YOUR ULTIMATE
GUIDE TO:
BECOMING A DIGITAL NOMAD IN THAILAND

YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO:
BECOMING A DIGITAL NOMAD IN THAILAND

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Your Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Digital Nomad in Thailand

Thailand is a popular destination for digital nomads and tourists alike. And, it’s not hard to see why. Turquoise waters lap up to cotton white beaches, smiley locals go about their day and the city streets buzz with activity.

Living in Thailand is affordable, exciting and comfortable. There is always something to do or see, it’s easy to move around and there are a ton of coworking spaces where you can meet like-minded entrepreneurs, freelancers and remote workers.

Once you experience the Thai digital nomad life, you’ll wonder what took you so long to get there! Let’s take a look at what you need to know about living as a digital nomad in Thailand.

This guide explains visas, the best places in Thailand for digital nomads, coworking spaces, getting around and essential resources to support your business.

Thailand Digital Nomad Visa Options

One of the first things you need to think about if you’re planning to live the digital nomad life in Thailand is getting a visa.

There are multiple options for digital nomads and remote workers and it can be hard to decide on the right one for you. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has seen the benefits of having long term remote workers in the country and is currently working on a new digital nomad visa. Until this is released, your options are:

  • Smart Visa
  • Thailand Elite Visa
  • Thailand Work Permit

Further reading: Digital Nomad Thailand – How to Get a Long Term Visa in Thailand

Do Thailand Digital Nomads Have to Pay Tax?

If you stay in Thailand for longer than 180 days in any tax year, you are classed as a resident and therefore should pay tax. If you stay in Thailand for less than 180 days each year, you are required to pay tax, but only on your income earned in Thailand. The first 150,000 Thai Baht is exempt.

Previously, it has been hard for Thai authorities to force digital nomads to pay taxes who were on tourist visas. This is due to the fact they did not register their business or state they were working within the country.

Just like with visas, tax is another grey area for digital nomads, that is likely to be looked at more closely by Thai officials in the future.

For more information, you can refer to this article The Company registration Guide for Foreigners in Thailand.

Best Places in Thailand for Digital Nomads

There are many beautiful places to stay long term in Thailand. Here’s a breakdown of the top destinations that have everything a digital nomad could need:

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a remote worker hotspot, having been named the digital nomad capital of the world for its affordable living, thriving nightlife, delicious food scene, fast internet and plentiful coworking spaces.

There are multiple digital nomad communities here, making it easy to get advice, make friends and transition into a longer stay. It has affordable accommodation, many restaurants and bars, street markets, a buzzing nightlife and plenty of cafes. Here are a few coworking spaces to try out:

  • The Hub Chiang Mai
  • Punspace (Tha PhaeGate)
  • Hub53 Coworking and Co-Living Space

Bangkok

Bangkok is bigger than Chiang Mai and can seem a little more manic, with huge multi-lane roads, buzzing traffic and high rise condos towering into the skyline. While it is the most expensive Thai city to live in, it has lots to offer the eager digital nomad.

And, you’ll be spoilt for choice regarding where to eat, with plentiful local and international restaurants and local hawker markets down side streets.

A comfortable condo with a pool can be rented for as little as 6,000 Baht ($177.99) a month and transport options are abundant like the BTS Skytrain, MRT Subway, taxis, tuk tuks, motorbike taxis and khlong boats. A few coworking spaces to check out include:

Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta is a popular island with long stretches of white sand. Because of its size, you can always find a stretch of beach that is uncrowded. It has many great restaurants, bars and cafes, plus a popular coworking space by the beach called KoHub.

The working environment here is relaxed, but has all the mod cons a digital nomad needs like high-speed wifi, Skype rooms, tropical garden views, hammocks and co-living accommodation. Oh, and it’s 5 minutes from the beach so you can cool off after a hard day’s work!

Koh Phangan

With plenty of stunning beaches, quiet resorts and bungalows next to the beach with fast internet connections it’s also an ideal place for the Digital Nomad Life. It also has a few coworking and co-living spaces worth checking out:

 Koh Samui

Koh Samui has something for everyone, from luxurious resorts to cozy bungalows by the beach to work and relax in. It has affordable accommodation, many restaurants and bars, cafes, beaches and a bustling nightlife.

