8 Best Places to Live for Digital Nomads in Thailand: The Ultimate Digital Nomad Guide to Thailand

Thailand is a digital nomad’s paradise. With its low cost of living, excellent infrastructure, warm weather, and abundance of coworking spaces, it’s easy to see why so many remote workers and digital nomads choose to live and work remotely in Thailand. 

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll explain everything you need to know about being a remote worker and share the best places to live for digital nomads in Thailand.

We’ll cover the best cities and islands to stay in, costs, visas, activities, and more. I’ll also provide tips from my first-hand experience as a digital nomad living in Thailand for over a year. Let’s dive in!

Longtail boats parking by the beach in South Thailand

Why Thailand is One of the Best Digital Nomad Destinations

Thailand has become hugely popular as a destination for digital nomads, and for good reason. Here are some of the key advantages that make Thailand such an appealing place to live and work remotely:

Low Cost of Living – Thailand is very budget-friendly, especially when it comes to accommodation and food. It’s easy to find nice apartments for under $500 per month, and you can eat incredibly well for just a few dollars per meal if you eat local cuisine. This makes it possible to live very comfortably in Thailand on a modest budget.

Developed Infrastructure – Compared to some other places in Southeast Asia, Thailand is quite developed, especially in the major cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai. You’ll find excellent public transportation, international airports, and modern amenities. This makes living here easy for digital nomads.

Excellent Connectivity – Thailand has high-speed and reliable internet pretty much everywhere. You can count on solid WiFi speeds, 5G data networks, and widespread fiber optic broadband. As a digital nomad, this level of connectivity is invaluable.

Tourists watching Phuket sunset by the ocean

Year-Round Warm Weather – Thailand’s tropical climate means warm weather all year round in most parts of the country. For digital nomads who enjoy beach life and lots of sunshine, the weather here is ideal.

Abundant Coworking Spaces – There are tons of coffee shops and coworking spaces, especially in cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai. These provide perfect locations to work and connect with fellow nomads.

Large Expat and Nomad Communities – With so many digital nomads and expats living in Thailand, it’s easy to meet like-minded people and make new friends. This is a big plus for many remote workers.

Amazing Food and Culture – Thai cuisine is absolutely delicious, and the culture here is unique and fascinating to experience. As a digital nomad in Thailand, you get the best of both worlds.

Tons of Things To See and Do – From tropical beaches to ancient temples and jungle treks, Thailand offers endless attractions and activities for when you have free time. You’ll never be bored here.

It’s this winning combination of affordability, infrastructure, amenities, weather, and culture that makes Thailand such a fantastic place for digital nomads to live.

Best Places to Live in Thailand for Nomads

Now let’s look at some of the top cities and islands in Thailand that are ideal for the digital nomad lifestyle:

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is without a doubt one of the most popular digital nomad hubs not just in Thailand, but the world. As a major city in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has a lot going for it:

  • Much more affordable than Bangkok but still has all the amenities of a big city.
  • A slower pace of life compared to Bangkok. The vibe is very laid back.
  • Amazing cafes, coworking spaces, delicious food, and coffee shops everywhere. Great work environments.
  • Surrounded by beautiful jungles, waterfalls, and nature. Great to explore on days off.
  • Huge communities of digital nomads to connect with. Very social and lively.
A shop by the street in Chiang Mai

I lived in Chiang Mai for 6 months and absolutely adored it. The Nimman neighborhood is digital nomad central, with tons of great cafes to work from. 

Some of my favorite coworking spaces were Yellow Co-working (which also hosts events) and StarWork Chaing Mai. 

Rent is noticeably cheaper than in Bangkok. You can get a nice modern studio for around 8,000 to 15,000 THB per month ($250 – $500). Coworking spaces are also very affordable, usually between $50 – 150 USD per month.

For digital nomads who want a balance between city life and access to nature, as well as a thriving nomad community, Chiang Mai is hard to beat. It’s one of the top digital nomad cities in the world for good reason.

Bangkok 

As the capital city of Thailand, Bangkok offers digital nomads the amenities and excitement of big-city living. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Enormous, bustling metropolis with every convenience imaginable. Skytrains make getting around easy.
  • Incredible restaurants, nightlife, shopping malls, mass transit, and other city perks.
  • Tons of coworking spaces and coffee shops to work from. Great digital nomad infrastructure.
  • More expensive than in other parts of Thailand but still very affordable compared to Western cities. 
  • Great base to travel around Southeast Asia and beyond due to large international airports.
Benjakitti Park in Bangkok

I rented an apartment in Bangkok’s Phrom Phong area, which I loved because it was walkable and close to restaurants and shops. I was paying around 35,000 THB ($1,000 USD) per month, which is an average price for the area.

