Front-end Development and Personal Endeavours

Chiang Mai: Two Month Resume

– by Nils Wittler

In the end of 2016 and the start of the year 2017 I spent a fair amount of time (almost two month) as a gap on my travel around Africa, Asia and Australia in Chiang Mai. This is just a small write-up of the place I spent the most time in and why Chiang Mai could be interesting for you if you are a remote worker.

I heard a lot about Chiang Mai (in the north of Thailand) in general and about the coworking scene - so it was time to see it with my own eyes!

After quitting my job, back in Germany and starting to travel at the begging of November 2016, I wanted to take some time off to enhance my skills and play with new framework, technologies etc.

When you google "coworking chiang mai" Punspace is almost the first result popping up. Since they have pretty good reviews on Google and Facebook it was a no-brainer to give it a shot!

Coworking: Punspace (Tha Phae Gate)

"A picture paints a thousand words." - so just eight pictures to illustrate what Punspace looks like:

The working space. High ceiling and spaceous. I digg that!

Fairly big tables to get comfortable 👍🏻

Yes please - my back approves standup desks 🚀

The lobby area

Skype rooms to fully let loose during your calls 🙏🏻

Grab your coffee downstairs

Outside area

Quite a few events going on during the week

As you might see from the image captions I really liked working from Punspace at Tha Phae Gate in Chiang Mai. One thing ahead: I guess I have never been more productive at a coworking space.

The cool thing: even if it is a big open space it is fairly quiet during the whole day and during times the loudest thing you can hear is the AC running. For me this is definitely a perfect working environment to get work done. On the flipside it is maybe not the best place to meet a lot of people. It is not impossible though - just be the first to start a conversation when you meet people at the kitchen area or outside. I sometimes have to push myself to do that. Anytime I did I had nice conversations and if people are busy they will show you that (direct or indirect) and both go back to work - it's fine 🙏🏻

I met far more people during the Punspace events (for instance the beer night) and meetups (various Facebook groups and Meetup) going on in and around the city. So if you want to meet people these occasions are a great possibility.

For under 100€/month (1 month membership) you get 24/7 access to the coworking spaces (two so far in Chiang Mai) which is a pretty good deal for me. If you become a member for a longer period even less.

Things I did while staying at Punspace

In case anyone cares - just a brain dump:

  • getting a little more into server administration with Ubuntu and Apache
  • migrating almost all of my projects to SSL
  • diving more into ES6
  • tried to build a Javascript driven contenteditable framework based on ES6 (tougher than I thought...)
  • finally created and finished my Portfolio
  • playing with the Ionic 2 Framework - pretty cool
  • got into Angular 2
  • had the idea for a "link from images"-converter app
  • build a basic URL shortener (with Node and Express) - still not live... 🤔
  • ...

My key learning: it is easier to start with a new idea/app than to finish and develop an existing on. Note to self: FINISH things

Food & Accommodation

Regarding good and cheap food as well as accommodation Chiang Mai really is a hotspot. Getting a good apartment for around 250€ per month is quite possible and a proper meal with a drink for around 2€.

So if you are looking for an affordable place to live - Chiang Mai might be a valid option for you.

Final words

Besides cheap food and accommodation there are a lot of other things why Chiang Mai is worth a visit. Great nature just around the corner and a lot of activities to do.

So there are no downsides? Well no... The pollution (just to many scooters and songthaews driving around) and the burning season from march to may are a bummer in the almost perfect image of Chiang Mai.

If you can work remotely and you are looking for place to stay (esp. affordable) for a couple of weeks or month I think you should consider Chiang Mai! Do a little bit of research on your own - and then just book a flight!

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