A key part of the nomad lifestyle is finding a reliable, enjoyable place to get work done when necessary. For people living a location independent lifestyle, rather than having offices around the world, it’s often practical to find a co-working space where you can focus on your business.
One of the biggest hubs for such expat entrepreneurs is Southeast Asia.
Nomads have been flocking to the area for years and the region has responded to the demand of working travelers by providing an abundant supply of work-friendly cafes and co-working spaces.
Several years ago, we reached out to some of the preeminent voices in the nomad movement to find the best cafes and co-working spaces in the region. Since then, we have gone on to give our readers curated lists of the best co-working spaces in Europe, Central and South America, the United States, Canada, Africa and Australia.
We thought it was about time we returned to the list that started it all and expanded not only our recommendations for co-working spaces but also the number of countries where you can find the perfect atmosphere to connect, focus, and build your business while living a nomadic lifestyle.
And not just in Southeast Asia but throughout the entire Asian region.
We have all the best advice from our previous article, including the favorite locations of Matthew Kepnes of Nomadic Matt, Taylor Pearson of the book The End of Jobs, Elisa Doucette of Craft Your Content, and Ross Fraser of The Luxury Editor, among others.
But we have also added an extensive list of our favorite spots with descriptions of what they have to offer and why they are so great.
So, without further ado, we present you with the best co-working spaces in Asia.
The Best Co-Working Spaces in Bali, Indonesia
Often referred to simply as Bali, this Indonesian island has been a magnet for expats the world over for decades. Voted the best travel destination on earth in 2017 by TripAdvisor, Bali offers incredible luxury for affordable prices.
Our Nomad Remote Team spent several months in Bali a couple of years ago and created the Nomad Guide to Living in Bali, covering everything from when to go, where to go, what to do, where to eat and drink, where to stay, and even where to work.
Here are our top recommendations:
Outpost is a network of co-working and co-living spaces set in idyllic locations across Southeast Asia. For two consecutive years, Outpost has been voted as the #1 Co-working space by Coworker.com in their annual members’ choice awards.
Location-independent professionals can choose to live, work and explore at any of Outpost’s award-winning locations in Bali, Indonesia (Canggu, Ubud and the brand new Ubud Penestanan) or additional locations to come.
Located in Ubud, Hubud was recommended by the life and career coach Anna Wickham, who had this to say about the workspace:
“Iconic co-working space to which all co-working spaces should aspire. They’ve nailed the community aspect that attracts people from all over the world just to work in that space. Worth the international trip to Ubud JUST to check it out.”
Elisa Doucette Café Recommendations
The Best Co-Working Spaces in Cambodia
Andrew has been talking about Cambodia for years and has repeatedly highlighted it as one of his favorite frontier markets for investment, whether you’re looking to start a business on the beach or invest in local real estate.
And, if you want to do more than invest and actually spend some time in the country, you’ll be happy to note that the cost of living is incredibly affordable. Best of all, Phnom Penh took the number one spot on our list of the most livable frontier market cities.
Whether you’re about to start the next million-dollar Cambodian company or you already have a location independent business, if you plan to stick around for a while, you will probably need a good place to get your work done. Here’s our #1 recommendation:
Workspace 1 @ Factory Phnom Penh
Formerly an industrial space, Factory is a huge complex on the south end of Phnom Penh that was redesigned and now houses several different businesses, from legal services to a woodworking factory to a marketing firm, and from a skateboarding-focused NGO to a trampoline park to a company that offers high-end augmented reality for real estate.
Workspace 1 (or WS1) is the dedicated co-working area at Factory and offers freelancers, students, and entrepreneurs everything they need to be productive.
Starting at $70/month, you can get access to a quiet place to work, green areas and other spaces to relax, events and social gatherings to promote collaboration and learning, Skype/call booths, conference rooms, food and coffee, showers, a game room, and even campus bicycles!
The Best Co-Working Spaces in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of the most well-known international business centers in the world. They have a strong free market, low taxes, and easy offshore incorporation, drawing a global audience.
