A Fitness Lover's Guide to Chiang Mai

Trekking in Chiang Mai
Trekking in Chiang Mai | © Ben and Katherine Photos/Flickr
Iona Proebst

Chiang Mai has a huge range of fitness activities available, frequented by locals, expats and tourists alike. Wandering around in your ‘active wear’ is often cheered on by local residents who might just give you a supportive thumbs up. Grab your Fitbit and go try what Chiang Mai has to offer, from Muay Thai training camps to lively Zumba classes and everything in between.

Gyms and fitness classes

If you plan to stay in town awhile, and want to maintain your fitness routine, you might want to consider signing up for a gym membership in one of the many gyms throughout the city. Membership fees vary so it is a good idea to cash in the free trial for one class so you can see what gym works best for you. Both gyms and fitness studios offer a range of equipment and classes, including salsa dancing, yoga, Zumba and martial arts. There is also an extremely popular CrossFit gym.

The majority of the fitness classes are taught in Thai, however, there are plenty that are taught in English. Some classes even take a bilingual approach in which you can not only get fit but also practice your Thai skills.

CrossFit Chiang Mai, M.3 Chotana Rd, Chang Pluk, Muang, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai

Outdoor gyms

If you are on a tight budget, never fear, there are still plenty of fitness options for you, whether you join a hiking group, explore Chiang Mai’s parks or join a free outdoor public fitness class. Many of the public spaces have a variety of basic work out equipment that can be used for free. Besides a luscious green outdoor gym, these verdant spaces are also a great place to mingle with locals.

Suan Buak Hat Park, Chiang Mai

Muay Thai

Muay Thai, the national sport of Thailand, is not only a great way to get fit, it is also a fantastic way to learn more about Thai culture. Chiang Mai is one of Thailand’s top locations to learn the art, with casual classes as well as intensive training camps available.

Muay Thai

Indoor and outdoor climbing

Chiang Mai has a flourishing climbing community with both indoor and outdoor options which cater to beginners and experienced climbers. If you are interested in getting into the climbing scene in Chiang Mai, check out No Gravity. For outdoor climbing options, the Crazy Horse Buttress is recognized as a world class climbing venue.

No Gravity, Atsadathon Rd, Chiang Mai, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200

Crazy Horse Buttress, Ratchapakhinai Rd, Tambon Phra Sing, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200

Climbing the Crazy Horse Buttress

Hiking and cycling

Forget trying to navigate Chiang Mai’s near non-existent pavements and rather jog or cycle around Huay Tung Tao Lake which is only a 15-minute drive from the city center. The lake is stunningly beautiful and is a calm and tranquil place to exercise. Chiang Mai also has plenty of marathons for those so inclined.

If you prefer walking or hiking, Chiang Mai has a wide choice of breathtakingly beautiful hikes that lead you up mountains, past sacred temples and along cascading waterfalls. There is an excellent array of trails for both beginners and experienced hikers.

Huay Tung Tao, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Hiking in Chiang Mai
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