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Laptops + Coffee Shops  // My Top Coffee Shop Picks for Digital Nomads Working Remotely in Chiang Mai, Thailand

 

Laptops + Coffee Shops  // My Top Coffee Shop Picks for Digital Nomads Working Remotely in Chiang Mai, Thailand

After six months in this incredible city, I've pulled out my laptop to work in a fair number of Chiang Mai cafes and coffee shops. I decided to share my favorites, ranked in terms of the things that matter most to us digital nomads: internet speed, comfort, price, ambiance, and (of course) air conditioning.

Disclaimer: I live in Nimmanhaemin, so am biased towards this area. However, I do venture out of my Nimman bubble from time to time and have found some incredible places to work throughout The Old City, Mountainside, Santitham, Riverside, and elsewhere. I've taken the full gamut into consideration for this breakdown.

 

 

No. 1  // Ombra

Ombra

Ombra

Ombra

Ombra

Ombra

Ombra

Ombra

Ombra

Ombra

Ombra

Ombra

Address: Chang Phueak, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50300

Unique Selling Point: Relatively quiet, dim lighting (great for working on laptops), plenty of seats with a variety of cushions. This is a good place if you're looking for somewhere to camp out at all day with your laptop and get in the zone. Added bonus: there's a basket of complimentary sticky rice + custard rolls (wrapped in banana leaves) next to the water refill area. 

Cons: Mosquitos in the bathrooms.

WiFi Speed: Download @ 37.65 Mbps. Upload @ 7.25 Mbps. 
Seat comfort: ★★★
Air Con: ★★★ (Like many places, they'll turn it on when it gets too hot/stuffy.)
Ambiance: ★★★★★
Coffee: 45 baht for a latte. 45 baht for an Americano.
Food: Baked goods and standard breakfast options. Sometimes they have a full food menu, but it's only available when the cook is around.

 

 

No 2  //  Shewitkhontammada Coffee House

Shewitkhontammada Coffee House

Shewitkhontammada Coffee House

Shewitkhontammada Coffee House

Shewitkhontammada Coffee House

Shewitkhontammada Coffee House

Shewitkhontammada Coffee House

Shewitkhontammada Coffee House

Address: Su Thep, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200

Unique Selling Point: With three roomy floors, there are always seats available. Large windows allow for natural light to come through and it's filtered by the lush greenery on the patio. Variety of table sizes, so you can spread out if that's your thing. My friends and I meet here most weekends to paint. The staff is incredibly kind and, if you're a regular, they'll usually have your drink order memorized within a week.

Cons: WiFi gets spotty in the afternoon as the place gets more crowded.

WiFi Speed: Download @ 23.75 Mbps. Upload @ 15.61 Mbps. 
Seat comfort: ★★★★with plenty of seats available.
Air Con: ★★★★ (They'll switch it on if you ask. Otherwise, they usually wait until the afternoon.)
Ambiance: ★★★★
Coffee: 85 baht for a latte. 80 baht for an Americano.
Food: Extensive food menu with plenty of local Thai dishes. Somewhat pricy, but worth it.

 

 

No 3  //  The Barisotel by the Baristro

The Barisotel by The Baristro

The Barisotel by The Baristro

The Barisotel by The Baristro

The Barisotel by The Baristro

The Barisotel by The Baristro

The Barisotel by The Baristro

The Barisotel by The Baristro

The Barisotel by The Baristro

The Barisotel by The Baristro

The Barisotel by The Baristro

The Barisotel by The Baristro

Address: Chiang Mai, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai, 7/2 Soi 9 Nimmanhaemin Road Muang

Unique Selling Point: The aesthetic is minimal/designer-chic, with white walls and marble floors and tables. High ceilings and plenty of natural sunlight give a bright, open ambiance to the cafe. The soft sunlight and white walls make Barisotel an ideal shooting location for photographers– they often frequent the place with their subjects in tow. Chances are you'll wind up in the background of someone's graduation portraits.

