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Five of the best bases in Asia for digital nomads

Posted: 8th April 2020 12:23

More than ever, those who want to say goodbye to the monotony of the office are tempted into the world of remote working. With a strong internet connection and a reasonable amount of self-motivation being the only tools required to work from anywhere in the world, it’s no wonder that so many people are becoming digital nomads. Asia’s prime locations offer affordable living, an abundance of culture, fast Wifi connections and beautiful weather (most of the time), making them ideal for out-of-office workers. We’ve put together five of the best bases in the continent for aspiring – and current – freelancers.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali is well-known for being freelance friendly, and the island is home to an abundance of co-working and co-living spaces. Accommodation costs in Bali vary between £380 and £760 per month in the most favoured digital nomad locations, Ubud and Canggu. Some hotels have slow Wifi, so if you’re looking to dive straight into remote working life then be sure to house-hunt as soon as you arrive on the island. However, co-working spaces such as Hubud (in Ubud) and Dojo Bali (in Canggu) are popular, open 24/7, and maintain quick and reliable internet connections even during local power cuts.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Offering a buzzing urban landscape, Ho Chi Minh City is a hub for digital nomads. Rental prices are between £190 and £380 per month, and co-working spaces are abundant in almost all districts. The Hive offers a co-working space with private offices and budget-friendly hot desk options, and cafés like The Loft are perfect for those who prefer a more chilled out work vibe. High-speed Wifi can be found throughout the city’s numerous cafés and hotels, and there are often social events for digital nomads. The weather is almost always tropical, which provides an idyllic setting for post-work exploring.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

A nucleus of culture and religious history, Chiang Mai is a breathtaking place to call home as a digital nomad. This riverside city is alive with creatives, and boasts inexpensive rent prices, fast internet speeds and an impressive social scene for remote workers. A one-bedroom apartment in the city will cost around £300 per month, dropping to £220 if you opt to live out of the centre. Punspace is one of the most popular co-working spaces, and members can visit any of their three locations on a 24/7 basis, with fingerprint security and unwaveringly reliable Wifi to see them through.

Penang, Malaysia

Home to some of the world’s most beautiful white-sand beaches, Penang is the island paradise that every remote worker dreams of. A one-bedroom apartment is likely to cost around £200 per month – making it an affordable option for freelancers on a budget – and there are many co-working spaces throughout the island. In Penang’s capital, George Town, the well-appointed Scoopoint is a favourite of digital nomads, with fast Wifi, air-conditioning, and a creativity-focused approach. The renowned Mugshot Café offers Wifi speeds of around 100mbps, and mouthwatering preservative-free breads and muffins can be purchased from the adjoining Rainforest Bakery.

Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

For a city of almost 3 million people, Kaohsiung is decidedly laidback. Its location on the southern coast of Taiwan brings year-round sunshine which is perfect for day trips to the beach or hiking the island’s plentiful mountains. High speed rail means all major cities across Taiwan are within easy reach while its international airport is also a gateway to the rest of Asia. Monthly rents start from as little as £250 per month, while £500 will comfortably get you a spacious apartment with a swimming pool, gym and concierge. Sim cards with affordable high speed unlimited data plans – a rarity – make working on the go a piece of cake.

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