After running in Bali, Bangkok and Perth you can probably imagine that I really wanted to run in Chiang Mai as well. I had been reading other blogs and Tripadvisor comments saying that running in Chiang Mai wasn’t recommended. Also, there are no big parks and I found out that running on the Chiang Mai University Campus was not an option (not accessible if you are not a student!) eventhough someone suggested it on one of these forums. Still I managed to go for a 5-7 km run! In this blog I will tell you what to expect when running in Chiang Mai.
Where to run?
In my experience there are three ways that you can go for a run in Chiang Mai:
1. Trail running.
There are many trails in/around Chiang Mai available if trail running is what you are into. When walking to different temples, I saw trail running groups. However, since this particular type of running is not my thing, I thought of other options.
2. Running around the old city along the city walls.
You will find side walks, a little bit of shadow from trees and pedestrian crossings. In total it is around 6.5 km.
3. Running in Buak Had Park.
It is a really small park (1 round is 0.6 km) but you will find other runners there. It is safe, there is no traffic and there are no obstacles.
Buak Had Park
When to run?
I recommend running in the morning. Not as early as in Bali, but right after sunrise: between 7.00 and 8.00 am. Depending on the season, it can really cool down in Chiang Mai at night. With a temperature of 16-18 degrees in the morning, it is perfect time for your run. If you prefer an afternoon run, keep in mind that the sun sets around 18.00-19.00 and the temperatures during the day can easily reach 32 degrees.
When running in Chiang Mai, keep in mind that:
- Sunscreen is not a superfluous luxury.
- Thai people drive on the left side of the road (so double-check when crossing!).
- You should overtake other runners on the right.
- There are no water taps, so bring your own water (or money).
- A visit to a toilet will cost you 3 bath.
Going for the real deal? Check if a running event is held while you’re visiting Chiang Mai. But if you are happy with just getting your daily excersice, lower your expectations regarding time, pace and distance and just enjoy running in Chiang Mai! I sure did 😉