Fitness Centers in Chiang Mai: 6 Places to Consider Breaking a Sweat
When living in a foreign country, it’s more important than ever to get a workout in. There’s just too many other things going on around you to keep putting it off “for later,” and all too often you sacrifice health getting carried away with the locals or the other travelers.
So I personally advise anyone who’s going to be in Chiang Mai for a month or more to maintain a regular workout program—here are some places you might want to check out for getting your workout.
1. 700 Year Stadium
I didn’t discover the 700 Year Stadium until just before I left Chiang Mai, but it’s easily one of the city’s greatest resources if you don’t mind heading out of town a little ways every time you want some exercise. The greatest feature is an Olympic-sized swimming pool, easily the best in town and extremely cheap for even non-members to use.
There is also a driving range, for golfers, a shooting range, a small weight room, a cardio room, hiking trails and more. It may not be the best place to get a weight-lifting session in, as the pickings are rather sparse, but for all of the rest of the above, it’s golden.
And you won’t find another deal like it.
2. Chiang Mai University
CMU also boasts a decent swimming pool that is rather more accessible, especially if you are living in the Nimanheimen area. It’s also nice if you are interested in meeting the university crowd or accessing other resources on campus, like taking Thai language courses at the language center.
It’s not quite as nice as the one at the Stadium but comes at half the price. Don’t expect anything out of the weight room here though; it’s laughable as far as university fitness centers, or any fitness centers, go.
3. Home Fitness
Around the Payap University area, your best choice is probably Home Fitness, which you can find in a small two-story commercial complex just directly behind Carrefour. If you drive through the Carrefour parking lot and out on to the backstreet, take a right and look for a big sign that says, “Home Fitness.”
As you can imagine, you can’t miss it.
There’s no pool, but they have nice equipment and a decent set of weights. There is also a small steam room. But oddly enough, no showers.
4. California Fitness
California Fitness is the very best gym in town, though there is no swimming pool to be seen. It is also outrageously expensive. That said, if you’re going to be around for a long time, I think they give pretty deep discounts for yearly memberships.
The equipment is more modern, high-tech, and well-cared for than anything I’ve seen in Thailand. The music goes non-stop, keeping you pumped. There are plenty of trainers, and they feature classes with yoga and muay thai kickboxing.
Plan on showering in the gym as it is located on the top floor of Airport Plaza Mall, and walking through crowds of conservative high society shoppers in sweaty gym clothes can be slightly awkward.
5. Duangtawan Hotel
If you’re in the Chiang Mai Center or near the Night Bazaar, check out the fabulous gym on the 5th floor of Duangtawan Hotel. The swimming pool is luxurious and gorgeous, carving a big L shape around the building—you get the feeling you’re working out in a 4-star Hotel because…well because you are.
The actual weight and cardio rooms could use some updating and aren’t really up to standards for a Hotel of this caliber, but it’s plenty enough to get a workout. There are steam rooms, a big hot tub, saunas, a stretching room, and yoga classes as well.
And at 1000 baht per month, you really couldn’t ask for a more luxurious places to have a daily swim.
6. Hillside Fitness
Another gym can be found in Hillside Apartment and Condotel 4. The gym is quite nice, and the greenery surrounding the pool provides a relaxing atmosphere—though I’m not sure it’s quite conducive to working out. It seemed more of a pool for lounging and a bit shallow for my taste.
The fitness room is huge but some of the equipment seemed a bit outdated.
Of course, don’t just spend all your time in the gyms. Stay active by hiking, bowling, playing basketball, tennis, badminton (always a Thai favorite), or just checking out the sights whenever possible. Take classes in muay thai or just head to the park in the evenings and jump in with the Thais to do some gymnastics.
Staying fit in international destinations is a choice; don’t let your health get away for you in exchange of having a good time, because you can have both if you just put it on the schedule.