Chiang Mai might be far away from the next beach, but there are still several options to take a refreshing dip on a hot day. Of course, there are hotel pools and public swimming pools around town, but which of those places offer the possibility to just relax and unwind?
Don’t worry, we got you covered! You even don’t need to travel far as every spot listed here can be reached with max. 20 minutes driving. Here are the best places to swim and chill in Chiang Mai:
Grand Canyon Hang Dong
The Grand Canyon Hang Dong was until recently just a simple manmade canyon only known by locals and expats. The area is now a bustling place where lots of young people in their 20s can be found cliff jumping, swimming, chilling to house music and even bouldering. Several spots offer great and safe opportunities to jump while visitors can also rent inflatable boats and tubes (from 50 THB plus deposit). There are several wooden decks along the water where you can chill and sun-tan. The restaurant next to the entry offers various international snacks such as sandwiches and burgers at reasonable prices, in addition to soft drinks and ice cream. There are no lockers around, make sure to not bring any valuables. Don’t forget your towel either.
If you are familiar with the roads in Chiang Mai, driving your own vehicle is the best option. Tourists who wish to ride to the Grand Canyon can easily rent a motorcycle from these top Chiang Mai bike rental shops. Approximately 300 Thai Baht per day would be required to rent a motorcycle from Chiang Mai to the Grand Canyon. A Songathew or tuk-tuk is a simple alternative mode of transportation. The price is dependent on the total number of travellers. We recommend that you reserve a songthaew for the return trip as well, to prevent having to wait for extended periods of time to return home.
Location: Nam Phrae Phattana, Hang Dong Open: daily, 10:00-19:00 Entry: 650 THB (Adult), 500 THB (Children), Children under 90cm (Free); Ticket includes entrance to water park, canoeing and kayaking, cliff jumping, giant sliders, life jacket and FREE Zipline (1 Round).
Le Méridien is worldwide known for their upscale hotels & resorts, only accessible for those who have the right cash. While this is true in terms of the accommodation itself, the Le Méridien Chiang Mai has a great plunge pool with bar that invites also visitors that are not staying at the hotel. The pool is especially famous for regular parties held here such as ‘Aloha’ or ‘Glow in the Dark’. Popular DJs ensure entertainment throughout the day (or night) while you can soak in the sun, enjoy fresh snacks and exotic cocktails.
If you’re looking for a more scenic and tranquil getaway, head over to Huay Tung Tao Lake. The reservoir is located on the backside of Doi Suthep and is surrounded by lush forests. Bring a blanket along, have a picnic right by the lake or visit one of numerous local restaurants that set up little bamboo cabanas along the lake. It’s nice for a cool dip, but it’s recommended to stay near the shore, as it gets quickly deep plus there aren’t any lifeguards around. The lake is one of the few places around town where you (almost) find no other tourists but rather local families and expats that enjoy their weekend and afternoons here.
Location: drive along the Canal Road (north) past the 700-Year-Stadium and follow the signs. Open: daily, 08:00-18:00 Entry: 50 THB (tourists), 20 THB (locals)
With its convenient location just on the other side of the Ping River, the Eco Resort is a great spot for those who prefer to stay in the city. The pool is large enough for swimming lanes; sun loungers and umbrellas are available as well, however, make sure to arrive early as it gets quickly full. The Barn House Restaurant serves light snacks and drinks that can be enjoyed near the pool. At only 150 THB for non-guests, the Eco Resort offers an affordable alternative in central location.
The Veranda Resort is especially popular for its stylish infinity edged pool on a roof terrace, overlooking the beautiful surrounding valleys of Hang Dong. Located on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, the Veranda is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle from city and to spend a relaxing afternoon at the pool. Umbrellas and sun loungers are provided, however, only a small number that might be taken by hotel guests if you arrive too late. Although not that large, the pool is still big enough to swim lanes here. They also have a children’s pool.