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By srilankansam
#691
Hi all,

I'm Sam from Sri Lanka. It's a beautiful island with it's own imperfections; but if a nomad finds the right place and right people it will become a fantastic experience.

I was searching around the internet lately for coworking spaces in Colombo, Sri Lanka and found only very few. (Regus - a very high end expensive option, Entrepreneur Hubs - newly started value for money option)

However I can suggest a few more coffee shops as well as additional spaces we have at our offices that can be comparable to a coworking space in terms of cost & facilities.

So I decided to join this forum and give you guys tips and tricks to survive and thrive in Colombo, Sri Lanka as a digital nomad.

Please be free to ask me questions.

Cheers!

Sam
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By Robert O'Kruk
#692
Hey Sam! This is awesome. Appreciate this as I know I would like to visit Sri Lanka sometime in 2017! Can you create a topic detailing the spots? I would love to hear :)
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By srilankansam
#695
Ok, let me start with the most common and easy to find on internet option - Regus. I think no need of an introduction about the company etc. I will share how it practically is:

Locations:
Regus in Sri Lanka has at least 5 locations at the time I last checked them out. The World Trade Center Colombo 1* is the most in demand place for business offices in Sri Lanka, so Regus also operate 1 of their offices there. In addition to this, there are 3 more offices within 3km to 5km from the World Trade Center. Also there are 2 to 3 offices just outside the Colombo city limit (10km to 12km away from Colombo 1). Regus centers outside the Colombo city limit are kind of less expensive.

Workspace/Seating:
The World Trade Center has cubicles that goes on a minimum rental agreement of few months and also steep prices. Centers in Colombo 3 & 4 as well as the centers just outside the city limit all have "ThinkPod" small work stations that will fit exactly 1 person. There are only about 4 to 8 spaces like that, first come first served. I feel it's kinda congested and a person with more than 5'6" will struggle to work long hours sitting there. Few people can work at table mounted to the wall with "bar stool" kind of seats. Their main product is the cubicle kind of work place, which goes at 5 times the price of a ThinkPod/BarStool kind of work space. Of course it has the advantages of privacy, can keep documents in a cupboard etc. For all workstation memberships there is a minimum rental period of 6 months (as per last time I checked with them)

Facilities:
All locations are equipped with a dining area with tap & sink to wash plates & cups, a person to serve you tea (separately chargeable at double the price of a street cafe ;) ), toilets which are cleaned regularly etc.

Access:
If you have a cubicle membership, you have 24/7 access. For ThinkPod/BarStool kind of work space it's only 9am to 5.30pm. (these timings might slightly change so double check before you decide).

Parking:
Most places do not have parking and I highly encourage you to use Uber/PickMe or some other taxi service in Sri Lanka instead of driving by yourself.

@Robert/(or any reader) - please check this and give me a feedback on what are the other aspects you would like me to cover. I have few more places to write about. Based on your feedback I will update this post and also write about other places.

* Colombo is divided to 15 parts for administrative and postal purposes. Colombo 1 is the business district, Colombo 2 is the goods wholesale market & distribution center with harbour next to it, Colombo 3/4/5/6/8 are reasonably good commercial and residential areas, Colombo 7 is the prime residential (recently somewhat commercial) area. Colombo 9 to 15 might not be very foreigner friendly (depending on how you look at it).
#3785
Hi Sam

Thanks a lot for all the information you're providing.

My name is Jensen and I'll be traveling to Kalpitiya in July for some Kite Surfing. At this point I'm looking for ways to understand how friendly is this town for digital nomads so I can determine how long I'll be there.

If it's possible, could you comment on the availability and reliability of internet in that part of Sri Lanka.. also if there are sort of coworking places there that I can use as base to work.. And also any reference about bank so I can process basic banking transactions.

Thanks a lot for any comment you can provide or for directing me to any source you might consider valuable for my purpose.

Thanks

Jensen
User avatar
By srilankansam
#3789
Hi there Jensen!

Unfortunately it's not a part of the country I have explored, however let me check with friends who had been there and give an update here.
User avatar
By srilankansam
#3790
Hi Jensen, news just in.

* Kalpitiya has "decent 3g" which means it is not really fast internet.
* however the resorts are having wifi. how much do you plan to spend? i guess per night cost is above US$35 per night.
* it shows 3 banks in the town, 2 owned by government and 1 privately owned. all 3 are usually giving consistence service at ATM. i hope you don't plan to do anything other than withdrawing cash from ATM?

my opinion:
Kalpitiya is quite a hot area. For me, I prefer to work in a cooler environment of about 25 Celcius. In that case I would prefer an air conditioned environment. A good choice will be to seek an air conditioned room with attached bathroom to stay and work. (airbnb might offer some options too) Rest of the time you can be out doors doing kite surfing and other activities.

otherwise, i might dedicate about 3 days for kite surfing and move on to a place with more comfortable climate inland (e.g. Kurunegala & suburbs, 2.5hrs drive inland from Kalpitiya).

Areas in Kandy & Suburbs actually don't need air conditioning most of the time. Air is fresh and can find many peaceful places to work from.

....
Wish you best and please be free to ask more questions!

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