The digital nomad lifestyle is one that is becoming increasingly popular, particularly among young professionals, due to many of the amenities it provides that a traditional 9-5 job simply can’t offer.
Whether it’s the freedom to choose your own hours or the freedom to see the world, or the freedom to work for yourself rather than a group of faceless, corporate entities, there are many different reasons people are choosing to eschew the traditional work format.
Another reason people are adopting a digital nomad lifestyle is the opportunity it provides to travel—specifically, many people who are embracing the digital nomad lifestyle have been flocking to Thailand.
Below is a list of reasons why Thailand is becoming a new haven for digital nomads.
While there aren’t many amenities that a digital nomad needs to be able to make a living, the one that is non-negotiable is a decent internet connection—without one the digital nomad lifestyle simply can’t exist.
Thailand is one of the few Southeast Asian countries that provides internet at a decent speed—more than 10 MBps. It’s also relatively easy to access the internet—all you need is a monthly connection and access to a coworking space in large cities such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, or Phuket.
There are plenty of “offices” that provide amenities such as internet connections, private workspaces/meeting rooms, and sometimes even cafes.
It can be hard to set yourself up for success when you’re first starting out as a digital nomad—while you have the freedom to work for whoever and whatever you want, you also don’t have the same stability and pay structure you would have with a traditional 9-5, particularly when starting out.
This makes it even more important to find a place that doesn’t have an exorbitant cost of living; a requirement many cities in Thailand meet—particularly Chiang Mai.
You can find a reasonably-priced apartment for rent in Chiang Mai for only $300 USD per month—fully furnished. Food will run you approximately $5 USD per meal, while coffee—often the fuel that drives many working professionals—can be bought for just $1 USD per cup.
Transportation is reasonable as well—you can rent a scooter to get from point A to point B for just $8 USD per day.
Overall, most digital nomads can expect to spend roughly $600 USD per month total—significantly cheaper than the cost of living in most American cities.
One of the trickiest aspects of living and working abroad is making sure all the legal requirements are met—particularly visas.
One of the reasons Thailand is becoming a haven for digital nomads is it’s one of the more lenient countries when it comes to handing out visas for both long-term and short-term stays, and there are several visas that you can apply for that can ensure you have the proper documentation to live and work in Thailand.
Applying for the education visa can allow you to learn the Thai language while you stay there—something that will become necessary for people planning to stay long-term regardless.
There are also month-to-month visas that people can apply for—which can be particularly useful for people who aren’t sure how long they plan to stay. The only downside with month-to-month visas is the government has been getting stricter when it comes to handing out back-to-back visas to people who have been in Thailand for a long period of time.