This is a guest post brought to you by Shannon Ullman of Lives Abroad.
Digital nomads have taken over Chiang Mai. I don’t know if it’s official but it feels like it when every café has at least one guy grinding away on his laptop. It’s not surprising really, with WiFi from all angles and more cafes than Pad Thai restaurants. Much of the online workforce has set up shop in Chiang Mai, and here’s where to find them.
The Best Spots For Digital Nomads in Chiang Mai
It’s an unlikely spot for inspiration if you ask me, but CAMP is a top contender with the rest of the Chiang Mai coffee cafes. Located on the top floor of Maya shopping mall, this café/study space is filled with digital nomads. In fact, CAMP is so popular for working that digital nomads often have to fight the local students for a seat. So, what’s the big fuss about a workplace with the view of a cinema and rushed shoppers? Here is why the DN love it.
- Plenty of seating and outlets
- Private conference rooms for group meetings
- Fast WiFi
- Large community vibe
- Networking possibilities
- Central location
- The extremely affordable food court located on the bottom floor of the mall
- It’s open 24 hours
- It’s in a shopping mall
- It can get crowded with students and other DN
- If you are depending on their WiFi, you must buy something every 2 hours to keep using it
Not far from the Maya shopping mall is Kaweh. It doesn’t look like much from the outside and even from the coffee counter, it doesn’t seem too impressive. However, it opens up into multiple rooms that can’t be seen from the outside. Decorated to feel more like a living room than a coffee shop, working at Kaweh feels like being at home. Plus, for those who thrive on a little privacy, it gives you plenty of seclusion from the outside world to focus. Why else do people love it?
- It’s open 24 hours
- There is plenty of seating and outlets
- Centrally located
- The WiFi can get slow when the place fills up
- There is only one bathroom shared by a large crowd
Update (5/16): Kaweh is now permanently closed.
While it’s not an optimal work environment, true coffee lovers will turn Ristr8to into an office every once in a while. This place takes their coffee pretty seriously and for DN who want to treat themselves to a “cultured” cup while working, this café is the place. Let’s go over the benefits of working here.
- Strong and expertly made coffee
- A large selection of coffee and styles
- A social atmosphere
- Small amount of available workspace
- Busy with a lot of distractions
It’s not the easiest to find, making it typically free of tourists and outside distractions. Just as much a café as it is a restaurant, DN love Food4Thought because of its healthy menu featuring huge salads, wraps, and smoothies. The coffee lovers won’t miss out as the passionate barista Bay, makes a perfect cup. It has outdoor and indoor seating, a couple of cuddly cats roaming around and a backyard feel that is secluded, quiet and spacious. Why does the DN crowd love it?
- Plenty of work space
- A diverse menu for both food and drinks
- Friendly staff and fast service
- Fast WiFi
- Very little distraction
- It has more of a restaurant vibe than a café
- It is more expensive than other restaurants and cafes
- The location is a bit out of the way and it is best reached by motorbike
8 Days a Week
8 Days A Week is lesser known than the other cafes, most likely because of its location. While it’s still walking distance from the main expat stomping grounds, it takes a few side streets to reach. This spot has got the coffee part down as well as the seating and overall vibe. Choose an indoor or outdoor workspace and don’t be surprised by the inspiration you might feel from the décor. A vintage television and stand-up bass, there are quite a few oddities that make the place feel like a cozy hideaway. Here are the benefits of this workspace.
- Versatile seating
- Inspirational atmosphere
- Typically un-crowded
- Secluded location
- Not very convenient to get to
- The more comfortable seating is limited
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