Must-See Digital Nomad Hotspots in Asia

Following on from our recent articles on the best digital nomad hotspots in South America and the top digital nomad hotspots in Europe, we now turn our attention to 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 alleviate some first-timer concerns about loneliness. Living in a coliving space is a great way to make new friends, and you can stay at Unionspace Coliving in Bangkok for under £300 per month.

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 coworking 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. A deluxe room at Matra Bali Coliving will set you back around £350 per month at the time of writing. 

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.  A coliving villa with a swimming pool and a coworking space will cost around £250 per month.

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. There is also coliving accommodation available to rent at reasonable prices. 

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.

Evolve Coliving, 30 dimora, Triq il Venew, San Ġwann SGN 1912
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