But the driving business mentality of the city does not diminish the cultural draw of Hong Kong. It is one of the best cities in Asia for foodies and there is something magical about the stark, clean skyscrapers juxtaposed against the street vendors hawking their goods.
Not only is Hong Kong one of the most livable cities in the region but it is also one of the safest cities for nomads and even considered one of the safest countries in the world, even though it is not technically its own country.
The best news of all for people looking to get some work done while in Hong Kong is that it has some of the fastest internet speeds in the world. This will be even more useful when you find the perfect place to sit down and get some work done.
Ross Fraser recommends The Coffee Academics – Wan Chai Outlet if you’re the cafe type, but if you’re looking for a place to collaborate and grow your business, here’s our top co-working space recommendation:
Ooosh Co-Working Space
Ooosh provides Growth-Centric Collaborative Workspace Solutions to businesses of all sizes. They have two co-working spaces that offer a flexible workspace solution redesigned based on working behavior, and driving better results by adapting to the way we work.
Besides physical workspaces, Ooosh provides the following growth support initiatives to their members: Ooosh Mentor, Ooosh Connect (Trusted Vendor List), Access to Catalyst Ventures (their VC arm), and other Technical & Professional perks offered by industry leaders.
Their workspace solution also provides the following amenities:
- Vibrant cross-location entrepreneurial community powered by online and offline mediums
- Free Flow coffee brew from N.O.C Coffee beans
- Open pantry with free drinks and snacks
- Spacious Layout with Ergonomic Furniture & storage space
They live by the philosophy that they are more than a workspace and value interpersonal connections. Since they’ve been through similar situations starting various B2B and B2C companies, they know the pains and difficulties of startups and so provide the resources to ease those pains so that you can focus on doing what you do best.
Because they only want the best for their members, these resources are in the form of professional mentors and partners and service providers they have engaged and vetted personally.
Last of all, they are tightly connected with the tech startup scene. They know the industry, the connections, and have a venture capital arm with connections to over 80% of the VC firms in Hong Kong. If you’re looking for someone who can connect you to the right people in Hong Kong, look no further than Ooosh. know the right people and we can connect them to you.
The Best Co-Working Spaces in India
Despite its sheer size, India is still a relatively unknown player in the offshore world. That being said, both Mumbai and Chennai are among the top five world cities with the lowest business taxes. And the country as a whole is one of the top destinations for medical tourism.
Mumbai is also one of the top ten world financial centers while Chennai is the industrial and commercial center of South India. But, if you’re looking for an international startup ecosystem to compete with Silicon Valley, you should pack your bags and head to Bangalore.
Once you get there, you can head on over to our #1 recommended co-working space in the city:
GoodWorks started in April 2017 and has become an award-winning co-working and manage office service provider in less than two years of its existence. Coworker.com has recognized GoodWorks as the best co-working space in Bangalore for two years in a row (in the years 2018 and 2019)
They are also Bangalore’s fastest growing players in the market, with over 230,000 sqft of office space spread in prominent locations across the city including : Indiranagar, White Field, Millers Road and Electronic City.
In Oct 2019, they will launch Electronic City’s largest and most luxurious co-working space, GoodWorks Infinity. This lavish 70,000+ square feet area co-working space will boast 5-star amenities that include a central courtyard, amphitheater, creche, gym, cafes, restaurants and recreational areas along with 1000+ seats.
All their offices are held in OC compliant buildings only. They provide enterprise-grade A infrastructure, premium services and can cater to small and larger teams alike. Their service is top-notch. Their office spaces are designed with utmost care to ensure every team enjoys the convenience of a co-working space while enjoying the discretion of a private office.
Their signature office layout includes spacious and well-lit working areas and shared spaces. Common areas with couches and sofa sets in every corner help co-workers to interact with each other. Ample natural light and abundant room to move around are key points!
What sets them apart from other co-working space providers is their provisions for privacy. For larger teams, they provide private cabins or managed spaces that can be customized to accommodate 20 to 300 people.