But you can always find cheaper places if you look further from the city center. Make sure to get a place near a Skytrain station to make getting around easier and save some money from getting taxis.

Some of the best coworking spaces in Bangkok include Hubba, The Hive, Launchpad, and The Work Loft. Expect to pay around 5,000 – 10,000 THB ($150 – $300 USD) per month for these spaces. 

Bangkok is best suited for digital nomads who enjoy the energy and excitement of big-city living. The fast pace and crowds might not appeal to everyone. But if you like living in a metropolis with endless things to do, Bangkok is tough to top.

Koh Phangan 

For digital nomads who want a peaceful island lifestyle surrounded by gorgeous beaches, Koh Phangan is tough to beat. Here’s what makes Koh Phangan a great remote work destination:

  • Relaxed, low-key island vibes. Much quieter and less crowded than cities like Bangkok.
  • Famous for its Full Moon Party and vibrant nightlife if you want it.
  • Surrounded by some of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches, bays, and jungles. So much natural beauty.
  • A growing community of digital nomads, especially around Sri Thanu village. Easy to meet people.
  • Fewer amenities than in the cities, but decent restaurants and cafes with WiFi are available. 
  • Very affordable!
  • Hotspot of health and wellness resorts. Great spot for yoga and detox retreats.
  • Great vegan and healthy food options
Koh Phangan Fullmoon party

I lived in Koh Phangan for a month and would love to return. The island is just so lush and alive. The vibe is very hippie, peaceful, and welcoming. I went to the famous Full Moon Party with some friends and it was wild!

It’s easy to find basic bungalows or apartments to rent around the main tourist areas. You can rent basic bungalows from $200-$400 per month on the beach.

If you want a social coworking space, check out Remote&Digital Coworking and Inner Space Coworking. There are also many cafes where you can post up with a laptop and work away in the afternoon.

For digital nomads who prioritize living close to nature and having a serene setting, Koh Phangan is a little slice of remote worker paradise.

Phuket

Thailand’s largest island, Phuket has become massively popular with tourists and digital nomads alike. Here’s a look at what Phuket offers:

  • International airport makes it easy to access the rest of Thailand and Asia.
  • Well-developed island with modern amenities – you’ll find everything you need.
  • Clear waters and sandy beaches are great for water sports like diving.
  • The lively city of Patong Beach is packed with restaurants, nightlife, and resorts.
  • Slightly more expensive than other parts of Thailand but still very affordable.
  • Old Phuket Town has a wonderful historic charm. Great for walking around and getting the best street food from the famous Sunday Market.
Phuket old town night market and food

I rented a motorbike and lived in the Rawai Beach area of Phuket, and loved it. Phuket has something for everyone – if you want lively tourist zones, they are easy to find, but there are also quieter parts of the island. 

Coworking spaces like Hatch and CocoWorking Space are good options on the island.

Make sure to shop around for monthly apartment rentals, as deals can be found for 20,000 to 30,000 THB ($600 – $900 USD).

Phuket is best suited for digital nomads who still want modern conveniences, nightlife options, and tourist amenities while enjoying the beauty of the island living in Thailand. 

Krabi

The Krabi province in Southern Thailand is another popular spot for digital nomads in Thailand. Some of the key highlights include:

  • Incredibly beautiful beaches and breathtaking karst formations rising from the sea. Pure eye candy.
  • A laidback lifestyle focused on beach life, hiking, kayaking, and nature.
  • A small but growing community of digital nomads, especially in Ao Nang. Easy to make friends.
  • Significantly more affordable than Phuket with lower costs of living and housing.
  • Great home base for accessing tons of tropical islands in the Andaman Sea.  
A woman walking by the beach in Railey Krabi Thailand

I split my time living in both Krabi Town and Ao Nang when I was based in Krabi. The beaches here are just spectacular – Railay and Tonsai Beaches were my personal favorites.

For coworking spaces, check out Lekker Cafe in Krabi Town or Glur Hostel in Ao Nang.

House rentals can easily be found for 8,000 to 15,000 THB ($250 – $450) per month on sites like Airbnb.

