Country Guides March 27, 2024

Exploring the East – Unveiling the Best Place to Live in Asia

Georgia Michaelson

Born and raised in St. Louis, Georgia Michaelson is a content writer with a specialty in moving and traveling. Her tips can help you relocate without a fuss

Embarking on a journey across the large continent of Asia reveals a tapestry of cultures, landscapes, and lifestyles unlike any other. The continent offers a myriad of destinations for those seeking a new place to call home, so here’s a guide to help you find the best place to live in Asia. We’ll uncover the top locales that promise not just a place to live but a place to thrive, so let’s take a step into your future life on Asian soil.

This guide on the best Asian countries to live in provides a comprehensive overview of top destinations in Asia. It encompasses diverse factors such as cost of living comparison in Asia, healthcare, cultural integration, and economic opportunities. From the tropical paradises of the Philippines and Thailand to Taiwan’s high-tech haven and the affordability of Indonesia and Vietnam, you’ll learn all you need before making the leap of faith.

Philippines – A Tropical Paradise With a Warm Welcome

The Philippines, an archipelago nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, pristine beaches, and the warmth of its people. This tropical paradise offers more than just its natural beauty – it presents a welcoming embrace to all who step on its shores, providing tourists and expatriates alike many reasons to move to this beautiful destination.

Cost of Living and Lifestyle in Paradise

Living overseas in the Philippines is remarkably affordable, making it an attractive destination for those looking to enjoy a high quality of life in Asia without the steep costs associated with many other countries. Housing, whether renting in bustling cities or near serene beachfronts, is reasonably priced, allowing for a comfortable lifestyle that can accommodate a range of moving budgets and making the Philippines one of the easiest countries to move to.

Food expenses offer even greater value, with local markets and restaurants providing delicious and diverse cuisines at a fraction of the cost found in Western countries. Healthcare, too, is accessible and affordable, with a variety of services available at lower costs. This financial accessibility, combined with the country’s natural beauty and warm climate, makes the Philippines a haven for those seeking a relaxed and cost-effective way of life.

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Expat Communities in Asia and Cultural Integration

The Philippines is home to vibrant expatriate communities, particularly in major cities like Manila and Cebu, which are some of the best cities to live in Asia. These cities are the fusion of local and foreign influences and a dynamic cultural landscape. Expatriates find it easy to integrate and build connections, thanks in part to the Filipinos’ renowned hospitality and English fluency.

Social and professional networks for expats are well-established, offering a supportive environment for newcomers. The willingness of the locals to share their culture, coupled with a genuine interest in learning about others, facilitates deep cultural exchange and integration. Festivals, social gatherings, and community activities provide ample opportunities for expats to immerse themselves in the local way of life, further enhancing the warm welcome that the Philippines is known for.

View of Manila, Philippines
Cities in the Philippines offer an exceptional quality of life at an affordable price

Thailand – The Land of Smiles With Rich Cultural Heritage

Thailand, affectionately known as the Land of Smiles, is a country that captivates the hearts of many with its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and the friendliness of its people. This Southeast Asian gem offers a blend of traditional and modern experiences, making it a unique destination for those considering moving overseas. Its cultural depth and different climate than you’re used to in the US, combined with a warm and welcoming atmosphere, contribute to a high quality of life that many expatriates and locals enjoy.

Quality of Life, Safety, and Healthcare in Asia

Thailand is renowned for its high quality of life, significantly influenced by its excellent healthcare services. Cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai are at the forefront of providing advanced medical care in Southeast Asia. These cities host internationally accredited hospitals equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and English-speaking staff, offering a wide range of medical services at a fraction of the cost found in Western countries.

The Thai healthcare system’s efficiency and affordability make it a popular choice for medical tourism, attracting individuals from all over the world. Beyond healthcare, Thailand’s cost of living is relatively low, allowing for a comfortable lifestyle that includes access to various amenities and delicious food, and it offers one of the best cultural experiences in Asia, all contributing to the overall well-being of its residents.

Explore the Fantastic Leisure and Entertainment Options

If you’re someone moving across the world and seeking leisure and entertainment, Thailand is by far the best place to live in Southeast Asia.