Cons: WiFi lags behind when the place is crowded. Very bright light, so if you're photo-editing or doing anything that requires the integrity of your laptop screen, this might not be the best place. Also, there is only one bathroom and there is ALWAYS a wait.

WiFi Speed: Download @ 28.10 Mbps. Upload @ 36.68 Mbps.  (Their WiFi is great in the morning, but chokes when the place is crowded.)
Seat comfort: ★★★
Air Con: ★★★★★ (Bring a jacket!)
Ambiance: ★★★★
Coffee: 70 baht for a latte. 65 baht for an Americano.
Food: Bakery dishes only– croissants, scones, and cakes. Perfect if you've got a sweet tooth. 

 

 

No. 4  // Cafe de Oasis

Cafe de Oasis

Cafe de Oasis

Cafe de Oasis

Cafe de Oasis

Cafe de Oasis

Cafe de Oasis

Cafe de Oasis

Cafe de Oasis

Cafe de Oasis

Cafe de Oasis

Cafe de Oasis

Cafe de Oasis

Cafe de Oasis

Address: 202/9 Moo1 Route 4307, Changpuak, Muang, Chiang Mai 50200

Unique Selling Point: You're in the jungle. What more do you want? Okay, here's some more: There are blue iguanas all over the tree branches. Once you spot one, you'll see five more. The stepping stones to the bathroom lead you across a tropical koi pond. You're out of the city, so traffic is light and you feel like you're in a remote jungle oasis. Tables are shaded from the sun by the dense foliage, resulting in dappled sunlight across the deck. With the soundtrack of geckos, cicadas, and gurgling water, you can leave the noise-cancelling headphones at home.

Cons: Mosquitos 24/7, so bring bug spray. The internet speed is also pretty abysmal, so you're pretty much restricted to email and visiting websites. Don't come here expecting to download any big files. 

WiFi Speed: Download @ 8.97 Mbps. Upload @ 1.69 Mbps. 
Seat comfort: ★★★★ with plenty of seats available.
Air Con: Available inside, but why sit inside when their outdoor area is so lush?
Ambiance: ★★★★★
Coffee: 75 baht for a latte. 65 baht for an Americano.
Food: Delicious breakfast/lunch options. The scones (served with jam and whipped cream) are heaven.

 

 

No. 5  //  Gallery Seescape and SS1254372 Cafe

Gallery Seescape and SS1254372 Cafe

Gallery Seescape and SS1254372 Cafe

Gallery Seescape and SS1254372 Cafe

Gallery Seescape and SS1254372 Cafe

Gallery Seescape and SS1254372 Cafe

Gallery Seescape and SS1254372 Cafe

Gallery Seescape and SS1254372 Cafe

Address: 22/1 Nimmanhemin 22/1 ถนน นิมมาน เห มิ น ซอย 17, อำเภอ เมือง จังหวัด เชียงใหม่ Road, Suthep, Muang, Chiang Mai 50200

Unique Selling Point: In addition to being a cafe, this place is also an art gallery, design shop, and artist residency. Plus, I stopped by one night during a gallery tour to find salsa lessons being conducted in the main exhibition space. The tables are mosaic tiles (so bring a mousepad), there's art for your viewing pleasure, and the windows make you feel like you're a hobbit in The Shire.

Cons: Limited seating inside the cafe and only a few tables outside. If you plan to plant yourself in front of your laptop for a few hours and only order a coffee, just be courteous and stick to non-lunch hours. 

WiFi Speed: Download @ 9.43 Mbps. Upload @ 6.02 Mbps. 
Seat comfort: ★★★ if you snag a fold-out chair with a cushion. ★★ if you get stuck on the mesh fencing bench.
Air Con: One AC unit inside, but it's usually not turned on. (They will upon request.)
Ambiance: ★★★★
Coffee: 65 baht for a latte. 60 baht for an Americano.
Food: Extensive and affordable menu. Ideal for brunch, with a wide range of specialty toasts. My favorite is the mango and coconut with drizzled honey.