Krabi appeals to digital nomads who really want to focus on enjoying beach life and Thailand’s natural beauty without breaking the budget.

Pai

Nestled in the mountainous Mae Hong Son province in Northern Thailand, the small town of Pai has become a popular hub for digital nomads who want stunning nature and a hippy vibe. Here’s a look at what Pai offers:

  • Surrounded by incredible jungle scenery, rice paddies, and hill tribe villages. Great for nature lovers.
  • Home to many western cafes and restaurants in the walking street downtown area. 
  • Much cooler weather than the rest of Thailand. Gets cold in winter which nomads either love or hate.
  • Small but artistic community attracted by laidback Pai lifestyle. Yoga, music, art scene.
  • Not much nightlife but lots of wellness activities like massage, hot springs, and meditation retreats.
Northern food in Thailand and a cat in Pai

One of my friends spent two months living in Pai and shared that it was an incredible experience. The nature is just jaw-dropping, with activities like trekking and awesome sights like Pai Canyon on tap.

He mentioned that the downside is the town is quite small and options for activities and places to hang out are limited. But for digital nomads who crave nature and good cafes, Pai is a paradise.

Hua Hin

Located on the Gulf of Thailand about 200km south of Bangkok, Hua Hin has been the Thai royal family’s preferred beach getaway for over 100 years, which tells you a lot about its charms. Here’s what makes it great for digital nomads:

  • Has lots of long-stay expat retirees, so very cosmopolitan amenities and international restaurants.
  • A slower pace of life than Bangkok but still has good city infrastructure and healthcare facilities. 
  • Long stretches of clean beachfront are great for swimming, kitesurfing, and beachside seafood.
  • Night markets with fun shopping and street food. Good mix of local culture.
  • More rains April-Oct but decent November-March weather. Gets hot Apr-Jun.

Overall Hua Hin offers digital nomads a lovely balance of seaside serenity with enough modern conveniences for comfortable living in Thailand.

A horse running on the beach in Hua Hin Thailand

Koh Samui 

The island of Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand has quickly emerged as a great place for digital nomads thanks to its beautiful beaches and jungle landscapes. Here are some of the key highlights:

  • Well-developed tourist infrastructure with some flashy 5-star beach resorts.
  • High-speed fiber optic internet is available in many areas catering to digital nomads.
  • Mix of lively beach towns like Chaweng and super chill places like Lipa Noi. Get any vibe you want. 
  • International airport makes it easy to access the Thai mainland and other parts of Asia.
  • Great base for diving, island hopping, jungle trekking, and checking out Ang Thong National Marine Park.
Koh Samui view point

I spent 3 months living on Koh Samui splitting time between the north and south sides of the island. It never got old waking up to the island’s lush palm tree scenery and working steps from the beach.

Co-working spaces like Mantra Work Lounge and Jungle Club are solid options on the island.

And you can find nice villas or apartments starting from around 15,000 THB ($450 USD) per month.

For digital nomads who appreciate island living with modern conveniences, Koh Samui has a lot going for it.

Cost of Living in Thailand for Digital Nomads

One of the biggest appeals of being a digital nomad in Thailand is the low cost of living compared to many places. Here’s a realistic breakdown of typical monthly expenses in Thailand:

Housing – For a modern 1-bedroom apartment in cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, or Phuket, plan on spending $400-$700 per month. Beach bungalows can go even lower depending on location. 

Food – Eating locally, you can eat extremely well for around $300 per month. Western food in Thailand will be more expensive. 

Transportation – Local city transit and using Grab for taxis will cost around $100 per month. Renting a motorbike will be around $60 per month.

Coworking – Shared coworking spaces in cities run from $100-$250 per month. Coffee shops are even cheaper.

Entertainment – You can have a full social life on $150-$300 per month. Entertainment costs are low.

Extras – Toiletries, cell phone bills, etc. will be about $100 more per month.

So realistically you can live as a digital nomad quite comfortably for around $1,000 – $1,500 per month. It’s cheaper than just about anywhere in North America or Europe.

The major cities of Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai are more expensive. But you can reduce costs by staying outside of the downtown districts which are aimed at tourists and expats. 

Smaller towns and islands have even lower costs of living. So Thailand offers options for just about any budget.

