While Chiang Mai city has an embarrassingly small number of public parks, this is changing, following some local activism of recent years. But the reason we haven’t focused much on city parks is simple: we are surrounded by nature. Chiang Mai is surrounded by a ring of mountains and a 30 minute drive in any direction and you can find yourself in a national park. or in some forest land.
In fact, right next to the city looms Doi Suthep Mountain which is part of the Doi Suthep-Pui Mountain range, a massive green lung breathing onto the city at our very door step. A ten minute drive from the city centre can have you dangling your feet in a waterfall, gazing at the urban sprawl of the city below.
Deforestation and over-development has, like in so many places around the world, become a problem. But activism, greater awareness and efforts are being made to correct this balance.
Outside of the parched dry season, which normally lasts from late February to early May, Chiang Mai is a spectacular city surrounded by green mountains with plenty of playgrounds for those seeking nature.