4 Best Remote Working Destinations in Southeast Asia for Digital Nomads

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Remote Working Destinations

It’s no surprise that the world of remote digital nomads and remote workers is growing at a rapid rate. With increasingly more yearning for an independent work environment coupled with a thirst for travel, remote working is on its way to the mainstream field. For those living a location independent lifestyle, it’s often practical to find a working space where you can focus on your business. 

One of the biggest hubs for such digital nomads is Southeast Asia. 

Remote workers have been flocking to the area for years, and the region has responded to the demand of digital nomads by providing an abundant supply of work-friendly hotels and co-working spaces. 

The cost of housing and food, internet speed, and local climate are the most important factors remote workers from around the world consider when choosing their destination. These top 4 places to work remotely in Southeast Asia gave the best of all three. The best part is that in all of these remote working hotspots in Southeast Asia, you will find great weather, stunning beaches, forward-thinking communities and an affordable way of life. 

Bali, Indonesia 

Bali is normally on any digital nomad’s list as one of the best places to live and work remotely, and specifically, Canggu, a special place within Bali where remote workers and natives mingle. 

The Indonesian weather is one of the decisive factors for remote workers who wish to live outside with no winter and travel with a small backpack. Bali has very welcoming weather all year round, about 30 degrees throughout the year. But that’s a tropical monsoon climate, which means that there’s a rainy season that lasts from November to April. 

The costs of living in Bali are far below that of states in Europe, North America or Australia, so there’s an important community from these countries spending some seasons in Bali. Renting a room in a villa with pool access costs around $338.20 per month (all expenses included). 

The internet connection is great in co-working spaces and café bars, better than that of the accommodations, where it is not usually fast enough to work comfortably or have meetings.

Koh Samui, Thailand 

Koh Samui is the 3rd largest island in Thailand and was recently ranked #10 in Asia on Condé Nast Traveller. A great percentage of the accommodations on Koh Samui are sitting vacant since the owners live in another part of the country. However, Koh Samui features hundreds of resorts that have unusually low occupancy rates and reduced nightly rates due to the ongoing worldwide state of emergency.

As a virtual personal assistant whose job consists mostly of checking and answering emails and building marketing campaigns, you won’t think of anywhere else you would rather be working during this pandemic. While lots of people are dreaming about working remotely from an island like this, some are already doing it. 

Koh Samui is the land of the monks, monkeys and elephants, and where you can do things that make you come alive. If you want to take a break and go for a meditative walk on the beach on a beautiful sunny day, you will be doing it immediately without other demands on your attention!

A 2 or 3-bedroom villa on Koh Samui will cost you about 10-20,000 Baht (roughly $300-600 per month), or if you prefer the bungalow lie on the beach, you will have it for even less if you are looking in the right areas; namely Bophut, Mae Nam, Laem Sor or Chaweng.

Ubud, Bali 

Located in Central Bali, Abud is almost equally as popular amongst the independent location workers. 

Originally made popular by Elizabeth Gilbert’s travel book, Eat Pray Love, Ubud is a charming little town that’s surrounded by pretty rice fields and volcanoes. This location has quickly become a hipster hotspot due to its popping cafes, art galleries, boutique shops and yoga schools. 

When it comes to co-working space, the most critical players are Outpost and Hubud. Outpost co-working space currently has two locations in Ubud, the original Ubud branch and Outpost Penestanan, which has the additional advantage of a swimming pool to keep you cool in between growing financially. Both of these locations offer very cheap accommodation options for nomads taking the co-living/co-working one step further.

Bangkok, Thailand 

Bangkok may be a massive capital city with plenty of other things going on, but we can’t mention remote working hotspots without adding Thailand’s capital to the list. Bangkok is full of thrill and opportunity for digital nomads seeking the buzz of a city to the dreamy islands and villages of Southeast Asia.

Street food, accommodation, Thai massage (and pretty much all kinds of things you can imagine) are affordable and readily available, and there are tons of great networking events for remote workers where you can meet experts from around the world, whatever your field. 

In Bangkok, you will find hundreds of co-working spaces and unique cafes where you can get productive with a good cup of coffee and a great buzzing atmosphere. Not to mention that with Bangkok airport as a major hub for travel in Southeast Asia, you can use Bangkok as a base to discover the rest of the region. 

You can pay about $300 USD for an apartment that features its own swimming pool, cafe and gym. While the prices have peaked in recent years, you can still find cheap deals on flats. 

Southeast Asia boasts of attractive destinations for digital nomads and remote workers. That’s mostly due to factors like great infrastructure, relatively lower costs of living, and proximity to regional and local vacation destinations. 

However, staying and working in one of these locations could be restrictive without a proper visa. If you want to ensure you’re legally working in Southeast Asia, our advice would be to apply for a proper visa. 

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