Where should we go as a family? Manila, Cebu or Bangkok?

Hi all,

I am looking to get some advice from the collective on where to set up a temporary base for 4-6 weeks in either BKK, Cebu or Manila.

I’m looking to spend 4-6 weeks somewhere with my wife and 3-month-old boy as a trial run on being a little more nomadic in work / life balance. In the months leading up to the birth of my son, my work situation become a lot more flexible. So, although I am doing all my work from my home-base, I really am not tied to being here for any other reason than it is where I am at present.

I am keen to spend a few years slow travelling with my family while working as a DM. My wife is open / curious about this but needs a little more experience and convincing, hence a trial run somewhere.

Why these cities?

My wife is a Philippino-Australian so we have family and familiarity with Manila and the Philippines (although neither of us have been to Cebu).

BKK I have been too several times in the last couple of years - we both like the city and have a few contacts there.


  • Relatively safe
  • Not too remote - for hospitals etc w/ a young child
  • A house / condo / decent apartment at a good cost
  • Possibility to hire assistance / nanny
  • As relatively low cost as possible
  • Reliable and as fast as possible internet access

I currently spend time mentor at some of the accelerators schemes in Australia - so I’ll be interested to also explore and network the startup / entrepreneur and nomad communities while I am there. As well as having potential conversations around hiring local staff, either as remote workers or if I come back to open up a business.

By way of a little background, I have a history in digital marketing, internet marketing startup consultancy, mentorship and business advisory services.

Based on the above - which location would you recommend that best fits the criteria? any recommendations on property rental? tips or advice for DCers on the ground?

I’m in BKK for DNX in a couple of weeks if anyone is attending and/or interested in meeting up for a coffee or talking further.



Hey Jon!

I’m only really familiar with Bangkok, it’s a great city with everything you are looking for. Every time I’ve been in the Philippines (Palawan and Boracay), the internet was a real challenge.

I’ll also be at DNX next month with my wife so would be great to meet up.


Hi Robert

Thanks for the reply - that is one major concern with the Philippines, the internet is generally not up to it.

Meeting up at DNX sounds good - i’ll ping you PM now.


I was in Cebu 3 weeks ago. Bangkok is so much better in every way. The infrastructure in Thailand is much more developed.

Bangkok Internet: 20mbps
Philippines Internet: 2.5mpbs. Can’t even really watch YouTube.

I went from Chiang Mai to Cebu. Stayed in Cebu 5 days, didn’t like it at all, and went to Bangkok.

Sounds like you are already familiar with Bangkok. The only thing that would be in Cebu for you would be family. There are no other advantages to going to Cebu. I would avoid Cebu.

Definiitly not Manila. Prices are ridiculous high if you´re Makati area of Manila compared to other cities in SEA. The internet is really spotty. Terrible traffic. Also not really the safest city.

We loved in Bkk with our family and it was good apart from the oppressive heat!

There are tons of kids play groups, look on the BAMBI website.

Just make sure you get a condo with a good pool and garden for the kids and socializing.

EKAMAI gardens is a great condo in a pretty good location.

I’d go for Bangkok or Southern Thailand. Cultural experiences in BKK, then a laid back time in either Phuket or Koh Samui. I’m a backpacker who ended up becoming a digital nomad and I often use the ferry booking agent PhuketFerry as they have the cheapest prices and love their incredible customer support, so exploring these islands and trying to find the best spot for you and your fam will surely be a breeze. Both Phuket and Koh Samui have really reliable Internet too. Samui is much more relaxed though. I won’t mind working in front of the beach!