GoodWorks is a tech-driven community. All bookings are managed through AI-driven tech/ app. Even Food orders and IT support can be sought using the GoodWorks HQ app.
The Best Co-Working Spaces in Israel
While technically part of Asia, we have included Israel on this list only as prelude to our upcoming post on the best co-working spaces in the Middle East.
The rate of innovation in Israel has earned it the nickname “Startup Nation.” With a population of just 8.5 million citizens, it has the largest number of startups per capita of any country in the world – one per 1,400 people. And it is second only to the US in the number of startups per country.
Due to its history, geographical location, and high-quality education system, Israel is home to a highly educated and motivated populace that has contributed to the country’s technology boom and economic growth.
If you have any Jewish ancestry, you could get Israeli citizenship through Israel’s law of return, but you would also be signing up for 50% tax rates on your income. The better option to tap into Israel’s startup scene would simply be to visit one of its best co-working spaces:
Urban Place has three separate locations throughout the startup nation – two in Tel Aviv (Rothschild 3 and Shalom Tower) and one in Jerusalem (Yaffo 224). All three locations offer a cozy, chic atmosphere that enables members to hold meetings and get things done, whether in a shared co-working space or in a private office.
Urban Place encourages networking through its own events, round tables, and business fairs to help members discover, connect, and work with each other. They also provide a full agenda of activities, trainings, happy hours, and other events.
The Best Co-Working Spaces in Japan
To be perfectly honest, we haven’t had a lot of good things to say about Japan over the years. And it’s not just that the cost of living is high or that you must have a local business partner to start a business there. No, Japan’s economy is headed in a bad direction on about every front.
Despite having one of the highest tax rates in the world – a gut-wrenching 55.95% – Japan has somehow managed to also have the highest dept-to-GDP ratio in the world, at a whopping 248%. They also have the second highest sovereign debt in the world, second only to the United States.
So, even though Japan is one of the safest countries in the world and has some of the best food around, Andrew’s advice is to stay away when it comes to designing your international lifestyle.
However, visiting won’t do you any harm. Andrew has enjoyed many trips to Japan in the past, enough to know it’s not the place for him, but it may be just what you’re looking for.
And, like Hong Kong, Japan has some of the fastest internet speeds in the world, so you’ll be ready to go when it comes time to get some work done. And we’ve got you covered when it comes to finding the best co-working space in Japan:
Coworking space Kayabacho Co-Edo has a convenient location in the center of Tokyo, which is accessible from four stations on six lines. You can stay all day for ¥1,000 (~USD$9.25) with fast Wi-Fi, power supply, and free drinks. Memberships are also affordable starting from ¥5,000 (~USD$45).
They also offer space and conference room rentals.
Kayabacho has a relaxed and lively atmosphere as many seminars and study groups are held on a daily basis. Quieter space is also available for members only.
Many of the users are motivated startups and entrepreneurs with a collaborative nature. They are happy to support those who want to scale their business in a risk-free environment.
The Best Co-Working Spaces in Malaysia
In direct contrast to Japan, Malaysia may just be our favorite country in the entire Asian region. Andrew has named Malaysia the hidden gem of Southeast Asia and even has his MM2H visa residency in the country.
Not only is Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia one of the most livable cities in Southeast Asia, it is also one of the most affordable cities for nomads. Plus, it is a great place to invest in real estate.
Because we like Malaysia so much, we couldn’t limit our list to just one favorite co-working space. Here are all our favorites:
Colony is a luxury co-working space in Malaysia operating across five different locations in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
As a hospitality-based co-working space, Colony’s commitment to providing the workplace a better environment joins beautifully with their conviction that people should always be taken care of, even when they’re working.
So, Colony created a place where not only is the design ‘living’ but the experience at work is too.
Raved over for its chic and Instagram-worthy interior, Colony aims to enable guests to focus on their life’s work and reach new heights while all else is taken care of; making sure that every guest who steps through their door will indulge in first-class experience.
