If the world of remote work were high school, digital nomads would be the date every country wants to take to prom.
More countries are seeing the advantage and potential of having a population of international workers living in their cities.
Over the past two years, destinations worldwide have been surging with a growing population of digital nomads. According to a report by nomadlist.com, some countries have seen a growth of over 200% in their digital nomad population.
If you’re curious about these digital nomad hotspots, here is a list of where they are and why they attract so many travelers.
5. Penang, Malaysia
The second smallest state in Malaysia is a mighty destination divided into two parts, Penang Island and Seberand Perai. Over the past three years, Penang has grown as an ideal location for digital nomads.
A state of culinary diversity, with food influenced by Indian, Malaysian, and Chinese cuisines, here are some reasons why it’s on the radar for many digital nomads:
Options for places to stay and work
Penang offers a variety of affordable accommodations, including hostels and coworking spaces, where digital nomads can live and work.
Places to explore
Digital nomads often seek adventure and culture with their freedom to work anywhere. Penang offers visitors the chance to check out ancient temples such as the Kek Lok Si Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia.
Accessible digital nomad visa
With the DE Rantau Nomad Pass, those who earn over approximately $25,320 a year and pay a visa fee of about $233 can apply to live in Malaysia for 3 to 12 months.
4. Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is the largest city in the country, with over 10 million people working and living in the mega city. In addition to being the capital, it’s a hub for major tech companies such as LG, Samsung, and Hyundai.
It’s no surprise digital nomads want to be a part of this high-tech city. Yet Seoul has more to offer than flashy city lights and skyscrapers.
Bustling city life without the high cost
Seoul offers the excitement and entertainment of the enchanting big city life at a reasonable cost. Living in the city is affordable, with average rent prices 64.6% lower than rent in the U.S., according to Numbeo.com. Affordable prices mean extra money for gym membership, shopping at markets, luxury shops, and seemingly endless karaoke bars.
No need for a visa
For United States citizens, you can live and work in South Korea for up to 90 days without a visa. You can apply for a long-term visa if you want to stay longer.
3. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia made the list again with its largest city, Kuala Lumpur. A major city is known for being the fashion and retail capital of the country.
However, designer clothes aren’t what’s driving many digital nomads to this area. According to a survey by Internations in 2021, Kuala Lumpur was voted the best place for ex-pats to live and work.
Low cost of living and great wifi
The average cost of living in Kuala Lumpur, not including rent, is around $500. And whether you like to work from home or out of cafes, you can be sure to have reliable and fast internet no matter where you go.
Great place for digital nomads working in IT
As previously noted, the digital nomad visa allows those earning a minimum income to stay for up to a year. The visa targets freelancers, or those working for full-time remote companies and particularly welcomes those working in cybersecurity, digital marketing, software development, and digital content creation and development.
2. Da Nang, Vietnam
A vibrant city in Vietnam, Da Nang welcomes digital nomads with its free wifi in the downtown area. Yes, there is free wifi everywhere, not just in hotels or cafes.
And besides being generous with their wifi, the people of Vietnam are known to be welcoming and friendly.
Did you know that Da Nang has its version of Disneyland? Ba Na Hills, also known as “the Da Lat of Danang province,” is a mountaintop resort. On the outside, it looks like an old castle. However, inside, there are exquisite restaurants and a fantasy park.
In addition to the resort, another hot spot includes My Khe Beach, known for being one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet.
You can work and stay on a tourist visa
For U.S. digital nomads, you can easily apply online for a tourist visa to live and work in Vietnam for up to 90 days.
1. Tokyo Japan
The number one fastest-growing hub for digital nomads is a world-renowned place for its cuisine and culture, Tokyo, Japan. The city of cherry blossoms has much to offer digital nomads looking for a change of scenery.
Safety and Security
A great thing about living in Japan is that it is a very safe country. According to the Safest Cities Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit, accessed in 2021, Tokyo was the 5th safest city.
One of the reasons is that Japanese people have an astounding respect for people’s personal belongings. If you leave your phone or bag on a park bench, you could come back and find it waiting for you right where you left it.
The city that never sleeps
Over 40 coworking spaces and numerous cafes are open at all hours, making working across time zones easier. Additionally, Japan is known for having the fastest internet in the world, so you don’t have to worry about your videos awkwardly freezing.
And when you get off of work, you can enjoy the city’s bustling nightlife.
No specific digital nomad visa
Although there isn’t a specific visa to work remotely in Japan, U.S. citizens can enter Japan on a tourist visa and continue working as long as they work for a company outside Japan.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com