Must-Visit Digital Nomad Hotspots in Asia

Asia is the largest continent in the world and has many varied countries and cultures to explore. This, coupled with a largely temperate climate and low cost of living compared to Europe and the USA, makes it a dream for many looking to live cheaply and well. The excellent internet infrastructure in much of Asia also helps attract digital nomads who work in technology and need fast upload and download speeds.   

Bangkok, Thailand

The capital city of Thailand is a favourite for many digital nomads due to the high quality of accommodation available at a relatively low cost and the variety and quality of cuisine. Like many parts of Asia, the internet speeds you can get there and the service reliability make Bangkok an excellent city in which to work. 

 

One of the main attractions for many nomads is a sense of community and having the chance to make new friends from all around the world. There are regular events in Bangkok for the thriving ex-pat and nomad communities, and these can help to alleviate some first-timer concerns about loneliness.

 

There are many great coworking options located around the city, and these range from giant hubs like Spaces, which has over 300 seats to smaller and more intimate venues like Common Ground, which has multiple locations across the city.

Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

The island of Bali, Indonesia, is home to some excellent digital nomad hotspots, and one of the best is Canggu. It is located on the coast and is known for offering an enviable work-life balance. There is top-quality surfing and plenty of opportunities to go for sun-drenched walks or scooter rides through the forest before enjoying some wild partying with new friends. 

 

There is a real sense of entrepreneurial spirit here and many digital nomads launch new businesses with people they meet at the coworkings and cafes. This community is very well catered to, and there are many gluten-free restaurants and breakfast places selling bowls of Acai. 

 

There is also fast internet, a must for any digital nomad hotspot and a full range of accommodation options from hostels with bunk bed dormitories to apartments to villas with their own swimming pool. There is something to suit every budget, and it is easy to see why Canggu is so popular. English is also widely spoken in Canggu due to the influx of digital nomads, which can make the experience much less daunting for those just dipping a toe into the lifestyle. 

Hanoi, Vietnam

This city in Vietnam has one of the most iconic Instagram photos you can get. There is a street called Train Street, where the train tracks literally pass through the middle of a street with restaurants and pavements for walking on either side. This is a very popular street for photos, and many have taken unbelievable risks to get their shot, which we don’t recommend. However, there is much to explore outside of Train Street in Hanoi. It is an old city with many architectural wonders to experience, and exploring the Old Quarter, in particular, is worth doing. 

March to April and October to November in Hanoi are the best times of year to visit because outside of these times, it can be unbearably hot and rainy. Avoiding the rainy season is recommended so that you can enjoy exploring the city and the surrounding area to the max during your stay. 

Hanoi’s low cost of living is also why this is a digital nomad hub, with most visitors pleasantly surprised. There are many excellent coworking facilities to take advantage of, and internet speeds are almost universally fast across the city. There is a wide range of accommodation to choose from, which will satisfy most travellers whether on a tight budget or with more money to spend.  

Authentic Vietnamese cuisine from street food stalls is generally safe and appetising, and there are also international options for those who crave food that they are used to at home at some point during their trip. We recommend being adventurous when it comes to food here and trying Banh Xeo (crepes with shrimp and pork) and Pho (noodles with chicken or beef and spices) should both be high on the list.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

One of the most famous digital nomad hotspots, Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, has seen this popularity translate into higher prices for accommodation in recent years. Having said that, it is still affordable but is more on a par with some Western destinations in terms of price now. 

Chiang Mai is a vibrant, historic city with over 300 temples to explore. Some of them date back as far as the 1200s, so if you are someone who is fascinated by history, this is an ideal location to visit. It is also very popular with people who enjoy the outdoors, and there are trails through verdant forests and beautiful waterfalls. It is a very picturesque location. 

There are many excellent choices for remote workers, from cafes to coworking spaces. There are also varied accommodation options which include everything from hostels and apartments to co-livings like Alt_ChiangMai.

Alt_ChiangMai has a co-working space as well as co-living accommodation and has 23 ensuite bedrooms for digital nomads. These can either be rented short-term or long-term, and the price points reflect this. It is possible to live here reasonably cheaply if you are prepared to commit to staying for a longer period of time. There are multiple communal living spaces in this spacious and modern co-living and it looks like an excellent option in the heart of Chiang Mai.

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Situated amongst the rice terraces of Bali, Ubud is in the centre of the island and offers a completely different experience to Canggu. This is a very green part of the island and is perfect for those who feel at home amongst nature. Balinese art and culture are prominent here, and it is a popular place for people who want to experience the best yoga retreats and take part in spiritual practices.

Although Ubud isn’t located on the coast, it does have some excellent pool clubs that you can visit and spend time in the water. Most have cafes attached, so it is possible to work from them for the day and make time to enjoy the facilities on offer.

The natural world is on your doorstep, and if you want to monkey around with the local wildlife, you should visit the monkey forest. Just be careful around any young, as their parents might be very protective of them. 