Sandbox is a co-working space that is creatively crafted for freelancers, remote workers, digital nomads & start-ups who want to meet like-minded people, bounce ideas, share inspirations, discuss options, and potentially forge highly successful collaborations.
Located just down south of Kuala Lumpur, Sri Petaling is a classy suburb that enjoys the presence of a young demography that is well-connected, educated, and informed. Besides, Sri Petaling is surrounded with established amenities and accessible services which makes it a crowd-puller. This certainly makes working here more convenient and effortless.
WORQ is more than a workspace, it is a community where individuals achieve greater results through sharing of experiences and helping one another. It is a co-working space for networking and collaborating with individuals from different backgrounds such as entrepreneurs, investors, MNCs, government agencies, NGOs, digital marketers, programmers, creatives, and many more!
WORQ is a productivity-charged workplace where everything is designed to ensure maximum productivity at work with beautifully designed offices, high speed internet, enterprise grade infrastructure, fully stocked pantries and meeting / event space facilities.
They believe in improving the livelihoods, businesses and jobs of their members by helping them stay in touch with the latest and greatest innovations. Through their community and innovation partners, they bring together resources to meet members’ business goals.
WORQ is also a Malaysia Digital Hub. Companies housed in their space are eligible for corporate tax exemptions, access to easy application to the Malaysia Tech Entrepreneurs Program (MTEP), ability to hire foreign talent, as well as funding and many other government-initiated incentives.
Anna Wickham Recommendations
Paper and Toast (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Convenient location in the center of KL in the popular district of Bukit Bintang, Paper and Toast is also affordable and comes with free coffee and tea. Quiet spot to get things done, but also has personality and a relaxing vibe.
The Mugshot (Penang, Malaysia)
The most popular of MANY amazing cafes in Penang. Fantastic coffee, great service, and a big wooden block table to spread out, work, and meet new people. Great location as well, walking distance from some of the most popular Penang accommodations.
The Best Co-Working Spaces in Myanmar
Myanmar – formerly Burma – was one of the wealthiest economies in Asia before it fell under military rule in 1962. The decades-long dictatorship finally came to an end less than ten years ago and has been slowly opening to foreigners since 2012.
While it still isn’t the best place to invest in real estate since foreigners cannot own land, houses, or property in general, there are many ways to profit by investing in frontier markets like Myanmar.
We recently reached out to experts to learn more about investing in Myanmar, but Andrew still believes that it is best for most people to wait a few more years before investing in Asia’s final frontier, favoring Cambodia over this fledgling new democracy.
If you just want to visit the country and get a little work done while you’re there, though, here’s our recommendation for the best co-working space in Myanmar:
Phandeeyar is a 10,000 square foot co-working space located in the heart of downtown Yangon. They provide high-speed internet, personal lockers, meeting rooms, phone booths, desks, bean bags, free coffee and tea, table tennis, and 24-hour access on weekdays (9am-6pm on weekends and holidays.)
It is a cozy but productive environment for designers, architects, business owners, startups, freelancers, digital nomads, and anyone looking for a great workspace. Membership gives you access to a monthly co-working space party, discounts at restaurants, a flexible pass for the gym and access to all events, seminars and workshops at Phandeeyar.
A day pass is just $6, while a weekly pass is $18, and a monthly pass will only take $50 out of your total budget.
Phandeeyar’s roots are in technology, connectivity, and startups. In 2016, Phandeeyar launched the Yangon chapter of Founder Institute, Silicon Valley’s most successful entrepreneur development program, and has since invested in promising tech startups in the area.
Phandeeyar literally means “creation place” and is the perfect spot for locals and foreigners who are ready to ]bring about change and development in Myanmar. So, while it may not be the perfect time to invest in Myanmar as a whole, Phandeeyar is the perfect place to start by building connections and laying the foundation for great things to come.
