Digital nomadism is here to stay but where should an aspiring or established nomad go to get the best bang for their buck and still keep things interesting? Chiang Mai and Ubud are over and that’s a good thing – there’s a whole wide world to see before you hang up your laptop.
5 Digital Nomad Locations in Asia
Half of the list goes to Asian destinations and that’s because they’re often the least expensive. It’s worth noting that this may come at the compromise of quality of life compared to many other places.
Udon Thani, Thailand
What’s so great about Chiang Mai, anyway? Thailand’s not some backwater dump; it’s a big modern country. Udon Thani has a ton of advantages over Chiang Mai:
It’s closer to Laos so border runs for visas are easier;
The accommodation costs are much lower and you can get a swish pad in the city centre for half the price of a condo on Nimman;
It has a ton of great nightlife and it’s on the doorstep of one of Thailand’s UNESCO world heritage sites.
Cambodia has surprisingly good internet even if it is a little bit pricier than the rest of the region. Battambang, however, is the perfect place for nomads who need to get work done:
It’s the cheapest city in Cambodia for rents;
The city itself has some of the finest French colonial architecture in Asia;
Beer, food and transport are among the lowest cost in the world;
Visas and work permits are insanely easy to obtain and renew.
Those looking for perfect, always on and high speed internet shouldn’t consider Mandalay for a few years yet. Those with a little more freedom to choose, however, should consider:
The city has much lower rental costs than in Yangon;
It’s in the heart of some of the most unspoiled territory in Asia;
Myanmar has only recently opened up and you’ll be among the first long-term visitors to Mandalay which means getting the “real vibe” before it’s overrun by tourists.
Kochi, Kerala, India
Goa is so last year and it’s lost much of its appeal as both a tourist and digital nomad destination. Kochi in Kerala is the rising star to take its place:
Still very much untouched by nomads but a major city all the same with all the amenities that brings;
Not far from the beach and the province itself offers a ton of temples, mountains and other places of interest to explore;
It’s always warm without ever getting to the point of unbearably hot.
Zhuhai is an up and coming city on China’s Southern Coast. It offers easy access to the comforts of Macau without the prices of Macau:
Fantastic internet availability and a wealth of cheap places to work from;
A chance to see the Chinese boom take place around you;
A vibrant expat community to make up for the lack of nomads there at the moment.
5 Digital Nomad Locations in the Rest of the World
It’s fair to say these are likely to be a little more expensive than the Asian destinations but, at the same time, they do offer a higher overall quality of life.
Greece is more expensive than you might think but Katerini bucks the trend and has the lowest cost of living of any town in the country and there’s a lot to be said for the place:
It’s only 6 km from the beach and there are a lot of beaches to choose from;
It’s surrounded by places of historical interest such as the ancient city of Dion;
There are great transport links to the rest of Greece;
Thessaloniki nearby is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Slavonski Brod, Croatia
The name doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue but this small student city is low cost and surprisingly good value too:
Pleasant year round temperature and an easily walkable city;
Weekends are when the students come out to party and the weeks are pleasantly relaxed;
There’s a ton of cafes, clubs, shops and galleries and the internet is great too (check out our previous blog regarding co-working spaces).
Santa Marta, Colombia
It’s Medellin that’s getting all the attention at the moment but Santa Marta is cheaper and it’s got great beach access. Internet may be a bit patchy though:
Some of the best scuba diving in South America and the jet skiing is good too;
Get in touch with the life (and death) of Simon Bolivar one of the most significant figures in South American history;
It’s a great place to learn Spanish cheaply and the bars and restaurants are great.
Lipari Island (one of the Aeolian Islands off the coast of Sicily)
Lipari is the largest, busiest and most accessible of the Aeolian Islands. Visitors arriving from the mainland will likely experience it as a relaxing introduction to island life.
The town is so quaint and picturesque – even the tiny little cobblestone streets leading directly to the sea looks like it was plucked directly out of a children’s storybook.
A busy little port with a pretty, pastel-coloured seafront and plenty of accommodation, it makes the most convenient base for island hopping.
It is cheap and cheerful;
Easy public transport options available
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town remains Southern Africa’s most popular destination and for good reason. It’s low cost and the only place in Africa with reliable and high speed Internet:
Good and cheap transport (which you will need as Cape Town is a big city);
Museums, botanical gardens, beach access, and nearby safaris;
Great nightlife, co-working spaces and endless things to do.
If you want to get off the beaten path and hit up a nomad destination which offers great value for money and a wealth of things to see and do, why not check out one of these 10 locations?
They make a pleasant change from the clichés of Chiang Mai, Prague, Ubud, etc. and will give you a chance to develop your identity as a digital nomad without breaking the bank.
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