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Why These 3 Cities In Southeast Asia Are Becoming Hotspots For Digital Nomads 

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When you think of digital nomads, one of the first regions that likely comes to mind is Southeast Asia.

It seems that this part of the globe has been the original home to those who embrace the laptop lifestyle, and for good reason.

With an array of fascinating countries that boast first-class cities, award-winning beaches, a low cost of living, and fantastic food, Southeast Asia quickly moved up from being a tourist destination to a digital nomad hotspot as well. 

A woman tourist is sightseeing at Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. copy

Cities such as Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, and Singapore have quickly become favorites for remote workers, and report after report finds them at the top of lists for safety, quality of life, and popularity among remote workers.

While these trending mega-cities are definitely deserving of their popularity, there are other cities in Southeast Asia that are starting to gain more attention with digital nomads as well. 

@justin.travel Coworking in Pasig, Metro Manila #nomadworkspace #digitalnomad #nomadlife #manila ♬ Just the Two of Us – Grover Washington, Jr.

Why Manila, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur?

The three cities of Manila, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur are now starting to gain more recognition in the remote worker community, each offering the amenities needed to live a comfortable life, and a unique local vibe as well. 

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Panoramic cityscape of Indonesia capital city Jakarta at suny day

These are three major cities that are on the up-and-up, and while 5 years ago they might have been considered unsuitable for digital nomads for a variety of reasons, now they have an ever-improving infrastructure, with fast wifi, a low cost of living, and great connections to other destinations with within their county and to other destinations throughout the region. 

Another bonus is that these cities each have a growing community of digital nomads, meaning things such as meetups, co-working spots, and other amenities aimed at growing a community of remote workers are increasingly available. 

@viazaracommunity Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia #3daysin30seconds #viazara #kualalumpur #trulyasia #amazingmalaysiatrulyasia #travellife #traveltiktok #travel2023 #2023goals ♬ Travel Music(476078) – TimTaj

Manila

The bustling capital city of the Philippines, Manila has long been disregarded by many travelers for the main reason of safety concerns.

While it’s true there are many areas you should stay away from, the same goes for any large city in the world. Manila is known as the “Pearl of the Orient”, and while poverty is still an issue here, there are many nice areas that digital nomads tend to choose. 

While the Philippines does not have a dedicated digital nomad visa yet, there are talks of one coming.

For now, most people can stay 30 days, giving you enough time to enjoy Manila and also explore some of the other mind-blowing islands as well. 

@travelerforlove Monthly rent living in Manila Philippines #rent #money #finances #philippines #travel #abroad #digitalnomad #tour #mtvcribs ♬ Hot Night (Looking For Love) (Vocalese) – David Derose

Jakarta 

Indonesia’s Jakarta was once also plagued by concerns of safety, as well as traffic and other issues.

While it might not have the massive draw as Bali, the capital city is starting to make its way onto lists for being ideal for remote workers. 

Traffic is still a massive factor here, but as a digital nomad, you can enjoy working from your high rise and watch the city below you, all for a fraction of what it would cost back home.

Not to mention the endless places you can visit via a quick flight from Jakarta, including Bali, Komodo, and the lesser-known Sipura

@tiaragnyc Indonesia has more to offer than Bali, so consider spending a few days in Jakarta! #traveltiktok #indonesia #jakarta #blacktravel #blackgirltravel ♬ original sound – spxdupsounds1

Kuala Lumpur

The sprawling Malaysian capital city of Kuala Lumpur is another example of a destination that most people saw as nothing more than a transit hub, yet now is starting to gain more attention for both vacationers as well as digital nomads.

It offers some pretty impressive views, fantastic day trips, and a cheap cost of living with a high, clean, and orderly way of life. 

The lively Bukit Bintang is arguably the world's best bar street, and adjoining Jalan Alor Night Food Court is where to go for arguably one of the best street food scenes in the world.  

With a new digital nomad visa that is meant to be one of the easiest to obtain, more remote workers are looking to Malaysia as their next home base. If you want to explore this country before it could become overrun and potentially lose a bit of its authentic charm, now would be the time to go. 

@maya_b__ A spontaneous 2 weeks in KL with no plans, here’s a list of our fave things we did in KL!! #kualalumpur #malaysia #airbnb #travelinspo #travel #backpacking #thingstodo ♬ original sound – 🙂

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


David

Saturday 9th of September 2023

These are all big, crowded cities. If you really prefer "off path" with all the amenities, without the traffic and with sea views and beaches consider Kota Kinabalu, DaNang or Hua Hin. Changkat Bukit Bintang is the bar and restaurant Street in KL.

Alan

Monday 4th of September 2023

I thought the capital of the Philippines was Washington DC

Ken Phan

Monday 4th of September 2023

Is it not Penang in Malaysia is call "Pearl of the Orient"? Not Philippines.

DHT53

Sunday 3rd of September 2023

You mis-spelled the capital city of The Philippines.

Lam

Sunday 3rd of September 2023

Research on how the Philippines' capital is spelled.