Though Chiang Mai’s Old City has no high-rise buildings and is not particularly congested, the narrow, winding streets can feel a bit restrictive. Fortunately the city is surrounded by a moat with grassy banks, and the southwest corner of the city is occupied by the only park in central Chiang Mai—Buak Haad. The park consists of paths that meander through lawns shaded by tall palms and other trees, as well as a lake and bridges. There’s a café conveniently located just inside the entrance and usually vendors selling everything from ice creams to grilled squid on the street outside.
The park is particularly popular at weekends when families settle in for picnics, and it is also the place where most festival parades, such as the Flower Festival in February, terminate.