If you're looking to move to Southeast Asia as a digital nomad but hate the busy crowds of Bangkok or the touristy vibe of Saigon, why don't you consider living in Cambodia or Laos?
Often overlooked in favour of the more popular countries of Thailand or Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos have something to offer for digital nomads. Cambodia, for instance, is famous for the awe-inspiring Angkor Wat, a massive stone temple complex built during the Khmer Empire and the largest religious monument in the world. Meanwhile, Laos, a landlocked country traversed by the Mekong River, is home to fascinating Buddhist monasteries.
Given their laidback atmosphere and rich cultural and historical offerings, digital nomads in Cambodia and Laos will find these countries fascinating. Below, we've rounded up the six best places for digital nomads in Cambodia & Laos.
Digital Nomad places in Cambodia
1. Siem Reap
Siem Reap has been attracting many digital nomads over recent years who came here to explore Angkor Wat and ended up staying for a long time. Digital nomads in Siem Reap love the city's laidback and relaxing appeal. It's quieter than Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital city. Even though Siem Reap welcomes thousands of tourists, it still has that laidback vibe.
If you're someone who loves to explore and discover new cultures, you should consider living as a digital nomad in Siem Reap. Aside from exploring Angkor Wat, there are plenty of fun things to enjoy here. You can explore the bustling Old Market, hang out at Pub Street, the centre of Siem Reap's nightlife scene, or discover war museums.
The average cost for digital nomads to live in Siem Reap is $1,392 per month, which is cheaper if you compare it to many other major cities in Southeast Asia. Also, you'll find that the cost of accommodations here is fairly reasonable. You could rent a one-bedroom apartment for around $350 per month.
There are currently three co-working spaces listed in Coworker for Siem Reap. These are the Format CoWork, Footprint Cafes Hub, and BioLAB Coffee & Office.
2. Phnom Penh
Being the capital city, Phnom Penh is one of Cambodia's best digital nomad cities. It's one of the most beautiful cities built by the French during Indochina in the 1920s. Nowadays, you can still find plenty of French influences in the city, such as the Central Post Office, a French neoclassical building built in 1895. While most tourists to Cambodia would head straight to Siem Reap for the Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh has many great things on offer, especially for digital nomads.
As a digital nomad in Phnom Penh, you'll have plenty of beautiful temples and bustling markets to explore. The local foods are delicious and very affordable. Plus, the nightlife scene is fun. There's a thriving community of ex-pats and digital nomads here, and you'll find several co-working spaces where you can meet and work with fellow nomads.
If you live as a digital nomad in Phnom Penh, you can spend an average of $1,236 per month. As for the accommodations, you'll find they are a bit more expensive than Siem Reap. The average monthly rental for a one-bedroom apartment is $462 per month.
With many digital nomads moving to Cambodia recently, particularly in Phnom Penh, you'll find many co-working spaces here. The best ones are Workspace 1, The Desk, and Regus, which you can rent at very affordable rates!
While Sihanoukville is not a renowned digital nomad city in Cambodia, it certainly has its advantages. This beautiful coastal city lies in the southeast region of Cambodia, only a few miles away from the border of Thailand. It has many beautiful beaches, where you can enjoy tons of water sports.
Sihanoukville is a relatively new city, established in 1955, shortly after the French left Cambodia. Nowadays, the city serves as a gateway to the nearby islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem. While most tourists would come here for the beaches, Sihanoukville is also home to beautiful natural attractions, including the majestic Kbal Chhay Waterfall.
But the biggest draw for digital nomads in Sihanoukville is its relatively low cost of living, which averages $1,216 per month. You will also find plenty of affordable and decent accommodations in the city. The average cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Sihanoukville is $243 per month.
There are many cafes in Sihanoukville where digital nomads can take up some work and take advantage of free Wi-Fi. If you prefer to work in a co-working space, head to The Workshop Space.
Digital Nomad places in Laos
4. Luang Prabang
The scenic small town of Luang Prabang is one of the best digital nomad cities in Laos. It boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Site and some notable Buddhist temples, making it an ideal base for digital nomads who want to experience the local culture of Laos. Luang Prabang offers many unique cultural experiences. The most popular of these is seeing the long queues of monks early in the morning with their dark orange robes as they collect offerings.
Adventurous digital nomads will love Luang Prabang for its host of natural attractions, such as the Kuang Si waterfalls and Pak Ou Caves. You'll also find many Buddhist temples to visit when you're not working. Internet is reliable in this part of Laos, and most hotels and guest houses offer free Wi-Fi to guests.
Living as a digital nomad in Luang Prabang has many perks. But the main advantage is the low cost of living. You can expect to spend an average of $899 per month to live comfortably in Luang Prabang. As for the accommodation, the average cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment is only $151 per month, which is extremely cheap!
There are not yet any co-working spaces in Luang Prabang. However, there are many good cafés you can work from, such as Saffron Coffee's Espresso, Brew Bar, & Roastery, and Saffron Coffee's Espresso, Brew Bar, & Roastery.
Vientiane is one of the best digital nomad cities in Laos. Straddling the Mekong River, Vientiane is the capital city of Laos and home to several historical and religious sites. The most popular of these is the Patuxai Victory Monument, a lovely arch built by the French in 1960 and inspired by the Arc de Triomphe of Paris.
Digital nomads in Vientiane will have plenty to love about the city. Despite its proximity to Thailand's bustling city of Bangkok, it has a totally different vibe. Vientiane has a serene and relaxing atmosphere, with many excellent cafes serving delectable French pastries. When you're not working, you can spend your day cycling along its picturesque streets, checking out the beautiful temples and stupas.
The best thing about living in Vientiane as a digital nomad is its affordable cost of living, which is only an average of $755 per month. You will also find many options for cheap accommodations, with a studio costing an average of $230 per month.
Most digital nomads in Laos have chosen Vientiane as their base. Because of this, there are plenty of co-working spaces in the city. The best ones are Toong Samsenthai, Toh-Lao, The Studio.
6. Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng is a charming riverside town in Laos, a popular destination for backpackers for its wild riverside parties. Famous for its lush tropical forests and striking blue lagoons, Vang Vieng is an excellent base for digital nomads who want to be surrounded by nature. If you love nature and adventure, there's so much to do in this lovely town, but you'll find most tourists along the riverside, hanging out at the bars and enjoying thrilling water sports like river tubing. Aside from river tubing, the other fun activities you can enjoy in Vang Vieng are rock climbing, kayaking, biking, and ziplining.
While Vang Vieng is not a popular digital nomad hub, it can be an ideal choice for those looking for an affordable place to live in Laos. You can only spend an average of $771 per month as a digital nomad in Vang Vieng. In addition, the cost of accommodations is very cheap here. For only $219 per month, you could rent a nice studio in the town centre.
There's only one co-working space in Vang Vieng, the CoCoHub Vang Vieng. But you will have plenty of choices if you wish to work at a cafe. The town has many good cafes that offer Wi-Fi access, such as the Naked Espresso Vang Vieng and Bamboo Tree Cafe & Bar.