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Going Nomad? 5 Hotspots to start your business in Asia

Sarah Richard
Carolin Pilligrath

You in for trying something different to the standard 9-5? With more and more jobs not requiring you to be physically present to get work done, you could join the ever-growing crowd of digital nomads and move to a dreamy mountain village or kick off your online business from a beautiful island or buzzing city. If you’re ready to take the first step but don’t know where to go, here are some of my favourite hotspots in Asia.

#1 Bali, Indonesia

Green rice fields and world-class surf spots combined with co-working spots lurking around many towns across the island make Bali the perfect hotspot to bootstrap your business. Think healthy food in Bali, yoginis and cheeky monkeys – Welcome to Ubud! This beautiful town sits amidst the mountains and has been the traditional hub for start-ups for a few years now. Smaller communities are also popping up closer to the beach and ocean breaks around the town of Canggu.

#2 Chiang Mai, Thailand


Situated in the North of Thailand, Chiang Mai is perfectly tucked away between breezy mountains and surrounded by lush nature making it a perfect base for days of adventuring. With Internet speed faster than I’ve seen in some big western cities, fantastic food, a huge café scene and an even larger community of like-minded entrepreneurs, there is hardly much more an aspiring nomad can ask for. Chiang Mai sure deserves to be called the ‘digital nomad capital of the world’ and you may not be surprised that I started out exactly here.

#3 Hoi An, Vietnam


While the whole of Vietnam has a large digital community with many entrepreneurs taking advantage of main cities like busy Ho Chi Minh or good-looking Hanoi, Hoi An remains a real coastal gem with beautiful beaches and a laid-back town atmosphere filled with culture and great food. Hoi An is not only very affordable to live in with fair quality of Internet, but it sure offers the ultimate lifestyle for anyone starting out as a digital nomad.

#4 Hong Kong


Sparkling business metropolis meets street stall ramen noodles. If you are looking to tap into new business opportunities and network like crazy, you have come to the right place! However, a major drawback to setting up shop in Hong Kong are the soaring prices of accommodation. But wait, don’t toss the idea yet, there are solutions! Ovolo Hotels has taken a new approach with more and more people working remotely by offering discounted accommodation while nurturing and helping aspiring entrepreneurs kick off their business.

#5 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Known as THE travel base in Asia to strike affordable getaways to pretty much everywhere (mainly thanks to AirAsia being headquartered here!). Kuala Lumpur is not only a charmingly chaotic but truly a bustling and exciting city to choose for starting your business. The mix of cultures can be felt in the food as well as the people working from the numerous co-workspaces. Strategically not only a great hub but networking opportunities and events are almost as abundant as Internet.



Carolin Pilligrath

Carolin Pilligrath is a passionate traveller soul and digital nomad. Her passport states she’s German but really, her heart loves the open road. She has lived in many places, among them Australia, Singapore, Peru, Thailand, Spain and currently calls the beaches of Bali her backyard. Today, she enjoys a fully nomadic life with diverse offices and constantly following the sun while working as a social media specialist, travel writer, and running a blog called