Cities In South East Asia You Should Keep Your Eye Open For, As A Digital Nomad!
Indochina, with its tropical weather, bejeweled beaches, amazing food scene, hospitable locals and easy government rules has some of the best cities in South East Asia for digital nomads. Life in general is easy here. Expenses are less because house rent is very affordable and food is cheap. Fresh food can easily be availed from the street vendors if you are not keen to experiment in the kitchen.
As a seasoned digital nomad I have spent almost four years of my life by the beaches of Andaman sea. I absolutely love it here. What is your pick? Beaches, old cities, mountains, tropical forests, or a small quaint Island?
For the more adventurous minded people you can also stay connected from the holes of a cave by the sea (search Railay Beach in Thailand)! To top it all the locals all are well versed in English, can commute very well and always eager to help. They are extremely accommodating and an instrumental part in the tourism industry. For the explorer in you I have hand-picked 4 cities in South East Asia for digital nomads to should consider as a launchpad of your nomadic career.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap in Cambodia is my favorite choice. The small town by the ruins of the old Angkor temples is a different world in itself. From weary travelers to wise research scholars and multiple tourist flock there during the season.
The city bears multiple anecdotes from French rules of the bygone era. The cafes serve really good French cuisine. Multiple local restaurants and luxury resorts are built in the old French style villas.
In case you are looking for traditional authentic Khmer cuisine or culture there is no dearth of that either. Locals live a very interesting life by the Tonle Sap Lake. This place is a hidden gem and not many have crowded it yet. The first coworking place called Angkor Hub has opened its door for the digital nomads. Creative and like minded people are plenty around.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Yes, the country of Thailand is famous for the beautiful beaches with turquoise blue water. Housing the quintessentially best beaches of Asia, the country attracts a havoc of tourists. While you can always choose to stay in Krabi or Phuket or in any of the secluded Islands, my favorite place to work from is Chiang Mai, the mountainous region of north Thailand.
The small town by the border of Myanmar oozes out warmth and positive vibes. The town is nestled between the mountains and houses very less populace. It is easy to find great food, both Western & Asian cuisines and multiple cafes with free Wi-Fi that lets you stay connected all the while. In your free time you can easily visit the elephant sanctuaries. Playing with the baby elephant is surely going to make your day, but make sure the elephants are taken care of.
Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An is nothing like the rest of Vietnam and one of the popular cities in South East Asia for digital nomads. Nor upscale living of Hanoi, capital city of Vietnam, neither it resembles the chaos of Saigon. The little town by the riverside is painted all yellow and called a world UNESCO Heritage Site.
For all the right reasons obviously, it used to be a port city 200 years back. All the remains now are nostalgia, multiple tailoring shop and a perfect place to relax. I have met people who have stayed in Hoi An for more than a couple of years.
According to them this is the most beautiful city of South East Asia. For modern food he rides to Da Nang, a quick ride to the north of the city or travels to My son that houses the ruins of Champa temples. At night the city lits up. You can light a lamp and let it float on the river. There a traditional night market and plenty of cafes. For a digital nomad it is the best place to work and relax.
Erstwhile British colony, now known as George Town, Penang is the perfect retreat for a gourmet lover. The city shows the grandeur of colonial architecture as well as a positive vibe that welcomes travelers across the globe.
The culture is cosmopolitan. For food you have an array of choices – Indian, Thai, Malay and Chinese! Take your pick. While you work hard for the whole day let the nomad in your heart relax in the history and culture by the streets at night.
I mentioned these places because I have lived there. I’ve only fond memories of my life from the secluded islands or the wilderness of the mountains. Even before I knew it I started to call them home, it was nothing short of a heartbreaking experience every time I am embark on a new journey. But life has been blissful and full of new experiences.
Where is your office? Do you listen to birds sing as you edit the latest video? Do the waves swipe up to your feet as you plan the perfect itinerary for those who want to escape the hustle of urban life? Tell me your favorite cities in South East Asia for digital nomads in the comment section below! I would love to hear from you.