Chiang Mai Accommodation - My quick guide for Digital Nomads
What's the [best] way to get apartments in Chiang Mai these days? (asked by msavin on #nomads)
This question keeps coming on the #chiang-mai channel of #nomads and the response is generally the same. Here is my experience and what I have heard from other nomads:
How to find a monthly rental in Chiang Mai
The general consensus on #nomads is to book a short stay somewhere close by to where you're thinking of living and just shop around when you get there. This was the same advice I received from my friend Dylan Wolff who advised me to...
"... [book] somewhere cheap for your first night and then look for something for the rest of the month once you're on the ground as it's usually cheaper than booking in advance"
When I arrived in Chiang Mai, it made sense. Most of the rentals in Chiang Mai have poor websites that are either lacking in photos or English however if you go check out the places when you're there, you'll know exactly what you're getting.
I didn't actually follow the advice of #nomads and booked our monthly stay in advance as the fear of not finding anything was constantly in our minds. It ended up working well for us but it turned out unnecessary. The nomads were right! New accommodation is popping up all the time in Chiang Mai so you won't likely miss out unless your budget is really low.
If you must however, simply start your google search or check out this article by Chris Grabinski called "Chiang Mai Apartments under THB10000 for Digital Nomads"
Which area should I stay in Chiang Mai?
The good thing about Chiang Mai is that it is relatively small and you can drive from one side of the metro area to the other in under half an hour. That being said, for Digital Nomads, I would highly recommend the Nimman area.
The nimman area sits just above Chiang Mai University and is home to a plethora of coffee shops, restaurants and bars. The amount the cafes that offer high-speed internet are numerous and some don't even close. Nimman is also home to the shopping mall Maya and the famous coworking space Punspace (although they've now built another one near Thapae Gate). Many of the Nomad meetup groups generally host their events around Nimman as this is where a lot of other nomads live.
We love staying in Nimman because we don't have bikes and like to walk everywhere but if you own a bike, maybe you'd like to stay somewhere else. Around Thapae Gate is also a good area. Punspace's second branch is near Thapae as well as a bunch of restaurants and nightlife. One thing about this area is that it's also more touristy so expect to see the occasional backpacker or holiday maker.
I hope this helps some of you out.
Until next time,