6 Reasons Why This Southeast Asian Country Is So Enticing For Digital Nomads

temple in Penang


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Travelers are packing up their laptops and heading out high and low to find amazing new experiences, all while getting paid.

Doesn’t sound like a bad gig, right? There’s not one singular industry catered to remote workers, but some places don’t meet the mark in terms of cost of living.

temple in Penangtemple in Penang

Southeast Asia isn’t one of those places for the most part.

With tight budgets being a top priority for digital nomads, this is one of the best regions in the world to shuffle around country to country immersing yourself in new cultures.

One particular country is one of the most enticing for digital nomads to claim as their new work home.

Here are 6 reasons why this Southeast Asian country is so enticing for digital nomads:

An Easy Peasy Digital Nomad Visa

Malaysia launched its digital nomad visa many months ago, and it has been a success. The DE Rantau program aims at snatching both local and foreign remote workers and either stay in the country or move here from another.

digital nomad in Kuala Lumpurdigital nomad in Kuala Lumpur

Those who “work from home” can call anywhere home, but sometimes it can be a slippery slope crossing borders.

Taxes, visas, and various immigration issues can arise when earning income in a foreign country. On one hand, digital nomads love that certain countries offer visas catering to their lifestyle so they know they are both welcome and playing by the rules.

Malaysia’s visa is one of the easiest to obtain, with simple requirements to meet, such as just $24,000 annual income.

Amazing Destinations To Call Home

landmark in Kuala Lumpurlandmark in Kuala Lumpur

With stays up to 12 months, digital nomads have plenty of time to explore exciting cultural destinations in Malaysia.

Although 73% of digital nomads here make their base in the gargantuan capital city of Kuala Lumpur and the rapidly-growing, yet lesser-known region of Penang.

These two stunning yet differing destinations are among the fastest growing in all of Asia for digital nomads, behind the likes of Tokyo, Da Nang, and Seoul.

Penang is magnetizing to digital nomads as a coastal getaway full of wonders, especially the capital of the state, George Town, set on a picturesque island beaming with cultural sights.

digital nomads in Malaysia countrysidedigital nomads in Malaysia countryside

Well-equipped for a digital nomad takeover, the invasion has begun. It’s best to move here quickly before it loses its off-the-grid appeal.

A Trio Of Unknown Gems Calling Your Name

If 73% of digital nomads are limited to a couple of areas, where are the remaining 27% in Malaysia? The truth is they are dispersed around the country.

With the ongoing success of the DE Rantau program, more destinations are wanting a piece of the pie. Kuala Lumpur may have the most recognition, but Malaysia as a whole offers so much more.

tourist on hammock at Malaysian beachtourist on hammock at Malaysian beach

The gorgeous island of Langwaki, along with Sarawak and Sabah of Borneo, are a trio of unknown destinations ready to embrace remote workers.

Borneo is home to lush rainforests with a vast array of wildlife, while Langwaki offers stunning beaches and lavish hotels, such as St. Regis and Ritz Carlton.

Malaysia Is Super Safe And Affordable

Since many digital nomads venture off alone, going to a foreign country can always be a cause for concern in terms of safety.

female with backpack in Kuala Lumpurfemale with backpack in Kuala Lumpur

The good news is there’s no need to worry about safety here. Plus, Malaysia is very diverse, and a majority of locals speak fluent English to add an extra layer of comfort.

Malaysia is currently designated at the lowest level of safety concerns as Level 1: Exercise normal precautions by the U.S. Department of State.

Affordability is key, which is why Southeast Asia has long been a backpacker’s paradise, and the visa only requires a $2000 monthly income.

Fast Internet

remote worker in Kuala Lumpurremote worker in Kuala Lumpur

As an upper-middle-income nation, infrastructure should not be a concern for digital nomads. The country is well-equipped for digital nomads to complete their work assignments.

The big cities, especially Kuala Lumpur, will offer a plethora of cafes and co-working spaces with high-speed internet.

The same goes for Penang, where George Town is your best bet for a reliable internet connection. The DE Rantau program is looking to expand, so lesser-known destinations are undergoing transformations to become better equipped and more appealing to digital nomads.

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