Relocating to Asia – A Guide to the Cost of Living
19 Apr 2023
When the recent COVID-19 pandemic hit, it affected every country in the world and triggered one of the most challenging health crises and economic downturns we’ve seen in a long time.
Yet, despite the global pandemic, Asia remains resilient, as doors of opportunity continue to open up in various industries. Over the past few decades, Asia has been recognized as one of the world’s best places to do business, and it remains among the top choices for business investors.
Asia’s accelerated economic growth and stability have led many people to consider the continent as their next opportunity to expand their business or career abroad. If you’re looking to move to a country in Asia or have accepted a new position that involves relocating to Asia. In that case, chances are you’re concerned about the best way to navigate culture shock in work etiquette, cuisine, or simply the cost of living.
That’s why in this article, we’ll break down the true cost of living in Asia and how much you can expect to spend in various countries, including how much food, rent, and transportation may cost you. We’ll also provide tips on how to set up your new life in Asia easily.
What Is the Average Salary in Asia?
If you’ve been offered a new job in Asia or are currently looking to relocate here, you’ll find that the average salary is significantly lower than in North America or Europe. Let’s take a look at the average monthly salary in some Asian countries, according to Numbeo, before explaining the cost of living.
Average Monthlu Net Salary (After Tax in USD)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Hong kong, Hong kong
Seoul, South Korea
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Kawait City, Kawait
New Taipei City, Taiwan
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Chang Mai, Thailand
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Quezon City, Philippines
Asian Tigers has office in the places labeled in orange.
What Is the Cost of Living in Asia?
Asia is known as one of the cheapest places you can live, and while that assumption is mostly true, not every Asian country has a low living cost. In fact, in some Asian countries, rent is about the same as in Europe or North America.
Before we get into the different cost of living indices in Asia, let’s break down exactly what each index refers to, according to Numbeo:
- Cost of Living Index is a relative indicator of consumer goods prices, including groceries, restaurants, transportation, and utilities. The Cost of Living Index doesn’t include accommodation expenses like rent or mortgage.
- Rent Index is an estimation of prices of renting apartments in a city compared to New York City.
- Groceries Index is an estimation of grocery prices in a city compared to New York City. To calculate this section, Numbeo uses weights of items in the “Markets” section for each city.
- Restaurants Index is a comparison of prices of meals and drinks in restaurants and bars compared to NYC.
- Local Purchasing Power shows relative purchasing power in buying goods and services in a given city for the average net salary in that city.
Cost of Living index
Restaurant Price Index
Local Purchasing Power Index
Why Are Some Asian Countries More Expensive Than Others?
Asia is one of the most culturally diverse and economically advanced continents in the world, so it’s no surprise that many people are choosing to live and build their careers in Asian countries. However, this diversity isn’t just found in the continent’s abundant nationalities; the living expenses among countries also vary greatly.
As home to over two-thirds of the world’s population, Asia has five of the most expensive countries you can live in, which are Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, South Korea, and Singapore, according to ECA International’s annual survey of the most expensive living costs across major international cities.
Let’s take a look at what makes each country’s cost of living so high:
Hong Kong has one of the highest costs for real estate in the world due to its limited space for development. With its low supply of living space and increasingly high demand for it, Hong Kong’s real estate prices show no signs of decreasing. However, the average salary is relatively high, so it may be possible to balance out the cost of living.
Since Japan is one of the most densely populated cities in the world the cost of living is incredibly high Just like Hong Kong, people working in Japan are generally paid more than in other Asian countries, which helps offset the high cost of rent and real estate. However, Japan has a very efficient public transport system and other services that can help you save on costs when living there.
Singapore is notorious for being one of the most expensive countries to live in, for a few different reasons. First and foremost, land is scarce in Singapore, and with a growing population, the lack of space has led to incredible cost issues. It also has few natural resources, so the country depends on importing goods from other countries.
Despite being some of the most expensive places to live in Asia, these places continue to attract people of all ages and backgrounds thanks to their high quality of life, great work opportunities, excellent infrastructure, and close proximity to other Asian countries.
The Art of a Smooth Move: Why You Should Consider Consulting a Moving Expert
Moving anywhere, whether domestically or internationally, can be as stressful as it is life-altering. The hassle of relocating can often take a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional health-not to mention that it is often a financial risk in the beginning.
There are many ways to save money when you first move to a different country, including:
- Choosing your destination
- Scoping out local places
- Spending money wisely when going out
However, getting help or consultation from a moving expert is definitely the best way to go. A moving expert can provide you with all sorts of help, from packing your belongings and picking the right transportation options to insurance and unpacking your belongings in your new home.
Here are a few more reasons why getting help from a professional mover like Asian Tigers can benefit you:
1. Enjoy peace of mind amid the chaos
When you work with a professional moving company, you avoid most of the anxiety and stress surrounding your move. At Asian Tigers, the safety of your goods and belongings is our absolute priority, and our teams are well-trained to take care of your belongings from start to finish, making sure the whole process is smooth and enjoyable.
Our staff at Asian Tigers is trained and experienced in both domestic and international moves and knows everything that needs to be known in your new relocation destination. This includes complicated regulations, rules, and international customs that can be an obstacle when trying to move yourself.
2. Fast & efficient moving
If you don’t have enough experience relocating you and your belongings to a different country, especially on a different continent, a professional moving company will help you stick to an efficient and fast moving schedule so you stay on top of everything without stressing out.
Asian Tigers is experienced in packing goods to be shipped, whether by air, land, or sea. We pay attention to every detail to mitigate any damage or mistakes made during transit to ensure you avoid any additional costs or damages to your belongings during transit.
3. Avoid physically straining yourself
Moving kitchen appliances and small decorative items might be easy to do yourself, but what happens when some of the household items you need to relocate require careful attention in how they are handled? And what happens when you have to move a heavy piece of furniture? Doing all the heavy lifting yourself can put a significant amount of strain and stress on your health.
When working with a moving company, you’ll get access to professional staff who will help you understand the risks and requirements to better assist you in your moving needs. Leave your belongings in the hands of an expert. Our qualified staff at Asian Tigers will manage the entire overseas moving process, including completing the necessary procedures for customs clearances.
4. Cost-efficient choice
At first glance, moving your own belongings yourself can seem like the most cost-effective option. If you know someone in the country you’re moving to, it can definitely make the move a lot easier. However, you need to consider that costs will add up when you don’t use a moving expert.
A few major costs to consider include the cost of packing blankets and storage boxes, time taken off work to pack and secure your belongings, and the risk of damage and injury while moving, which can also be costly. Without the proper training and equipment, you risk not only piling up on bills but also suffering a personal injury, which will make your move even more stressful.
With over 45 years of experience in helping people move across the globe, Asian Tigers has the expertise and network of partners to manage every aspect of your move, making the process smoother, easier, and more efficient.
Tell us about your move and receive free moving quotes to help you compare, select, and save money in the process.
The Importance of Understanding & Respecting Different Cultures
Cultures vary from country to country. In our world, if we’re all able to learn about and understand more about other cultures and respect others’ values and beliefs, we can foster better relationships and build a better understanding of one another. The bottom line is to treat everyone with respect and accept that other people may define “respect” differently.
If you’re looking to relocate, whether internationally or domestic, or you simply want to relocate your business, Asian Tigers has end-to-end services to support every aspect of your move to make this huge step easier and more efficient for you. If you’re looking for experienced staff to handle your valuable possessions, offer protection and security for your items, and more, we’ve got you covered.
Simply contact us and tell us about your move to receive free moving quotes to help you compare, select, and save money in the process.