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FAQ: Digital Nomads in Thailand

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  • FAQ: Digital Nomads in Thailand

    Digital Nomad Visa and other benefit for Expats
    Click image for larger version  Name:	Digital-Nomads.jpg Views:	0 Size:	44.2 KB ID:	614

    Now, against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more people have indicated that they are quite keen to work from home. And, The Tourism Authority of Thailand is taking note by proposing to give 4 groups of travellers visa and investment incentives to stay in the country. One of those groups is that of the digital nomad, in which visas designated for such workers are gaining popularity worldwide. Wealthy travellers, retirees, and highly-skilled workers are also being considered in the new plans to boost Thailand’s economy.

    Currently, foreigners are not allowed to work without securing a work permit in the country. Moreover, buying land or property is also not possible with existing laws. But, the new proposal would make such obstacles possible for those approved groups. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has put forth specific criteria, that the groups must meet in order to qualify. If these are met, it could secure a 10 year visa for any of the groups.
    • For those interested in gaining a digital nomad visa, proof of earning $40,000 USD per year is required, along with having health insurance coverage of at least $100,000 USD. Wealthy people, must submit proof of having $1 million USD in assets and at least $80,000 USD in income over the past 2 years when applying. Furthermore, they must invest $500,000 USD in Thai real estate or government bonds.
    • Retirees must prove they are 50 years of age and over and have an annual income of $40,000 USD. They must invest in Thai real estate or government bonds at a minimum of $250,000 USD. Those who are skilled workers must have the same income requirement. All groups must additionally secure $100,000 USD worth of coverage in health insurance before being allowed to enter. That health insurance must include Covid-19 coverage.
    Regardless of your wishes to stay in Thailand, hopes are abound as the Thai government is pushing for more types of visas that benefit both the country and travellers at the same time. As Thailand is preparing to open its doors to international tourists in the near future, those looking at this beautiful southeastern Asian country may finally plan a new life by the country’s world-class beaches.

    Destination Options in Thailand

    Thailand has always been a favourite of long-term travellers, and staying longer in the country may be getting easier. As the country was recently voted the best in which to live for digital nomads, allowing such workers to stay may be the key to boosting the economy. With pristine beaches, cheap living costs, and modern cafes with some of the fastest internet speeds in the world, the country is all but ready to allow in a different kind of expat.
    • Chiang Mai
      Chiang Maimight as well be the biggest digital nomad hub out there at the moment. Some estimations say that you can find more than 3,000 of them in a small city. You will definitely find a whole lot of coworking spaces and great cafes with free WIFI. Chang Mai itself has a fantastic laid-back atmosphere, it is inexpensive and has delicious Thai (and vegan) food. There are also many beautiful temples and it is surrounded by mountains and lakes. The climate is milder than Bangkok and it is a great base to explore northern Thailand. Despite its modernity, you can experience a traditional Thai culture with all its festivals and history. Plus, the visa options for foreigners are very decent in the country.
    • Bangkok
      Although Bangkok is not too far away from Chang Mai, it is in stark contrast to it in terms of atmosphere. Here you can find all the big city perks, like exciting nightlife. Luckily, everything is still very affordable. It also is a great connection hub for international flights. Many start-ups are based here. On the downside, the air quality is not necessarily the best and the climate can be very hot.
    • Phuket
      Phuket is mostly famous for its amazing blue water and sandy beaches. That and a tropical temperature makes it the perfect spot for all nomads who like to have a holiday-in-paradise-feeling while working. The internet could be better but is good enough.
    • Koh Samui | Koh Phangan | Koh Tao
      These three islands within the Gulf of Thailand are gaining increasing popularity by YouTuber.
    Destination Options in S.E. Asia

    Southeast Asia seems to be the favorite choice for many remote workers today. No surprise, the low costs of living, stable WIFI, and friendly people are the perfect conditions for fantastic digital nomad cities.
    • Bali | Indonesia
      Bali has been a famous digital nomad place for years. The cost of living is super affordable, it is easy to eat healthily and the scenic beaches and green hinterland make it the perfect island for any nature-lover. Ubud as the spiritual and cultural heart of Bali is the perfect place to recharge your batteries and do some yoga. Canggu is a more relaxed alternative to Ubud and is a great place for surfing. Unfortunately, the internet is not exactly the best outside of big coworking spaces.
    • Ho Chi Minh | Vietnam
      Ho Chi Minh is the largest city in Vietnam and a new favorite spot for nomads. The place is busy and chaotic and full of thousands of motorbikes. The internet is mostly super-fast but can be spotty at times, and there is a growing number of coworking spaces. There are plenty of delicious street food stalls, great nightlife, and affordable housing.
    • Davao | Philippines
      Davao in the Philippines is known as an outsourcing paradise. Many freelancers, expats, and nomads are based here because of the low cost of living, good internet, and friendly locals. English is commonly spoken, which makes living very easy. The beautiful beaches are also a great benefit.
    • Taipei | Taiwan
      Taipei is already a popular place for American expats working in technology and professional service jobs. Due to the relatively low costs and great internet, it also makes a fantastic place for digital nomads. It has unique night markets, friendly people, and a brilliant public transportation system.

  • #2
    Classifications of Digital Nomads

    Type A: The Freelancer
    The majority of people will probably start their digital nomad journey as a freelancer. In this case, you offer your service/skill set on the market and work on projects for a certain amount of time. Some online gigs are one time contracts, some turn into returning customers. It’s always great to deliver high quality work and leave a very good impression. This way, you’ll be able to get recommendations for your work and also fill your pool of happy customers for future jobs.
    • Examples of Freelance Jobs:
      Copy writers, social media managers, graphic designers, translators.

