Over the last few years, Koh Tao has become home to a thriving digital nomad community from all walks of like. Web developers, graphic designers, content marketers, translators, bloggers, social media gurus, and SEO experts are among the many who have chosen to ditch the conventional lifestyle and work remotely from paradise instead. Koh Tao is well set up to cater to this market, with several comfortable places to work, strong and stable internet connections, and even some special visas in the pipeline.
Thailand is currently overhauling its visa system with plans to include new options to attract and support digital nomads. The ‘Smart Visa’ which launched just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic began was originally aimed at highly paid employees in the tech industry. However, proposed updates mean it should not be long before digital nomads and their families can be welcomed under the same flexible conditions. Current plans indicate a new visa may be available soon, allowing digital nomads to stay in Thailand for up to four years without a work permit. Planning a long term stay? You can keep up to date with the most recent Thailand Tourism Updates here.
Koh Tao is home to one dedicated co-working space, with a few more in the planning stages and set to open very soon. There are also a number of unofficial co-working spaces provided by cafes and restaurants with sectioned off areas with air-conditioning, tables, chairs, and plenty of power sockets. If you’re the kind of nomad who just needs good coffee, Wi-Fi, and a decent view, you’ll be happy to hear that many of our food and beverage outlets are happy to accommodate digital workers who want to hang out all day and use their internet connection.
Most visitors are impressed by the speed and strength of our internet connections. Fiber connections typically range from 100-600Mbits, but it’s a good idea to ask your accommodation provider or work space of choice to run a speed test. The ping rate is usually between 5-20ms on average. Even if you’re hot spotting from a sim card, with a 10mbps plan it’s usually fine. We do experience occasional drop outs when it’s stormy as internet connection runs on a microwave relay connection to Koh Phangan. However, many businesses have UPS systems and generators that can account for any unexpected surprises.
Koh Tao runs on central diesel generators and the power lines have been significantly upgraded over the last few years, so power is stable. Many homes and businesses run on government power, but some have private power too. So in the case of a power cut, those with both can simply switch over until normal service resumes. As with internet services, there can still be occasional power cuts on stormy days, or when a falling coconut or suicidal squirrel gets caught up in the lines or transformers. So again, it’s worth checking with your accommodation provider or work space in advance to check what type of power they have, and see if they have UPS’s and backup generators.