My favourite exercise in the morning is swimming laps. On my recent trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand, I decided to find the best swimming pools in Chiang Mai for lane swimming. I was after 50m swimming pools but would settle for 25m pools if the location and drop-in price were right. I found 5 pools that I would recommend for lap swimming and my reviews below will give you the important information for you to decide where to go if you need to get your swimming exercise on in Chiang Mai.
BENEFITS TO SWIMMING LAPS
1. Keeps Weight Under Control
Swimming laps, depending on the intensity and duration, can burn up to 600 calories in 1 hour. If you are swimming an average of 1km (40 laps of a 25m pool) every day, you are burning off your breakfast, or at least some of it, before you even eat it! Getting your system moving in the morning can only be good for the rest of the day as it kick-starts your heart rate, gets the blood flowing and burns calories. When you are on holiday or you are travelling, swimming laps will help to keep your weight under control which means you can have that sneaky desert at night or a few extra calories without being too worried!
2. Improves Joint Stiffness & Flexibility
Traveling around often means we are sitting in aeroplanes, riding in taxi’s (or tuk-tuk’s if you are in Thailand!) and this means that our back’s are not in the best shape and our joints easily get stiff. I know that swimming gives me the stretch in the morning I need to help my back get in alignment and my body feel more flexible as I start the day. Swimming laps can help relieve stiffness and moving around in water is known to be the best way to get joints moving and the body working even when you have chronic pain or injuries.
3. Strengthens Heart & Lung Capacity
Don’t we all want to have a healthy cardiovascular system? Well, swimming strengthens that system because we get our heart rate up and this results in building larger lung capacity. Swimming is also largely about controling our breathing and breathing deeper and longer between strokes. This systematic breathing is another way that our heart and lungs are building strength.
BEST LANE SWIMMING POOLS IN CHIANG MAI
Here are my picks for the best lane swimming pools in Chiang Mai. I am giving you the best 4 pools to swim laps in and get a great workout while you are travelling here.
1. Center of The Universe
This pool is located a bit of a drive from the city but very easily found if using Google Maps or some other form of GPS. Without the exact address, I’m afraid it might be difficult on your own unless you are in a taxi who knows the location well. There are a few turns and twists that could easily get you lost and a bit turned around.
The pool itself is a 25m saltwater pool (about 8 lanes if I remember correctly) and the property also has a guest house for people who want to rent for long-term. It appears to be more of an elderly expat population that stays there – this is just my presumption based on who was swimming in the pool. When I was doing lap swimming there were about a half-dozen other people, 1 of which was really swimming laps with me and the other 5 were all over 70 years old doing slow lap swimming and just mobility swimming/wading. They weren’t in the way at all but I could see that things could get problematic if a few more were in the pool as it would take away from any serious lap swimming that you wanted to do. The fella doing backstroke with both arms at the same time was not able to keep a straight line!
I did about 50 laps of the 25m, although it felt a little shorter in length, however, I was told that it was in fact 25m. My total distance was 1.25km and I got it done in around 30-40 minutes. It was a nice workout in the morning and got me ready to eat my favourite and probably the best smoothie bowl in Chiang Mai. The changing room was a bit rundown and reminded me of a public swimming pool changing room you might find at a local pool back home. The floors were really wet, it smelled musty and just generally didn’t feel that clean. They provided you with a locker and key which was nice and it fit my small bag which was really all I needed. There were showers to rinse off before and after swimming and toilet facilities should you need them.
I think this swimming pool in Chiang Mai is a good place to come and get a quick workout swim in the morning but I wouldn’t spend much time there. It might be nice if you were staying long-term tp come out for a swim in the afternoon but there wasn’t anything particularly beautiful about the surroundings. It was peaceful, however, and there is more greenery than most lane swimming pools.
Pro’s: Dedicated lap swimming times, reasonable price for 1 hour but more expensive than other pools, lounging available for post-swim, locker and key provided & not very busy in the morning.
Con’s: Not the cleanest changing room, lots of “non-lap swimmers” using it also, a little hard to find.
Address: Soi 4a Mae Khua Mung Road, Chang Kian, 208/9-10 หมู่ 1, ตำบล ช้างเผือก, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai
Tel #: +66 53 327 808
2. Seven Hundred Year Stadium
Yes, this is actually the name of the pool! The Seven Hundred Year Stadium was originally built in the mid 1990’s for the SouthEast Asian Games, and also is a memory of the 700th anniversary of Chiang Mai. It is located on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, about a 15-minute drive away. Swimming enthusiasts will enjoy this pool because it is a regulation lane swimming pool of exactly 50m. The swimming pool is part of a larger complex of various sports arenas like tennis courts, a large track stadium, basketball courts, a fitness centre and several others.