    Type B: The Remote Worker
    If you can convince your current employer (or pitch a new employer) that you will be doing an equally good job – if not even a better one – from a tropical island, you can consider yourself a remote worker. The company you work for will keep paying your salary as before, the only difference is that you will have to join their regular meetings via Zoom or other remote project tools. This type of digital nomad job is a very comfortable one because it gives you the feeling of stability as you don’t have to constantly look for the new project offers as it is more common in the case of a freelancer.
    • Examples of Remote Work Jobs:
      Software engineer, digital marketing consultants, accountants, translators.

    Type C: The Entrepreneur
    I’d say, the ultimate goal for every digital nomad is to have their own business. Why? This makes this lifestyle more sustainable, it resonates more with the freedom lifestyle we are all after and it usually means a better pay than Type A and B can ever get. This being said, it is, of course, not mandatory to aim for this level of income or work ethic. It’s not for everyone to be your own boss. It requires a lot of discipline and other organisational tasks as discussed in the following video
    • Examples of Entrepreneur Jobs:
      Coaches, sellers of products on Amazon, owner of a blog/website for own brand/influencer, affiliate marketing business, running a SEO or social media marketing or digital marketing agency.


    • #3
      Digital Nomad Income Types

      Now that you know what a digital nomad is by definition and what job models are out there to work remotely, here comes the numbers part that you are all here for today:
      • Income Type 1
        Between 10-20$ USD is the average entry level. But perhaps you are asking: how to be a digital nomad with no skills? And that is a good question, because your digital nomad salary will depend on your skills and the places your clients are coming from. So, let’s say, you have no skills whatsoever, you might need to start offering free sample jobs to friends or your family in order to build your portfolio. As soon as you can show five successful jobs you’ve done, you can start pitching paid gigs.
      • Income Type 2
        Most of us have skills that can be translated to the web. Think about it, you know how to write emails, so you could manage someone else’s emails as their virtual assistant. We all know our way around on social media, so why not learn more about this field and become a social media manager?! If you have a skill (either from before or because you mastered one in preparation for your nomad journey), then you are in a position to charge an average medium hourly wage anything between $20-30. Again, it also depends on where your client or employer is from on how much you can make per hour.
      • Income Type 3
        Anywhere above 30$ USD, you can consider yourself in the top-notch area of digital nomad salary. There is one out of five digital nomads who earns more than 100.000 USD per year. 22% of the digital nomads who participated in this survey said that they make between $50,000 and $99,999. This is higher than the average American employee earns.
      The Best Passive Income Ideas for Digital Nomads

      Now let’s talk about the interesting part. Since there are quite a few ways how you can generate ongoing cash flow, I have structured the following passive income stream ideas a little bit to keep an overview.

      Get Paid for your Daily Activities
      This is probably the kind of passive income that most people have in mind and want to do. With these income opportunities, you are doing pretty much the same things you are doing anyway and get paid for it. It doesn’t get easier than that. The only downside is that you won’t get rich with it. Depending on how active you are, you can definitely make a couple of hundred dollars a month. That surely is great extra pocket money but won’t pay your rent.

      Get Paid to Shop Online
      If you are like me, you buy loads of stuff online, mostly on Amazon. Believe it or not but you can actually get money back for doing so. Websites such as Ebates partner with popular retailers, for example, Walmart or Amazon, and give you up to 10% cashback. All you have to do is register with Ebates and click on their provided links to enter your desired store. That’s it. Super easy, definitely passive, and well worth it. Even if you only shop online every once in a while you should check them out because they also offer discounts, such asup to 40% off at American Eagle.

      Get Paid to Search the Web
      Another super-easy way to make passive income without doing much is using platforms such as Swagbucks or InboxDollar. Every time you search the web using theirsearch console (very similar to Google) you get paid. And they offer even more: Every time you are bored and play anonline game they offer, you get paid. Every time you read emails or shop online, the money comes right back in. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

      Get Paid to Watch Videos
      Lazy Sunday night, all you want to do is watch TV? Head over to Swagbucks. Why? Because every time you watch a video on their site, you get cashback. These videos usually range from news to sports to sponsored videos. Easy!

      Get Paid to go Shopping
      You can’t only get cashback with online shopping but also when youbuy products locally. All you have to do is add what you want to buy in the Ibotta app, go shopping and take aphoto of your receipt. Within 48 hours you will get a certain amount of cashback in your Ibotta account. There are over 300 partner stores, for example, Walmart, 7-Eleven, Best Buy, or Homeland, so a wide range to choose from.

      Get Paid to Walk & Exercise
      Walk your dog in the morning or a quick run in the evening and get paid for it! Sounds crazy? But it’s true. Apps, such as Sweatcoin or HealthyWage will pay you for every step you take and every pound of body fat you lose. That’s not only great for your bank account but also for your health.

      Get Paid to Eat Out
      Do you like going out for dinner? If so, go ahead and download the app Seated. Every time you use the app to make a reservation in a restaurant, you get a gift code for 15-50 USD for brands like Amazon, Starbucks or Lyft. Yes, please!

      Get Paid for Using Credit Cards
      If you need to use a credit card for your purchases anyway, why not use one that gives you cashback? Some credit cards give you 1-5% back on the money you have spent using them. As easy as that. You can get good conditions with, for example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom Unlimited.

