After I tried working at home for days on end with very little social interaction, I decided to venture out and see where more communal places to work out of are.
Keep in mind that even with indoor places, some would still have mosquitoes so remember to bring some mosi spray with you. And your own water bottle wouldn’t hurt too!
Here are some of the places I’ve tried.
This place is absolutely gorgeous!
I have yet to see them open up their second floor, but their main floor is usually pretty full, so get there early.
I’ve never had their food before, but I had their brownie and it was quite delicious. I usually just stick with ordering a drink. It looks like they’re trying to revamp thier food menu right now.
After 4 hours you get kicked off of their wifi, so it forces you to buy another drink or a snack from them.
If you don’t have a scooter this might be a bit difficult for you to get to. It’s right beside CMU.
Recommended: Yes, only if you have a scooter or live close by.
Ombra Caffe / Pyur Otel Hostel
Oct 2019 Update:
They opened up a new branch (#3), which is about 30 steps away from where this one is. It’s a slightly bigger space but I’ve come to realize that ergonomics is very important to me.
Nowadays, I just work out of my apartment, because I got the set up exactly the way I want it. Unless I go to a proper coworking space.
Ombra opens early and closes late because it’s actually a part of the Pyur Otel Hostel.
It quickly became one of my go-to places after I was introduced to it.
Sometimes, they offer free desserts to their patrons and they always have free water. Their wifi is not timed, so you can literally just buy one thing and stay there for the whole entire day.
Please don’t be THAT cheap – at least get a few drinks, they work hard!
It’s not in a very popular area, so you can focus. I’ve been there so many times that I even have a favourite table.
I’ve only ordered a croissant and it late in the day so not freshly baked, but their drinks are pretty good.
Usually, I go to Ombra when I have an appointment at Ratika Clinic because I know I can just leave my stuff for an hour and come back to continue my work.
It’s pretty safe. I’ve never worried about my laptop being stolen – one time I left it there for 2 hours.
There are other food options for lunch or dinner close by if you don’t feel eating there.
MDL Organic Cafe
Relatively unknown, this place is really a gem!
And since I’m leaving Chiang Mai, I can now share it with you.
When I’m not venturing out to the Nimman area, and want to stay close to home, I’d go to MDL Organic Cafe.
I actually found this place during my first couple of weeks, but because all my friends kept going to Nimman I stopped coming here.
When I finally came back, they changed their layout and menu! It’s even better now.
It’s super spacious – you have couches and individual tables. It’s serene with water running and lots of green. They have AC, like most indoor places.
They have organic coffee – hot and cold brewed – and western food as well. A coconut was expensive for Santitham standards though – 50 baht! (I know where to get a fresh one for 20 baht)
Kit’ncaboodle - Closed 🙁
Oct 2019 Update: This place has shut down – too bad 🙁
Again, this place is super close to me – about a 5-minute walk.
I bought a membership at Kit’ncaboodle when they had their promo going on – it was a 16-session punch card package for around $40.
When I first came, I thought I needed to join a co-working space to meet people, but I quickly discovered that that isn’t true…at all.
So, I’m very happy but I didn’t have to use up those 16 days consecutively, because I went for the first week and then disappeared for two months before coming back to finish up my pass.
They have an abundant amount of free coffee, tea and water.
My only complaint is that the actual working space is quite small. It’s three floors. The first floor is open space, the second floor has two couches and a table, and the top floor (where most people work out of) can fit about 10 people.
Typically, there are around 6 or so people up there.
You’ll be bumping knees or playing footsies with your neighbour, but don’t worry they don’t bite. Everyone’s friendly and might even ask you to join them for lunch or dinner.
Sometimes, it got annoying when it’s stuffy or worse – smelly – and I wanted to turn on the AC, but someone else *ahem* Miguel *ahem* didn’t want to. It didn’t happen very often, so I guess it’s fine
They do organize socials once in a while – they have an action-learning group every week – but I’ve only been once.
Recommended? Yes, but only if you live in Santitham and don’t mind a smaller place.
I heard a lot about CAMP and was excited to try them out.
It’s great because of its location – on the same floor as the movie theatre inside Maya Mall – is opened 24 hours!
Just go up the elevator from the back of the mall (commercial loading zone)
How to say that I was disappointed because I thought the ergonomics was really bad and their drinks and food were overpriced and not tasty.
The Wi-Fi only lasts for a few hours and then you’ll have to buy something to get another passcode from the staff. I heard that a loophole around this is to connect to the AIS Wi-Fi network if your with mobile plan is with AIS.
