After working in Koh Phangan for a couple of weeks we missed the hustle and bustle of a busy island and wanted to be closer to the beach. We decided to spend a couple of weeks, which turned into a month, working in Koh Tao.
Koh Tao is known for scuba diving — which we did plenty of on our days off! This meant that even in low season (April-October) the island was still busy and there were lots of hipster cafes with great breakfast and good wifi we could work from.
We chose to stay in Sairee so that we would be close to the beach, cheap Thai food, and good nightlife.
Our favourite 5 places to work:
Cafe Culture (Sairee)
This was our favourite place to work! It’s right on the beach with comfortable seating and serves really nice Western breakfast. We loved gazing at the turquoise ocean when we were struggling with a problem but with no power outlets we would only work here for a few hours.
Pros: sea view, comfortable seats, cheap coffee (50THB), excellent breakfast, fast wifi.
Cons: can be busy on the weekends, no power outlets (except one inside away from the sea by the toilets), no AC.
Blue Water Cafe (Sairee)
A big multi-level restaurant with sea views and good wifi, but a little expensive and not good for working on windy days!
Pros: sea views, cheap coffee (60THB), Western breakfast
Cons: quite expensive, no power outlets, no A/C, no cover from windy days
Factory Cafe (Sairee)
A vegetarian and vegan cafe with a great selection of food and one of the few places we found to work with air conditioning, though a little expensive and can get crowded at peak times of the day.
Pros: A/C, fast wifi, power outlets, delicious food, nice atmosphere to work
Cons: crowded at peak times, uncomfortable seating, expensive coffee (90THB), no sea view — just the 7-Eleven car park!
The Coffee House (Sairee)
Quiet coffee shop with nice coffee, A/C, and plenty of power outlets but we found the atmosphere a bit weird and the staff were quite rude. There is another branch of this place in Mae Head which is more friendly, but it’s very small and there is only A/C upstairs in a strange curtained off room.
Pros: A/C, quiet, good seats, power outlets, cheap coffee (60THB)
Cons: poor service, small food selection, temperamental wifi
Through the looking glass (Sairee)
Very cheap Western style breakfast with big portions — 40THB for loads of scrambled egg on toast and delicious homemade cakes but not an idea place to work. Downstairs has some good seating but it is hot without A/C and upstairs has poor seating in the form of bean bags and bamboo furniture — if you’re looking for a startup vibe then this place might be perfect!
Pros: awesome cheap breakfast, good wifi
Cons: limited power outlets, poor seating, no A/C
One month was the perfect amount of time for us in Koh Tao to love the island life and only just start getting bored with our routine. We did a lot of work and diving, we enjoyed walking down to the beach in the evening with a few beers to watch the fire shows, and we loved the busy island vibe.
Next stop Malaysia — be sure to check back for our favourite places to work from wherever we end up staying there! Or check out our top picks for working in Koh Phangan.
Originally published at travel.squarecat.io on 30 July 2019