Asia has always been one of the most attractive and exotic destinations for digital nomads, with affordable living costs, fast Internet, the availability of quality western-style healthcare, great weather, and plenty more.
It’s not the only region around the world where digital nomads and retired expats have moved to, but global events have certainly thrown a spanner in the works for international travel, let alone two years of pandemic stimulus which is now seeing inflation rising rapidly. There’s also the ongoing war in Ukraine and the sanctioning of Russian companies and energy which has caused energy prices to surge. This has prompted many travelers to delay their trips and adventures, but there are parts of Asia where value can still be found in abundance, with Thailand and Vietnam two good examples. Let’s start with Thailand.
LTR cut down by 50 percent
Thailand’s government recently announced big changes concerning immigration policies and regulations on foreign land ownership. The fee for a long-term resident visa (LTR) has been cut by 50%. This measure has been taken in the hopes of attracting more foreign residents to the country, who can also bring their families with them. Wealthy foreigners and retirees need to have opened a local bank account with at least US $100,000 deposited in the last 12 months before submitting an application.
Thai authorities have also adjusted the requirements for a 10-year residency. They believe it can help boost the country’s economy and encourage investment opportunities. The government encourages foreigners with an average annual income of US$80,000, wealthy retirees, or foreigners who have “high capability or potential” to apply within Thailand. Researchers, scientists, and academics who can work in Thailand are not required to meet these financial requirements. But is there somewhere even better than Thailand?
Vietnam: is this the best destination for Digital Nomads and Expats in 2022?
Questions are being asked over whether Vietnam should offer the same LTR conditions to benefit its economic growth and attract wealthy foreigners and tech talent, and while they aren’t matching Thailand yet, Vietnam is nevertheless very attractive.
Vietnam and especially Ho Chi Minh City have become increasingly favored as an expat and travel destination. Today, Vietnam is an established safe place for foreigners to live and work. The country has a lot to offer, from year-round warm weather, great cuisine, and beautiful culture, and that’s just to start with. The country’s infrastructure and medical systems have been steadily improving as well, with western-style hospitals available with the latest equipment, not only fueling medical tourism, but offering great value to nomads, expats and locals. While prices and the cost of living in many Asian countries are rising, Vietnam is still very affordable and has a low cost of living compared to many other places, not only in Asia, but worldwide.
Top Cities in Vietnam for Expats
The six cities in Vietnam best rated for expats and digital nomads include Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Lat, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Vung Tau.
So, what are working conditions and Internet speeds like in Vietnam compared to other Asian countries?
Internet speeds aren’t as blindingly fast as more advanced Asian countries, but it is definitely speeding up at median speeds of 71Mbps for fixed broadband and 33.96Mbps median speeds for mobile broadband, although individual providers can be faster, and WiFi is easy to find. Big cities are offering ever more coworking spaces. When it comes to leisure, because you should enjoy a balance of work and play, Vietnam offers beautiful beaches and landscapes, historical places and tours, and many cultural events and adventures.
The Vietnamese Dong and cryptocurrencies
Vietnam’s Dong (VND) is the local currency, and there are many options to send and receive money to and from relatives, friends, and colleagues. Vietnam ranked second globally for the value of retail and all on-chain cryptocurrency transactions, with 6.1% of its citizens owning crypto, a figure that’s ahead of the USA, China and Russia. It is believed that Axie Infinity , the blockchain startup turned unicorn, has played the biggest role in turning Vietnam into one of the world’s leading and friendliest places for crypto. Today, you can send money to and from Vietnam using various crypto platforms, with Cabital one such company recently announcing its support for the Vietnamese Dong, and adding it to its growing list of supported fiat currencies, including GBP, EUR, and CHF.
Cabital users in Vietnam can deposit VND instantly through their ATM Cards, and can easily convert VND into USDT, BTC, or ETH. Users will also be able to easily convert their crypto into VND and withdraw it into their bank account, making money transfers safe and reliable, which is just as digital nomads want it.
Vietnam has survived the pandemic and has transformed into a safe haven for expats and digital nomads in Asia seeking to take advantage of Asia’s legendary affordability, its ever more advanced healthcare systems, its great weather, and its proximity to other Asian centers, let alone the US, Europe, and Australia.
Vietnam is where the “Flappy Bird” craze originated, and it’s one of the countries western tech companies are diversifying their manufacturing to. It offers a stable, safe economy and environment, and it’s friendly to cryptocurrencies, which are all factors in its favor.
So, If you’re a digital nomad, expat, person of means, or an academic or researcher seeking a great new destination, it’s definitely worth adding Vietnam to the list and checking it out for yourself, and chances are high you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
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