5 Digital Nomad Hubs on Koh Samui
You’ve read The Beach by Alex Garland, and you’ve heard about the islands from walking down Khao San Road, so now you’re on Koh Samui… where do you set your laptop to start work? A growing hub for digital nomads, the island is sprinkled with writing alcoves and cosy nooks to craft creative content; you’ve just got to know where to look.
Well, look no further, dear nomad, as we’ve sought out the top five hubs for you to get tucked into and get some serious work done.
Tanya’s Cafe by Tanya – Chaweng Beach Road
Organic, wholesome, and super kitsch: leave behind the dusty roads and step into this air-conditioned digital nomad hideaway. A thick aroma of freshly ground coffee and homemade gluten-free treats is instantly inviting, and that’s before you meet the lady herself. Tanya is a one-woman army in her apron, sporting a welcoming smile. It’s a small establishment, but take your pick from a high-perched window seat or a two-seater sofa to sink into and connect immediately to the strong broadband signal bringing together a small community of nomads and health-conscious brunchers. Natural light falls on the modern rustic decor, complete with quaint accents such as dried flowers in kettles and miniature bicycles sitting atop the tables. Fresh smoothie bowls and juices are perfect brunch additions, averaging at a reasonable 150 THB, and 100 percent Arabica roasted coffee starting from 70 THB for that all-important espresso.
Top tip: Don’t forget to remove your shoes, as per Thai tradition, before entering.
Marion Cotillard in Midnight in Paris (2011)
A quaint hub attracting tourists and nomads from the neighbouring Fisherman’s Village, Tanpopo is also family friendly with an integrated play area and direct beach access. Overlooking Bophut beach with stunning views out to the other islands, nomads can choose to work outside or inside as both have charging points and a surprisingly strong Wi-Fi connection. Its retro interior and calming ocean presence provide the perfect atmosphere for writing in the tropics, and mini cacti lining the beachfront tables present that perfect Instagram-worthy shot, which accompanies the friendly working atmosphere. Fresh coffee and Thai teas complement the dessert side of the shop — you know, a little sugar to keep the fingers dancing — as does the Italian sodas, fruit smoothies and savoury snacks.
Top tip: Try the iced Thai tea and/or the chocolate brownie *heart eyes*
Marion Cotillard in Midnight in Paris (2011)
Ultra sleek and adorned with the modern trend of clean lines and geometric shapes, June’s Art Cafe in Nathon — though recently branching out to Bophut — is a typical nomad spot where travellers can find a nook beside the bookshelf and while away the hours. The warm tonal palette of colours is carried throughout the cafe and onto the plates of healthy organic produce, contrasting with vibrant salads and hearty grains. The cafe has a large selection of vegetarian options available, and the Wi-Fi connection is stable without the cuts that sometimes occur during stormy weather. Attracting groups of the island’s yogis and tourists who happen to smell the delicious food and fresh coffee from outside, it’s easy to disappear into this inviting cafe.
Top tip: Here for breakfast? The homemade granola is delicious.
Sunset Cafe – Bang Rak
Not only the perfect place for sunset cocktails after a day exploring the island, Sunset Cafe accommodates daytime escapades for nomads in search of a strong Wi-Fi connection and refreshing sea breeze. Take a seat at one of the beach-facing stools, snuggle into a beanbag or recline on a triangular Thai backrest pillow; all options include table service to sample their Thai-Western fusion of food and drink and a friendly chat with the staff. Drawing a large tourist crowd toward the end of the day, it’s a great venue to meet fellow travellers after an afternoon working in front of a screen, and also tease your friends on Facetime about your new office in comparison to theirs.
Top tip: If you’re planning to come with a group of friends, arrive early to avoid awkward seating arrangements
Fisherman’s House Cafe and Gallery – Fisherman’s Village, Bophut
Never have you ever seen such a niche coffee menu as this one. Its award-winning Jack Sparrow has spicy orange undertones and its cold brew rivals any on the island. They have Aeropress down to perfection, and also methods of siphoning, nel dripping and French pressing their fresh beans — oh, and don’t forget the drip brew. In amongst the oldest houses of the island left from the fishermen before the influx of tourists, and surrounded by artistic murals, exotic foliage and dainty inspirational quotes attached to potted plants, it’s hard not to fall in love with this cafe. The Wi-Fi can be temperamental here, but even if it were to cut out, there are plenty of stories to be drafted about the cafe itself. Definitely an experience unto its own, travellers and nomads are in abundance here.
Top tip: Take your phone with you to the toilet to nab some cute Instagram photos on the way.