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Keeping fit in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is such a diverse city where the local Thai people, including the many ex-pats who live there, enjoy sporting activities. There are many state-of-the-art gyms to join or fitness classes to go to; however, the city has a large sporting complex situated off Canal Road which is north of the city itself and takes about fifteen minutes to reach by car from the centre of town.

The stadium is very well signposted and easily accessible from all areas making it a well-known landmark. This modern sports stadium contains an Olympic size swimming pool, outside tennis courts, basket ball courts, indoor and outdoor badminton courts as well as fitness centres. The sports centre covers a large area of land where many people have the opportunity to keep up their fitness levels by jogging, which in the cool of the early morning or evening they certainly do in large numbers.

There is ample free car parking facilities and a year’s membership is 500 baht per person, very reasonable indeed, and every time you visit the center to participate in any sporting activity such as swimming, tennis or weightlifting, the cost is only 50 baht per person. There is an administration building on site where you can complete an application form and a day or two later your membership card will be ready for collection, you have to take the card with you when attending any sport to present to the receptionist which allows you entrance at the low cost of 50 baht.

The facilities are very modern and are kept in excellent condition by attentive and friendly staff that are on hand to help the many visitors, most speaking a little English to be able to understand which sport you wish to choose. The sports center is also surrounded by the Doi Suthep hills making a beautiful backdrop to any outdoor activities you may wish to take part in.

Dotted around outside the main sports halls are vendors who sell delicious local Thai food and cool drinks for you to enjoy after a strenuous workout. International events are also hosted here including martial arts competitions, gymnastic displays and weight lifting which are always extremely well organised and attended by many locals as well as foreigners. The large area of land surrounding the different buildings are very well maintained, making places where you can sit and relax, watching people jogging by or cyclists doing several laps of the entire complex.

The Thai people are renowned for their friendliness and if playing tennis or badminton for instance, they will often ask if you would like to have a game with them. t is interesting to play against different people to watch their styles and of course admire their fantastic energy which they seem to have in abundance. As most foreigners know Thai culture is very family orientated and certainly this fine sporting stadium is well attended by Thai families who like nothing more than to try out the different sports facilities on offer.

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