One of the things I like most about living in Chiang Mai, Thailand are the numerous mini-adventures that can be had near town. San Kamphaeng Hot Springs, less than 45 minutes away, are a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. Make no mistake, this is not a luxury spa experience, but it is a fun way to while away an afternoon.
I was expecting a place that was undeveloped, primitive maybe (hopefully), but I found a large parking lot filled with cars, concrete sidewalks, and numerous vendors. There were crowds but refreshingly it was mostly families and locals who were entering. Inside there are manmade streams, steaming even in the hot afternoon. It was shady and there were some nice picnic tables and areas where you could put down a blanket and relax.
On the far end of the park are the springs themselves. They have been for the most part capped and piped but they are still pretty impressive. There is a large trough nearby where you can hard-boil baskets of eggs, which can be purchased at nearby stands, in the 100 degree centigrade, vaguely sulphurious smelling water.
I bought a few baskets of eggs, one chicken, and one quail, and went to eat them while I soaked my feet in the hot waters. “They,” say the waters are curative but I can’t attest to that. It was a fun people watching. It wasn’t a brilliant experience but if you are in need of a mini-adventure not far from town I would say it is worth a visit to San Kamphaeng Hot Springs.