Asia Pacific

Chiang Mai, Thailand

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run Chiang Mai


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 Huay Tueng Tao Lake & Running Track, north of the city. 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.

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Rama IX Lanna Park

Chiang Mai, Thailand

A tranquil spot for a run, with several small lakes, exercise paths, and shaded areas. Runners can also do a loop around the adjacent Highland People Discovery Museum on a pleasantly canopied road. It's 3 km combined.

Royal Park Rajapruek

Chiang Mai, Thailand

It's worth the small fee to enjoy a run on the paths around the beautifully landscaped grounds of this park that's a popular visitor destination in Chiang Mai. Note that the park has set hours and a fee is required.

Runners should note that Chiang Mai’s weather ranges from hot to very hot, with several particularly humid, wet months. High temperatures range from 29C (85) to 36C (97F) year-round, with drier weather and cooler nights from November-March. There are distinct wet and dry months.

Chiang Mai is a popular visitor destination, with some 40,000 hotel rooms. Those looking to step out their door and go for a run should look closely at our running map and choose accommodation near one of our preferred routes.

There are no dedicated, independent running stores in Chiang Mai. But there are outlets of Asics, New Balance, and Nike, as well as some general purpose sporting goods shops such that sell running gear.