As a general rule, the Asian continent represents the best value for money for a Digital Nomad looking to stretch their hard-earned dollars as far as possible. There are of course significant differences from one country to the next, and within countries themselves, depending on whether you are looking for an urban, beach or rural setting. But no matter which of our Asian destinations you choose, $1,000 per month will deliver you all your necessities, a decent standard of living and memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Aside from its obvious geographic delights, one of the real beauties of Asia is its food. Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Nepal, the Philippines…. All are renowned for their fragrant spices, exotic ingredients and a lightness that defies the piling-on of travellers’ pounds. Stick to the local cuisine and make the most of tasty street food and your dollars will stretch far.
Hanoi is Asia’s cheapest city, certainly amongst the major urban destinations, though as a general rule Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos all offer excellent value for money. A Digital Nomad can enjoy a fine standard of living in any of these countries for just $500. Even the major Thai urban centers such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai offer great city benefits without a costly price tag to match.
There are some Asian cities that should be included in this guide as they really are up there with the leaders on the world stage – major urban centers such as Singapore and Hong Kong. But while they are definitely worth a visit their costs sadly make them prohibitively expensive for Digital Nomads looking to eke out their budgets and for this reason not included in this guide. Try Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai for better value for money and similar experiences instead.
There are differences too between the island destinations throughout Asia, but there are some real gems just waiting to be discovered. If you are careful how you plan your stay, even the more developed islands such as Ko Samui in Thailand and Bali in Indonesia can still be enjoyed on a Digital Nomad’s budget. If you are after all the benefits of beach life, sophistication and the chance to get some work done in paradise, all for under $1000 a month, these are the places for you. Go to the Philippines less touristy islands (except Boracay) if you want to stretch your budget even further. At some parts you might get in trouble getting a decent internet connection though.