Bangkok ranks top in Asia for digital nomads

Bangkok ranks top in Asia for digital nomads

Living costs, climate provide an edge

A view of high-rise buildings in Bangkok from Mahanakhon Skywalk, one of Thailand's tallest buildings. With affordable living costs, easy transport and warm weather, a website says Bangkok fits nomadic lifestyles. Patipat Janthong
A view of high-rise buildings in Bangkok from Mahanakhon Skywalk, one of Thailand's tallest buildings. With affordable living costs, easy transport and warm weather, a website says Bangkok fits nomadic lifestyles. Patipat Janthong

Bangkok is the most popular city in Asia for digital nomads and ranks fourth globally thanks to affordable internet and living costs, according to a study by Resume.io, a Netherlands-based online resume maker.

The Thai capital's ranking shows it is "a firm favourite for a post-pandemic influx of nomadic workers", Resume.io indicated.

Digital nomads are defined as those who can work anywhere via telecom technologies by using laptops, often at coffee shops, co-working spaces and public libraries.

The top three spots for digital nomads were Vancouver in Canada, New York City and London.

Dubai in the United Arab Emirates came fifth, trailed by Playa Del Carmen in Mexico, Los Angeles, Tulum in Mexico, Paris and Lisbon.

The rankings were determined by analysing geolocation data of almost 90,000 Instagram posts tagged #digitalnomad and a cost of living index, Resume.io indicated.

Rolf Bax, a content specialist at Resume.io, said travel choices for digital nomads have been limited by the pandemic and border controls, but when travel opens up, "a whole new flock of online freelancers may find their place in the world".

Freelancing in the US surged 12% between the start of the pandemic and July 2020.

Mr Bax said Bangkok fits perfectly with nomadic lifestyles.

"With cheap living costs, easy transport and warm weather, it has the full package," he said.

"As more digital nomads visit Bangkok, the demand for co-working spaces has risen, adding more networking opportunities."

Thailand can capitalise on this opportunity by enhancing its appeal to digital nomads, such as opening more co-working spaces, offering short-term accommodation options for remote workers and creating an online hub as a guide for digital nomads, said Mr Bax.

The country can also gear up for investments in programmes that attract overseas workers, marketing the country as the No.1 destination in Asia, he said.

Mr Bax said Thailand could experience a post-Covid boom of digital nomads moving to the country to work remotely.

"Now that millions of people have been granted the flexibility to work remotely permanently, many are planning destinations that complement this way of life," he said.

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