One of our favourite pastimes is feeding the fish at one of the many fishponds in Chiang Mai. There is something tranquil yet exciting about seeing the fish serenely gliding through the water and then suddenly popping up, mouths open, in a feeding frenzy. The three year old loves feeding the fish and during our time here it's become an easy, pocket friendly activity which we can fit in when time is short.
We've listed four places which we frequent, though there are most likely many more places which we have yet to discover.
Suan Buak Haad Park
This is an old park but over the years has been updated and renovated into a beautiful green, tranquil space within the old city walls. There are a few ponds, fountains, footpaths, exercise equipment, kiosks selling drinks and fish food (10 baht a bag), a cafe and a children's playground which has recently been updated. There are lots of shady and sunny grassy spots to relax on and the kiosks rent out picnic mats. The park is popular with locals, expats and tourists.
Located on the Highway, this park is a surprising little gem. It is shady, has a nice winding track around the park and a good grassy area. Very popular in the early evenings with both local and expat walkers, joggers, badminton and takraw (a sort of foot volleyball) players. There is a huge fishpond with hundreds of big, constantly hungry fish. The kiosk at the far end of the car park sells fish food (10 baht a bottle) but isn't always open. The park is surrounded by busy roads so can be a little noisy with the traffic rumbling by, but it's a welcome open, green space in a city short on parks.
The stream in between the two buildings at Promenada Resort Mall is home to a huge number of carp. There are two fish food stands located by the stream, both with honesty boxes. Fish food is limited to around 40 bags a day (at each stand) so sometimes there is no food left quite early on in the day. Other days there is loads left during the late afternoon so it's a bit of a lucky draw. Popular with kids from nearby schools, but it never feels too busy. Thursday to Sunday evenings (around 5pm onwards) there is live music and a huge number of foodstalls serving local fare.
Boonthavorn Home Store
One of the last places you'd expect to find a fish pond, let alone one with a fountain and tens if not hundreds of carp, this fish pond is located within Boonthavorn Home Store on the Highway. The pond is nicely designed and is under cover, perfect for very sunny or rainy days. The water is nice and clear and there are little signs dotted around showing the different types of carp in the pond. Fish food is provided on a stand with an honesty box (10 baht per bottle of fish food) and there is a cafe by the pond where you can sit and enjoy watching the fountain.