Moving to Thailand as a digital nomad

Become a digital nomad in Thailand
Updated 2022-05-09 14:45

Thailand has long earned the title of a digital nomad mecca — it is the country most often associated with the working traveller lifestyle and has lured visitors and adventurers for decades with the promise of freedom garnished with the beauty of blissful islands and the enigma of glittering temples.

Why Thailand?

The friendly climate, affordability, fast Internet speeds, and the ever-growing international community all make a setting that is considered ideal for a digital nomad. Once a Utopian backpacker's paradise, popularised even more by the 1996 novel and later a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio 'The Beach', Thailand is no stranger to foreign visitors. The country boasts a tourist-friendly infrastructure: from the widespread use of English to easy transportation within and between its cities, villages and islands.

Today, the country provides most of the amenities on a freelancer's checklist and offers a mix of locations to settle in 'from the urban rush of the busy Bangkok to the quieter forested setting of Chiang Mai, and the idyllic atmosphere of remote sandy islands.

Best cities in Thailand to work from

Working remotely from Thailand conjures images of rolling waves, beach cafes, and reggae parties after work hours. Yet, it's not Thailand's South that has earned the title of a digital nomad haven but the northern city of Chiang Mai. Thailand's fifth-largest city, also known as the 'Rose of the North', is the country's number one nomad destination and ranks one of the best cities for freelancers worldwide.

A well-balanced mix of affordability, development and quality of life makes Chiang Mai a contender that is hard to beat. Unlike urban Bangkok, the city is submerged in lush greenery and forests and offers a more laid-back setting for those wishing to escape the stress of a big city. With that, it has all the needed infrastructure for organizing your work and much fewer distractions than Thailand's coastal cities and paradise islands.

One of the main things that now attracts budding perpetual travellers to the city is the result of its own success: a vibrant and supportive digital nomad community. In Chiang Mai, you will find a wide range of clubs, societies, and regular gatherings, and even coworking spaces tend to come with their own crowd, offering great opportunities for networking as well as guidance and advice for those just exploring the lifestyle.

Bangkok is a natural choice for first-time travellers to Thailand. The country's capital is home to over ten million people and a large number of expats. A humming mix of old traditions, modern lifestyle, and international crowds make the city a unique space that both inspires and motivates. Needless to say, Bangkok has everything you might possibly need to work remotely, including lots of coworking spaces and 24-hour coffee shops.

For those searching for a classic escape, there are the islands. From the large easily accessible party island of Phuket to the smaller islands in the Gulf of Thailand (Koh Samui, KohTao, Ko Chang) and in the Andaman Sea (Koh Phi Phi, Koh Yao Yai, Koh Lipe) there is no shortage of choice.

Depending on how far you are willing to travel, the level of comfort you are looking for, and whether you enjoy the presence of other nomads, your selection will narrow down. Small islands offer the idyllic 'palm trees and coconut shakes' setting but will lack some of the amenities of bigger places. Another thing to consider is the quality of Internet connection ' in small remote locations, the connection may be spotty.

A larger island in the province of Krabi, Koh Lanta, is emerging as a digital nomad hub thanks to its 'unexplored' character and a popular coworking hub (KoHub).

The Internet and coworking spaces in Thailand

The Internet in Thailand is the eighth fastest in Asia. With the average speed across the country estimated at 19.9Mbps, the country comes ahead of Vietnam and Cambodia but lags behind Asian web speed leaders Hong Kong and Singapore.

Coworking spaces are aplenty. You are sure to find dozens of choices when settling in Chiang Mai or Bangkok, and even some remote islands often offer at least one coworking space for setting up camp.

Coworking spaces in Bangkok


139 Pan Road, Sethiwan Tower, Silom, Bangrak

The Hive Thonglor

46/9 Soi Sukhumvit 49, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon

HUBBA Thailand

19 Soi Ekkamai 4, Sukumvit 63 Rd., Prakanong Nua


K.S.Building Soi Sathorn 9, Sathorntai Rd, Yannawa Sathorn

The Work Loft

1, 281/19-23 Si Lom, Silom, Bang Rak

We Work Asia Centre

8/2 Soi Sukhumvit 40, Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon Bangkok 10110

Wolf Coworking Space

32/6 Surasak Rd, Khwaeng Silom, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500

Coworking spaces in Chiang Mai

Punspace Nimman

14 Siri Mangkalajarn Lane 11, Muang

Wake Up

30/1-3 Nimmanahaeminda Rd, Su Thep, Muang, Muang 50200

Hub53 Coworking and Coliving Space

53 Chonlaprathan Rd, Tambon Su Thep, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200

Coworking spaces in Phuket

Grind Time Co-Workspace & Cafe

9/35-36, Chaofa E Rd, Chalong, Mueang Phuket District

Coworking spaces on the islands

Koh Space

136/1 Moo 1, Ban Tai, Ko Phangan


224/1, Pra Ae, Koh Lanta District


8/80 moo.2 Maehaad, Koh Tao

Visa options for digital nomads in Thailand

If you are planning to settle in Thailand as a digital nomad, first consider your visa options. Residents of most countries can enter the country visa-free for up to 30 days. If you plan to stay longer than that, you may decide to apply for a visa or leave Thailand every 30 days and then re-enter the country. If you go with the latter option, a good idea may be to settle close to border controls so that the road does not steal too much of your Thailand time

If you go with the visa option, the type of visa you may want to apply for depends on your plans, age, and free time. A tourist visa will get you a stay of 60 days in Thailand (single or multiple entries) which can then be extended for 15-30 days for an additional fee of 1900 baht.

Alternatively, if you want to stay for six months or even a year, consider an education visa. Signing up for a Thai language course, cooking classes or even Thai massage training with an accredited establishment will allow you to stay in the country longer, but you will need to combine your online work with some class time (you can choose a course with the minimum number of hours). Finally, there is the retirement visa that will let you stay in the country for the long term provided you meet the needed requirements (applicants must be over 50 years of age and provide proof of financial well-being).

If you are in good financial standing, there is another option to consider — the Thai Elite Visa. This type of visa comes in several versions allowing you to stay from five to ten years in Thailand with the right to work. You will be able to come and go as you please and there are lots of other perks that come with it like healthcare access and airport pick up. With that, this type of visa is quite an investment with the basic version starting at THB 600,000.

Good to know:

Some good news for digital nomads: Phuket officials are considering a visa scheme for digital professionals who plan to live and work remotely from Thailand. Under the proposed legislation, eligible expats will be able to apply for a work permit and stay on the island of Phuket from six months to a year.

After work hours in Thailand

One of the world's most popular tourist destinations, Thailand has plenty to offer in the after-work hours: from discovering the culture and history of Bangkok and Chiang Mai to idling away on one of the many paradise islands. Seeing Thailand's 40,717 Buddhist temples is a formidable task by itself. The country's south offers beautiful coastal views and famous get-away islands from the moon party famous Ko Phangan to the heavenly Ko Phi Phi and beyond.

Useful links:

We Work - T-One Building Bangkok

We Work -  Asia Centre Bangkok

The Thailand Life - Coworking Spaces in Bangkok

Coworker - Bangkok

Coworker - Phuket

Coworker - Chiang Mai

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.