How To Maintain a Great Work-Life-Balance in Chiang Mai

by | Jan 17, 2018 | Digital Nomadism, Asia, Guest Blog, Thailand, Travel Hacks, Work-Life-Balance | 6 comments


Chiang Mai is the largest city in Northern Thailand and has become a popular place for digital nomads. With its cool climate, clean air, and picturesque scenery, it’s not hard to see why it attracts people from all over the globe.

But how easy is it to get work done and enjoy quality of life at the same time? After all, that’s the whole point about being location independent. As well as earning a living, you should have the time to explore new destinations and immerse yourself in different cultures.

Getting work done

Where you work often comes down to personal preference. Some people are happy to pay coworking membership fees as they offer the chance to meet other people and get out of the house. Others will prefer to pay slightly more for their accommodation to benefit from reliable internet.

Wherever you prefer to work, Chiang Mai certainly has a lot to offer. There a plenty of coworking spaces dotted around the city, each with its own pros and cons. Cheaper ones require a small minimum spend at their cafe in return for an internet coupon, whilst others charge daily, weekly, or monthly fees. You can expect to pay between $80 and $100 a month at some of the most popular spots.

Another popular option for digital nomads is working in cafés and coffee shops. Again, there are plenty of spots to choose from in the city, and some even offer a similar structure to coworking spaces.

One of the most convenient places to work when you’re on the road is your own residence, but depending on your budget, reliable internet may not be part of the deal. If you think that working from home is the best option for you, research accommodation offering business centres or meeting rooms with good internet. Note that these will probably be pricier than most places.

Finding a place to live

If you’re considering Chiang Mai as your next destination, you’ll need to find a place to live. The good news is there are plenty of options to suit every budget, from apartments which include luxury amenities to cheap and cheerful backpacker hostels. But first, you need to consider how much time you’ll be spending in your residence, how long you’re planning on staying in the city, and how comfortable you want to be.

Beware of articles stating you can easily live off $300 a month. Although cost of living in Chiang Mai is considered cheap by western standards, you should be aware that by the time you’ve covered visa fees, food, and rent, you’ll likely be looking at a higher monthly cost.

One of the most important things for digital nomads is having access to high speed internet. So think about how you prefer to work, and consider joining a coworking space or splashing out slightly more on your accommodation.

Meeting new people

This city offers great opportunities for meeting other people. There are always plenty of events scheduled during the day and night which will suit most people’s interests. Coworking spaces often run their own events too and offer weekly social meetups, so there’s a great mix of social and entrepreneurial events.,, and local Facebook groups are also good places to start building a social life.

Finding a balance

With an abundant digital nomad community, it can be easy to get locked in miss out on opportunities to explore other areas. The best part about being location independent is discovering amazing places and enjoying experiences you simply can’t get in other countries.


The key to striking a good work-life balance when you’re traveling is scheduling your work when you’re most likely to be productive, getting as much work done as you can during your scheduled work hours, and using your free time to go exploring. Here are some of the top things you can do in and around Chiang Mai:


  • Visit an elephant sanctuary
  • Be adventurous and go zip lining
  • Visit one of the many temples
  • Have fun at the Grand Canyon waterpark
  • Go to an MMA event
  • Experience a Thai massage
  • Venture to neighbouring cities
  • Enjoy the nightlife in the many cool bars, clubs, and lounges

Final Thoughts

Earning money whilst you travel the world sounds like an ideal lifestyle. However, it’s not always easy. You need to be incredibly strict with yourself when it comes to getting work done, even when most of the people around you are on vacation and having fun.

Chiang Mai is easily accessible and a great base for discovering northern Thailand. You’re sure to enjoy great food, meet new people and make lasting relationships, and you have plenty of options when it comes to getting your work done. As it is such a popular destination for digital nomads, the hard part is often remembering to switch off and enjoy the amazing experiences Thailand has to offer.


About the Author

Cal Bailey blogs at Mountain Leon – a travel blog he started after his two-year backpacking journey around the world. If you would like to read more about his adventures and expert travel tips, read his latest blog posts here.


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