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Survival Kit in China: Useful Apps to Download Now

This list is brought to you by ShenzhenParty: http://www.shenzhenparty.com/news/shenzhen/570222-40-helpful-apps-would-make-your-life-shenzhen-much-easier Wechat WeChat provides multimedia communication with text messaging, hold-to-talk voice messaging, broadcast (one-to-many) messaging, photo/video sharing, location sharing, and contact information exchange.

Coworking in Shenzhen: 3W Coffee

I finally made it to 3W Coffee in Shenzhen this weekend to attend the Startup Grind event. Although off my beaten track, it was worth a go. 3W Coffee is

Coworking in Shenzhen

I’ve now been in Shenzhen for over a month and I feel like I’ve explored what’s out there in regards to coworking spaces. I live in Shekou, which means traveling to

Coworking in Kunming

After spending a year nomad working and coworking in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai,  Beijing and Jinghong (Xishuangbanna), we made it back south to Kunming. It was a bit of a

Coworking in Beijing: Cheese’s

Craving a cheesecake? Or cheese in general? This place will get you sorted. Conveniently located halfway between Sanlitun and Gulou, this dessert/ salad / cheese place is   a great

Coworking in Beijing: 3wcoffee at Haidian

After spending some time at tha Garage cafe, I ventured out to see what’s else around there, primarily because my VPN wasn’t working at the Garage cafe.

3wcoffee is a two floor coffee place next to Teamwork cafe, well equipped for work and co-work. Good wifi (router with VPN), electrical sockets by nearly every table, upstairs quiet area for meetings or calls. Coffee was good (RMB28) and it wasn’t too crowded.

http://3wcoffee.com/

3wcoffee

 Address:

1 Shanyuan St. (Caihefang Rd., At 1/F of Lifangting), Beijing 100080

Coworking in Beijing: The Garage Café 车库咖啡

My first stop of exploring Beijing’s official coworking spaces (not counting coworking-friendly cafes) is The Garage Café, located in the north west part of Beijing, Haidian area.

First impressions- not easy to find. I’m glad I had google maps in my pocket and a friend’s description how to find it: “it’s a in little walking sidestreet, on the second floor, entrance shared with a hotel”. Sounds exactly right, I was walking down the little side street and was looking upwards looking for anything Garage related on the windows.

It’s the largest co-working space I’ve ever been to, but I guess appropriate for Beijing’s proportions. At the moment there are about 50 other people staring at their screens and surprisingly I’m the only westerner here. Needless to say, everything is in Chinese. Seems like they host some tech events here that can be found on their website, majority of which are in Chinese.

You can work here for free, there is a cafe on site naturally with somewhat elevated prices (RMB 28 for a cappuccino or a meal), but I’m definitely not complaining. Also, opening hours 08:30-22:30 are very attractive for me the early and late bird all in one.

It’s quiet, chairs are comfortable, good internet, lots of light, if not the 1 hour commute, I’d be here everyday. Here’s what Tech crunch people had to say about it.

The Garage Cafe

Address:

48 Haidian W Ave. At 2/F of 鑫鼎宾馆, Beijing

Directions: Take line 4 to Zhongguancun, exit D, walk down Haidian St, turn right at the KFC, enter through Xin Ding hotel.

 

Coworking in Beijing: coffee around Sanlitun SOHO

After exploring the Gulou street in Beijing, I decided to change the scenery  and go work from Sanlitun. Unfortunately the legit coworking place Cafe O’Henry is not open for business at the moment so  had to find a quiet coffee place with wifi. I was lucky to find Cafe New York Sandwich, where I spent a productive day working from. Delicious coffee (RMB 12-18) and sandwiches (RMB 18-25) kept me satisfied as well as comfortable chairs, lots of light, plenty of electric sockets (these are luxury around here!) and great internet.

2013-06-06 15.32.49

Coworking in Beijing: Coffee around Gulou St

On my first day of working in Beijing I owe thanks to Pugongying coffee place.  We were intending to go to work at Zarah coffee place, but because it was full, we tried right next door and found this cosy quiet little place. Strangely barely anyone there. French music playing. Good coffee (RMB 28). Got to point out the authentic to the hutongs squat toilet by the way, and FYI, only pipi!

Good wifi, good coffee, easy to get to- I’ll be back!

2013-05-31 12.38.10 2013-05-31 12.38.33-1 2013-05-31 13.04.40 2013-05-31 12.37.55
Address:

40 Gulou Dongdajie (near Jiaodaokou)

鼓楼东大街40号

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The second spot- Corner coffee
+10 points for the hammock,
+10 points for the rooftop terrace
+10 points for a large cup of coffee (RMB 25)

-5 points for the noise

2013-05-31 15.08.12 2013-05-31 15.08.28
Address:

3 Nanxiawazi Hutong

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[Update, January 2014 Zarah is closed, for renovation perhaps?]

On the third day, I made it to cafe Zarah. It’s a great place to work at, seems like it from the number of westerners staring at their laptops and sipping coffees. I particularly like this place for the atmosphere and a bar/ standing desk where you can work standing up. I know living in Beijing there are many things killing you, but sitting is killing you too and I like a chance to stand working once in a while. I like it also because it is quiet enough for calls and the internet speed did not cause troubles either.