      Creating & Selling
      This kind of passive income requires you to invest a decent amount of time (and sometimes money) in the beginning. Once you have set up your idea and it’s running smoothly, it only needs little maintenance to keep it going.
      • Books or E-Books
        A very popular way of creating passive income. Do your research and find out which niches are particularly trending right now and which subject has enough potential to sell well.Write the book yourself or get a content writer to do so for you. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be the longest book ever. If you manage to get quality content on 30 pages, that will do, too. Now you can publish it (Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing is one of the easiest ways) and promote it on social media or on certain websites for eBook authors to get good reviews. Once everything is set, all you have to do are frequent updates of the content if applicable and promoting it. You will now make money every time someone buys your book.
      • Audio Book
        Since you have invested so much time in writing a book, why not make an audio copy of it, too? You can either record it yourself or hire a freelancer to do the job for you. Similar to the eBook business, you only have to upload it, e.g. on Amazon, and get paid royalties every time someone buys it.
      • Print on Demand Products
        T-shirts, mugs, mousepads… The list of products with custom-made designs is very long. Want to jump on the bandwagon and make good money with that, too? All you have to do is upload your design onAmazon Merch and they take care of the production, packaging, and shipping. Or use sites like Café Press. Every time your design is sold, you earn royalties.
      • Online Course
        Are you an expert in a certain area? This could be blogging, photography, investment banking or whatever you can think of. If so, you can create an online course that could be based on videos of you explaining or written text. Upload it on platforms such as Udemy and run your promotion. Once everything is set up, you will earn money for every course sold.
      • License your Photos
        In case you have a talent and passion for photography, why not selling your pics? Maybe you have some awesome landscape photos or are specialized in portraits? Upload them on websites like Shutterstock and get paid whenever people download them.
      • Mobile Apps
        Do you have a great idea for a useful or fun app? This could be a game, dating app, cooking or fitness app, travel or money-related app, or whatever you can think of. The opportunities are almost endless. Again, once you have created the app and got your promotion sorted, it can be a lucrative source of passive income. And don’t be scared off in case you have zero knowledge of how to develop an app. There are plenty of talented freelancers out there who are happy to help you out or you can use specific software like iBuildApp to do it easily yourself.
      Affiliate Marketing
      Simply: You promote other people’s products or services and get a reward (usually a commission) if someone buys it because of your efforts.
      • The Blog
        One popular way to use affiliate marketing is on a blog. You recommend certain products to your readers and if they buy them after clicking on the link you provide, you get paid.
      • With the Website
        You don’t need to have a blog to use affiliate marketing. You can also dedicate a whole website for affiliate products. Comparison websites are super popular and a great way to generate passive income. Think of post titles like “The Top 5 Best Travel Cameras” or “The 10 Best Smoothie Makers” or anything like that. The opportunities are almost endless.
      • Without the Website
        But affiliate marketing works even without a website. You can, for example, promote a product on Instagram and insert your affiliate link in your Instagram profile.
      • Pinterest
        Or promote items on Pinterest and link your pins directly to the retailer.
      YouTube Videos
      And another great way to make passive income is monetizing YouTube Videos. If you are a Vlogger anyway and regularly upload new videos or already have very popular ones on the platform, you can run ads before your video is displayed and get paid for that. Again, you need to have a lot of views to make good money with it. But if you are active on YouTube anyway, why not make a few extra dollars with it?

      Blogging Websites
      No matter what list with passive income ideas you look at, I bet that 98% of these lists will mention “blogging” as a great source of money. So let’s see how exactly you can monetize blogs or websites.
      • General Blogging
        The classic. Start a blog. Sounds super easy but I can guarantee you, it is not. Especially in the beginning, you have to invest countless hours to get enough regular visitors to be able to monetize it. However, there are plenty of ways to make income from a blog. As mentioned before, affiliate income and ads are very popular ways. Or you can sell memberships to a private area where members can download documents or can connect. Once you have everything up and running, this can make you thousands and thousands of dollars a month. Check out blogging superstars like Michelle from Making Sense of Cents and learn from their expertise. Extra Tip: If you don’t want to invest the time to start a brand new blog, you can also buy an existing one and “only” maintain it to drive continuous income.
      • Flip a Blog
        How about this: You have your blog up and running and can now sell it for a big chunk of extra cash. Or you buy a blog, improve it a bit and then sell it again, making a profit doing so. Once you have turned into a little expert in your niche you will know how to increase the value of a blog without too many difficulties. This option might not be completely passive, however, it can be great money if done correctly. Go and check out websites such as Flippa to buy.
      • Flip a Domain
        In the same way, as you can flip a blog, you can also flip a domain name. Since there is a limited number of popular domain names out there, you can make some nice extra cash with it. The idea behind it is to find out what names will soon be in high demand and buy them. You can then either sell them immediately or wait for a while until the trend for the name or niche has reached the highest point. You should do your homework and research profitable niches, though, to not buy useless domains. Again, Flippa is a great platform to buy and sell domains.

      Automated Business
      There are more ways to generate high passive income on a very professional level. Check these ones out:
      • Drop-Shipping
        Ever heard of dropshipping? What you need to do is to set up an online shop, for example with Shopify, and then sell products. You don’t need to produce, own or store these products yourself but let the manufacturer or another retailer handle the logistics. Once your store is running, you don’t have to spend all of your time on it anymore but can focus on marketing only. If you want to learn more about this and how to start your first dropshipping business, check out the linked post.
      • Outsource your Business
        Who says that you have to create new businesses to make passive income? Maybe you already have a business up and running and can outsource most of the work by hiring remote workers? Books like Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker teach you how to find and train people to do your business tasks. That gives you more freedom to do other things.


