Where to Work in Chiang Mai: Cafes & Coworking Spaces (with Video)
Throughout my time living in Chiang Mai (a total of 6 months by year end), I've tried to compile the ultimate list of coworking spaces and working cafes for digital nomads. However, as I polled the community and the suggestions flooded in, I soon realised that this would be an almost impossible task.
With amazing internet and the world's largest digital nomad population, the community of online freelancers and entrepreneurs spread themselves to all parts of the city, working either from home or at one of the hundreds of laptop-friendly cafes and coworking spaces.
My first attempt at creating an all inclusive video was entitled 'Where to Work in Chiang Mai: Cafes & Coworking Spaces'.
April 2016 Update - Unfortunately, Kaweh Coffee is now permanently closed.
Within the video, I featured the most popular coworking spaces in the city as well as a few 24hr cafes in Nimman.
I made note at the end of the video that I would make a blog post with a more comprehensive list but given the amount of spaces where nomads were working in Chiang Mai, I decided to focus on quality instead of quantity.
Near Thapae Gate on the City's West Side | Up-Market Cafe Prices
Overstand is a cafe that is often overlooked by nomads as it's situated away from Nimman in the area surrounding Tha Pae Gate. It's a cafe run by a expat digital entrepreneur who prides the cafe on super fast Wi-Fi speeds but what lets the space down is the ergonomics.
I would highly recommend Overstand for Coffee and Breakfast as the name suggests but for work, I'd personally only feel comfortable spending a few hours there just due to the ergonomics.
Hours: 8am to 3pm each day except Tuesday
Noise Level: Generally quite quiet for a cafe
Ergonomics: Poor. High stools, sitting against the wall and a couch
WiFi Speed: I forgot to do a speed test but here is what the owner Rodney says:
Nimmana Haeminda Rd Lane 13 | 99 baht per day, 19 baht per hour, Espresso Coffee: 40 baht
Mana is a small, quiet and inexpensive place to work. The value at Mana is undeniable. For an extra 20 baht you have an espresso added to your day pass which by itself reserves you a seat for the entire day.
Mana is also probably the only coworking space in Chiang Mai to offer table service (or perhaps better described as desk service). At Mana, you will receive a free water and tea which the staff will replenish throughout the day.
Hours: 9:30am to 10pm Mon-Fri, Sun: 9:30am to 7pm
Noise Level: Quiet
Ergonomics: Very good
Nimmana Haeminda Rd Lane 9 | 75 baht for a standard espresso coffee
Jan 2017 Update - Unfortunately, 9th Street Cafe has permanently closed it's doors. As an alternative, I would recommend Art Roastery Coffee & Eatery, a short walk from where 9th Street was located.
9th Street is a great place to work for those who love cafes. That might sound like a bit of an obvious statement but what I mean is that is very much a cafe environment. The coffee is what makes the space special, not so much the ergonomics.
9th Street is a cafe that is well setup for digital nomads with plenty of seating and power points to charge your devices.
Hours: 7am to 5pm everyday
Noise Level: Music can be a bit loud and mainstream but the clientele are usually quiet
Ergonomics: Standard cafe setup. Seat backs but nothing close to office chairs.
5th Floor of MAYA Mall, Huay Kaew Road | 80 to 150 baht for coffee, food and drink
CAMP is best described as somewhere between a cafe and a coworking space. It's popular with both local people and digital nomads and famous for high-speed super AIS internet speeds.
A truly unique space, most people I find either hate it or love it. I can understand its appeal but personally, I find it too busy and unpredictable.
Noise Level: Constant amount of chatter due to the huge size of the space and number of people working there
Ergonomics: Ridiculous amount of seating options but most aren't very ergonomic at all.
Ratchaphuek alley, just off Huay Kaew Road | Breakfast: 125 baht (no longer served with coffee), 40-50 baht for a cup of Coffee
Ombra is somewhat of a hidden gem. In fact, I think I've made a few enemies by promoting the space as it's no longer their little secret - sorry!
I find Ombra a comfortable and relaxed environment and enjoy working there on the weekends for a change of scenery. The decor is very crowded but provides a good feel, the lighting is soft and the staff are super accommodating. Ombra is definitely one of my favourites.
Hours: 8am to 10pm daily
Noise Level: Good. Little bit of quiet chatter and super chill music
Ergonomics: Surprisingly good with many options from couches to comfortable chairs with cushions
So there you have it. It's not the most comprehensive list but I hope it's a good bunch to get you started or to just give you a few more ideas.
Unlike most other places in the world, these 5 spaces only scratch the surface of cafes and coworking spaces to uncover in Chiang Mai. My suggestion is to roam around and discover your own favourite place to work. After all, not everyone wants to work in a coworking space, right?
Until next time,