Which places in Southern Thailand offer the ideal work and play balance?

Hi everyone,
I’ve been in Chiang Mai, for a month, and would like to go down south for another 2 months. My priority is finding a location where I can work from, preferably somewhere that is not too touristy, yet not too remote either. Do you have any recommendations in regards to finding a place that is both attractive (beaches, scenery, outdoor activities etc.) and ideal for getting work done (co-working spaces, cafes, not too overcrowded)?

I’ve been looking into the Krabi region (Ao Nang, Lanta, Koh Lipe) and the Surat Thani region (Ko tao, Phangan and Samui). Since I have never visited any of those places, I am not quite sure if they are well suited for working as much as doing touristic activities.

Thank you

My favorite place is Lanta. I find it has the right balance for me. http://kohub.org makes work pretty easy and pretty much an instant community to tap into if you want it. It’s got fantastic beaches, enough outdoor activities (great diving!) and decent internet most places (cafes/restaurants/hotels/3g).

Whether it will be the right balance for you? Really couldn’t tell you. in your shoes, I’d just go to one place, see how you like it and try somewhere else if it’s not right.

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Chiming in from Koh Phangan in case it’s on your radar. We spent a month in Chiang Mai and loved it. The networking opportunities, workshops, and convenience is really hard to beat.

We’ve been in Koh Phangan for three weeks and are just starting to find our groove. The islands amenities and cafes just aren’t conducive to work, though if you want to over index on play it’s great. The nomad community is small, overpowered by Full Moon Party tourists and friendly locals that seem to appreciate the offline life. The one coworking space (KohSpace) charges 1300 TBH a week and is nothing to write home about. Cafe culture is lacking and it’s hard to find a place that has airflow or AC. I’d recommend it to families as there are plenty of expat families to connect with, but would limit the visit to a month or two max.

If you end up here anyway, I’d suggest working at The Flying Dutchman just north of Thongsala (not the flying dutchman in Had Rin). French press coffees for 50 THB (two cups), the Dutch/Thai staff are very friendly, 9 mbps internet, and a nice view/breeze.

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@emir.gunel if you want the most ‘chill’ vibe, while still having access to plenty of things to do, I would suggest Ko Lanta. It’s a relatively small island, but there are plenty of amazing places to eat, including lots of markets and it has the best beaches - long and full of restaurants and cafes that offer perfect working oasis. You can view some of the spaces we worked from on my instagram @marco_bisca - the one picture with the bungalows at night proved to be the best working location, it’s called Somewhere restaurant - right inf ront there is a volleyball net where I’d play with the locals at sunset every day, watchout, they’re good!

Pros on Ko Lanta:
-easy access to Phi Phi, Ko Rok and other islands
-hop and a skip to Krabi
-chill vibe
-nice beaches
-not congested
-friendly locals

Good luck and enjoy your time down south.


Totally agree with the Koh Lanta assessment – it’s a fantastic place. It’s got a lot of different kinds of accommodations so I think there’s something there for everyone. KoHub is amazing when you want community and there are lots of other great little spots to work from when you don’t want the coworking space vibe. A couple of my favorites are Patty’s Secret Garden and Moloko Lanta. Both know the digital nomad crowd and are super friendly.