      • #4
        Skills that allow you to work from anywhere

        No matter what digital nomad salary you are aiming for or currently receiving, let’s have a look at the skills that will help you on your transition to a remote job or work-from home job.
        • Computer savvy
        • Having a good level of English (knowing more than one language is a plus, for sure!)
        • Creative skills like photography, design, writing
        • Basic knowledge of business matters (for the entrepreneurs)
        • Good level of communication skills
        These are good qualities that are great to have in order to succeed with your online career, no matter if you are a nomad entrepreneur or if you perceive any other of the above mentioned digital nomad careers. Additionally, it helps a lot if you are versatile in any of the following areas:
        • Disciplined
        • Structured
        • Persistent
        • Focused
        • Open-minded
        • Reliable
        • Service-oriented
        • Positive


        • #5
          Types of Taxation

          To travel around the world and earn money as you go sounds amazing, I know. But what about taxes? Where do you do your banking? And where is your residency? Now it’s getting complicated. Well, kind of. Because having so many options can also be very beneficial. You get to choose the best parts of every country and can design your perfect lifestyle. We should shortly have a look at the different types of taxation systems we have today to get a better understanding.
          • Territorial Taxation:
            This means that you only have to pay taxes on your income if you earn it in the territorial taxation country. Example: You are a citizen and resident of Belize but earn your money from your business based in Spain. You don’t have to pay taxes on that income in Belize, only in Spain.
          • Residential Taxation: No matter where your income is sourced, you have to pay taxes where you live. Many countries apply the general “183 days”-rule. That means if you spend at least half of the year this country, you have to pay tax there. (Note: The reality is, of course, more difficult with more regulations. But you get the idea.).
          • Citizenship-based Taxation: As far as I know there are only two countries which apply this rule: Eritrea and the United States. Here it doesn’t matter where you live or where your income is sourced. You always have to pay taxes if you are a citizen of either of the two countries. But don’t give up, there are few ways to get around it, e.g. a second passport.
          Passport or Citizenship
          You already hold or get a (second) passport of a country, that doesn’t tax your foreign-sourced income.

          Tax Residency
          You obtain a legal residence in a country that doesn’t tax overseas income. So you won’t have to pay income taxes to the local government.

          Offshore Business
          You establish a business in a country where you don’t have to pay tax on your income earned. For example, you could set up a company in Seychelles, Hong Kong or The British Virgin Islands because those countries don’t tax offshore corporations. Tax haven.

          Offshore Banking / Assets
          Whereas you can easily have your business base in a little-known country, you’d want to store your assets in an efficient judicial system to keep your them safe and protected. I’m not only talking about money but all kinds of assets, such as gold or art collections, too.

          Actual Residency
          This is the place where you spend most of your time and money. Your playground, if you want to call it that way. In the best case, you chose countries with low VAT, low consumption tax, and with affordable cost of living. These countries are often very popular with digital nomads.

          Digital Security
          You should also store your digital documents, client accounts, business infrastructure etc. in a country with strong privacy and data protection laws.

          Digital Assets
          This is addressing things like digital currency. Store them in jurisdictions with great acceptance and security systems.


          • #6
            Thailand risks losing out on lucrative Nomad Market
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            You are never too young to be a digital nomad. Notwithstanding several government promises, the establishment of one-stop-shops and enthusiastic support from the Board of Investment, the position of remote workers using an internet connection in Thailand remains ambiguous and illegal. The issues have now been taken up by supportive pressure groups such as Nomads’ Embassy and Facebook gatherings such as Global Digital Nomad Network.

            They stress that Covid has changed the world: it is now estimated that at least one fifth of the working population in the industrialized world are remote. Many will not resume full-time office-based work in their lifetime. Instead, they can work anywhere using laptops in coffee shops, co-working spaces, beaches and libraries. As Techsauce, the knowledge sharing platform, says, “Countries round the world are starting to see the advantages of attracting digital nomads with special visas.”

            The Tourist of Authority of Thailand and the Board of Investment have publicized their recommendations for digital nomads, but nothing has yet appeared in the Royal Gazette. The known elitist details are aimed at high-income professionals, yet don’t cater for the mainstay of online teachers of English, drop-shippers, crypto traders, affiliate marketeers, bloggers, content writers, Amazon sellers or freelance web developers.

            Many people like the idea of not working in one location.The policy statements to date are for digital nomads to be included in the latest proposals for 10 year visa applicants, or for the existing four year Smart visa program which uniquely doesn’t require a work permit. But both options have detailed requirements such as high registration fees, a substantial contact with a named overseas employer, documented qualifications, fuzzy tax rules and immigration hoops. For example, a digital nomad who happens to have a non “O” volunteer visa must cancel it before being eligible for the Smart version.

            An alternative way is to set up a company, but most nomads are not interested in showing 2 million baht in paid-up capital and a minimum of 4 Thai employees to support one work permit. A Representative Office can partly alleviate these restrictions, but that raises other issues such not easily generating legitimate income and needing a head office outside Thailand. It’s all much too complicated for your average remote worker with a laptop on his or her knee wanting to enjoy life as well as earning a living.

            So, the thousands of nomads already in Thailand continue to be in the legal dump of behaving illegally, but without anyone in authority taking much notice as long as they don’t seem to be threatening actual Thai jobs. The keyboard tappers mostly survive on visa exempt (30 days) permission, or 60 days tourist visas, or even Covid-related extensions. A few of the better-off income earners have elected an Elite visa – 600,000 baht for five years – on the grounds that the immigration bureau never asks what they are doing here.

            In the meantime other countries have moved ahead with legislation. Barbados has attracted much nomad interest with its Barbados Welcome Stamp, although the small print has the drawbacks that the registration fee is US$2,000 and you must put in writing that you will earn at least US$50,000 annually. There are similar problems with the schemes available in Estonia or Antigua and Barbuda. You may have trouble renewing after the first year or two. The small print is the key.

