I heard about co-working spaces before – but it wasn’t something I was familiar with – somehow in my parts of the world, co-working spaces are usually reserved for business men and not for the average student or digital nomad. So, when I travelled to Chiang Mai, I was intrigued about the infamous Chiang Mai coffee culture and the many co-working spaces everyone was raving about. I desperately had to catch up on some work and I would get myself into a routine and frequent these spaces every day – which is pretty much what I did for a week…
At first I was completely overwhelmed with all the options – it’s true what they say – there is a cafe in every corner – especially at Nimman road (where also most of the co-working spaces are situated). Then, I found myself on a quest to find the perfect co-working space and visited…well..pretty much all of them. I have a night-creative brain, and when I work on my blog I usually tend to fall into a routine where I sleep a bit longer but work until the early morning hours.
During my two weeks in Chiang Mai, I cycled from Night Bazaar, where my apartment was situated, to Nimman Road every day. I usually would cycle back home anything between 2am – 4am. So an important criteria for me was to work at a co-working space which was open 24 hours (not so easy to find and two listed here are not 24/7 co-working spaces, but I still included them as I liked a lot about them). The spaces also had to have a good atmosphere. Good drinks. And, most importantly, spur my creativity.
These are my 5 favourite co-working spaces in Chiang Mai
The name suggests it – it is a library that serves barista style coffee. Enter the beautiful yard and order a delicious coffee or green tea latte and plonk yourself in either the study area or in the library on the other side. If you prefer some quietness when you work, the library is perfect for you – but if you fancy some music in the background, just wander over to the other side. It’s a relatively quiet co-working space, bright and spacious and set in the green with a lot of glass to daydream – perfect to spur your creativity.
What I like about it: good atmosphere, delicious coffee creations & cakes (also sell Moevenpick ice-cream), comfy work spaces and many books in English language if that is all you want to come for.
What I don’t like: not enough plugs for laptops (making it one of the less popular co-working spaces), closes early at 8pm.
Address: 16/2 Nimmanhaemin, Soi 5
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun, 10h00 – 20h00
2) Marble Arch
Again, the clue lies in the name. If you are from England and feel homesick, make sure to visit Marble Arch – from Tube sign to Queen’s guard statue, and super funky furniture – you are sure to be transported to London the moment you step through the door. It is a relatively new co-working space and everything feels like it’s still brand new. They have a huge selection of drinks (the most extensive list from all co-working spaces I visited) which is a huge bonus as you tend to get a bit bored with some of the cafe’s selections if you end up going to the same one every day.
What I like about it: beautiful interior design, good drinks selection, many plugs
What I don’t like: not open for 24 hours. Drinks a bit more expensive.
Address: 12 / 6-7 Nimmanhaemin Soi 9
Opening Hours: daily 9am-10pm
Hmmm…I have mixed feelings about Camp. It was the first co-working space I visited in Chiang Mai and first I thought I liked it, then I frequented others and I kind of fell out of love with Camp a little bit. The reason I’m listing it here, is that the place has a huge advantage to all the others: it is in a shopping mall with a cinema attached to it. So, when I got fed up with typing, I would wander down to Level -1, eat a cheap meal, go back up again, work, and then reward myself with a movie at the end of the day, and sometimes even go back in to the space and continue working. There is something about Camp. I think you either love it or you hate it.
What I like about it: very modern, loads of spaces, lods of plugs, yummy drinks & cakes, possibility to eat restaurant-type food too, in a shopping mall, open 24 hours
What I don’t like: big and impersonal, very busy, Internet connection a bit flaky at times, you need to buy a drink every two hours in order to use the WIFI
Address: 5th Maya Mall, Corner of Huay Kaew Road and Super Highway
Opening Hours: 24 hours
4) Wake up!
Wake up is my second favourite (after Kaweh cafe). It has incredibly cozy working areas, plenty of plugs and really good coffee and cakes too. The Internet can be a bit temperamental at times but way better than what I experienced at CAMP. It’s open 24 hours and if you are hungry, just pop next door to the subway (you can eat the sandwiches at your desk), or chose one of the incredibly delicious cakes from the display downstairs. With 1 drink purchase you get 4 hours worth of Internet (double the allowance than Camp offers). A really cool space which I highly recommend.
What I like about it: open 24 hours, cosy set-up, cool student crowd (everyone studies until early in the morning), tons of plugs, fantastic cakes, in-built Subway
What I don’t like: Internet can be a bit intermittent sometimes
Address: 30/1-3 Nimmana Haeminda Rd
Opening Hours: 24 hours
5) Kaweh Cafe
Ah…Kaweh…you are my absolute favourite! This is the cafe I spent the most time in and I’m completely besotted with it. I love the interior (bold colours…yes please), the atmosphere is really relaxed, it is spacious, the drinks are so good (and the cakes too). There are different rooms within Kaweh, so you can always find a little spot where you have your privacy. The music in the background spurs your creative thinking, the Internet is fast and reliable. Honestly, it’s a dream to work in this space. The only negative comment I have about it, though, is that it is a bit dark at night. It’s not overly well lit and the dimmed lights made me sleepy at times. Other than that…Kaweh…you rock!
What I like about it: Beautiful artsy space with lovely interior, good music, open 24 hours, fast Internet, no rules on how many drinks you need to purchase to use the internet
What I don’t like: dimmed lights could make you sleepy
Address: 64 Siri Mangkalajarn Rd Lane 9
Opening Hours: 24 hours
What is your favourite co-working space in Chiang Mai? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.