Many of our readers discover MoneyTransfers.com during the research phase of planning a trip or move overseas. For this reason, we write our expat guides with our readers in mind, providing as much useful information as possible on areas relating to not only finances – such as international money transfers and foreign exchange – but also practical advice relating to overseas adventures. Here we have carefully hand-picked 30 Asia travel blogs written by a string of worldly expats, in the hopes that they will prove insightful, educational and entertaining for our readers.
Asia is the largest continent on Earth, both in terms of size and population, and due to the vast diversity of the 48 countries within the continent, many travellers find it difficult to decide where to begin their journey. From tropical landscapes and awe-inspiring cities, to idyllic islands and postcard-perfect beaches; there are a million and one reasons Asia stands out as a popular destination for expatriates.
Regardless of whether you are travelling to Asia for reasons related to your professional or personal life, you won’t be alone: expats from all over the world decide to relocate to different parts of the continent for a range of reasons. We have compiled a list of the best Asia travel resources, produced by individuals with real expat experience, who have blogged along the way.
Heading to Asia is a rite of passage for many; whether it’s for 6 months travel or to relocate permanently, low-cost airlines make it easy to hop around the continent as you please. One particularly well-travelled route is the South-East Asian course of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. These nations are cheap and easy to travel around, and due to their interconnectedness, plenty of backpackers spend weeks exploring their cultural offerings. The following 4 blogs cover a whole host of Asian territories, making them a great source of research.
Born in the Philippines, Millette Pulido moved to the US as a child before returning to explore her South-East Asian roots as an adult, with stints living in Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea. Millette categorises her findings into series of helpful blog posts – Wanderlists, Cool Digs and Food Finds – as well as providing users the option to browse by country.
Chris left rural Australia over 10 years ago, and has been exploring different parts of the world ever since, forging his own brand of “ambitious travel.” This blog started out as an expat’s guide to teaching English in South Korea, and has blossomed into an extensive travel resource, recording Chris’ many adventures in Asia and beyond.
Having travelled to over 40 countries, Veronika’s blog has something for everyone, regardless of their expat ambitions. From backpacking around Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia, to venturing off the beaten path with trips to Taiwan and Sri Lanka, Veronika is an expert in the field of Asian adventures. This blog stands out for the sheer number of articles, some of which have been featured on some of the biggest travel and lifestyle sites such as Lonely Planet and The Huffington Post.
Kirsten moved across the world with her husband in 2013, where they relocated to Penang, Malaysia. Kirsten documents her adventures as an American in Asia, through her blog, Sand in My Curls. If you have itchy feet and are looking to move to Asia like Kirsten and her husband did, this website has everything you need from practical advice and learning about the realities of expat life, to recommended getaways and other must-see spots in South-East Asia.
It is nearly impossible to summarise Vietnam in a few sentences; a nation so innately unique it’s cultural footprint has spread to almost every corner of the globe. Every person and place in Vietnam: the home of phở, iced coffee and lots (and lots) of motorbikes. Expats often initially head to Vietnam to teach English as a foreign language, before choosing to stay there or extended period of time, or permanently. Culture vultures tend to flock to the bigger cities of Hanoi and Saigon, while island-hopping beach bums will be enticed by the peaceful palms of Mui Ne, Hoi An and Phú Quốc: From North to South, these blogs cover every Vietnamese clime.
This blog is penned by an expat who has lived all over the exciting Vietnamese city of Saigon (a.k.a. Ho Chi Minh City) for more than 10 years. Although its author chooses to remain for anonymous, Hello Saigon is extremely detailed, offering up knowledge on getting around Saigon and the rest of the country, visiting tourist hot spots such as Ha Long Bay, Da Lat and the Old Quarter of Hanoi, as well as insider intel about where to find the best iced coffees.
One of the most practical blogs on this list – albeit not the most aesthetically appealing – Saigon Nezumi dishes up sage advice on a range of important topics including the air quality in Saigon (which can come as a shock to newly expatriated residents) where to find Halal food, Vietnamese current affairs and motorcycle advice for novices.
