Internet speed, the cost of housing and food, and local climate are the most important factors digital nomads consider when choosing their next destination. These top 5 spots to work remotely in Southeast Asia have the best of all three. In all five of these digital nomad hotspots in Southeast Asia, you’ll find stunning beaches, forward-thinking communities, great weather, and an affordable way of life.
1. Koh Phangan, Thailand
Your initial thought upon hearing “best places to work remotely in Thailand” may be Chiang Mai, Thailand’s most popular destination for digital nomads. However, Koh Phangan is even better. Famous for its Full Moon Party and picturesque beaches, Koh Phangan also has three excellent coworking spaces as well as digital nomad-friendly cafes. Check out Beachub for its pleasant atmosphere and the only total beachfront coworking space in Thailand. (Really, how could you not check it out?) Coworking space Focus and Bubba’s Coffee Bar are two highly-rated places to work as well. Koh Phangan is known for parties, honeymoons, and hippie hangouts, but also happens to be one of the best spots in Southeast Asia to work remotely, so who’s to say you can’t have it all?
2. Penang, Malaysia
Penang offers some of the most incredible cuisines — even in its street food. Malaysia’s busiest city is ethnically and culturally diverse, with lots of networking opportunities to take advantage of. Check out the government subsidized ACAT for massive coworking space, flawless Internet, guest speakers, seminars, and workshops. Here you can network with other remote workers and meet local entrepreneurs as well. Best of all? ACAT has a monthly membership of just $16. Nightlife options like Love Lane, with hipster cafes and live music, keep things fun for you after work hours in Penang.
3. Ubud, Bali
Between the thriving digital nomad community, beautiful historical sites and temples, tropical weather and vast food options, Ubud is a remote workers’ dream come true. There is an sense of calm that overtakes you once you’ve had some time to settle in and look past the bustling streets, which is ideal for work-life balance. Try out the zen co-work space HUBUD for a perfect blend of community, resources and fun. The space offers workshops, team outings, community events, and a bunch more. It’s the ideal space to meet new friends for your stay in Bali.
4. Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi is a popular hub for remote work in Southeast Asia, with coworking spaces for all types of nomads. Coworking space Toong, in the popular Hanoi Old Quarter, provides modern facilities and traditional design. Moonwork is a green, tranquil, and budget-friendly alternative. Several more coworking spaces are available in Hanoi, it’s just a matter of finding the perfect place to stay to fulfill all of your nomad desires.
5. Bangkok, Thailand
With a large community of digital nomads, this urban capital has infinite opportunities to meet all kinds of people. Although Bangkok may be crowded and dirty, as big city living tends to be, its pros outweigh its cons: idyllic weather, impeccable internet speed, and competitive affordability. Bangkok has an efficient public transportation system and lots of free WiFi spots as well. Check out The Work Loft for a centrally-located coworking community, and take advantage of their free one-day trial during which you won’t spend a single Baht.
6. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap has a large variety of coworking spaces as well as many unique cafes and bakeries perfect for working remotely. Cheap food and beer, and very cheap accommodation options make Siem Reap a great digital nomad hub. To work with like-minded people and creative local entrepreneurs, check out AngkorHub, a social enterprise that empowers local startups and entrepreneurs.