I’ve been living in Nimman, Chiang Mai for the past 3 months with the sole focus of setting up my yoga business Eka Bhumi Yoga and I’ve been to many (many) cafés around Chiang Mai. We tend to stick to the ones in the Nimman and surrounding area as opposed to the Old City because they are usually more spacious and less busy.
My criteria for a good cafe to work in is:
- Air Conditioned
- Ergonomic chair to table height ratio (not just coffee tables and couches).
- Not too loud with good air quality (not like The Camp in Maya Mall which is always packed with digital nomads and students and smells a little stuffy).
These are my top 5 favourite ones to work from:
Opens at: 10:00 AM – 1:00 AM
WiFi: Strong in the mornings before the university students start to arrive at lunch time
Price of an Americano/cappuccino : 45/60
Coffee tastes : Decent
I love this place. It was built by a few architecture students as a final project and it is truly beautiful and inspiring.
Maybe because I’m sitting in such beautiful surroundings with natural lighting or its indie music they play here, but I found myself doing some of my best design work here. Like attracts like.
A lot of love, passion and thought went into the creation of this place and it has great vibes.
They offer a simple food menu (around 89 baht/dish) and the portions although small are very tasty.
Opens at: 7 AM – 8 PM
WiFi: Medium-Strong, depends on how busy it is
Price of an Americano/cappuccino : 65/65
Coffee tastes : a little on the strong bitter side which I like 🙂
Wawee coffee is a coffee chain in Thailand and boasts many locations in the country and about 10 in the Chiang Mai area itself. The one I like and where this article was written is this location.
We love this place because it’s opened early while most cafés open around 10. So it’s perfect for an early bird like me. It’s also set in a little boutique shop complex and has a 7-11 close by.
Opens at: 8:30 AM – 10 PM
Price of an Americano/cappuccino : 70/95
Coffee tastes : Good – western, farm to table style
This place has great coffee and WiFi, but be warned that they charge western prices – we always end up spending way too much money here.We like to camp out in the back separate air-conditioned section of the place where there are large tables and it’s quieter, but the usually close this section off by 2PM.
If you’re craving some farm to table type of food, this is the place for you.
Opens at : 8.30 AM till late
WiFi : Always strong because it’s usually empty.
Price of an Americano/cappuccino : 65/75 (50/60 on special at time of writing).
Coffee taste : Depends on the barista, the guy in the morning is a really good barista and then the coffee is
shit not as good after he leaves.
Finally, I need to mention this place because it is completely off the radar due to its misleading name.I spent many, many hours working here because the place is modern, spacious and open (a little quirky Thai style decor here and there) but it was usually quiet with no customers and thus the WiFi was amazing.
Sometimes the staff play the music a little loud but you can tell them to turn it down a little.
You also get a loyalty card and stamps for every coffee and food dish ordered which is really nice touch. The food available here is local Thai and costs about 40 baht for the typical Stir Fried Basil Dish, 10 baht more for a fried egg. 65 baht big bottles of Chang are also nice way to end the work day.
Opens at: 11AM – 8PM (closed on Tuesdays)
WiFi: Medium, can be patchy in the afternoons
Price of an Americano/cappuccino : 40/55
Coffee tastes : Drinkable
Popular with Japanese expats (they also offer menus in Japanese), Ab Petite is a cutesy cafe that is spacious and reasonable. Best to work on articles here for a few hours. They also serve food at reasonable prices.
Although working from my apartment is do-able and cheaper…I know myself. And if I’m left to my devices in my apartment, I tend to procrastinate more, watch movies or paint my nails.
So going to a cafe forces me to put 4 hours aside for pure productiveness, then I usually go for food. And then rinse and repeat.
Happy working everyone!
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Worthy Mentions that Didn’t Make the Cut
This didn’t make my list because it didn’t match my criteria of needing to be air-conditioned, but it’s really nice to work here in the mornings and on cooler days. Large tables and clean minimalist surroundings allow for a good flow of chi, ideas and work to be done in this space. There is always a western manager around keeping an eye on things and they give you a loyalty card for coffee as well. Coffee prices are 65 for Americano or cappuccino.
This cafe is hidden near the foothills of Doi Suthep and doesn’t have that much of a working area but the grounds are really unique and relaxing. Look, so pretty!