Out of all the South-East Asian countries, Thailand frequently tops the list for the highest number of tourist arrivals; naturally, there is a huge expat community as a result. With mountains to the North and a smattering of breath-taking islands to the South, Thailand has universal appeal and draws in travellers of every kind: spiritual adventurers, dedicated thrill-seekers and ambitious sightseers, among the list. Due to the sheer size of the expat community in Thailand, we have decided to include 6 blogs in this section.
Although not technically a blog, this podcast is popular among expats in Thailand, and is a great resource for anyone thinking of moving to Bangkok. What began as a social venture hosted by friends who met through the expat community, the podcast is now in its fifth season. Hosts Ed and Greg discuss “the weird, wonderful, awful, interesting, and mystifying aspects of expat life in Bangkok,” including Thai culture, the language barrier and what to expect from all the major tourist attractions.
In 2008 Peter moved to Thailand, setting up on the small island of Koh Samui, for what he describes as “a life break.” 13 years later and Peter still lives in Thailand, although he is now based in Bangkok where he lives with his wife and daughter. His blog, The Thailand Life, shines a light on various aspects of life as an expat; from learning the language, to advice on dating and visas, Peter has got all subjects covered.
Shayan inherited itchy feet from his parents, who decided to move from Pakistan to Thailand when he was 10 years old. After 25 years Shayan remains in Thailand and writes great travel guides for other expats, published on his blog, Dose of Life. His blog includes hotel reviews, travel itineraries and detailed guides about places all over Thailand, as well as other countries in Asia.
Allan Wilson is a Brit living in Thailand with his native wife, FanFan. Together, the couple have created the online community, Live Less Ordinary. The blog is designed to serve as a lifestyle and travel resource for expats and travellers with plans to live in Asia. Topics covered by Allan and FanFan’s blog include their pick of the best street foods, road trip advice and traditional recipes; Thai pumpkin curry, anyone?
Married couple Rob and Diane, originally from the US and Canada, headed to Thailand in 2015, to enjoy an early retirement. After a few years living in Penang, Malaysia, the couple settled Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. Anyone who is considering moving to Asia when they retire can learn a great deal from Rob and Diane’s experiences; there is lots of helpful advice about receiving your pension abroad and acquiring retirement visas, as well as all the fun stuff like where to find the best food courts and attending (or participating in) a Muay Thai fight.
Written with expatriate readers in mind, this blog does exactly what it says on the tin. The author of this blog first visited Thailand in 1985 and has been blogging about his experiences in Asia since 2009. From motorbike rides to boat trips, Traveling 2 Thailand provides insight into the different ways expats can explore their new home, while imparting wisdom about the practicalities of relocating to a foreign country.
Nestled between Thailand and Vietnam, Cambodia is home to expats from all walks of life. Phnom Penh, the capital, is one of the most popular destinations for individuals headed to this South-East Asian country, along with Siem Reap, Koh Rong and Sihanoukville.
Creative writer and intrepid adventurer Lina Goldberg set up this website – a one-stop-shop for expats living and working in Cambodia – after moving to Cambodia from the United States in 2010. Since then, Lina has contributed articles about Cambodia to publications such as Vice, Lonely Planet and CNN.
Comparisons are often drawn between London, New York, Berlin and Singapore, the latter being the leading global business hub of the Asia-Pacific. Like the other cities, the cost of living in Singapore is high, making it one of the most expensive places to move to in South-East Asia. Further to this, due to the complicated nature of the city-state’s visa requirements, it is one of the harder SE Asian countries to relocate to, and the Singapore expat community is mostly made up of ambitious and open-minded young professionals.
The brainchild of Thuymi and Mitch, a couple who hail from Australia and Canada respectively, Adventure Faktory includes travel posts about every single continent on the planet. Having set up the blog in 2015, Thuymi and Mitch are the personification of Singapore’s young professional expat community. Over the last 6 years the blog has flourished, evolving into a massive online travel brand, complete with a giant social media following and thousands of subscribers. You can follow Adventure Faktory on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, as well as sign up for the monthly newsletter for expats who need to stay up to date with all things Singapore.
Founded by Honey, a doctor and lifestyle blogger originally from the Philippines, this website has one several awards for its useful insight into expat life in Singapore. Written primarily for a female readership, Honey pens blog posts about food, books and travel relating to Singapore and other Asian countries.
