The best Asian cities for digital nomads

Taman Lumbini park from the height of the temple complex Candi Borobudur at sunrise in the fog.
If you’re looking to add an element of adventure while dipping your toe into the digital nomad lifestyle, why not try Asia?

For many freelancers, the main draw of the digital nomad lifestyle is the image of sitting at a beachside café on some tropical island, with just your laptop and the warm summer breeze for company.

And what better place to realise this dream than Asia: a continent that has absolutely everything to offer, from high-tech metropolises to lazy beachside resorts and everything in between.

So, if you’re looking for the perfect location in paradise to kick off your new lifestyle – take a look at our top 5 Asian cities and start your dream today.

Busan, South Korea
South Korea might not be the first place you think of when picturing paradise, but the Korean Republic’s second city is full of surprises. Located on the south coast, Busan is the perfect blend of high-tech urban living, beachside bars and a lively nightlife that blends local university students with a burgeoning ex-pat community. The winters are mild compared to the rest of the Korean peninsula, while summers get sweltering so you’ll be making most of that beach.

Haeundae beach is Busan's most popular beach because of its easy access from downtown of Busan and the beautiful beach.

Yogyakarta, Indonesia
While most freelancers will head to Bali, why not think outside the Indonesian box and check out Yogyakarta? One of the largest cities on Java, Yogya (as the locals call it) is also a great place for digital nomads looking for a little bit of historic calm. With two of the world’s greatest temples, Borobudur and Prambanan nearby, this is one of South East Asia’s most beguiling cities and a growing café culture makes it an ideal off-the-beaten-track option.

Chiang Mai, Thailand
The cultural heart of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is a university town nestled in lush green mountains and one of South East Asia’s most captivating cities. It’s also a great place to start your digital nomad adventure because it’s foreigner-friendly and jam-packed with things to do when you’re not working, from elephant washing to temple stays. There are excellent cafes throughout the city, with some Western chains that might make the adjustment to Asian living that little bit easier for some.

Georgetown, Malaysia
One of South East Asia’s prettiest cities, the UNESCO World Heritage City of Georgetown on the island of Penang is not to be missed for freelancers craving a slice of culture. A history of international commerce has bestowed Georgetown with a heady mix of traditions, and it has some of South East Asia’s best mix of cuisines. There are newly-opened co-working spaces for those looking for a bit more structure to their working day, but when the food is this good why not try a local café?

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Vietnam’s former capital is also its most cosmopolitan city and attracts entrepreneurs from around the region to its lively streets. Ho Chi Minh City is a sprawling metropolis that can meet most digital nomad needs, with a selection of great cafes and modern co-working spaces to choose from. The food is also great, while if you’re looking for some day-trips then the nearby floating villages on the Mekong Delta are not to be missed, nor is the tropical island of Phu Quoc a little further afield.


Posted by The Secret Businessman