Pros and Cons of Being a Digital Nomad in Thailand

Like any destination, Thailand has both advantages and disadvantages for the digital nomad lifestyle. Here is an overview of the main pros and cons:

Advantages

Affordable Cost of Living – From budget-friendly accommodations to delicious street food for just a few dollars per meal, Thailand offers a very cost-effective lifestyle for digital nomads. You can comfortably get by on $1,000 – $1,500 per month in most parts of the country.

Diverse Locations – Thailand has a huge variety of locations to choose from whether you prefer bustling big cities like Bangkok, serene tropical islands like Koh Samui, or tranquil mountain towns like Pai. There are options to suit every digital nomad’s needs and preferences.

Thriving Digital Nomad Community – With so many digital nomads and remote workers already based in Thailand, it’s easy to tap into the community. You’ll find lots of networking events, co-working spaces, and opportunities to meet like-minded individuals who understand the location-independent lifestyle.

View from a longtail boat in Thailand

Disadvantages

Internet Reliability – While major cities and tourist areas generally have excellent internet speeds and availability, connectivity gets less reliable in more rural and remote parts of Thailand. As a digital nomad, having rock-solid WiFi at all times is key.

Visa Regulations – Figuring out the visa situation as a digital nomad in Thailand can be challenging, especially if you’re looking to stay long-term and not just do visa runs. Navigating the various visa options takes research and preparation.

How to Stay in Thailand Long-term as a Digital Nomad: Visa Options

Thailand offers digital nomads several options when it comes to getting a long-term visa:

Tourist Visa

This allows you to stay 30 or 60 days depending on the consulate where it was issued. You can extend once in Thailand for an additional 30 days.

Education Visa

You can enroll in a Thai language or cooking course for a 1-year student visa. Requirements are fairly low. 

Elite Visa

For digital nomads who are willing to pay premium prices for long-term visas (starting at 900,000THB), the Elite Visa allows you to stay 1-5 years with multiple entries and comes with perks and benefits such as spa and premium lounge.

Retirement Visa

For those over 50 years old with a Thai bank account with 800,000THB in it. Allows you to live in Thailand long-term.

Business Visas

Such as the Smart Visa aimed at digital nomads, the IB visa if investing in Thailand, and more. Require proof of employment and/or a Thai work permit.

Long Term Residency (LTR)

The Long-Term Residency Visa for remote workers launched in September 2022 and resembles the Smart visa but with much more digital nomad-friendly requirements. It grants 1-5 year stays for as little as $1,475 total!

In general, most digital nomads start with back-to-back Tourist Visas and Visa Runs to stay long-term in Thailand. But for more convenience, the Education paths offer a nice easy solution.

I’d recommend chatting with a reputable visa agency like Thailand Starter Kit to discuss your options in more detail if you’re looking to stay 1+ years in the country as a digital nomad.

Island in Thailand

Things to Do in Thailand as a Digital Nomad 

Thailand has no shortage of amazing activities and attractions to experience during your free time as a digital nomad. Here are some of my favorites:

Beaches 

With over 2,000 miles of coastline, Thailand is packed with gorgeous beaches, like:

  • Railay Beach in Krabi
  • Chaweng Beach on Koh Samui  
  • Patong Beach in Phuket
  • Banana Beach on Koh Samet
  • Maya Bay in Koh Phi Phi

You really can’t go wrong with the beaches in Thailand. The swimming, snorkeling, cliff jumping, and paddleboarding opportunities are incredible.

National Parks

Thailand has some breathtaking inland national parks that are perfect for hiking and enjoying nature:

  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Doi Inthanon National Park 
  • Erawan National Park
  • Khao Sok National Park

I’d highly recommend spending a few days trekking and camping in Khao Sok National Park. The wildlife, waterfalls, and jungle rivers are pristine.

Markets

For an authentic local shopping experience, Thai markets can’t be beat. Some of the top ones include:

  • Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
  • Amphawa Floating Market 
  • JJ Green Market in Bangkok
  • Walking Street Market on Koh Samui
  • Fisherman’s Village Market in Phuket

It’s easy to spend hours wandering these markets sampling street food, picking up souvenirs, and taking in the electric atmosphere.

Cooking Classes 

Taking a Thai cooking class is one of the best ways to learn about the local cuisine. I took one in Koh Samui and loved it. Some recommended locations:

  • Grandma’s Home Cooking School Chiang Mai
  • Smiley Cook Thai in Koh Samui
  • Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy
  • Phuket Thai Cooking Class by VJ

You’ll learn to cook all the classics like pad thai, tom yum goong soup, som tam papaya salad, and more. It’s very hands-on and a super fun experience.