The Best Co-Working Spaces in Singapore
Singapore… what isn’t there to say about Singapore? It’s safe, clean, has a strong free market, is one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world, as well as one of the richest (with a GDP of $102,027 PPP, plus 1 in 5 residents is a millionaire), and is a top destination for affluent expats for medical tourism and high-class living.
Along with Hong Kong, Singapore is a thriving hub for entrepreneurs and investors, it is the place to store wealth, has a favorable territorial tax system, is a great place to set up an offshore company, and is one of the safest countries for offshore banking.
Most impressive of all, it built all of this in just 49 years!
Simply put, Singapore understands things that the West doesn’t. Sure, Singapore has its drawbacks. It’s silly to fine people $500 for drinking water on the subway, the cost of living for everything from drinks to rent is ridiculously high, and the culture is a bit too sterile and conformist. It’s not the most culturally exciting country on this list.
But that’s the point of planting flags. You can visit and take advantage of all the great things Singapore has to offer without living there.
If you are hoping to get access to what The Economist named “the world’s most tightly packed entrepreneurial ecosystem”, or you’re just hoping to use the country’s lightning-fast internet during a short visit, we recommend checking out these great co-working spaces to get a foot in:
The Working Capitol
The Working Capitol is a diverse network of members and partners. They offer meeting rooms, event and co-working spaces, curated food and beverage experiences, and the perfect mix of events and programs to nurture businesses and company culture.
The space is located on Keong Saik Road, giving you great proximity to dozens of restaurants, bars, a gym, yoga studios, and quick access to The Duxton Plain Park, a green belt in the city surrounded by shophouses and hidden gems.
Memberships range from SGD 79 to SGD 800+ a month, with the cheapest option granting you access to The Working Capitol’s network, events and professional support system, and the most expensive option including a fully furnished office with event space discounts and other partner perks and benefits.
The Company Singapore is a co-working space located in the heart of City Hall, nearby F&B outlets, and next to Singapore’s iconic Raffles Hotel. The Company is not only about providing workspace solutions, it is also a hub for the tech and startup community to connect and collaborate.
Based in Japan, The Company has expanded in other countries like the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and the USA. The Singapore location has an in-house specialty coffee bar from Kyoto, Japan to satisfy all your caffeine needs.
They offer daily, monthly, six-month, and yearly membership plans for hot desks, fixed desks, and private offices. Prices range from SGD 250/month for a hot desk membership to SGD 1800+ for a private office.
The Best Co-Working Spaces in Thailand
Thailand has long been one of the most popular digital nomad destinations in the world. Both Bangkok and Chiang Mai have their pros and cons. Chaing Mai has been dubbed “the capital city of digital nomads” and those nomads have been hard at work starting everything from Amazon FBA stores to blogs to SAAS companies.
However, most digital nomads in Thailand are more interested in creating a lifestyle business rather than a full-fledged startup. Still, Bangkok is one of the most well-connected cities for nomads and you’re bound to make some connections while you’re there. Plus, there’s delicious food and high-speed internet access.
If you’re looking to bootstrap your own business or even start a business in Thailand, it’s worth checking out, but know that it may not be as cheap as you think.
If you are interested in visiting Thailand, you can check out our articles on obtaining a Thai visa, the Thai Elite Visa, or even a Thai passport. And, while you wait for that visa to arrive, you can take a look at the many co-working spaces and cafes in the country where you can get to work and make your business come to life.
KoHub is a unique island-based co=working space on the small tranquil tropical island of Koh Lanta in Thailand.
Despite the small island, KoHub has managed to create the best life balance in the world utilizing 1,000 Mbps Fiber Optics, a custom-designed co-working space, with onsite restaurant, cafe, juice bar, massage, tropical garden and its own groundbreaking innovative membership system that increases convenience and productivity.
KoHub’s community is also a welcoming and fun family, which helps create an Oasis for worldly nomadic entrepreneurs and remote workers.”
HUBBA became Thailand’s first co-working space in 2012 and quickly grew to become a technology-driven co-working space chain and corporate innovator with a mission to enable businesses to grow globally through community collaboration.
