If you are a digital nomad travelling to Chiang Mai, you might want to have a general idea on where to stay in the city before you get there. In this post I will give you a couple of areas, which are perfect for those working remotely as well as some extra tips to make it easier for you to find your feet in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai is a wonderful city for digital nomads. There are a lot of coffee shops, coworking places, great accommodation options and so much to do in your free time! I go there every year for 2 months to enjoy the city and work online. During the last couple of years I have found a few areas, which are perfect for digital nomads, who want to stay in Chiang Mai a little longer.
I hope this post will help you to settle down in the North of Thailand.
Here are a few zones that are perfect for people working remotely.
In the recent years Nimman, as people call it, became more of an area for Chinese tourists. The main road is filled with shops with Chinese signs. However, you can turn into any side street and you will find some nice accommodation suitable for digital nomads.
The best thing about this area is that it has everything you might need – restaurants, bars, shops, 7-11s. It’s close to Maya Mall, where you have some more shops, a food court, a cinema and a coworking space.
Nimman is not far from the city centre, so a taxi to get there won’t cost you a fortune.
Check this lovely apartment in the Nimman area, or go to Booking.com to find more.
The Old Town
Staying in the Old Town is more popular among tourists. The area around it is often crowded. However, the centre is pretty big and if you keep away from the main streets, you will be able to find quiet spots and some affordable accommodation.
The advantage of staying there is the close proximity to many conveniences, such as shops and restaurants. There are also a lot of coffee shops and a few coworking spaces as well.
This house is perfect if you want to stay in the centre, but still feel the old charm of the city.
Santitham is an up and coming area of Chiang Mai. I lived there many years ago and it was really lovely. At the moment (2023) there are still old bars and street stalls around, but you can see that slowly new, modern buildings are creeping up.
If you looking for a place to stay for digital nomads in Chiang Mai, Santitham might be perfect for you. It’s hidden away from tourists, it has some small shops. It’s also very close to Nimman and to the Old City, so if you want to venture out, you can do it with ease.
Baan Kong Rao offers very nice rooms and has a rooftop with an amazing views.
Personally, I really like staying in this area. It reminds me of what Santitham used to be. It’s very local with lots of little shops and street stalls. There is a nice night market next to 7-11 and during the day you can find some really nice food, too.
There are a few disadvantages of staying here – one is that it doesn’t have any good coffee shops, nor coworking spaces. The closest ones would be around Nimman.
It’s also not that great to get out of. If you drive your own scooter, then you will need to find your favourite way to get to the city.
The roads around lead to the so-called Super Highway, which is a motorway. I usually drove there and made a U-turn to get to the other side of the busy road and then I made a turn to Santitham. This manoeuvre is good if you feel comfortable on a scooter in Asia. Otherwise, I’d recommend going by taxi, or taking a songthaew.
The Sun Terrace seems like a good option for digital nomads in Chiang Mai.
Chang Klang District
This area is situated a bit further from the city centre and the crowded places. I always seem to me that it used to be popular when expats first started coming to the city, but I might be wrong.
Chang Klang has a lot of day and night markets around and it’s very easy to get to the city centre from.
The prices here might also be a bit lower as it’s not that popular anymore.
Check out this beautiful condo in Chang Klang District.
The Night Bazaar Area
The Night Bazaar is one of the most popular areas in Chiang Mai. During the night it is the place to be. The days here are lazy and quiet, but you will still find some restaurants opened.
It’s a good place to stay in Chiang Mai for digital nomads as it is close to the centre, it has some coffee shops around and the river is not that far.
I think this condo is really beautiful and seems like a good one to stay at.
Here are some useful tips on finding a place to stay in Chiang Mai.
How to find accommodation?
My way is to book a hostel in Chiang Mai and then take a scooter and drive around. I normally go from condo to condo and ask if they have a room. I find that prices are usually lower. That’s my way of doing things as I know Chiang Mai and I know which area I want to stay at.
If you feel better with booking ahead, use Booking.com and book in advance. Just make sure you’ll get a refund if the place turns out not to be up to your expectations.
I also recommend reading this article about finding accommodation in Chiang Mai.
How much is it?
Flats in Thailand are generally cheaper than in the west. For a one bedroom apartment with basic necessities, without a kitchen, you will pay minimum 15,000 Baht per month. If the condo has a pool, a gym and some additional facilities, you’ll pay more.
Bills are sometimes included, but that depends on the condo. You might have to pay extra for water and electricity.
When renting, you will need to pay a deposit. This might be one month’s rent. This deposit is then returned to you when you move out. But, make sure that you sign a lease agreement and that the place you are renting has good reviews.
Read more about costs of living in Thailand.
What to expect?
Flats are usually small, but one-bedroom apartments are enough for 1-2 people working remotely. There is a table in the living room and a small desk. However, I find it not so comfortable to work there and I always work outside.
Thai flats normally don’t have a kitchen. There is usually a fridge, but that’s it. It’s not worth cooking in Thailand. If you want to do it, then you will need to look harder and pay more. Renting a house is then a good idea, but that of course costs quite a bit.
In every flat there’s an air-con unit. You can ask for a fan, if you’d like.
Living in Chiang Mai is safe. You can be sure that your condo will have a security guard and someone who is there during the day.
If you have a car or a scooter, there is always a parking space.
Internet is getting better and better in Chiang Mai.
In every condo you’ll have free internet access. This is of course shared with other people living there and the connection might not be the best. It’s also not the safest, so make sure you have your VPN with you.
If it’s not good enough, you’ll need to use coworking spaces or coffee shops.
Places to work remotely from
Chiang Mai is a city for digital nomads therefore there are plenty of spots where you can set up your office. Check out my blog post about the cafes. You can also find some good coworking options all around the city.
Chiang Mai is really a perfect place to stay for digital nomads. There are plenty of accommodation options and I’m sure that you will find the perfect area and condo for yourself. Don’t forget to read my guide to Chiang Mai for digital nomads and leave me a comment if you have any questions.