These are the fastest growing destinations for digital nomads—9 of them are in Asia

The Nomad List ranked the fastest growing remote work hub of 2023.
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Despite the return-to-office mandates echoing all around, remote work continues to rise and reshape cities worldwide.

The experts at Nomad List, a database of remote workers, ranked the fastest-growing remote work hubs by analyzing nearly 300,000 check-ins on their database over the last two years.

Although hotspots like Valencia, Spain and Sardinia, Italy, have made it easy for digital nomads to work abroad, no European cities made the list.

In fact, the majority of the fastest-growing remote work hubs are located in Asia. The lone exception? The Uruguayan capital of Montevideo, which ranked in the No. 6 spot.

No. 1 fastest-growing remote work hub: Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo took the top spot as the fastest-growing destination for digital nomads.

The city saw a 67% increase in digital nomads from 2018 to 2022, according to Nomad List. The capital of Japan saw a 369% increase in remote workers last year alone.

Tokyo, Japan ranked as the fastest growing destination for digital nomads.
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Although Japan doesn't currently have a digital nomad visa, the country does have a visa exemption arrangement with 70 countries and regions that allows visitors to stay for up to 90 days, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

The cost of living in Tokyo is 47.9% less expensive than in New York without rent, according to Numbeo. Besides a lower cost of living, the city also offers digital nomads the opportunity to work in one of the largest urban economies in the world, according to Bloomberg.

As of 2023, Tokyo is home to 29 Fortune 500 companies, beating New York's 16.

It should be noted that Japan only reopened its borders in October 2022 after largely closing them to outsiders during the pandemic.

The 10 fastest-growing remote work hubs in 2023

The Golden Bridge in the Ba Na Hills is near Da Nang.
Linh Pham | Afp | Getty Images
  1. Tokyo, Japan
  2. Da Nang, Vietnam
  3. Seoul, South Korea
  4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  5. Penang, Malaysia
  6. Montevideo, Uruguay
  7. Manila, Philippines
  8. Hanoi, Vietnam
  9. Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
  10. Ljubljana, Slovenia

The city that ranked in the No. 2 spot was Da Nang, Vietnam.

Da Nang saw a growth of 99% over the last five years and a 107% growth in 2023 so far of digital nomads. Citizens of almost 200 countries, including the U.S., can easily apply for online tourist visas and be in Vietnam for up to 90 days.

Da Nang is the fifth-largest city in Vietnam and offers free Wi-Fi in the downtown area. The coastal city in central Vietnam is known for its sandy beaches and is considered one of the most livable cities in the country.

The city is also near the famous Golden Bridge, a pedestrian bridge designed to look like giant stone hands are holding it up.

Seoul, South Korea ranked in the top three of the fastest growing destination for digital nomads.
Prasit Photo | Moment | Getty Images

Seoul, South Korea ranked as the third fastest-growing destination for digital nomads.

It is the largest city in the country and is a hub for major tech companies like Samsung, Hyundai and LG.

According to the 2023 Economist Intelligence Unit, Seoul is one of the most livable cities in Asia and offers visitors high-speed internet and public Wi-Fi in many places. According to Numbeo, Seoul is 27.4% less expensive than New York without rent.

Just like the cities that ranked No. 1 and No. 2, Seoul offers U.S. citizens the ability to stay in South Korea for up to 90 days without a visa.

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