Digital nomads are growing in numbers and are exploring places anywhere in the world. More and more go as far as Thailand and end up on the paradise island Koh Phangan. Drawn to the unique culture, unfettered nightlife, and picturesque scenery, many of them stay longer than intended and may even end up setting up their residence on the island.
As a result, Koh Phangan is quickly adapting to the influx of laptop workers and is offering an ever-improving work infrastructure. Across the island, there are strong mobile phone data and strong WiFi connections, several coworking and coliving spaces, and great value bungalows, hostels, and cafes.
Thailand has been popular with digital nomads and international remote workers for quite a while. Especially Chiang Mai has developed into a center of internet workers, with a strong cluster of digital marketing and SEO specialists. Also, Bangkok has attracted quite a few digital nomads. However, if you are looking for a remote work site on the beach, Koh Phangan has some unique offerings.
Can anybody just work in Thailand as a digital nomad?
Many come to Thailand on a 2-month tourist visa, which allows for an extension of 30 days. Although officially only bearing a tourist status, nomads can go about their remote work, as long as they do not work for Thai customers. From a legal standpoint, digital nomads always used to be tolerated, but their status was never explicitly acknowledged.
This changed in 2022 when the Thai government for the first time announced some measures explicitly aiming to bring more digital remote workers into Thailand. The first initiative is a cooperation of Thai Tourist Board with AirBnB, which aims at identifying more long-term stay options for visitors.
In addition, Thailand is in the process of defining a new visa category for long-term remote workers, allowing them to stay for 10 years.
Digital nomads on Koh Phangan
Digital Nomad life can get boring or even lonely if you just stick to yourself (and your computer). Koh Phangan offers some excellent places to meet fellow remote workers and to partake in meet-ups and community events. Here are some of the most rewarding places.
Beachub is the oldest coworking space on Koh Phangan. Located directly on Zen Beach, it offers splendid views of the ocean. Most work desks are in an open shady space, but there are also some desks in a room with AC. Beachhub rents out some huts that look directly at the ocean. Also, there is a restaurant, offering organic food, iced coffee, and even cocktails at its stunning beach facilities. In addition, there is a separate shared kitchen area.
Koh Space Baan Tai
Another great space for working in a shared space is Ko Space Baan Tai: here you can combine remote working and co-living and benefit from the facilities of one of the island’s oldest co-writing areas. Located halfway between Thong Sala and Haad Rin, it is not just great for living and working but offers unlimited coffee supply, strong Wi-Fi, and meetings in its fully outfitted conference rooms.
Perched on the hills at the end of coconut lane, the new coworking space is one of the island’s most appealing for a shelter-lorn digital nomad. The place offers working space from 9.30 am to 6 pm, free snacks, coffee, breakfast, a cutting-edge sound system, a projector, and a scenic balcony, for your utmost digital nomad experience. It is open from Monday to Friday.
Working out of coffee shops
Being in a proper coworking space has the advantage if you want to work long hours and need a more professional environment. If you plan to work just a few hours, a coffee shop that doubles as a coworking space may do just fine. Here are some of the best coffees that allow you to get some work done.
Dots and Nira
Dots and Nira are to adjoint places. Both are located near the central pier in Thong Sala. Dots, is perfect for more concentrated work, next door Nira’s Top Bakery, meanwhile, offers prime pastries and coffees and is a more social coffee place one of the best places to work remotely with an iced coffee in one hand after breakfast.
Have you been on a search for hectic nightlife on a tranquil beach: the Nomad House is your place of choice. Here you may have 24-7 WiFi and air-conditioning; a round-the-clock working area, to add to the scenic nature, and expert staff.
All in all, Ko Phangan has plenty of coworking and coliving space to offer, but its main strong point is its abundant cheap accommodation, great value food, and welcoming visa regime that makes it one of the best spots to spend a winter or a whole year or even two for a digital nomad.