They have meeting rooms and board rooms for you to rent out by the hour, and an outdoor section as well.
I’ve been twice and I probably wouldn’t go again.
Recommended? Only if you’re in Maya and can’t find a coffee shop to go to, or need to access a coworking space at 3am.
MANA Coworking Space
This is definitely the cheapest co-working place I have come across.
They charge you 25 bought per hour in the shared space up to a maximum of 130 baht ($4.33 USD) per day. There are also private or meeting rooms you can book and pay extra for.
The staff will come into the shared space to refill your free hot tea and ice water every 20 minutes or so.
If you’d like to, there are food and drinks you can purchase – I never did though.
I like this place because people in the shared space know to keep the peace and quiet – it’s a silent zone. And, sometimes, there’s a little kitty you can play with 🙂
Lots of options for food next door, there’s a 7-11 30 seconds away and Maya Mall is about a 7-minute walk north.
Recommended? Yes, I’d pick this place over CAMP inside Maya Mall any day!
ImmAim Vegetarian Cafe
They make their own organic chocolate. It smells amazing!
I bought a chocolate bar from them one time to try it out. It’s kind of pricey but it’s 70-80% pure cocoa and I watched them make and package it.
It tastes a bit sour, but that’s what real cocoa tastes like. The chocolate bars that we’re accustomed to eating back in North America – that’s all laced preservatives and sugar. Ditch that crap and go natural instead.
I found this place pretty early on after I settled in Santitham – actually, my trainer Coach K was the one who told me about it!
They have 2 floors filled with wooden tables and enough plugs.
I loved that whenever I get hungry, I can just go ahead put in an order and know that food is coming to me in the next 15 minutes.
They have free water and wifi is unlimited, but no AC – it’s an open layout. The only thing you got to watch out for are the mosquitoes.
If you’re like me, and you got a boney bum, you’d want to stack up on those seat cushions – I take at least 3 to sit on!
Fun Fact: This is actually where Vinh Ho from Expert Global Trade interviewed me for his YouTube channel.
Recommended? Yes, healthy food and unlimited wifi, but watch out for mosquitoes.
It’s a super cute place!
Ab’petite is under and part of a very affordable apartment building in Santitham.
3500 baht ($140 CAD) per month for a studio room – I haven’t checked it out myself but I’m sure it’s not too large.
It’s a bit small and there are only a few electrical plugs, so I’d recommend you get there early.
Like right when they open to snag yourself the best table.
Food is available there but quite Western – they have spaghetti, sandwiches, soup and some baked goods. Small portions and a little bit on the pricey side.
Recommended? Yes, but only for someone who lives in the area and doesn’t want to go too far to work for a few hours.
Punspace - Wiang Kaew (North Gate) Branch
This is a proper coworking space.
Punspace has 3 branches: Nimman, Tha Pae Gate & Wiang Kaew.
I heard of the one in Nimman first, but thought it was too overhyped so I never went. The one in Tha Pae gate is a bit too far and people tell me it’s not as welcoming. I’ve only heard good things about Wiang Kaew location.
It’s known as the social branch because you can actually talk to people here! There’s a talking space and a no-talking space.
I got a one day pass (289 baht = $9.63) to try it out, because it’s a bit far for me (a long ass 30 min walk under the desert sun).
The power got cut for a few hours and the backup generator wasn’t kicking in for some reason, and then a freak thunderstorm happened for hours.
I didn’t let that dampen my spirits though! I quite like their set up – talking vs quiet room, a lot of DCers (my peeps!) work of there, how ergonomic the chairs/desks were and the unlimited supply of tea/water and pineapple cookies.
I went there at 9am and stayed until 9pm – yeah, they don’t kick you out even when the staff goes home.
Recommended? Absolutely! I just wished it were closer to home…or that my own place wasn’t so comfortable to work out of!
Home Chiang Mai Hotel
This is a hotel lobby.
It’s very bright, spaceous, lots of natural light. I run my mastermind out of there.
Haven’t tried any of their food, so can’t comment on that. I usually get the tonic water (40 baht) – it’s not the cheapest, but it’s also $1, so I can’t complain.
They have 2 floors so you can spread out. Sometimes the plugs on the 2nd floor don’t work for some odd reason – perhaps, they turned the electricity off on purpose since it’s so bright up there.
That doesn’t help my laptop charge though…
Note: Don’t use the spiral stairs to go up – it’s broken
I’m sure there are a lot more really good coworking places that I haven’t been to yet.
So feel free to share your favourite places with me 🙂