The country is famous for its bustling street markets, such as Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market, where locals and tourists alike can find everything from delicious street food to handmade crafts.

For those seeking relaxation, Thailand’s beaches offer a slice of paradise, with Phuket, Krabi, and Koh Samui being some of the most sought-after destinations for their crystal-clear waters and picturesque landscapes.

The country’s rich cultural heritage is also on full display in its numerous temples, historical sites, and museums, offering insightful experiences into Thailand’s past and present.

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Nightlife in Thailand is vibrant, with a variety of bars, clubs, and entertainment shows catering to different tastes and preferences, ensuring that there’s never a dull moment. Whether one is looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Thailand provides an array of options to explore and enjoy.

View of Krabi in Thailand
If you're looking for stunning beaches and entertainment, Thailand is the place for you

Vietnam – Dynamic Growth and Affordable Living

Vietnam showcases a compelling narrative of rapid economic development paired with an attractive cost of living, setting the stage as a favored destination for expatriates and professionals moving internationally for both opportunity and adventure.

Amidst Southeast Asia’s evolving landscape, Vietnam distinguishes itself with bustling cities, rich cultural heritage, and lush landscapes, all underpinned by an economy that’s both vibrant and welcoming to foreign talent.

Economic Opportunities and Cost of Living

The appeal of moving abroad to Vietnam lies in its dynamic economy, where sectors like manufacturing, exports, and technology are booming. Cities such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are hubs for this growth, offering a myriad of job opportunities for foreigners in Asia moving without a job across various industries.

By allowing expats to find a job easier, these cities significantly reduce the fear of moving.

This economic vitality is juxtaposed with a remarkably low cost of living, making Vietnam a place where expatriates can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without the financial pressures found in more developed economies.

Affordable housing, accessible healthcare, and cheap yet delicious dining options are just a few aspects that contribute to Vietnam’s allure, providing a high quality of life at a fraction of the cost.

The cost of living in Vietnam is over 60% lower than in the US

Experience the Amazing Food and Culture

Vietnamese cuisine and culture offer a tantalizing blend of flavors and experiences, deeply rooted in the country’s rich history. From bustling street food markets serving iconic dishes like pho and banh mi to sophisticated restaurants offering regional specialties, food is at the heart of Vietnam’s social and cultural life.

Traditional practices and festivals showcase Vietnam’s cultural depth, where ancient rituals and modern celebrations coexist. The country’s art, music, and literature scenes are vibrant, reflecting the dynamic spirit of its people. This rich cultural tapestry, combined with a globally renowned culinary heritage, makes Vietnam a unique destination where every meal and cultural encounter reveals a story of resilience, innovation, and tradition.

People interviewing a candidate over a video call
Vietnam offers incredible food and excellent job opportunities

Indonesia – A Diverse Archipelago Offering a Unique Lifestyle

Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago of diverse cultures and landscapes, promises a lifestyle brimming with unique experiences. From Bali’s tranquil beaches to Sumatra’s lush rainforests, the country offers a vibrant tapestry of natural wonders and cultural treasures, inviting exploration and discovery at every turn.

A Place Filled With Natural Beauty and Outdoor Adventures

Whether surfing in pristine waters, hiking volcanic peaks, or exploring remote islands, Indonesia’s landscapes inspire awe and adventure at every turn. The diversity of ecosystems, from coral reefs to towering mountains, ensures there’s something for everyone, making Indonesia a paradise for those seeking outdoor activities in Asia amidst breathtaking scenery.

Housing and Expat Communities

Navigating housing in Indonesia is made easier by a range of options, from modern apartments to traditional, smaller homes. In places like Bali and Jakarta, expatriates find themselves embraced by vibrant communities eager to share Indonesian culture.

These expat enclaves offer support, camaraderie, and a sense of belonging, enriching the experience of living in this diverse and welcoming nation. With a blend of local charm and international influence, expats often find themselves seamlessly integrated into the fabric of Indonesian society, forging lasting connections and cherished memories.

View of Bali and a gray rock hill
Nature lovers will be enchanted by Bali's stunning landscapes

Taiwan – High-Tech Haven With Exceptional Quality of Life

Taiwan, a high-tech haven, offers an exceptional quality of life. Renowned for its innovation and safety standards, it’s a desirable destination for an expat living in Asia. With world-class healthcare, thriving technology sectors, and top-notch education, Taiwan provides a dynamic environment for both personal and professional growth.

