Why These 3 Southeast Asian Cities Are Hotspots for Digital Nomads


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When you think of digital nomads, probably one of the first regions that comes to mind is Southeast Asia.

It seems this part of the planet has always been home to those embracing the laptop lifestyle, and for good reason.

Home to a plethora of fascinating countries with top-notch cities, award-winning beaches, low cost of living and delicious food, Southeast Asia is rapidly transforming from tourist destination to digital nomad hotspot.

A female tourist is sightseeing in the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.copy
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Cities like Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore are quickly becoming favorites for remote workers, with report after report finding that these cities top the list for safety, quality of life and popularity among remote workers.

While these hot megacities definitely deserve their welcome, other cities in Southeast Asia are starting to get more attention from digital nomads. Coworking in Pasig, Metro Manila #nomadworkspace #digitalnomad #nomadlife #manila ♬ Just the two of us – Grover Washington, Jr.

Why choose Manila, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur?

Three cities—Manila, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur—are now starting to gain more acceptance among the remote worker community, each offering the amenities needed to live comfortably along with a unique local vibe.

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Sunny city panorama of Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia
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These are three major cities on the rise, and while 5 years ago they might have been considered unsuitable for digital nomads for various reasons, they now have a growing infrastructure with fast wifi, low speed internet . Cost of living, and great connections to other destinations within the county as well as others throughout the region.

Another benefit is that each of these cities has a growing digital nomad community, which means more meetups, co-working locations and other amenities designed to grow the remote worker community.

@viazaracommunity Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia #3daysin30seconds #viazara #kualalumpur #trulyasia #amazingmalaysiatrulyasia #travellife #traveltiktok #travel2023 #2023goals ♬ Travel Music (476078) – TimTaj


Manila, the Philippines’ bustling capital, has long been overlooked by many tourists due to safety concerns.

While it’s true that there are plenty of places you should stay away from, the same goes for any big city in the world. Manila is known as the “Pearl of the Orient,” and while poverty remains an issue here, there are many nice areas that digital nomads tend to pick.

While the Philippines does not yet have a dedicated digital nomad visa, it is rumored to be coming soon.

Currently, most people can stay for 30 days, giving you plenty of time to enjoy Manila and explore some of the other exciting islands.

@travelerforlove Monthly rent living in Manila, Philippines #rent #money #finances #philippines #travel #abroad #digitalnomad #tour #mtvcribs ♬ Hot Night (Looking for Love) (Vocalese) – David Derose


Jakarta, Indonesia was once troubled by security, traffic and other issues.

While it may not have the huge draw of Bali, the capital is starting to rank among the ideal cities for remote workers.

Transportation is still a huge factor here, but as a digital nomad, you can enjoy working in a high-rise building and watching the city below you, all at a fraction of the cost of back home.

Not to mention that you can take quick flights from Jakarta to countless destinations, including Bali, Komodo Island and the lesser-known Cipla.

@tiaragnyc Indonesia has more to offer than Bali, so consider Jakarta for a few days! #traveltiktok #indonesia #jakarta #blacktravel #blackgirltravel ♬ OST – spxdupsounds1

Kuala Lumpur

The sprawling Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, is another example that most people thought of as little more than a transport hub, but is now starting to get more attention from holidaymakers and digital nomads.

It offers impressive vistas, fantastic day trips as well as a low cost of living and a high, clean, organized lifestyle.

Lively Bukit Bintang is arguably the best pub street in the world, while the adjoining Alor Street night food court is arguably one of the best street food spots in the world.

The new digital nomad visa is one of the easiest to obtain, and more and more remote workers are looking at Malaysia as their next base. If you want to explore the country before it gets ravaged and potentially loses a little of its real charm, now is the time to go.

@maya_b__ spent a spontaneous two weeks in KL with no plans and here’s a list of our favorite things to do in KL! #kualalumpur #malaysia #airbnb #travelinspo #travel #backpacking #thingstodo ♬ OST – 🙂

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