Why Sri Lanka is the best in Asia for digital nomads?

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As of January 2024, Sri Lanka holds a Digital Nomad score of 3.05, ranking 19th in the “Best countries for Digital Nomads”. This index takes Visa availability, Taxation policies, Tourist popularity, Cost of Living, Global Health Score etc. into consideration. Sri Lanka and their hospitality trade go back in years. Sri Lankan people are known for their good hospitality and their welcoming nature. As an island lying in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka offers a diverse range of climates and natural attractions to choose from. In recent years, Sri Lanka has been gaining a lot of attention from travelers as a tourist destination and in fact as a Digital Nomad hotspot. For many reasons, you should consider Sri Lanka as your next destination to work as a Digital Nomad.

1. The Nature

Something, every Digital Nomad seeks in common is the natural beauty that surrounds their destinations. Sri Lanka has this in abundance. Whether it is the chilly mountains in the central plains of Sri Lanka or the tropical beaches around the island you have so many options to choose from. Arugam Bay, Mirissa, Hikkaduwa, Pigeon Island, and Unawatuna all beach destinations in the
southern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka offer stunning beaches and opportunities to take a look at the divine marine life in the ocean. Surfing, rafting, diving all these adventures are close by at a very affordable rate. Sri Lanka is a small island, it is easy to access different climate spots within a few hours of drive. If you want to go for a hike or take a look at the wildlife you can go to Ella, Riverton, Sigiriya, the Horton Plains, and so many other places. The mountains of Sri Lanka offer stunning views from the mountains and you can observe elephants’ natural behavior leisurely.

2. Visa

Gaining a Visa is an important task to go to any country in the world. Digital Nomads are not an exception. In 2021 Sri Lanka brought forth a law to issue a special Digital Nomad visa for foreigners. Though it has not yet been implemented, it is soon to be. This will grant you 1 year visa to stay in Sri Lanka. Till it is issued, you can still apply for 1 month ETA. If you want to stay longer you can always apply for extensions. These extensions can be requested in 30 to 90 days 90 to 180 days or 180 to 270 days.

3. Tax-Free Policies

As Digital Nomads, When you work here in Sri Lanka you are able to work tax-free! According to the Sri Lankan taxation law, non-residents are exempted from tax unless their income is derived from Sri Lanka. This tax-free policy stands to effect for the entire period of stay in Sri Lanka, unlike many other digital nomad spots.

4. Low Living Costs

In a global context, Sri Lanka stands out as one of the cheapest countries to live in with a cost of living of $340 (SLR 110, 517) around 404 Euros without including rent. The Digital Nomad lifestyle is easy when the cost of living in a particular country is low. There Sri Lanka is a great spot to come and work remotely. This low cost of living lets you buy food, clothes, and amenities for a very low price in Sri Lanka. Which comes in very handy while living here.

5. Culture

Sri Lanka has a rich heritage of 2500 years of history and a culture enriched with years of impact. As I mentioned above Sri Lankan people are known for their good hospitality. Culture also consists of their food. One thing you will love about Sri Lanka is that it has any kind of food you need. Since it is a coastal country, Ceylon compasses of a huge seafood palate. You can access fresh seafood from anywhere in the country, especially the coastal towns. Sri Lankan food is inspired by South Asia and also heavily influenced by Western countries due to the colonization in the late eighteen hundreds. So whatever part you are from the world, you can be certain to find your comfort foods here in Sri Lanka or to try many new cuisines. So while working here in Sri Lanka you will need to worry less or none at all about your basic needs.

6. Health Care

While traveling for many younger crowds Health might not come as a priority. However, I cannot stress how important it is to have access to good health care in the country you will be living and working for a while. Sri Lanka has a GHS (Global Health Score) of 34.1. Which is pretty good, and Health care in Sri Lanka is not ridiculously expensive. Unlike, many countries Sri Lanka has a free health system available for their citizens. These facilities are available for foreigners and non-residents for a very low price as well.

7. Coworking Spaces

The commercial capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo, and several other main tourist spots, like Galle, Kandy, and Mirissa also offer Coworking spaces. These spaces will give you good accommodation to work in a nice office setting or in a more comfortable manner. These spaces offer Wi-Fi, Air conditioning, printing facilities, parking, utilities, backup generators, tea and coffee services, etc. These places accommodate your work and they are easily accessible for fair prices in the country. A simple Google search will get you these spaces in no time.

8. 4G

Lastly, another important factor is a stable internet connection. Sri Lanka has 5G internet connections available with an average speed of 32.45 Mbps which is quite suitable for digital nomads.

Sri Lanka stands out as a country with diverse attractions and natural beauty as well as a country that supports working remotely. With access to good food, health care at reasonable prices, and exemption from taxes, Sri Lanka is the best spot in South Asia to work as a Digital Nomad.



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