Typical working day in Chiang Mai Thailand

Yesterday was a day filled with trekking, elephants, bamboo rafting and zip lining but not everyday is like that out here, nor is it sitting by a pool all day, I’m off to the islands next (Koh Samui and Phangan) so below is a typical day timeline in Chiang Mai there will be a similar post about the islands too,  lets see if it tempts anyone in a position to work remotely to pop over here. 

8.15am – time to get up

Wake up, check for any urgent emails on my phone (via the hotel wifi which is pretty fast) and then do a quick 15 minute workout in my room, shower and then it’s breakfast time. Now I used to simply pick up something from a 7-11 (convenience store) on the way in but the selection of ‘breakfast’ stuff is limited and not what I want in the morning (see photo below) so I recently bought some Muesli, Milk and 10 bowls (I couldn’t find just one) and eat breakfast in my room. (I knew the spork would come in handy, if you don’t know what one is, imagine a single piece of cutlery which is a spoon, fork and knife).

breakfast at a 711

Best choice was a croissant but it wasn’t great

8.50am – the daily commute

Time to head to work, it’s a short 10-12 minute walk which is enjoyable in the morning sun.

This is my daily commute, it's a 10 minute walk, sometimes you see monks

The daily commute, it’s a 10 minute walk, sometimes you see monks

9.am – work time

Arrive at the office which is currently a co-working office called Punspace. It’s a great working space with a mix of people from local Thai working on tech startups to people from all over the world (The US, Netherlands, Germany, France etc) and has a mix of marketers, developers, copy writers and so on.

Cost wise you can buy anything from a years membership to a day pass and everything in between but I believe monthly membership and 10/20 day passes are popular, a 10 day pass which costs 1,899 Bht which is around £35 is a great choice but the longer you go for the cheaper it get’s, so for a month it’ll only cost you £2.10 a day. The office provides you with wifi, free coffee, tea, water and snacks and you also have access to a load of other drinks such as coke, iced tea, beer etc which you can pay for. Access for monthly & above memberships is 24/7 if on a day pass it’s 9-6pm however you can stay as long as you’re not the last out.

Below you’ll see some photos of the space which is pretty neat.

My office setup

This is punspace, a co-working space in Chiang Mai


You can work from any desk, they also have private meeting rooms.

You may be wondering what kind of internet speed you get over there.

Speed test

A speed test in a full office at around 11am.

Below is the internet speed when using my phone’s 3G as a mobile hotspot and connecting my laptop to it via Wifi. As you can see the speed I get is great even a bit faster than the wifi here which means you could literally work from anywhere that has a good 3G signal which seems to be the whole of Chiang Mai and Bangkok so far.

Internet speed I get when connected to my phone's 3G (Local Thai sim, unlimited 3G for 30 days £7)

Internet speed I get when connected to my phone’s 3G (Local Thai sim, unlimited 3G for 30 days £7)

Midday – lunch time

I’ve always looked forward to lunch time, whether it was at school, uni or working back in the UK but out here I look forward to it even more purely for the fact that the food is delicious and cheap. 5 minutes up the road and there’s a little restaurant type place where most main meals are around 30 bht (£0.55)

Lunch time

12.30pm – Back to work

Head back to the office for another 2 hours of work.

2.30pm – Relaxing time

Time to head back to the hotel to catch the afternoon rays by the pool, typically lounge by the pool till around 5pm mixing it up with doing a bit of exercise in the small gym they have next to the pool, reading a book, listening to music and generally relaxing.

Relaxing by the pool

Relaxing by the pool, the small gym next to it and a photo of my room.

5pm – An hour or two

Head back to the room and do an hour or two of work, this may go on for 3 hours if there is lots to do or if i’m not too hungry.

7pm – Food time

Time to head out for food, there is a big shopping mall quite close to me which has a great food hall which serves all kinds of food but some brilliant Thai food which is extremely cheap, again you’re looking at around 30-50 bht for a meal (£0.55-£0.90), I’ve been known to have more than one meal at a time when I’m pretty hungry.

9pm – Evening time

Depending on the day my evenings vary, if I’m working the next day then beers are not always the best idea so I’ll often head back around 9pm and either do a tad more work or simply put a film on. If however I don’t have work or I’m happy to go in later then I may go for a few beers in the old city. At weekends these often end up being a few more beers and ending up at a collection of bars till the early hours where it’s a mix of people who live out here, backpackers and people on holiday so you get to meet a great mix of people.

 So what does a typical work day cost?

I recently posted about the cost of things in Chiang Mai and so I thought I’d quickly break down the cost of a typical work day.

Hotel:  600 bht / £11  – large double room, ensuite, air con, wifi, pool, small gym, room cleaned daily & drinking water provided

Breakfast: 20 bht / £0.35  – Bowl of muesli & milk in my room bought from a local supermarket

Office Space: 180 bht / £3.50 – This becomes cheaper if choose longer than a 10 day pass

Lunch: 30 bht / £0.45   – typically a thai curry & rice, noodle dish etc

Dinner: 50-100 bht / £0.90-£1.80 – depending on what I have, how hungry I am

Total cost of the day: 880 bht / £16 

Price of day excluding hotel: 280 bht / £5

You can’t really complain at £16 for a full nights accommodation, pool, wifi, cleaned room, access to an office space and breakfast, lunch and dinner. So if you are thinking of coming out to work out here then why not, it’s cheap, awesome weather, fun, you’ll meet a load of interesting people from around the world and eat some great food.

Coffee Shops in Chiang Mai

There are also a large number of independent coffee shops/cafes all over the city but with many really great ones in the Nimman area which are perfect for people to work out of and that’s what a lot of people do, I’ve been to lots but the following posts have pretty much summed them all up with locations, reviews and prices:

The 10 best coffee shops in Chiang Mai – Am I Nearly There Yet

Cafes To Work From in Chiang Mai – Nomadic Notes

Chiang Mai WIFI cafes for digital nomads with map – Making It Anywhere

Disclaimer: This is an example routine that you may have if you’re a digital nomad over here.

Punspace Chiang Mai

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  • Proper cool that Max – loving it, hotel, eating like a king all for less than what most people spend on lunch and the commute. LIVIN THE DREAM 😉

  • Really interesting and incredible to look at the costs side of things. Would be fascinating to see how costs compare to life in England: Imagine the costs of Mortgage/Rent; driving to work; gym membership; breakfast/lunch/dinner and beers would be more than £16!!

  • Hi
    Can you please edite hotel’s name?