HUBBA now has five co-working spaces across Thailand with an additional three spaces planned by the end of 2019, including HUBBA’s first international space.
HUBBA quickly earned a strong reputation within corporate communities as an organization facilitating innovative thinking prompting HUBBA to develop technology-driven, venture=building services for its partners.
Leveraging their spaces and expertise, HUBBA continuously runs ecosystem events and training on demand ranging from hackathons and pitch competitions to fully managed international accelerator programs and innovation training series and bootcamps.
Elisa Doucette Café Recommendations
Chiang Mai, Thailand:
Ross Fraser Café Recommendations
The Best Co-Working Spaces in Veitnam
Vietnam is one of the most underrated countries for expat living, but it has become increasingly more popular over the years thanks to its cheap cost of living and vibrant culture.
Both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) made our lists for the most livable cities in Southeast Asia and the cheapest places in the world for custom suits. Ho Chi Minh City also made it into the top five best cities for bootstrapping young entrepreneurs.
Andrew spent quite a bit of time in Vietnam several years back doing on-the-ground research and discovered that Vietnam doesn’t need more capital investment, it needs more talent. It needs you. And if you have a good deal of patience and a penchant for adventure, it is a great place to invest.
It is also a great place to find a café or co-working space and get some work done. Matthew Kepnes, travel expert and founder of Nomadic Matt, had this to say about his favorite places to work while traveling both in Thailand and Vietnam:
“I think the best cities are either Chiang Mai or Saigon. You have lots of expats and digital nomads who live in each, so it’s easy to get a good community going. Both cities have good internet, international food, are good cities to make as your hub, and they are both very cheap. They’ve been popular with digital nomads for years for good reason!”
Here are a few more recommendations from our nomad thought leaders:
Taylor Pearson Recommendations
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam:
- ID Cafe sports comfy seats, amazing cinnamon tea and solid Wi-Fi. Good for a “lean back” work session, reading or a meeting
- L’usine: Perhaps the most French cafe left in Saigon, two locations in District 1 offer terrific French food, high quality coffee and great Wi-Fi.
- The Workshop: Big open tables in the corner of an old French building give a sense of history and the hipster-style drip coffee gives it a bit of flare. My favorite place to work.
- The Loft Cafe: Similar to L’usine, the loft is a big French style cafe in downtown Ho Chi Minh, perfect for lunch and a work session.
Elisa Doucette Recommendations
Elisa Doucette also recommends L’uisine in Vietnam and says,
“I spend the majority of my time here in SE Asia in Chiang Mai and work from restaurants as well as cafes. I am a firm proponent of being courteous to cafe owners when you are working there. Order something every two hours, take up only the space you need, if you need to take a call, do it in a place that isn’t an inconvenience to other customers, etc. They’re trying to make money just like the rest of us, they aren’t running coffee charities!”
If you’re looking for something a little more formal than a café, check out our favorite co-working space in Ho Chi Minh City:
SPICED, formerly Start Campus, was voted the #1 co-working space in Ho Chi Minh City on coworker.com. It is a boutique co-working space in District 2 that is home to a vibrant community of entrepreneurs and creatives.
Spiced offers everything you need, including plenty of room to work and hold events, plus a recreation room, garden and pool, rooftop terrace, fast and stable Wi-Fi, access to training, coaching, and an investor network, and even co-living and private bedrooms. Not to mention unlimited coffee and 24/7 access.
They hold daily community lunch and weekly activities like cocktail and pool parties and community talks so you can connect and play with like-minded people. Many community members often collaborate on side projects or even build businesses together.
To gain access to their comfortable hot desks (which come with 24” monitors), you can purchase a day pass for less than $7 or go all in for a monthly pass which costs about $95. Or, if you want 24/7 access, it will cost roughly $40 for a week or $108 for a month.
Nomad Capitalist is all about helping people like you “go where you’re treated best”. If you want to learn more about what exactly that means, and why I believe so strongly in it, I made this video that is worth watching:[embedded content]
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