Because of the comfortable way of living here, there are already many digital nomads and expats who have made this place their home. The island has adequate internet and a range of coworking spaces to get work done and meet like-minded individuals. The best places to work in Koh Samui include:

  • Mantra Work Lounge
  • WYSIWYG Coworking Space and Café

Travel Options for Digital Nomads in Thailand

There are multiple ways to get around in Thailand depending on your budget and needs. The options include:

  • Taxi. to run on a meter
  • Bicycle Many locals and guesthouses will rent bicycles by the day and monthly.
  • Tuk Tuk. Affordable way to travel short distances. Agree on a price before you go.
  • Motorcycle Taxi. Great way to travel in busy, congested cities such as Bangkok as they zip in and out of traffic.
  • Private buses are used to travel long distances like between cities and some have sleeper options.
  • Great for long distance travel and to enjoy a more scenic ride. Can get overnight trains between major destinations.
  • Rented Motorcycle. If you stay long term, a rented motorcycle will save you money on travel. Daily rates range from 120-600 Baht and monthly 3,500-10,000 Baht.

Relevant Resources to Support Your Business

1. If you have a job lined up in Thailand, or you plan to work remotely, you’ll need the correct work visa and work permit. For more details, you can refer to this article: Work Visa Thailand – Application and Requirements.

2. A work permit is required by non-Thais if they plan to set up a business in Thailand. Learn what you need to do, the company requirements and the documentation needed. Read more here: How to Apply for a Work Permit in Thailand.

3. Still confused about work permits and whether you actually need one? Get detailed information on work permits, visas, associated costs, requirements and the application process. Read more here: Work Permit Thailand – Everything You Need to Know.

4. What’s the difference between a single entry visa, multiple entry visa and a work permit? For more details, you can refer to this article: Thailand Work Permit – The Basics.

5. What kind of work permits are available and are there any restrictions on who can apply? Get all your work permit questions answered. Read more here: Thailand Work Permit – Guide and FAQ.

6. There are a few things you need to know before applying for a Thailand work visa. Read about the basic requirements and prerequisites here: Thailand Work Visa – 5 Things You Should Know.

7. Thailand work permits can be confusing. Get started with the basics including what different work visas there are and your employer’s responsibility. Read more here: Thailand Work Permit – The Basics.

8. Thailand has a series of laws and regulations governing employee-employer relationships. Learn what these laws are and what entitlements you have. Learn here: Navigating Thai Labor Law.

9. Do you plan on employing Thai people in the future? Then you need to know about Thailand’s strict labor laws. Read more here: Five Things You Should Know About Employing People in Thailand.

10. Throughout the world, Thailand is known as a safe haven for businesses. The Board of Investments (BOI) supports companies here. Read more about their policies and processes: Board of Investment Support – Businesses in Thailand.

11. China aims to restructure international trade through the Silk Road which will become known as the One Belt, One Road (OBOR). This connects China with Asia, Europe and Africa: One Belt, One Road – Thailand’s Place in the Silk Road Initiative.

12. Thailand already has a great infrastructure, but plans are in place to make significant upgrades. For more details, you can refer to this article: Thai Infrastructure.

13. The Thailand 4.0 economic initiative is the master plan to free the country from the middle-income trap and become a high income nation. Read about the four objectives here: Thailand 4.0.

14. Thailand is a leading destination for foreign direct investment and the world’s fastest growing region. So, what does this mean? Learn more: World’s Fastest Growing Region.

15. Thailand has a stable economy with a strong export base. It is the second largest economy in Southeast Asia, only behind Indonesia. Read more details here: Thailand’s New Engines of Growth.

16. The kingdom of Thailand has come far since it was formerly known as Siam in 1949. It’s now become an economic and political center and is an investors gateway to Asia. Read more: Gateway to the Lucrative Southeast Asia Region.

17. Thailand has a long history of being a generous and liberal trading partner. Read more about Regional and International Cooperation in Thailand

18. Thailand has streamlined laws, regulations and application procedures for businesses. Thailand’s Business-Friendly Climate ranked it 26th of 181 countries for doing business.

19. Under the Thailand economic model 4.0, science and technology in Thailand is becoming more of a focus to continue driving prosperity.

How Hiring a Professional Employer of Record Partner Can Help

A professional Employer of Record (EOR provider) can help your firm fulfill your Thailand staffing requirements and you can save money, paperwork, labor costs, and legal troubles by working with a firm that specializes in Thailand EOR & payroll solutions.

Why?

These specialized firms already know and comply with Thai employment law, whether you need a local labor force supplemented by in-person or remote workers, or you just need assistance paying your employees properly.

How Aster Lion Can Help

Reach out to our team for a free consultation to understand the requirements and steps involved in getting you set up and running a business in Thailand.

We’ll help you navigate through the entire process to ensure you’re up and running with the least amount of steps.  You can reach us directly on team@asterlion.com or enter your details below and someone from our team will reach out.

Aster Lion is an Employer of Record based in Thailand providing the following services:

  • Corporate Secretary
  • Visa & Work Permits
  • HR & Payroll Solutions

Let us know how we can help you!

CONTACT US

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