ExpatsThailand

Is Thailand the best country for digital nomads?

Photo by Abhi Bakshi for Unsplash

Is Thailand the best country in the world for digital nomads? Some think so. The French travel and tourism operator Club Med recently did a study and found that Thailand tops the list of best countries for digital nomads with Phuket as the number one ‘city’ to live in while working remotely.

(We acknowledge that Phuket can hardly be regarded as a city – perhaps an urban island with a number of larger towns)

Club Med scored areas on categories including the cost of living, safety, the average internet speed, the activities and places to work like cafes and co-working spaces. Overall, the travel operator says Southeast Asian countries are becoming popular places for those working remotely.

Shaking off its party island reputation over recent years, the southeast Asian island is now becoming known as a digital nomad’s paradise.

Thailand tops the list of best countries for digital nomads followed by Sri Lanka, Singapore and Cambodia. Phuket is first on the list of best cities for those working remotely followed by Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Krabi.

Phuket has an average cost of living of around 36,000 baht a month, according to the travel operator. They say the city also ranks high on the list because of the various activities on the island province.

Ho Chi Minh City follows second on the list for places to live as a digital nomad. The monthly living costs are an average of 31,500 baht. Club Med notes that tropical weather and the high internet speed makes it a “dream destination for digital nomads.”

Krabi is the third best place for digital nomads. The average living cost is around 28,500 baht per month. The area is known for its limestone cliffs as well as caves and jungles.

To see the full report, click HERE.

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Tanutam Thawan

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

14 Comments

  1. How can Thailand possibly be one of the best places to live and work as a digital nomad when working without the proper visa is illegal and the only visa you would be able to obtain would be a tourist? This seems to be describing a working vacation. The best place to visit for a few months with a laptop, possibly. The best place to live and work remotely, definitely not.

  2. If Phuket is the best, why are most of them in CM and Bangkok? (Neither of which are listed in their top 20). Compare sometime the places listed with DN forums, half the places they list are never mentioned and many of the top locations they actually do go (such as easten Europe, probably the biggest hot spot for last few years) are missing. Maybe best to pay no attention to DN location lists generated by a travel agency that specialises in “all inclusive” holidays, you know, the type of travel thats pretty much direct opposite to how majority of DN’s travel. Especially when you see they have a resort in the place they claim is number 1.

  3. “Phuket has an average cost of living of around 36,000 baht a month … Krabi average living cost is around 28,500 baht per month.”

    For who? Tourists and expats?

    Only if they’re living in a tent, eating at 7-11, drinking tap water and getting round on a bicycle.

  4. @Simon Small – you could do those amounts, small Phuket town studio rental, internet, electric, bike rent will use about half of it, leaving about 500 per day for food and such. Not much fun though, definitely no party lifestyle, but then most DNs i know are not that big into that. Think of them more like working expats rather than tourists.

    But that kind of money goes far further somewhere like CM (and visa runs are easier and cheaper), which is most are really up there, not in Phuket

  5. @Ynwaps – Right, this is just advertising glop. Create an award, give it to yourself, pay a publicist to place an ad and gargle vomit, et voila , you’re a winner. Club Med doesn’t mention the immigration irregularities and general mayhem around the subject. Nor any heads up on the farang vaccine nightmare, the racism, xenophobia, lawlessness, the flophouse conditions of a Phuket run by a cornucopia of mafia cabals. Best destination?

  6. Simple Simon i live in Thailand and 36,000 baht is around 1100 Dollars some people in the USA are working two jobs to make that money it’s plenty to live on unless your on holiday and that’s not going to happen this year.

  7. Kim $1,100 per month is like $6.30 per hour, less than the federal minimum wage. Many state minimum wage is double that and its still tough to live on that. Even in Thailand 11,000 baht isn’t very much.

  8. @Jack Sombra – was in Rawai earlier this month –

    Paid 5k for a month for a small flatlet with a/c, basic kitchen (fridge and microwave, kettle, rice cooker), 2k for a moped; food and drinks less than 100baht a day – quick drive to the local food market or the markets outside the mosques in the evening, and can get 2-3 days of pre-made food for 100baht easy.

    eg stuff I would buy –
    jelly donuts 5baht each
    chocolate cake 25-30baht.
    spicy rice veggie mix – 20 baht
    larb 30baht
    fresh fruit – 20baht
    blue veggie rice 30baht
    pad thai 30 baht
    etc – lots of single meals or snacks for 20-30baht a pop, that can be thrown into a fridge and eaten over a day or two.

    Can easily live for 10-15k a month and do some basic tourism driving around, massages etc in Phuket.

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