Let’s check the best places for Digital Nomads in Southeast Asia, featuring an analysis on travel budget, internet availability and visa policies
Are you a digital nomad or planning to become one? This post will guide you to the best places for digital nomads in Southeast Asia, with the pros and cons of each destination.
Being a digital nomad has several advantages, and disadvantages too. In this post, we will focus in one of the biggest advantages of becoming a digital nomad. If you are a digital nomad, you already know that I am talking about being location independent. If you are not yet, you will soon find out how convenient it can be to be location independent.
There are a few reasons in Southeast Asia that serve as a magnet for digital nomads. The weather and the prices are probably on the top of the list. But there are also other attractions: delicious food widely available and unique natural wonders.
However, becoming a digital nomad and moving to Southeast Asia also has a number of disadvantages. Visa policies are one of the biggest setbacks of becoming a digital nomad in Southeast Asia. Other than that, language barriers can be quite frustrating after some time traveling.
Considering these advantages and disadvantages, let’s go to our top 5 best places for digital nomads in Southeast Asia
Despite its recent troubled past, Cambodia has shown itself to be a very resilient nation. Its relaxed visa policy and proximity to Thailand are definitely helping Cambodia to become a good option for digital nomads.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Advantages: The main advantage of Cambodia is its extremely relaxed visa policy. You can easily get a business visa on arrival and stay in Cambodia year round. It is certainly the easiest way to move to Southeast Asia with very little bureaucracy.
Disadvantages: The infrastructure in Cambodia is far less developed than in other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Thailand.
Thailand is the main point of entry to foreign tourists in Southeast Asia. According to some surveys, Bangkok is currently the most visited city in the world.
The country has amazing food, nightlife and also some of the most amazing beaches in the world. Internet in Southeast Asia is one of the best in the region too.
thailand digital nomad
Advantages: widely available delicious street food (and also in small restaurants). I would go as far as saying that you don’t need a kitchen while in Thailand.
The travel infrastructure in the country is amazing, with great transport options and an infinite amount of flights to, in and out of Thailand.
Disadvantages: There are 2 main disadvantages of Thailand, one is the fact that in recent years it has become increasingly crowded. That is quite a disadvantage not only because of the hordes of tourists themselves but also because how it influences specially accommodation prices.
There is also the visa problem in Thailand. But the government announced recently the possibility of getting a 6 months visa prior to your arrival.
Indonesia (Mainly Bali)
Bali is another hot stop for digital nomads. Its amazing nightlife and natural beauty are attracting more and more digital nomads to visit this Indonesian island.
Advantages: the main advantages in my opinion when it comes to Bali are its nightlife and knock-down accommodation prices. You can easily rent a villa or a fraction of what it cost in the Caribbean, or even in Thailand for that matter.
Disadvantages: Getting a visa to Bali (and the whole of Indonesia) generally means a 30 day visa for most Western passports. This may not be enough to work online and travel around the island. You can extend the visa for 60 days though, check the process here.
Philippines is another option if you are digital nomad and willing to spend some time in Southeast Asia. It is extremely cheap and also has amazing beautiful beaches.
Advantages: The Philippines are an extremely affordable place, in terms of hotels and also food.
Disadvantages: Just like Indonesia or Thailand, most passports get just 30 days to visit The Philippines. It is possible to get a visa extension but the process is considerably more difficult then in Indonesia (Bali).
Vietnam is one of my favorite countries in the world. It’s cheap, the culture is interesting and there are many contrasting regions in the country. Vietnam is great for digital nomads and the community is growing considerably in recent years.
Advantages: Great food, that is probably the main advantage in Vietnam. However the country has a lot to offer, and trips to places like Sa Pa or Dalat or Nha Trang. You can also get a 3 months visa in arrival in Vietnam, but you need to arrange an invitation letter for this.
Disadvantages: Not many really if you don’t want to stay more than 30 months. However the nightlife and the beaches are less interesting than in Thailand.