My name is Holly, the digital nomad who quit her 9-5 day job in the UK in search of freedom and adventure.
Trust me, I know just how lucky I am to work wherever I want. I’m fueled with the desire to see the world in all of its raw beauty as much as I possibly can. Of course, there are times when digital nomading takes a bit of perseverance, mostly when having to consider locations with good internet reliability.
But with good planning and organisation, those things didn’t really become an issue in Thailand.
Having travelled to Thailand a couple of times before, I was familiar with the best areas to work from and knew exactly the best spots to set up my office.
Who needs an exotic laptop screensaver when I have the real view right in front of me?
Need Good Internet? Come to Thailand
It’s so obvious to me why Thailand tops the charts as a favourite destination of digital nomads: affordable living, interesting culture, amazing food, fascinating natural beauty, and of course, surprisingly fast internet.
I began travelling to Thailand about seven years ago and back then, you wouldn’t be able to get WiFi anywhere unless you visited an internet cafe.
How fast the world moves on; Today, Thailand is one of the few counties in the region that boasts an impressive internet speed of around 10 MBps (sometimes even better than my speed back home in Turkey!).
Due to the seven-hour time difference between Thailand and our virtual UK office, I decided that the best work routine was to start in the mornings before the scorching mid-day sun and again for a few hours in the evening.
Thailand Is The Best Place For Digital Nomads
We arrived in the city of Bangkok, where almost every traveller begins their Thailand journey. Bangkok is actually rated as a top city for digital nomads due to the low cost of living, fast internet speed, and city size.
I prefer to get out of the city as quickly as possible when I arrive in Thailand—it’s a case of ‘been there, done that’ for me, but Bangkok does have its own charm. I’d definitely recommend it for first-time nomads!
I did a short stopover in Bangkok for one day and one night at the end of my Southeast Asia tour, but more on that later.
Koh Chang and Surrounding Islands
Koh Chang and the surrounding islands are by far my favourite places in Thailand and where my fiancé and I spent the majority of our time during our trip. The main island of Koh Chang is the second-biggest island in Thailand, so there were plenty of things to do and see.
In the years I’ve been coming to Koh Chang, I’ve noticed a definite rise in tourism…the island isn’t as much of a secret anymore. The great thing about this island is that it’s a little cheaper and still a lot quieter in comparison to the more popular and well-known islands of the south.
First things first: We rented a motorbike and explored some of the remote areas of the island (some of these areas I’m keeping a secret!).
The longer the island stays quiet and peaceful the better, in my opinion; however, there does seem to be a big push lately to develop and promote the island further, so it may not stay quiet for much longer.
Snorkelling and scuba diving are other activities I absolutely loved doing in the warm waters surrounding Koh Chang. This was such an amazing experience, as the site is well-known for its abundant marine life. If you’re really lucky, you might even get to see a whale or two, as they’re known to frequent these waters.
The best part about coming back to a place you’ve travelled a few times before is you already know other like-minded regulars on the island and local Thai friends too, of course!
Everyday life consisted of early morning swims, boat trips with friends, beautiful sunsets and jungle walks, and some hard work in between. The occasional beer or two kept us cool on hot, humid evenings.
Those who know me know that I love animals and have quite strong views when it comes to animal cruelty. It’s now becoming more widely known that the mistreatment of captive elephants does happen, not just in Thailand, but across Southeast Asia.
The topic of elephant riding and elephant ‘sanctuaries’ is a heated one. My advice is to educate yourself and do your research before you visit. There are legitimate sanctuaries out there where no riding or performing tricks for tourists are allowed, so if you want to see a happy elephant, go to a real sanctuary.
One Night in Bangkok
After three months in Koh Chang, a two-week trip to the Philippines, and then a final 10 days back in Koh Chang, it was time to head to Bangkok before our flight home the next day.
A quick stop in Terminal 21, a tuk-tuk drive around, a bit of work, and then a decent night’s sleep in a nice Makkasan hotel before our long flight back to Turkey were the only things on my agenda this time. Of course, Koh San road, bars, ping pong shows, and all that fun stuff is out there if you want it—I’m just too damn old now!
Requisite Commentary on Thai Weather
This blog post would be incomplete if I didn’t say it: the weather in Thailand is unreal. The country experiences a tropical climate consisting of three main seasons: scorching hot, warm and dry, and of course, the rainy season.
The most popular and expensive time to go to Thailand is between November and March, which is during the warm and dry season. This is when I tend to go to Thailand. Here’s a tip: the hotter and wetter seasons are usually the cheapest times to travel.
There’s a reason why digital nomads come to Thailand. Despite the increased tourism, there are still beautiful and traditional experiences to be had. You just have to get off the beaten path to find them sometimes.
I Just Loved My Time Working in Thailand as a Digital Nomad
There is no doubt that it’s almost effortless to work comfortably in Thailand. I mean, what more could I ask for in a working environment than to wake up in my remote wooden hut surrounded by the sounds of natural jungle life and soaking up the ambience of travelling all whilst being able to work and make money?
I really do believe that if you can get that work-life balance, life is just much more complete.
As they say, ‘Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life again.’
Living the dream,