Photo: A pretty corner of town.

Suan Buak Hat

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Suan Buak Hat is downtown Chiang Mai’s one and only park but fortunately it is a cute one and a fine spot to wander around or while away an hour or so in.

Until relatively recently Chiang Mai was a small and green city with plenty of open spaces, so in their rush for expansion the local government apparently didn’t see any need to create public green spaces. Greater Chiang Mai weighs in these days with a million or so inhabitants (the exact figure varies according to where one draws cut-off points), and it has most of the attributes a modern city aspires to have. It possesses whopping shopping malls and chic boutiques, a Chinatown, a professional football team (albeit an embarrassingly bad one), historic monuments, university, famous zoo, vibrant cafe/bar/restaurant scene but there is something missing: for a city of its size and pretensions there are just no decent parks!

Popular on weekends. Photo taken in or around Suan Buak Hat, Chiang Mai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Popular on weekends. Photo: Mark Ord

There are pleasant parklands and green spaces out in the suburbs, but they belong to the zoo, university or city arboretum—Huay Tung Tao Lake for example is army owned. Yes, the excellent and lush Doi Pui/Doi Suthep National Park is a mere 20-minute drive from the centre of Chiang Mai, but the city itself completely lacks a proper municipal park in its downtown area.

Suan Buak Hat, located in the southwest corner of the old town at the corner of Bumrung Buri and Bunreuang moat roads, is in fact the only offering Chiang Mai municipality has seen fit to make to its public. It is better than nothing we suppose and it is a cute enough park, albeit a very small one.

The pigeons love it! Photo taken in or around Suan Buak Hat, Chiang Mai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

The pigeons love it! Photo: Mark Ord

There’s a series of small ponds and bridges interspersed with lawns, a basic playground for kids at one end and the usual snack and drinks stalls, but even if you walked really slowly you could still do the entire park in less than ten minutes; Lumpini Park this is not!

It’s a pleasant place to hang out: you can feed the pigeons, feed the catfish, have a drink by the pond, sit under a tree and read a book. If you sit on the far side of the park you can almost not hear the traffic though be warned at weekends it can get pretty full and noisy with picnicking locals.

Suan Buak Hat

Southwest corner of the old town, corner of Bumrung Buri and Bunreuang moat roads

Location map for Suan Buak Hat

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A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Chiang Mai.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Chiang Mai.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Chiang Mai.
 Check out our listings of other things to do in and around Chiang Mai.
 Read up on how to get to Chiang Mai, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Chiang Mai? Please read this.
 Browse tours in Thailand with Tourradar.


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