The pool itself is quite nice and is open-air with a beautiful view of the mountains in the background. Various events take place at the pool and it is used by various swimming clubs for their training sessions. When I was there, there were about 4 individuals like me who were swimming laps and a group of teenagers who were part of a swimming club with their coaches and a few parents watching. They only took up a few lanes and the pool is so large that there was plenty of space for everyone. There is even a smaller pool next to it if you didn’t want the 50m, and this pool holds the high diving boards.
Overall, I really liked this pool and it is one of the best for dedicated lane swimming.
Pro’s: A proper lane swimming pool for dedicated swimmers who want to swim laps, regulation length and fairly good facilities.
Con’s: It is not a lounging pool but that’s not why you are reading this post, anyway!
Address: ROP Mueang Chiang Mai Road , Don Kaeo , 50180 Mae Rim, Chiang Mai
3. The Imperial Chiang Mai Resort & Sports Club
This is the most beautiful lane swimming pool in Chiang Mai. It is located on the beautiful grounds of the Imperial Chiang Mai Resort and is therefore kept in perfect condition. The changing room facilities were clean and spotless and the grounds and pool were clearly well maintained and serviced regularly. In fact, while I was swimming there were 2 people cleaning the pool.
I can’t talk enough about how beautiful this pool is. It is a 50m regulation size pool x 25m in width giving it about 8 lanes and lots of space which they would never need because it is very underused. This is a lane swimming pool as well as a pool to lounge around beside because of the lounging chairs and ample space for relaxing around the edge of the pool. When I swan there was no one in sight and I had the entire pool to myself! My workout was 500m of a slow swim (10 lengths) followed by 10 x 50m sprints, followed by a 500m cooldown slow swim.
I will say that the pool felt a bit different to swim in. It felt like there was more resistance and my strokes were not as smooth. This could be because of a higher than normal chlorine content but I really can’t be sure of that – its just my guess! In addition to the pool, you can also use their fitness center and sauna which were also empty.
This is definitely the most peaceful and picturesque pool but maybe a bit too peaceful for me. However, that being said, definitely check it out – it was a great pool to swim laps in!
Pro’s: Large pool, 50m, great facilities, beautiful surroundings.
Con’s: Heavy chlorine content
4. Lotus Hotel Pang Suan Kaew
Last but certainly not least is the Lotus Hotel Pang Suan Kaew pool located on the 7th floor of the Lotus Hotel. This is another beautiful pool in Chiang Mai to swim laps and get a workout in. It doubles as a hotel pool on a rooftop so you get beautiful grounds, facilities and views! There are a few places to lounge around on the edge as well if you were looking for that.
It doesn’t have designated lanes or ropes so you would probably want to get your lane swimming in earlier in the morning as once people start arriving late morning or afternoon to swim or relax it may be difficult to avoid them. It is not a perfect rectangular shaped pool as it is used by people who just want to swim for fun but at its longest length near the middle, it is 47m long! Great for those that like swimming for length rather than doing lots of turns and short breaks.
Not bad, not amazing, but fine if you need to get some lanes swam and you like being near the centre of the old town.
Pro’s: Good location near Old Town,
Con’s: Used by hotel guests so can be difficult to swim lanes without worrying about bumping into people, a little on the more expensive side compared to other lane swimming pools.
5. (BONUS) – Montford College
Although I didn’t swim in this pool, I read that it is a 50m regulation size pool mainly consisting of salt water. It is a part of the college but is open to the public between the times of 4p-8p (this is why I never made it) from Monday – Saturday. Go and check it out and let me know how it was! I would love to know.
If you’re interested in getting fit or just staying in shape while travelling then this list of swimming pools in Chiang Mai that offer the ability to swim laps will be a great resource for you should you be in the search for some exercise. Swimming is a great activity and can be lots of fun as well. I also write about healthy travel activities and ways to stay fit while traveling so be sure to check out those resources if you are interested.
OTHER GREAT POSTS ABOUT CHIANG MAI SWIMMING POOLS:
- Best Place To Swim & Chill in Chiang Mai by Chiang Mai Best
- Sunday Swimming Pools in Chiang Mai by Johnny FD.
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As always, please leave a comment if you have something to add to this content. Have you swam at any of these pools? Do you recommend any others? If you try one of them, please leave me a comment below – it would mean a lot!