 

 

No. 6  //  Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Woo Cafe-Art Gallery-Lifestyle Shop

Address: 80 Charoenrat Road, Watgate, Muang Chiangmai, Chiang Mai 50000

Unique Selling Point: A four-in-one place located near the Wat Gate in Old Town: coffee/dessert cafe, art gallery, home goods shop, and full-blown restaurant. If you're one of those decent people who would feel guilty setting up your laptop in a busy restaurant, you're in luck– there's a separate area by the cafe just for that. The entire place is filled with flowers, ferns, and tropical plants. Chandeliers are a variety of earthenware, woven macramé, and clusters of antlers. 

Cons: Usually packed, but if you arrive during odd hours, you can find a seat.

WiFi Speed: Download @ 10.31 Mbps. Upload @ 3.49 Mbps. (Bonus: They've got four routers, so if one is slow, just switch over to another.)
Seat comfort: ★★★★
Air Con: Yes
Ambiance: ★★★★★
Coffee: 80 baht for a latte. 70 baht for an Americano.
Food: Extensive, albeit pricy menu, including breakfast (opens at 10), lunch, and dinner. Woo's specialty is their Khao Yum (rice salad), a mixture of pink and blue butterfly pea rice mixed with raw mango, puffed rice, kaffir lime, shredded dried shrimps, and a variety of herbs. Cross your fingers if you do plan on ordering this, as they frequently sell out.

 

 

No. 7  //  Art Roastery Huay Kaew

Art Roastery Huay Kaew

Art Roastery Huay Kaew

Art Roastery Huay Kaew

Art Roastery Huay Kaew

Art Roastery Huay Kaew

Art Roastery Huay Kaew

Art Roastery Huay Kaew

Art Roastery Huay Kaew

Art Roastery Huay Kaew

Art Roastery Huay Kaew

Art Roastery Huay Kaew

Address: 233 Huaykaew Rd, Tambon Su Thep, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200

Unique Selling Point: There are two different indoor seating areas linked by a shaded patio with a water garden and a stream. The architecture makes the indoor areas feel like a greenhouse with its floor-to-ceiling paned windows and ferns hanging from the raised skylight.

Cons: Slow internet connection.

WiFi Speed: Download @ 3.10 Mbps. Upload @ 0.74 Mbps.
Seat comfort: ★★★
Air Con: Yes. If you get too chilly, just move to one of the outdoor tables.
Ambiance: ★★★★
Coffee: 65 baht for a latte. 65 baht for an Americano.
Food: I haven't tried the food, but there is a full menu + bakery items.

 

 

No. 8  //  My Secret Cafe in Town

My Secret Cafe in Town

My Secret Cafe in Town

My Secret Cafe in Town

My Secret Cafe in Town

My Secret Cafe in Town

My Secret Cafe in Town

My Secret Cafe in Town

My Secret Cafe in Town

My Secret Cafe in Town

My Secret Cafe in Town

My Secret Cafe in Town

My Secret Cafe in Town

My Secret Cafe in Town

Address: 175/12, Rachadamnoen Road, Amphoe Muang, Chiang Mai 50200

Unique Selling Point: It's hard to miss a hot pink house on a narrow street off the main road. You're in the center of the Old City, so there is plenty to see and do in the immediate vicinity, like strolling across the street to check out Wat Chedi Luang, a towering Lanna-style Buddhist temple built in 1441. Back to My Secret Cafe: the second floor is an art gallery and if you show up on a Tuesday evening, you're in for live music night. 

Cons: While the internet speed is great, the router frequently cuts out. On the bright side, they also have AIS Super WiFi, so if you have an AIS premium account, you're golden. Also, bring a converter for your charger. The outlets aren't American-friendly.

