Chiang Mai, located in northern Thailand, has become an increasingly popular travel destination, attracting some 15 million tourists annually. Chiang Mai is known for its Old City, numerous impressive temples, surrounding mountains with 2,500m peaks, and a vibrant arts and cultural scene. For those looking to go running in Chiang Mai, it’s important to know the best spots, since the city’s infrastructure isn’t conducive to just stepping out one’s hotel door to go for a random run.
A good way to get oriented is to run the perimeter road around Old Chiang Mai. It’s not bucolic, but a nice section is the small Suan Buak Haad Park. The two best places to run in Chiang Mai are a route combining the Arboretum, adjacent reservoir, and Chiang Mai University; and the Huay Tueng Tao Lake area north of the city, where there’s a cycle track, running track, and lake loop. Other bucolic running spots are the Royal Park Rajapruek and the nearby Mae-Hia Agricultural Research Center. For an actual running track, there’s one at Central Stadium at the University, and at the 700-Year Sports Complex. Those looking for a hill challenge can enjoy the scenic but challenging route to Doi Suthep.
Runners should note that Chiang Mai’s weather ranges from hot to very hot, with several particularly humid, wet months. Also, the air quality can be poor. For transport, there is an effort to expand the bus system and other options to reduce traffic.