Safety and Healthcare Are at the Highest Level

Renowned for its safety standards, Taiwan boasts one of the lowest crime rates globally, providing residents and expatriates with peace of mind. Complementing this is its world-class healthcare system, characterized by accessibility, affordability, and quality care. With state-of-the-art medical facilities and highly trained professionals, Taiwan ensures residents receive top-notch healthcare services, further enhancing its appeal as a desirable destination for expats seeking a secure and healthy lifestyle.

Taiwan Offers Excellent Education and Work Opportunities

Taiwan’s education system garners international acclaim for its excellence and inclusivity, providing students with a solid foundation for future success. Moreover, the country’s thriving technology and education sectors offer abundant job opportunities for skilled professionals.

From multinational corporations to innovative startups, Taiwan’s dynamic business environment fosters growth and innovation, attracting talent from around the globe. The ease of doing business, coupled with ample career advancement prospects, makes Taiwan an attractive destination for those seeking both professional development and a high quality of life.

A desktop computer with some peripherals
If you're interested in the tech industry, Taiwan is the place to be

Making Your Choice – Factors to Consider Before Settling in the Best Place to Live in Asia

Embarking on a journey of moving to a new country involves a myriad of decisions, each with its own set of implications. To make an informed choice on where to live that aligns with one’s aspirations and needs, it’s essential to carefully consider various factors that will shape the experience of living abroad.

Take Into Account Visa Regulations and Residency Requirements

Navigating the intricacies of visa and residency in Asia is a crucial aspect of long-term preparing for a move to a different country. Each nation has its own distinct policies governing immigration, work permits, and residency applications, which can significantly impact an individual’s ability to reside and work legally within its borders.

Factors such as eligibility criteria, processing times, and potential pathways to permanent residency or citizenship merit careful evaluation to ensure compliance and secure legal status in the chosen destination.

How to Overcome Language and Cultural Barriers?

Language proficiency and cultural adaptation are fundamental considerations for anyone contemplating a move abroad. While English serves as a global lingua franca, its prevalence and proficiency vary widely across countries. Assessing the level of English language use and understanding the local language’s importance can profoundly influence one’s ability to communicate effectively, navigate daily interactions, and integrate into the community.

Beyond overcoming language barriers, familiarity with cultural norms, customs, and social etiquette is essential for fostering meaningful connections, respecting local traditions, and building a sense of belonging in the new cultural context. Therefore, investing time and effort in language learning and cultural acclimatization can significantly reduce cultural shock and facilitate a smoother process of adjusting to a new country.

learning languages
While English is used widely, learning a new language will help you adjust easier

Empowering Choices – Deciding Where to Live in Asia

Exploring the East reveals a rich tapestry of destinations that cater to diverse preferences. Each location in Asia offers a unique blend of modern conveniences, rich history, and natural beauty, making the continent an ideal place to call home. And whichever location you pick, you will need some help from an experienced international moving company. So, contact us at Shepherd International Movers and allow our team to take care of all packing services and safely transport all your belongings to your new Asian home, either by sea or by air freight.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Visa Requirements for Long-Term Stays in These Countries?

Visa requirements vary by country but typically involve proof of income, purpose of stay, and sometimes sponsorship. Research individual country’s embassy websites for specifics.

How Does the Cost of Living in These Asian Countries Compare to the West?

Generally lower, varying by city. Research the cost of rent, utilities, food, and transportation for accurate comparisons. You can use sites like Numbeo to compare the cost of living between two places.

What Are the Best Cities in Asia for Expats?

Cities like Singapore, Bangkok, Taipei, and Kuala Lumpur are popular among expats for their amenities, job opportunities, and expat communities.

How Can I Find Job Opportunities in These Countries?

Check online job boards, company websites, and professional networks. You can reach out to local recruitment agencies or attending job fairs.

What Are Healthcare Facilities Like for Expats in These Countries?

Healthcare quality varies, but countries like Singapore and Thailand offer excellent facilities. Research health insurance options and hospital reputations before relocating.

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