            Several European nomad visas are classified as freelance passes, though each country has its own policy. Armenia offers a five years residence permit, a local tax ID as a sole proprietor, a reported income of at least US$1,000 monthly, with a tax rate hovering between 0 and 5% and no work permit needed. There’s even a path towards citizenship there. By contrast, Thailand is promising much but delivering nothing to one of the world’s biggest future markets. There’s surely got to be more to immigration policy than constantly searching for those elusive multi-millionaires in their private jets. Let’s hope so.


            • #7
              More and more digital nomads choose Phuket for a “Workation”

              Many digital nomads call Thailand home, and more and more people are choosing Phuket for their so-called “workation,” using coffee shops on the island as an office. The BBC’s Thai reporters spoke to several people on the island who work remotely for companies in other countries.

              For 34 year old American Andy Lee, he runs his business from a cafe in Phuket. Andy initially travelled to Thailand through the island’s pilot “sandbox” programme in August. After staying in Thailand for 45 days, he travelled to South Korea to see family and then decided to come back to Thailand for stay in the country for a longer period of time. He granted a Special Tourist Visa that would allow him to stay in Thailand for up to nine months.

              He told the BBC that he loves his coffee shop-office, where he can enjoy a delicious beverage or a delicious meal while communicating with his customers in the US and elsewhere. The BBC reported that this new trend is a booming market that is rapidly expanding in the country and the Thai government is has been attempting to draw in digital nomads, particularly the wealthy, to come to Thailand to live and work remotely.


              • #8
                The future of Digital Nomads in Thailand

                As the Covid-19 pandemic has helped boost the demand for digital nomads, Thailand has yet to formalise a legal way for such workers to stay in the Kingdom. Although Thailand recently announced it is targetting highly paid digital workers to help aid in the country’s economic recovery, it leaves the rest of online workers in the dark. Citing the fact that such wealthier digital nomads would increase spending in the country, the government hasn’t realised that masses of lower-salaried digital nomads could also help the economy. Since Thailand has a low cost of living, even such lower-salaried workers from developed countries are still making much higher salaries than the average Thai person. As more and more countries move to offer digital nomad visas, such workers in Thailand are holding their breaths in hopes of also being granted a special visa for online working.

                According to the Bangkok Post, even recent research by the Faculty of Economics at the Chiang Mai University Chiang Mai Entrepreneurship Assocation shows that digital nomads have contributed to the city’s local economy. And, since 2017, the city has seen a digital nomad communities sprouting up, as the cost of living is low along with affordable working spaces. The report also noted that each digital nomad, that was evaluated in Chiang Mai, spent 200,000 baht annually on tourism activities.

                Bangkok and other cities worldwide have seen multiple lockdowns, due to the pandemic, forcing many office workers to take up online work. And, the difference between in-office work and online work is not significant, according to many high-level managers. The shift has even changed the face of property demand as more people are seeking condos that offer more functionality for the purpose of working from home.

                Thailand is more than ready to offer visas for digital nomads as the government and private sector have invested in high-speed internet which rivals that of most Western countries. Other investments include co-working spaces and digital trade promotion systems that attract digital nomads to the country’s large cities. Yet, the issue of getting a long-term visa in order to take advantage of such modernised infrastructures remains.

                And, the laws on visas and work permits continue to be a deterrent that can drive such online workers away. The same report noted that digital nomads need to spent 60,000 baht to pay an agent in order to get a visa. Furthermore, the lack of regulations for digital nomads, means they fall into a grey area, which forces them to obtain short-term visas to reside in the country. Such short-term visas, like tourist visas, don’t allow visa holders to work while living in Thailand. In addition to working illegally, digital nomads aren’t paying taxes and don’t have access to social protections.

                Despite the lack of a general, digital nomad visa, and many cultural aspects that take getting used to (for example, the culture of saving face), many still desire to work from home in Thailand. And, the most popular areas to work from home in Thailand, include Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Pha Ngan, Koh Lanta, Krabit Town, Phuket, and Koh Samui. Bangkok is the winner if you are interested in living in a cosmopolitan city, while Chiang Mai is great if you like city amenities, but without the traffic and fast-paced life. Koh Pha Ngan wins for featuring the best island nomad community, but Koh Lanta and Koh Samui are great for their stunning beaches and quieter atmosphere. Krabi and Phuket are great for those wanting a fusion of island and city life, as they offer modern amenities against the backdrop of beautiful beaches.

                With affordable prices, beaches and nomad communities, there are plenty of things that make living and working in Thailand an absolute pleasure. And, as the country continues to be innovative in ways to help boost its economy, offering a digital nomad visa could be in its future. As the pandemic has clearly impacted tourism and the economy, the government has already made changes to allow more long-term expats to stay legally by doing away with some of the strict regulations that were once deterrents to living in Thailand. As tourism is already somewhat bouncing back, time can only tell when visa options will expand to include the booming, digital nomad industry.


                • #9
                  Common expat varieties in Thailand 2022

                  Thailand has a lot to offer and it’s no surprise why so many foreigners want to live here. Some folks come for a short vacation and never want to leave. Despite the pandemic, it seems like the amount of expats is growing every year and they come from all over the world. So here’s shortlist of the most common expats in Thailand in 2022, in my humble Thai opinion.

                  Haters | Complainers
                  Nothing is perfect. We Thais understand that perfectly. But to the chronic hater/complainer, nothing in Thailand will satisfy them. Nothing. They will always find something to complain about, even the smallest of things. The food isn’t worth the price, the weather is too much for them or life is so much better back at home. (Then why don’t you go there?) It’s easy to spot these negative Nacys online, lurking on social media and internet forums (like the one for this article). Sometimes you can hear them complaining at a bar or somewhere in public with their sympathetic expat buddy. They probably need a hug and a Thai smile.

