working remotely, then your first stop should be Asia! With the many friendly locals, natural attractions, and co-working areas on a budget, you won’t have trouble adjusting to the area.

While they do have their slight disadvantages, it’s easy to look past them and enjoy your new life as a digital nomad. So check out the wonders each country holds and the co-living spaces to stay at now!

R. Wallace
R. Wallace
A digital nomad travelling in Asia and TheDigitalNomad.Asia Editor. Please read my article and I hope you will get inspired to go travelling as a digital nomad. You are welcome to comment and share the article with fellow travelers.

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