Many of the most famous Asian references in fact pay homage to Japan’s diverse culture. From big bowls of steaming ramen to perfectly uniform sushi rolls, huge sumo wrestlers to elegant geisha women, an array of stunning cherry blossom to the bright lights of Tokyo’s Shinjuku crossing, there is an infinite list of cultural phenomena to explore as a newly expatriated person in Japan.
Set up 25 years ago, Japan Guide is an online service founded by expats, for expats. As far as travel websites go, this is one of the most detail-oriented blogs we’ve come across. Under the Living in Japan section there is copious amounts of useful intel for every kind of expat: advice on finding an apartment, opening a bank account and food etiquette, plus information about the cost of living and different types of supermarkets.
Jasmine originally arrived in Japan on a Working Holiday Visa, working as an English teacher before seeking out a permanent job and full-time work visa. Her kitschy blog follows the culture of cuteness, popular across Japan, and is jam-packed full of insight into different Japanese regions and attractions, living, working and dating in Japan, as well as thorough run-throughs of visas available to prospective expats.
Although this blog is not the most aesthetically pleasing or user-friendly on the list, the author, Mr Wada, has written a number of articles specific to various Japanese regions and lifestyles. Past blog posts have provided information on how to attain Covid-19 financial relief, how to grow your own potatoes and how to catch wasps, in addition to advice on different types of Japanese pets, supermarkets and arts and entertainment.
This particular blog stands out thanks to its unique name. Inspired by the age-old marketing concept which pedals the belief consumers must interact with a brand at least 7 times before purchasing a product or service. Ken Seeroi decided to name his blog after this well-known marketing belief following several trips back and forth, resulting in his decision to stay permanently. Ken’s blog adopts a no-frills approach and the relatable tone of voice makes for easy-reading: a fantastic resource for newly initiated expats.
Indonesia, the world’s largest island country, can be found between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It consists of 17,508 islands and Bali, Lombok, Java and Sumatra are among the islands most popular with visitors, especially antipodean expats from Australia and New Zealand. Generally, people are drawn in by the tropical terrain of Indonesia’s coastal lowland which includes mountainous terrain, white beaches and vast rice fields, and relocate there for the more relaxed, outdoor lifestyle the nation has to offer.
Anyone headed to Bali or its surrounding islands should be sure to follow this blog. Started in 2009 as a way of helping foreigners with dreams to work and live in Bali, this website is full of brilliant guides for digital nomads, backpackers, families, business people and pensioners, complete with a community forum and local directory.
Karien, the author of this colourful travel site, identifies with the Arabic nomadic tribe of bedu, or bedouin, بَدَوِي so much so that she decided to name her blog after them. Having lived in Singapore for much of her adult life, Karien moved to Bali in 2019 and has written a series of first-hand accounts of expat life in Indonesia for her blog, Bedu Mama: much of this content will prove beneficial to anyone headed to the islands.
The coastal city of Hong Kong is a densely populated metropolitan area and major port of South China. Like Singapore, Hong Kong is a hub for global business ventures, as one of the most important international trade and finance centres in the world. Further to this, the city is known to attract expats thanks to the draws of its retail and tourism sectors.
Regularly updated and packed with information, A Deecoded Life is the best expat blog for anyone thinking of moving to Hong Kong. Dee -the charismatic author of this blog – posts a new article almost everyday, detailing her experiences of local restaurants, hair and beauty salons, hotels and resorts, along with other local products and services; all of which will come in handy for anyone headed to Hong Kong.
A peninsula country spanning over 3 million km², India is a gigantic nation with the third biggest population in the world: 1.3 billion (as of 2021). Expats headed here will experience a never-ending amount of natural beauty and quickly discover there is a lot more than meets the eye when living in this iconic part of the world.
This stylish blog has been created and maintained by Rachel Jones, a young woman from America who moved to Goa over 5 years ago. Rachel documents her expat life through blog posts and her regularly updated social media feeds; both of which have attracted thousands of like-minded followers. The Hippie in Heels blog has a lot of useful tips and advice about living in Goa, as well as general information about travelling around India.