                  In most situations, they’re here just to have a “good time” rather than a good vacation. It’s easy to spot them, too. They can be found in popular locations like Patong, Patpong, Nana and Pattaya. From time to time, they’re labelled as pedophiles — something you don’t want to be attached to your name. Also, they’re known for getting into trouble for all the wrong reasons. Most travellers will buy some sort of souvenirs to bring back home like an elephant t-shirt or a night-market trinket; but for sexpats, it’s some sort of STD. Yikes.

                  English teacher
                  There is a fair share of English teachers in Thailand. You can find a few different types of them all around Thailand: backpackers who want to stay here longer, bored housewives who want something to do, older expats who want extra cash, and the professionals who really love to teach. If they’re someone with a TEFL certificate teaching at a language center, their pay isn’t so high compared to more qualified teachers working at international schools. Those positions are more competitive and could offer upwards of 100K per month. Not bad.

                  Thailand is not only a popular tourist destination, but also a popular place to retire. You can live a simple life in Chiang Mai or live by the beach in Phuket. A lot of things are affordable in Thailand, including food, drinks and accommodation, but it has gotten more expensive over the years. The pandemic has also been a driving force of inflation. Considering living in Thailand after retiring? Make sure to do your due diligence and try visiting different cities in Thailand before you take the plunge.

                  Some highly skilled and experienced expats live in Thailand, primarily in Bangkok, where they work for large international corporations on incomes that would make them wealthy in any country. They live a good life, there’s no doubt about that. Some are living here alone, while others are living with their families. You can find their kids attending international schools. They usually rent a nice condo in the city or a house with a nice yard and enjoy the services of a live-in maid and a personal driver. Life must be nice for the cream of the expat crop.

                  Wife seekers
                  Love is in the air. Similar to the sexpats, they’re here on a mission: to find the love of their life (again). Some will find one and take her back home. Others will stay here forever, living out the last of their golden years in the Land of Smiles. There are a few reasons why they prefer Asian women over the ladies back home. More submissive, polite and obedient? Slimmer and younger than the former love of their life? It might look good on paper or the internet, but there are a few problems that come along with it. First, bar girls don’t love you. Second, some are “interested” because you seem to have deep pockets. We’re not saying you should expect the worst, as there are couples who genuinely love each other. We just want you to be careful.

                  Digital nomads
                  The up and comer, especially in the digital world we live in. You just need a laptop and a free WiFi signal, right? Self-titled “digital nomads” value working at any place they can, especially in resorts with scenic views, and freedom is everything to them. They can be doing literally anything: graphic design, trading stocks, drop shipping and anything else that can be done online. Because they don’t need an office, you can find them roaming around the country with their laptops and a cup of coffee. Notice that guy by the beach working on his laptop? Or that gal who’s set up shop in a corner of the local cafe? Or the tan backpacker with a selfie stick and a bikini-clad Thai girl walking down Sukhumvit Road filming his latest vlog episode. You know who you are. Let’s be honest: paradise ain’t so sexy when you’re bound to a computer screen 24/7 and get sand in your electronics, is it?

                  What’s your take?
                  There you have it, my Thai take on common expats I see in Thailand in 2022. I know this list isn’t exhaustive and not every foreigner fits neatly into one of the above categories. So what’s your take? How many types of expats have you met when in Thailand? Or what sort of expat are you in the Land of Smiles?


                  • #10
                    Bangkok ranks @ Thailand Forum Best Digital Nomad Locations

                    A study by a UK-based company has named Bangkok the second best city in the world to work as a digital nomad. The company, called The Instant Group, is a flexible working solutions provider. The Instant Group found that over have of the world’s top 60 cities for digital nomads are in Asia. Other Asian cities on the list included Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Hong Kong. But the one city to beat Bangkok is Libson, Portugal. In choosing the best cities for digital nomads, The Instant Group considered these factors: affordability, weather, broadband speed, scenery, and transport. Bangkok scored well in all these categories.

                    Thailand’s main selling points earning it its spot were the city’s famous local cuisine, its availability of over 15,000 high-speed WiFi spots, its transport options, and its cheap accommodation. The average cost for a night in an Airbnb is 1,174 THB Even though Bangkok has snagged the Thailand Forum spot on this list, seeking a legitimate visa that supports the digital nomad lifestyle has been notoriously difficult in Thailand. But last month, Thailand’s Cabinet announced some changes to the 10 year Long Term Resident visa that could make the lifestyle a realistic option for certain individuals.

                    The LTR visa is aimed at four groups:

                    1) Wealthy foreigners
                    2) Retirees
                    3) Working foreigners
                    4) Specialists

                    Digital nomads could be classified as either “Working Foreigners” or “Specialists,” who must both meet 2 requirements to be eligible for the LTR visa…

                    1) They must have an employment or service contract with a Thai OR a foreign company.
                    2) They must be able to provide proof of 5 years work experience in the relevant industry, completed within 10 years of the application date.

                    The Cabinet also announced they will halve the one-time fee for the LTR visa from 100,000 to 50,000 THB

                    So, if you have the contract and proof of 5 years of work experience, it’s a pretty sweet deal that gets you a visa in Thailand valid for 10 years. Also, LTR visa holders are welcome to bring their spouse and up to four children under the age of 20 with them into the kingdom. The changes were expected to come into effect 90 days after their official announcement in the Royal Gazette.

                    Bangkok is best city in Southeast Asia according to travel mag

                    Bangkok is at the top of a list of the 2022 - 10 best cities in Southeast Asia, ranked by travel magazine Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia. The list was published last week. The next 9 best cities in Southeast Asia, in order, are: Singapore, Danang, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, Chiang Mai, Hong Kong, Saigon, Phenom Phen, and Jakarta.