WiFi Speed: Download @ 34.03 Mbps. Upload @ 34.17 Mbps.
Seat comfort: ★★★
Air Con: Yes, but they don't blast it to the point where you feel like you'll freeze to death.
Ambiance: ★★★
Coffee: 65 baht for a latte. 50 baht for an Americano.
Food: Breakfast (waffles!), sandwiches, and shared plates. Their grilled veggie sandwich is divine– it was my first taste of goat cheese in six months since arriving in Southeast Asia. Also a full wine/beer menu, which is great since they're open till 10.

 

 

No. 9  //  Taste Cafe

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Taste Cafe

Address: 2 Chiang Rai Rd, Thesaban Nakhon Chiang Mai, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Unique Selling Point: Minimal/modern aesthetic with a late-20s bachelor pad vibe: unfinished wood tables, black leather, Edison bulbs, and pops of greenery. This place is off the main drag and feels like a hidden gem. It's rarely too crowded, so despite being a small cafe, you'll almost always find a seat. Incredible view of the mountains just outside the cafe to the west. If you show up around sunset, you're in for a treat.

Cons: Seats are just a tad too low if you're planning on working on your laptop. Hard metal + uncushioned wooden seats = I max out after a couple hours.

WiFi Speed: Download @ 20.92 Mbps. Upload @ 5.95 Mbps.
Seat comfort: ★★
Air Con: Yes.
Ambiance: ★★★
Coffee: 55 baht for a latte. 55 baht for an Americano.
Food: Cookies, biscuits and smoothies

 

 

No. 10  //  Clay Studio Coffee in the Garden

Clay Studio Coffee in the Garden

Clay Studio Coffee in the Garden

Clay Studio Coffee in the Garden

Clay Studio Coffee in the Garden

Clay Studio Coffee in the Garden

Clay Studio Coffee in the Garden

Clay Studio Coffee in the Garden

Address: 36 Prapokkloa Rd, Tambon Phra Sing, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Unique Selling Point: This place is a true hidden gem. With its lush gardens, clay sculptures, and dense foliage blocking the sky, it's easy to forget you're still in the Old City. Clay Studio has an incredibly peaceful atmosphere, with room to explore the grounds. The terra cotta statues are true to Thai style and the gurgle of the water garden blocks the sound of Old City traffic. This place feels more like an overgrown temple ruin than a cafe in town.

Cons: Arrive with a fully-charged laptop, because outlets are few and far between. This space is ideal for a few hours of work, but not much more than that. Mosquito spray is provided, and you'll need to use it. 

WiFi Speed: Download @ 15.94 Mbps. Upload @ 7.27 Mbps.
Seat comfort: ★★
Air Con: No, but there are some fans.
Ambiance: ★★★★★
Coffee: 60 baht for a latte. 55 baht for an Americano.
Food: Large menu of local Thai dishes.

 

 

No. 11  //  Artisan Cafe

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Artisan Cafe

Address: 204/1 Wua Lai Rd, Tambon Hai Ya, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50100

Unique Selling Point: Perfect chair/tabletop ratio. (No hunching over your laptop or stretching out to access the keyboard.)  With the delicious coffee, warm ambiance, and ample table space, this is a perfect place to pull out your laptop and work all day. The aesthetic is old world meets hipster. Sunlight filters through the hanging window ferns and into the cafe, creating a cozy/creative vibe. You're south of the Old City and there's not much foot traffic, so this cafe is a destination for most people. (AKA it's usually pretty quiet.)

Cons: Only a handful of chairs with cushions. This only really maters if you want to hang out here all day, though. For a few hours, you're fine with the hardwood.

WiFi Speed: Download @ 28.50 Mbps. Upload @ 2.21 Mbps.
Seat comfort: ★★★
Air Con: Yes.
Ambiance: ★★★★
Coffee: 70 baht for a latte. 70 baht for an Americano.
Food: Breakfast (eggs, pancakes, waffles), pasta, sandwiches, salads, and dessert.