Ubud has so much to offer, and it is easy to see why it is such a popular destination for digital nomads to spend some quality time resetting and recharging. The internet is fast and the range of accommodation is everything that you would hope for from a top-tier digital nomad destination.

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Must-Visit Digital Nomad Hotspots in Europe

It is common in digital nomad circles to hear people talking about some more exotic locations to visit, such as Bali, Indonesia and Chiang Mai in Thailand. Playa Del Carmen in Mexico is often mentioned, along with Florianopolis in Brazil. Many more digital nomad hotspots within Europe sometimes don’t get the attention they deserve compared to the longer haul destinations.

Bansko, Bulgaria

This village ski resort nestled in the Pirin mountains seems an unlikely place to have become a digital nomad hotspot. Nevertheless, it is home to the Bansko Nomad Fest, which runs annually and attracts attendees worldwide. 

Its popularity stems from the actions of a couple of entrepreneurs who decided to open coworking spaces there. Word of mouth spread among the remote working community, and the rest, as they say, is history. More coworking spaces sprang up to meet the increased demand and it has now become a hotspot for people who can do their work remotely.

Bansko and its environs are an area of outstanding natural beauty, with hikes and activities in nature being particular favourite pastimes with those who gravitate there. In Summer, the weather can reach highs of 30 degrees Celcius, so be sure to pack your sunscreen. 

It is undoubtedly true that Bansko is helped by the fact that the ski resort is off-season in summer, and therefore, accommodation prices are extremely good. At the time of writing, getting a room in a fully-equipped four-star hotel for around £400 for an entire month is still possible. Bulgaria generally has low accommodation costs, and Bansko, in the off-season, offers some real gems for a fraction of the cost you might pay elsewhere.

Portugal

Located on the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is a very popular destination for digital nomads, and it isn’t hard to see why. The scenery and the climate are two of the big draws. Living somewhere with a temperate climate is something that many remote workers aspire to, and Portugal delivers on this front. There are several popular places in Portugal where digital nomads are concerned, and they provide very different experiences, so we have concentrated on two of them.

Lisbon

The stunning capital city of Lisbon, with its vibrantly coloured buildings and architecture, is a must-see. Whether you are looking to experience gastronomic delights or to explore old neighbourhoods seemingly untouched by time, then you have come to the right place. Trams still navigate the steep city streets, and there are stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean everywhere you look. 

Madeira

For those seeking island life but not wanting to venture as far as the Canaries, Madeira can be a charming choice. Its capital Funchal has beautiful, scenic gardens at the top, and the Monte Toboggan Sledge ride down through the city streets is exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure. It really is something that must be experienced once to be believed. Being propelled down the main roads in an oversized wicker basket is not for the faint of heart. 

In contrast to Malta and the Canary Islands, Madeira is lush and green and does have a higher rainfall but still has a very nice, temperate climate that is ideal for many remote workers. Madeira is also home to the Nomad Island Fest, which draws many back there year after year. 

The Canary Islands

Although they are situated off the coast of Africa, the Canary Islands belong to Spain and are part of the EU, hence their inclusion in this article. Because of their fortunate location, the year-round climate there is one of the best in the world, earning them the nickname “The Islands of Eternal Spring”.

There are several different islands to choose from. One of the most popular is Gran Canaria, with its capital city of Las Palmas being particularly known amongst the digital nomad community. 

Las Palmas is a beachfront city and has the beautiful yellow sand of Las Canteras beach, which stretches for 3 kilometres of its length. There is a beachfront walkway with many excellent cafes and places to work from with a laptop. Further inland, there are beautiful historic buildings, particularly in the older part of the city called Vegueta. 

There are coworking spaces dotted throughout the city, and there are several options for those who want to have a coliving experience. There are also many apartments to rent, though the prices have risen sharply in recent years due to the increase in the popularity of remote working.    

The weather is better in the Southern part of Gran Canaria, though if you are looking for accommodation, you will be in competition with regular holidaymakers and therefore prices will be higher still. 

Malta

The historic island of Malta, situated off the coast of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea, is becoming increasingly popular as a remote work destination. The island has changed hands many times over the course of centuries and is now an independent republic which declared independence from Britain in 1964. There are still some British influences, with English being widely spoken as one of the official languages, UK plugs not needing adapters and driving on the left side of the road.

The island is known for its beautiful azure waters and the stunning city of Valletta, a UNESCO world heritage site. Malta is also known for its business-friendly tax regime. Businesses pay 35% corporation tax, which can be used to offset individual income tax on dividends for shareholders. 

Many entrepreneurship conferences are held in Malta, a popular place for startups and innovators. There are many great business opportunities there if you are in a position to invest. 

In addition to being business-friendly, Malta has an excellent climate for most of the year, though it gets colder in the winter than in the Canary Islands, with lows of 11 degrees Celcius and highs of 17 degrees Celcius.

It would be remiss not to mention that Evolve Coliving is based in a 15-bedroom mansion in San Gwann in Malta. If you are interested in learning more about the accommodation and the sense of community that we help foster, please take the time to explore the site and get in touch if you need further information.

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