                    So why is Bangkok leading the pack? Writer Laurel Toughy lists all the usual compliments people give Bangkok, such as the spicy street food and “warm smiles.” But there’s another element that she says makes Bangkok great- options. Laurel explains that travellers in Bangkok can have a wide variety of different experiences for their various budgets and tastes. On one hand, tourists can eat street food and ride a motorbike “feeling the wind in your hair.” But those who want to live a high life also have options. Laurel says…

                    “If you prefer high-thread count linens in your private-pool suites and Michelin-starred meals, the city also has you covered.”
                    She notes that several great hotels opened in Bangkok during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Thai capital also has a diverse variety of restaurants. Laurel believes that Bangkok has something for everyone, whether they’re just stopping by for a night before heading off to Thailand’s islands, or staying longer. Bangkok seems to be ranking high on a few lists lately. Last month, the city came in at second place on a list of the best cities for digital nomads, ranked by the UK-based company The Instant Group.

                    Thailand’s main selling points earning it second place were its famous local cuisine, its availability of over 15,000 high-speed WiFi spots, its transport options, and its cheap accommodation. Despite Covid-19 restrictions’ impact on Thailand’s tourism, Bangkok is still a world-renowned metropolis.


                    • #11
                      Koh Pha Ngan | Home Workation Location in the World
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                      Open your suitcases and your chakras – Koh Pha Ngan has been ranked as the top destination for a workation – an increasingly popular way of squeezing in a getaway while continuing to work. The popular tourist island in the southern Thailand province ofSurat Thani ranks number one out of 16 choices gathered and analyzed by William Russell, a prominent health, life, and income insurer. The list was calculated by considering 4 main factors that are important for somebody trying to have a holiday while still getting some work done: accommodation costs, internet speed, safety, and of course, fun. Koh Pha Ngan, known for its new age spiritualistic and hippiesque northern shores as well as the world-famous wild and drunken Full Moon Party on the south of the island, edged out the Gran Canaria of Spain to take the top workation spot.

                      The Spanish island was ranked second while Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, captured the third spot on Russell’s list. Austin, Texas, and Sao Paulo, Brazil rounded off the top 5. The rest of the top 10 can be found at the end of this story. Thailand has frequently made top workation lists, with Bangkok being ranked Home on a similar list last year. A government spokesperson celebrated the top ranking as a chance to talk up the government’s work in bringing back tourism to Thailand and to boost the southern provinces, commenting that the promotion of Thailand’s idyllic islands is part of their 20-year national strategy to attract visitors to the country from around the world.

                      “The island [Koh Pha Ngan] is suitable for long-term stay and thanks to its Full Moon Parties, it is famous among Thai and foreign tourists. The PM [Prayut Chan-o-cha] also believes promoting Andaman provinces will attract more tourists to Thailand, which will not only generate revenue at the local level but also result in economic recovery.”
                      Koh Pha Ngan achieved the number one workation ranking by being highly rated in both safety and fun, as well as having the second cheapest monthly cost of living, calculated at US$1051, with only Buenos Aires, Argentina being considered cheaper. But Pha Ngan’s Internet speed, calculated at 24 Mbps (we’re guessing between the not-infrequent planned power outages on the island), is 4 times faster than the Argentinian speeds and considered sufficient for online work.

                      The government commented that they will continue to promote Surat Thani as well as attempt to make world-class destinations out of Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Ranong, Satun, and Trang provinces on the Andaman sea. The top 10 best locations for a workation and their details are:

                      City or Country

                      Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand
                      Monthly Cost


                      Fast: 24Mbps


                      2 Gran Canaria, Spain US$1,789 Fast: 35Mbps Good Great
                      3 Lisbon, Portugal US$2,429 Fast: 28Mbps Great Great
                      4 Austin, TX, USA US$3,797 Super Fast: 76Mbps Great Good
                      5 Sao Paolo, Brazil US$1,495 Good: 6Mbps Great Okay
                      6 Budapest, Hungary US$1,637 Fast: 30Mbps Good Good
                      7 Canggu, Bali, Indonesia US$1,411 Fast: 25Mbps Good Great
                      8 Belgrade, Serbia US$1,555 Fast: 27Mbps Good Good
                      9 Berlin, Germany US$3,465 Fast: 27Mbps Good Great
                      10 Buenos Aires, Argentina US$904 Good: 6Mbps Good Okay
                      SOURCE: The Nation


                      • #12
                        Life of Thai Digital Nomads made easier by Airbnb TAT Alliance

                        Airbnb today announced it is going to work closely with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to make it easier for remote workers to live in the kingdom. The California-based vacation rental company reported that a number of projects are in the pipeline, including constructing a dedicated custom-built hub for Thailand, showcasing local long-term stay listings as well as providing information on entry requirements and visa policies for remote workers.

                        The Covid-19 pandemic has revolutionised the way millions of people work nowadays making it more flexible where they can live and work. As a consequence, so-called digital nomads have sprung up all over the world’s towns and cities, staying for weeks, months, or even longer.

                        TAT reported in the first 3 months of 2022, searches for international solo travel in Thailand for long term stays grew by over 50% compared to the same time in 2019. Statistics also revealed that 1 in 5 global guests used Airbnb accommodation to work remotely while traveling in 2021. That trend continued into the first quarter of 2022, with long-term stays more than doubling in size from the first quarter of 2019.

                        Harvard Business School research revealed it is clear that digital nomads, and remote workers, can be a boon to any economy. They also have the potential to foster entrepreneurship in the communities where they stay, creating “technology clusters” around the world. Airbnb co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Nathan Blecharczyck said a new world of travel has emerged where workers are no longer bound to their offices since the pandemic.

