Where to run in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai has plenty of places to run if you know where to go.
The coolest time of day is around 06:00 or 07:00 and at dusk - but the mosquitoes come out when the sun sets. If you're running on the roads, it's best to go early morning to avoid heavy traffic.
Click the links for a Google Map of each location.
Chiang Mai University Running Track, Lake, & Arboretum
Chiang Mai University's large, wooded campus is a beautiful running location. There are several entrances including opposite QQCha, off Canal Road, and the main entrance. You can run around any part of the campus, such as the pathways, running track, and scenic Ang Kaew Reservoir. Huay Kaew Arboretum is next door.
Suan Buak Hat Park in the Old City
Suan Buak Hat is a small park in a convenient location. Plenty of people come here to run and exercise using the free outdoors gym equipment. You'd have to run around the park many times to cover much ground. It's a great place to meet people.
Lanna Rama 9 Park
Chiang Mai's Rama 9 Park is bigger than Suan Buak Hat and much less crowded, but in a less convenient location.
The Old City Moat
This moat loop is about 6 kilometers of uneven, obstacle-strewn pavement with lots of busy roads to cross. It's a good way to see the city, though, and the ancient walls and canal are beautiful.
700 Years Stadium
Many people run around the flat 2 kilometers around the 700 Years Stadium every evening. Join them!
Royal Flora Rajapruek
The roads leading up to and around Royal Flora are very quiet in the mornings and afternoons, and are a great place to run. If you feel like running in a beautiful setting, pay the 200 baht entrance fee to Royal Flora and run around the grounds. It's so lovely there! You can also hire a bicycle. Opens at 08:00, closes at 18:00.
Huay Tung Tao Lake
Huay Tung Tao is a very popular running destination in Chiang Mai. Run 14 kilometers around a beautiful lake for just 20 baht if you arrive after 07:00.
Up to Wat Palad and Back Again
Start outside the Chiang Mai Zoo entrance, then run 5 kilometers up the road to the stunning jungle-temple Wat Palad. You can either run back down the way you came, hike a trail through the forest (go down the steps near the waterfall, past the kneeling Buddha statues on the railing), take a red car back down, or continue running up to Doi Suthep temple.
Up to Doi Suthep Temple
It's about 11 kilometers uphill to Doi Suthep Temple from the Chiang Mai Zoo entrance. Simply follow the road. If you want to go inside the temple, please make sure you're dressed respectfully. If you're not, you can borrow appropriate clothing from just outside the central area of the temple. From the Wat Doi Suthep, you can either run back down the way you came, hike down the forest trail, or get a red car back down. The forest trail back down starts right on this bend, here, and takes you here, near Suthep Road.
Air-conditioned, flat, zero obstacles - the gym is always great for a run at any time of day. If you don't have one in your accommodation building, check out this map of gyms in Chiang Mai and find one near you.
Do you know of any other places to run in Chiang Mai? If so, please let me know in the comments below!