With its tropical weather, gorgeous paradisaical islands, vivid culture, and of course, affordable living, Asia is one of the trendiest spots for digital nomads in 2024, with around 46% of nomads flocking into the continent based on recent reports.

The trend has accelerated following the introduction of Digital Nomad Visas, and in some cases, the relaxation of formerly-stringent tourist entry requirements, allowing travelers to stay for extended periods of time without resorting to the infamous visa runs.

Still, you may be wondering where in Asia nomads are choosing to put down roots and which cities are on their radar.

Based on Nomad List, these are the top five destinations you should be considering:

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo at night with the Senso-ji temple in Tokyo, Japan

The national capital of a Japan and a sprawling metropolis that is as famous for being a sensory overload, with its myriad of quirky karaoke bars, anime shops and cat cafes, as it is for its impossibly tiny apartments, Tokyo is liked by an overwhelming majority of Nomad List respondents.

Its entrepreneurial atmosphere is unrivaled, and out of the destinations listed here, it is probably the one with the best nomad infrastructure, with a jaw-dropping 581 coworking centers officially recorded, fast reliable WiFi across its 23 wards, and state-of-the-art public transportation.

Tokyo is also home to a growing expat community and a global business hub, making it a lot more cosmopolitan than smaller towns in Japan, and for a city as big it is quite safe, with very low rates of crime, as well as relatively affordable, with monthly expenses averaging $2,826.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Aerial VIew Of A Sunset Over A Street Market In Chiang Mai, Thailand, Southeast Asia

Chiang Mai is the gem of Northern Thailand, and an increasingly popular alternative for nomads who are not yet ready to ditch the fast-paced city life, yet wouldn’t mind bringing it down a notch: it’s a fairly large city, with over a million inhabitants, but it’s nowhere near Bangkok’s level of crazy.

The UNESCO-listed Old Town, surrounded by defensive walls and replete with ancient temples and lively street markets, is particularly picturesque: the last time someone counted, there were over 300 richly-decorated temples in Chiang Mai.

As an outsider, you will notice the culture is inequivocally family-oriented, and many of the local businesses are local-owned, making it a staunchly Thai fortress in a country that’s slowly giving in to gentrification: unlike in overdeveloped Phuket, you can still live on under $985 a month here.

Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand

Solo Female Traveler Swings From A Palm Tree On An Island In Thailand, Southeast Asia

Thailand is a country of many islands – 1430, to be exact – and though most of them will boast white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and unspoiled patches of jungle, it’s offbeat Ko Pha Ngan most nomads are claiming as their tropical refuge.

It ranks as the third most popular ‘workcation’ destination on Nomad List, and seeing it’s much quieter than European/ Russian-colonized Phuket and the neighboring day-trip hotspot of Koh Phi Phi, we’re not exactly surprised crowd-wary ‘workcationers’ are coming here instead.

Other than the Full Moon Party, a night-long festivity held every month in accordance with the lunar calendar, this tiny island off the East side of the Malay Peninsula is relatively quiet. It offers nomads the laid-back living they crave for around $1,802 per month.

Kuala Lampur, Malaysia

Kuala Lampur In The Evening, The Modern Capital City Of Malaysia, Southeast Asia

The second major capital to feature on this ranking, Kuala Lampur is the textbook example of a vibrant melting pot of cultures.

Other than the indigenous Malay, it is home to a sizable Chinese and Indian population, and in recent years, it’s become a migration hotspot for Westerners.

Malaysia is one of the most highly developed states in Southeast Asia: poverty is less pronounced compared to its counterparts, food safety regulations are better enforced, the market is more open, and services are more tourist-friendly than socialist Vietnam or China, for example.

Living and working remotely from Kuala Lumpur, characterized by its towering high-rise clusters, iconic Petronas Twin Towers decorated with Islamic motifs, and beautiful British-era landmarks, foreigners should budget an acceptable $1,385 monthly.

Bangkok, Thailand

Tuk Tuk In Chinatown, Bangkok, Southeast Asia

The top-ranking digital nomad hotspot not only in Asia, but the entire world, Bangkok is Thailand’s capital and financial center, as well as a vibrant cosmopolitan hub best known for its lively streets, exciting nightlife, historic temples and delectable street food.

From the unpronounceable Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan, a towering temple sitting on the banks of the busy Chao Phraya River, to the bar-packed Silom District to the colorful Chinatown, there is plenty to discover and keep you entertained in The Big Mango.

With a near-perfect rating of 4.87 out of 5 on Nomad List, Bangkok is the best-loved nomad hub globally. It receives rave reviews for its abundance of coworking spots, affordable long-term stays, and cheap cost of living (it costs only $1,418 per month to be a digital nomad in Bangkok).


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