Chiang Mai is known for its digital nomad (people who travel and work online) community and after moving here largely due to this fact, I realized that the pool of interesting people in this city goes much deeper. From the entrepreneurs and artists to film makers and teachers living in Chiang Mai, the city is a melting pot of career paths, motivated individuals and inspirations.
If you know where to look, the community here is constantly running workshops, meet-ups, free talks and fun activities to meet each other, form collaborations, bounce ideas off one another and form new friendships. For those preparing to live in Chiang Mai or people who have recently arrived, a little networking here can do wonders for your social life and career. If you’re ready to throw yourself into the community, here are some of the best places to network in Chiang Mai.
From the Chiang Mai Digital Nomads group to the Farang (foreigner) Community Chiang Mai group, Facebook is packed with social pages created for the expats and visitors in Chiang Mai. By joining one of these groups, you will have access to job opportunities, workshop invites, fun outings and general information about living in the city. I’ve found these groups to be a literal window through which I pick and choose which social events and career building opportunities I want to be a part of.
Nomad Coffee Club
Created by entrepreneur, blogger, podcast host and active member of the digital nomad community, Johnny Thejen, this weekly event is hosted at Healthy B Cafe every Friday at 4:30 pm. With the intent of sharing useful information and providing support for the community, Nomad Coffee Club is set up around a pre-voted topic on subjects ranging from monetizing a blog and writing E-books to Dropshipping and creating a course on UDEMY. A volunteer panel is chosen based on their experience with the topic in addition to Johnny and together they engage the room in a free flowing Q&A. Before and after the discussions, attendees are encouraged to network with and get to know the large group of inspirational people who typically attend. Not only can you make valuable connections but you can acquire a wealth of free and useful information on your next business venture.
Nomad’s List Meet ups at Blar Blar Bar
Nomad’s List (an online international community and resource for digital nomads) allows members to host local events under their name. Seemingly averaging about once or twice every three months, one of these networking events is held at Blar Blar Bar in the Nimman area of the city. Typically the turnout is large and it is an informal and relaxed environment to get to know others within the community. Some of the people I’ve met at these events have turned into some of my closest friends in Chiang Mai. Announcement of these happenings can typically be found through the Digital Nomad Facebook group or on the Nomads List webpage.
Meet ups at Bus Bar and Focus Café
Run as a Couchsurfing (social networking site for travelers) event, the Bus Bar meet ups are held every Wednesday evening around 8pm and the Focus Cafe meet ups are held every Friday evening around 8 pm. An array of travelers, expats and digital nomads gather at these outdoor bars to mix, mingle and make friends, especially when first arriving in Chiang Mai. Less focused on business, these meet ups are helpful with acquainting yourself to general life in the city.
Chiang Mai has quite a few co-working spaces where digital nomads tend to gather for work, collaborations and socializing. Everyone within the community has their own personal favorite for varying reasons so trying out a few to find which one suites you can be valuable. Some of the popular ones to check out are Punspace , CAMP (which is inside of Maya shopping mall and is more of a café but quite popular) and Mana.
If you want to establish your social circle and work on your career while living in Chiang Mai, these events and locations are valuable ways to form a solid network. Don’t be shy! People here are typically friendly and looking to make connections with interesting people just like you.