Dateline: Cancun, Mexico
A key part of the nomad lifestyle is finding a reliable, enjoyable place to get work done when necessary. For people living a location independent lifestyle, rather than having offices around the world, it’s sometimes practical to find a café or co-working space from which to work.
One of the biggest hubs for expat entrepreneurs is Southeast Asia. To learn more about some of the best co-working spaces in the region we reached out to a few nomad thought leaders:
(travel expert, founder of Nomadic Matt)
“I think the best cities are either Chiang Mai or Saigon. You have lots of expats and digital nomads who live in each, so it’s easy to get a good community going. Both cities have good internet, international food, are good cities to make as you hub, and they are both very cheap. They’ve been popular with digital nomads for years for good reason!”
All are in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam:
- ID Cafe
ID sports comfy seats, amazing cinnamon tea and solid Wi-Fi. Good for a “lean back” work session, reading or a meeting
Perhaps the most French cafe left in Saigon, two locations in District 1 offer terrific French food, high quality coffee and great Wi-Fi.
Big open tables in the corner of an old French building give a sense of history and the hipster-style drip coffee gives it a bit of flare. My favorite place to work.
La Fenetre Soleil
Swanky chairs and couches are perfect for reading or an afternoon meeting. Poor wifi for working but my favorite place to read.
- Loft Cafe
Similar to L’usine, the loft is a big French style cafe in downtown Ho Chi Minh, perfect for lunch and a work session.
(travel marketing expert, editor at The Luxury Editor)
- Casa Lapin x49 (Bangkok)
- 39 Espresso (Bangkok)
- Wonderwall Coffee (Bangkok)
- Cabochon Hotel (Bangkok)
- The Coffee Academics – Wan Chai Outlet (Hong Kong)
- Paper and Toast (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Convenient location in the center of KL in the popular district of Bukit Bintang, Paper and Toast is also affordable and comes with free coffee and tea. Quiet spot to get things done, but also has personality and a relaxing vibe.
- WORK Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
Arrive early in order to get a seat here. With a food or drink purchase, you can sit all day, or you can opt for a membership in the comfy upstairs area. WORK makes many of their food items homemade, including pesto, hummus, desserts, and more. Great food and cool vibe.
- Hubud (Ubud, Bali, Indonesia)
Iconic co-working space to which all co-working spaces should aspire. They’ve nailed the community aspect that attracts people from all over the world just to work in that space. Worth the international trip to Ubud JUST to check it out.
- Nook Co-working (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Located slightly outside of the city and in a district popular with expats, NOOK is a good place to have some peace and quiet while also meeting local business people from all over the world. A more local and mature crowd rather than nomadic, but it was a refreshing change of scenery.
- The Mugshot (Penang, Malaysia)
The most popular of MANY amazing cafes in Penang. Fantastic coffee, great service, and a big wooden block table to spread out, work, and meet new people. Great location as well, walking distance from some of the most popular Penang accommodations.
Note: Paper and Toast in Kuala Lumpur has relocated from Bukit Bintang to Petaling Jaya.
(Owner and Managing Editor at Craft Your Content)
I spend the majority of my time here in SE Asia in Chiang Mai and work from restaurants as well as cafes.
I am a firm proponent of being courteous to cafe owners when you are working there. Order something every two hours, take up only the space you need, if you need to take a call, do it in a place that isn’t an inconvenience to other customers, etc. They’re trying to make money just like the rest of us, they aren’t running coffee charities!
Chiang Mai, Thailand:
- Nimman Soi 9 Starbucks (I work here daily for 5-7 hours usually, so I’m very hesitant to let others in on the secret!)
- 9th Street Cafe (also on Nimman Soi 9)
- Cat House Restaurant
- Dash Restaurant
- Anomali Coffee
- Grocer and Grind
What are some of the best co-working spaces you have found in Southeast Asia? Feel free to comment below.
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