Other pros of cafe Zarah are the menu- affordable coffee (RMB 18) and German bread sandwiches, for those craving a good western lunch.

It’s a bit hot inside but you can also sit outside to get some “fresh air”.

Zarah 2013-06-03 17.46.57

 Address:

42 Gulou Dongdajie (near Jiaodaokou)

鼓楼东大街42号

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On the 4th day on Gulou street I find myself in Alba cafe. It’s nice, popular among other western digital nomads and good for working. Delicious coffee that will cost you RMB 20-30, pasta, salads, sandwiches and cocktails on the menu. Major pros- rooftop terrace and long working hours (8am-2am), so good for both early and late birds.

2013-06-04 18.16.36-1

alba

Address:
70 Gulou Dongdajie (east of Nanluogu Xiang), Dongcheng District
东城区鼓楼东大街70号

 

Coworking in Shanghai

Here’s the map of the most popular coworking spaces in Shanghai. I haven’t had the chance to check them out yet, but my reviews are coming soon.


View Co working spaces and incubators in Asia By Start Up Noodle in a larger map

(co)Working in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second largest city up in the north of the country is really quite popular among self-made expats, tech-repreneurs,  retirees, dudes who like to ride motorbikes, practice muay thai and the like. It’s not surprising though, as the city is nice, convenient to get around and has all the perks Thailand has to offer- nice people, amazing food, rich culture, luscious nature and you won’t believe it- even spaces for you to get some work done.

So far there is one legit coworking space Punspace that I wrote a review about, but there are a few other places to choose from and move around.

Also just heard about a new place CoffeeShots where you can rent a desk from 100b a day.

People seem to like Impresso Espresso Bar. I’ve tried Wawee coffee, Pacamara, Good Morning Chiang Mai in the old town. Didn’t blow me away, but it was good for a day or a half.

This guy wrote about working in some coffee shops in Nimmanhaemin area:

http://johnnyfd.blogspot.com/2013/05/coworking-office-space-vs-coffee-shops.html

This guy was more after the good coffee but it’s also good reviews of the coffee places:

http://bk.asia-city.com/travel/holiday-destination/chiang-mai/cafe-society-0

If you’re planning to live and work in Chiang Mai, join “CM Biz group” on Facebook to be in the loop. Wondering where to live? This post will help to at least choose the area for your needs (and how to play Thai girls too by the way).

Do you have some other places you like working from in Chiang Mai? Sharing is caring!

Coworking in Bangkok: Work Buddy

WorkBuddy is located in the heart of the Sukhumvit’s business area. They claim to provide innovative infrastructure that freelancers, creative  professionals, entrepreneurs, and startups need to succeed in the 21st century knowledge economy. In an increasingly disconnected world, WorkBuddy creates a collaborative community that is revolutionizing the nature of work.

workbuddy1 workbuddy41

Have you been there? Any impressions?

http://workbuddy.co/

Address:

RSU Tower , 571 Sukhumvit 31, 10th Floor, Klongton Nue, Wattana District, Bangkok 10110 Thailand

Open: 9 AM – 6 PM (Monday-Friday)

The best VPN out there?

I’ve been recommended Astrill VPN which is apparently the s*it and really makes your life in China easier.

  • Starting at $6 a month and has a 7-day free trial- so you can see for yourself.
  • 142 servers in 49 countries to choose from
  • Virtually all devices supported
  • Business solutions for connecting your whole office to the western world.

Another one – Witopia who offers some of the world’s best VPN services, 24x7x365 customer support, an easy-to-use client, supports Android and iOS, Chromebooks. Need secure DNS? They’ve got it and wait for it.. unconditional 30-day money back trial. If you  like it, it’ll set you back $6 a month.

 

Have you used these, anything good or bad to say?

 

Waygo app

So the first cool tool you shouldn’t go to China without- Waygo app. I’ve just read about them on e27.co – they’re in the top 5o startups presenting at  Echelon 2013 on June 4-5’th in Singapore. I am soon going to China and this is one of the things that I’m sure will make my life easier. It instantly translates Chinese and the screenshot below is self-explanatory:

waygo

http://www.waygoapp.com/ 

Coworking in Bangkok: The ThirdPlace CLUB

Blogging live from the ThirdPlace on Thonglor 10 in Bangkok! Third place, not because it’s the third after Hubba and Launchpad, but because it’s their idea of the third space after home and workplace, an “informal public gathering place which enriches people’s lives”. They have a gallery, a wine bar with a rooftop terrace, a massage place on site and coworking CLUB is just another cool part of the The ThirdPlace.

So, my first impression- nice and cosy, there 12 people working and seems like there would fit another 10. That said, it’s not a massive place like Launchpad, but not as small as Kliquedesk or WorkBuddy.

The receptionist lady didn’t bother to say a word nor give a tour or ask what I may need- I suppose the guessed from my face what I needed and handed me a “one day pack” receipt with a wifi password one it, which cost me 150 baht (quite a bargain).

To get there, get off the BTS at Thong Lo and walk up the soi Thong Lo 10 blocks until you see the Brotzeit German & Bier Bar (!afterwork drinks right on).

All in all, great coworking place and I will be back!

Address:

137-137/1 Sukhumvit 63 (Thonglor 10)
North-Klongton, Wattana, Bangkok 10110

http://thirdplacebangkok.com/live/thirdplace-club