Polish native, Renata, started her blog in 2017, after moving to India in 2013. Renata explores “expat motherhood” and “not-so-complicated countryside lifestyle” of an Indian village in her blog, No Problem in India. Ideal for eco-conscious expats, readers of this blog will find out about life on an Indian farm including advice for a natural and holistic lifestyle, home-schooling and sustainability.
Malaysia is an international hub bursting with multiculturalism and should certainly not be missed when travelling to the continent. Whether you are heading to the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, the foodie oasis of Penang or the island escape of Langkawi, this country is a melting pot of Chinese, Indian and Malay customs, and expats can expect to be welcomed with open arms.
There is plenty of content to get stuck into on the Happy Go KL blog: a fantastic resource for expat families visiting or living in Kuala Lumpur. Produced and written by a team of creative “Mamas”, articles ranging from things to do with kids, education and parenting, to reviews about food and travel destinations around Malaysia.
China is a force to be reckoned with: its size, population and GDP continues to grow at a rapid rate. It is no huge surprise, then, that millions of people choose to move to China to work and live, attracted to the hustle and bustle, work-life prospects and the pull of iconic Chinese culture. Although it is not the easiest country in Asia to relocate to, there are many great online resources which alleviate the stress for those with aspirations to lead an expatriate life there.
Finnish immigrant Sara has been living in Guangzhou, China since March 2010. Sara originally headed overseas to study but eventually became a permanent resident of China, after falling in love with a local and starting a family of her own. Sara now runs a foreign language centre called Expat Chinese, making her the perfect person to shed light on subjects such as learning the local language, travels around the country, national holidays and festivals, studying abroad and parenting in China.
Sapore di China is a group venture that boasts a huge back catalogue of articles about Chinese travel, visas and job opportunities, local tours, health insurance, learning the language and setting up a working VPN. The blog boasts an audience of approximately 250,000 monthly readers, all of whom receive a varied selection of regularly updated content including the Sapore di China newsletter as well as access to the official e-book, Travel to China. The website is available in Spanish and English, and welcomes expat contributors from all over the world.
In keeping with its straightforward title, this blog addresses common expat struggles, documenting one woman’s journey from Spain to China. Having lived in the country since 2006, Marta is an expert expatriate, with a massive amount of knowledge to share with her readers. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic Marta has posted updates on the situation in China, alongside her usual blog posts which include quirky observations as a foreigner living overseas.
South Korea, officially known as the Republic of Korea (ROK) is based in East Asia and shares a border with the heavily militarised North Korea. Best known for its capital city of Seoul, Korea is often singled out for its contributions in the realm of technological advancements, but expats will quickly discover the country also has a fascinating history as well as a wealth of natural beauty.
Created by full-time travel writer, Marie, who moved to Gyeongju, Korea in 2016 and has been living there ever since, Be Marie Korea is a worthwhile resource for any traveller. As a Belgian native, there are stark differences between Korea and Marie’s birthplace, making her the ideal narrator for an expat audience. This blog has specific travel advice about Seoul, Busan, Jeju, Incheon and Gyeongju, among reviews of coffee shops, Korean products and teaching English as a foreign language.
If you are moving to Korea – specifically, Seoul – Hallie Bradley is the expat you should fire your line of questioning towards. She has lived in Korea since 2006 and has poured her heart into her travel blog, as a way of helping other expats with the same dream. From planning your Korean adventure to exploring the sights and sounds of Seoul, Hallie has everything you need to become a fanatic of all things Korean, before you’re even landed on East Asian soil.
Choosing our Top 30 Asian Expat Blogs was no easy feat. We searched for specific criteria when compiling this list; focusing on websites that are regularly updated, employ accessible and interesting tone of voice, and high quality media. We believe these blogs will prove valuable to anyone hoping to gain insight into what life might be like as an expat in Asia, and provide useful information about how to prepare for the big move overseas.
April is a trained journalist and full-time content writer for MoneyTransfers.com, and over the last decade she has produced content for a range of online and print media. April has lived overseas in Canada and SE Asia, and hopes to see more of the world, with Japan at the top of her travel list. Having lived and worked abroad, April has first-hand experience as an expat sending money transfers and managing finances overseas. She particularly enjoys writing about forex trends and the future of banking.