The Best And Worst Cities For Expats In Asia

Living overseas can be a life changing experience. Every year, millions of people decide to leave their home country in search of better job opportunities, a higher quality of life and to seek adventure. Whether you are moving to advance your career, are wanting to retire overseas or looking for a bit of excitement, the city you choose will have a significant impact on your experience. 

When choosing where to relocate to, you’ll likely have your own specific criteria based on your reasons for moving. But, when it comes to ranking the best and worst cities for expats in Asia, we’ve used a basic checklist.

For this list, we’ve determined the best and the worst by their:

  • Affordability
  • Healthcare
  • Culture & society
  • Safety

The Best Cities For Expats

If you are looking to relocate, these cities are at the top of our list! Ranking highly in our criteria, we consider the following cities as the cream of the crop. They are also extremely popular with existing expat communities. 

1. Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei has claimed the coveted title of Best City in the Expat City Ranking 2019 by InterNations. Recognised for its overall high quality of life, Taipei ranks highly when it comes to affordability, healthcare and culture. From the night markets to the historical sites and spiritual temples, Taipei offers endless excitement and entertainment. 


2. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

Kuala Lumpur (KL) is popular among expats for its affordability and great food. Speaking English is an advantage, especially when it comes to the job market. The light rail lines provide excellent public transport and taxis remain readily available and affordable. The warm weather and family oriented lifestyle is also incredibly appealing to expats. If you’re thinking about moving to KL, check out our Allied Malaysia Kuala Lumpur moving services

kuala lumpur

3. Singapore 

When it comes to safety, there’s no better city than Singapore. The excellent healthcare and high quality of education makes Singapore an ideal choice for families. The growing community of expats means it’s easy to settle right in and make friends. However, Singapore ranks low on affordability. Compared to the other two top cities, the cost of living is regarded as expensive. If you are looking to move to Singapore get in contact with the Allied Singapore team!

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The Worst Cities For Expats

When it comes to finding a new city to live in, these are the ones which rank the lowest on our criteria. However, many find the following cities an absolute joy to live in! The expensive cost of living, lack of accommodation options and bad traffic are the reasons why they’ve fallen to the bottom of our list. 

1. Yangon, Myanmar

While there are plenty of upsides living in Yangon, the expensive accommodation, horrific traffic and power shortages means we don’t recommend it. In some parts of Yangon, you can expect to pay New York City prices for a small and rundown apartment. The low quality of the roads and the taxis’ dangerous approach to driving makes it difficult to navigate Yangon without risk of incident. As Myanmar is a developing country, essential services such as healthcare and electricity tend to be of poorer quality and are often unreliable. 


2. Tokyo, Japan

There is no doubt that Tokyo is an excellent place to visit, however it’s listed towards the bottom for our recommended cities. Expats find the culture shock of Japan rather jarring at first. Japanese can be tricky to master and it can take some time to make friends with locals. Moving for work? Don’t expect a 9-5 work day, the intensive working culture is deeply embedded and can take some time to adjust to. Tokyo also ranks low on our list as good accommodation does not come cheap and the city is considered one of the most expensive in the world. 


3. Manila, Philippines

The rental market is fiercely competitive in Manila. You’ll also need to have patience when it comes to travelling around the city. The notorious traffic means it's best to avoid the roads during peak hours. Schooling and education in Manila tends to be a mixed bag, the public schools are often avoided by expats due to overcrowding and lack of proper facilities. 


Looking to Relocate To Asia?

Are you excited to move to one of the recommended cities or brave enough to take a gamble on the unknown? Wherever you’re moving, Allied can make your relocation overseas easy and efficient. With our expansive global network and professionally trained removalists, you can trust Allied. Contact us today!