                        “We want to make it easier for workers to enjoy this flexibility and support the return of safe and responsible travel. We know that travel brings significant economic opportunity to local communities and connects people around the world. We’re excited to launch this one-stop shop for anyone thinking of joining the millions of workers that are already enjoying this new trend of working flexibility and travel.”
                        Thapanee Kiatphaibool, Deputy Governor for Domestic Marketing, Tourism Authority of Thailand, welcomed the collaboration with Airbnb.

                        “Thailand has long been a top destination for remote workers and long-term travelers globally. Strong local infrastructure, community access, and a wide variety of unique accommodations for longer stays continue to attract visitors around the world, as well as our warm hospitality and unique culture. As we look to rebuild the country’s tourism sector and accelerate recovery, we are honoured to partner with Airbnb on its global Live and Work Anywhere initiative to attract long-term travelers to Thailand.”


                        • #13
                          Airbnb’s Travel Revolution plans for Thailand

                          Airbnb plans to be at the forefront of a travel revolution in Thailand now the kingdom has eased all of its entry restrictions. The US, California-based vacation rental company revealed there was an increase of more than 180% in international travel searches in the first quarter of this year for stays in Thailand.

                          Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, and Samui were among the most popular destinations searched for both international and domestic guests. Airbnb reckons tourists are keen to stay at destinations for longer than ever before as part of a travel revolution that’s creating more economic opportunities for locals and their small and medium-sized enterprises.

                          The rental company believe Thailand is also uniquely positioned to attract the ever-increasing band of digital nomads. Since the coronavirus outbreak in 2020 working remotely has become a popular new trend and long-term stays in Airbnb accommodation is providing favoured among that demographic.

                          International travellers from the US, UK, and Germany are leading the searches for travel to Thailand. Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb general manager for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong, and Taiwan said he was heartened to see travellers from all around the world looking to revisit Thailand.

                          “It bodes well for the sector’s ongoing recovery and for our local community of hosts.

                          “The blurring lines between travel and living has also led to many travellers continuing to embrace their newfound flexibility. They’re jumping at the opportunity to base themselves amidst the picturesque destinations in Thailand, both the favourites and some uncharted parts of the country, looking to live and work remotely.”
                          Amanpreet revealed Airbnb is working with the Tourism Authority of Thailand on a range of initiatives that will showcase Thailand to the world and attract more remote workers.

                          “We remain committed to working with local hosts across the country, as well as the Thai government, to help ensure local communities can take advantage of the travel revolution.”


                          • #14
                            Are you a digital nomad? Or just on the run?

                            I guess it is an age thing. As someone who left the parental home as soon as he could and headed for “as far away as possible,” I have serious misgivings about digital nomads. Do they themselves even know what a nomad is? Well, let me tell you… A nomad has no “home” to “go back” to, or even to come from. They are, and let’s not split hairs here, nomadic.

                            The pandemic changed a lot, including the near extinction of these so-called nomads, who, at the slightest cough from the next table, slipped their Airbooks into their mega-huge, meta-tech backpacks, and headed for the room had only recently become “spare” in the parental semi, conveniently pre-stocked with everything they needed. These people are not, and never were, nomads of any description. They are tourists equipped with what Victorian teenagers used to call “modest private incomes”, gap-year kids with endlessly yawning gaps.

                            If you think “home” is a place of safety, or even a place at all, you’re no nomad, just another tourist. With pretensions. Loads of them. And listicles to write. Loads of them too. And thanks for that, by the way. The world needs more listicles, and more dropping jaws.

                            How else will I find the world’s most dangerous dog breed?
                            Curmudgeonly I try to recall the last time I went into a sweatshop PR agency for a coffee and started preparing listicles just for fun. I never have, so what are these office workers doing in the coffee shop? I lean over to the young lady at the next table sipping (Always with the sipping, journos? Is there no other way to drink?) a complex, unnamable concoction made from coffee… “Are you a nomad?”

                            How to recognize a digital nomad
                            According to Shutterstock and Getty, the archetypical digital nomad is female, white, has shoulder-length wavy hair, and has her ankles crossed. She is looking wistfully-yet-seriously into the distance. Her silver-cased laptop is usually on her lap, though no one has ever actually performed any work in this position. The nomad will overlook a broad tree-filled vista or pool, preferably infinite. Thailand launched a Long-Term Resident programme in September, meant for four categories of foreign applicants including “Work-from-Thailand Professionals”, the nomads. Applying for the visa from inside the country will set you back around US$1,300.

                            It is hard to understand how Thailand came up with their absurd rules for the new visa, but it is quite clear that virtual nomads are not included. Whoever came up with the rules – presumably tasked with coming up with a “digital nomad” visa – obviously did not understand the job they were being asked to do. To qualify, remote workers need to have had an annual income of at least US$80,000 for two years before application. If this income comes from anything other than a conventional job, it will be costly and difficult to prove. Applicants must be employed by a company that is publicly listed on a stock exchange, or if employed by a private enterprise, it must have a combined revenue of at least US$150 million in the three years before the visa application. Prove that, mofo!

                            And that is not all, you’ll need a minimum of five years working in “relevant fields of the current employment”, whatever that means. If applicants do not meet these criteria, they must have at least a master’s degree, intellectual property, or in the case of business owners, have received Series A funding. In Thailand, a digital nomad is someone (a man, of course) who has, after a minimum of two years at a Fortune 500 company, finally got sick of their real (highly-paid) job in an aluminium building on the outskirts of town and decided to make a new life in Patong.