Buddha and temple in Chiang Mai

Temples & Historic Sites

With a long, rich history and Buddhist culture, Thailand is full of ornate temples and monuments waiting to be explored:

  • Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok
  • Wat Rong Khun White Temple in Chiang Rai
  • Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple near Chiang Mai
  • Wat Chalong and Big Buddha monument on Phuket
  • Ancient Sukhothai and Ayutthaya historical parks 

I’d recommend getting up early to visit the monk’s alms collection at dawn in places like Chiang Mai and Bangkok. It’s a memorable cultural experience.

From jungle trekking to cooking classes to beach time, Thailand offers an awesome variety of activities for digital nomads. You’ll never run out of amazing things to do during your time off.

Best Coworking Spaces in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and More

Thailand has a wide variety of coworking spaces for digital nomads across the country. Here are some top options in popular cities:

Punspace (Chiang Mai) – A chain of coworking spaces in Chiang Mai with different branches across the city. Great community and workspaces.

The Hive (Bangkok) – Popular coworking space in downtown Bangkok close to BTS and MRT transport lines. Very cosmopolitan.

KoHub (Koh Lanta) – Beachfront coworking space right on the sand on the island of Koh Lanta. Good for a seaside place to work.

Beachub (Koh Phangan) – Chilled-out coworking option on the island of Koh Phangan near Haad Rin Beach. Nice island workspace.

You’ll find reliable internet, desks, private offices, meeting rooms, events, and nomad communities at these top coworking spaces in Thailand. They make working remotely productive and inspiring.

If you’re planning to stay in Bangkok, I will go in-depth on coworking spaces in Bangkok in another blog so make sure to check it out.

Man Using Gray Laptop While Sitting on Beige Sofa

Tips for Someone Who Work Remotely and Want to Live a Nomad Lifestyle in Thailand

To make the most of your experience as a digital nomad in Thailand, here are some top tips:

Stay Connected – Get a local SIM card with a data plan to ensure you always have internet access on your phone and can use it as a hotspot if needed. The data networks are very fast.

Respect Local Culture – Take some time to learn basic Thai phrases, research cultural etiquette, and dress appropriately, especially when visiting temples. The locals will appreciate your effort.

Stay Healthy – Make sure to get proper health insurance that covers you internationally and stay up to date with any recommended vaccinations. Knowing you have medical coverage provides peace of mind.

I hope you find this article as enjoyable as I did crafting it! There are many options for digital nomads and it could be overwhelming for the first-timers. Following these tips and guides will lead to a smooth, enjoyable, and productive experience as a digital nomad living and working in Thailand. Happy exploring!

FAQs about Being a Digital Nomad in Thailand

Is it easy to meet other digital nomads in Thailand?

Yes, it’s very easy to meet other digital nomads in Thailand! Cities like Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Phuket have huge communities of location-independent workers and remote professionals. Just hang out at some popular coworking spaces and cafes and you’ll quickly begin networking with tons of interesting nomads.

How reliable and fast is the internet and WiFi in Thailand?

Thailand has excellent internet speeds and connectivity pretty much everywhere. In major cities and towns, you can expect very fast fiber optic connections. Even in remote areas and islands, you can usually find spots with decent WiFi and strong 5G data signals. Most digital nomads are pleasantly surprised at how reliable the internet is in Thailand.

Is Thailand a family-friendly place for digital nomads?

Absolutely! Thailand is very family-friendly overall. Things like kid-friendly restaurants, cheap healthcare, spacious apartment rentals, and kid activities like zoos make it easy for digital nomad families.

Is Thailand safe for female digital nomads?

Thailand is generally very safe for solo female travelers provided you take normal safety precautions, especially in the major tourist areas.

What are the best ways to get around Thailand as a digital nomad?

For short distances within a city, Grab and taxis are affordable options. Long-term renting a motorbike is the most popular and convenient way for digital nomads to get around. For long distances trains, buses, and budget regional flights are good options.

Is Thailand a Good Place for Digital Nomad Couples?

Absolutely! Thailand is a fantastic destination for digital nomad couples. During my time in Thailand, my partner and I had an amazing experience working and traveling the country together. I’d highly recommend Thailand for any digital nomad duo!

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