living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai – Rain gives Residents a Break from the Smog

Via: City News – Chiang Mai


After days of thick, gray haze (not only blotting out the mountains and the sun, but also causing flights to delay their landing into the Chiang Mai airport), things seem to be looking up as a result of considerable rainfall and hail in Chiang Mai and surrounding northern cities this past weekend.

Officials in Chiang Mai have commented on the hazardous haze as an issue that needs to be taken care of without any decisive moves made toward improvement.

However, it looks as though Mother Nature, at least for now, is providing some solace as overall quality of the air at downtown Chiang Mai is in the ‘moderate’ range at PM10 59 right now.




The World Health Orgazation, US, EU, maintain PM10 rating of +50 is ‘DANGEROUS’!

Until Thailand recognizes the fallacy of their grading system, they will continue to put their citizens at grave risk.






March 25, 2014 Posted by | climate | , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – Two Domestic Flights Diverted Due to Smog

Via: City News – Chiang Mai


Chiang Mai Airport (CNX) Public Relation told CityNews that two domestic flights had to be diverted from the airport due to low visibility from the pollution.

The Thai Airways and Lion Air flights scheduled to land at CNX earlier this morning will return to the airport later today when the landing conditions improve.



“will return to the airport later today when the landing conditions improve”

I have lived the last eight years in Chiang Mai, I find it gets worse ‘later in the day’, NOT better.

Oh wait, wait, wait; they mean, MID to LATE APRIL!

Got it.




March 21, 2014 Posted by | climate | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – Air Pollution: Northern Thai “hell in the air”

Via: Bangkok Post


Much of northern Thailand as far south as Saraburi lay under a heavy blanket of haze and smoke Friday from hundreds of fires, mostly set on purpose by farmers in Thailand and Myanmar.

NOTE: The farmers certainly contribute to the problem, but the major culprit is the ‘shash and burn’ loggers!


The crisis areas were spotted in the far North, the lower North and upper Central provinces. Saraburi, where the air quality index (AQI) touched a dangerous 104 at noon Friday, had an air pollution index of 128 which, roughly translated, means “sensitive groups such as children, older people and asthmatics should stay indoors.” (Hey, that’s me!)

Any AQI over 100 is dangerous to health, according to the Pollution Control Department, which maintains a website with information from around the country.

NOTE: The World Health Organazation, the EU, and the U.S.; says the number is 50, NOT 100!

The most dangerous place in Thailand Friday afternoon was Mae Hong Son, where the AQI in the “pristine province” was 219. The index says an AQI this high is “an emergency condition. The entire population is more likely to be affected.”




The Good News: the Thai New Year, Songkran, i.e. ‘water festival’; is now less than a month away.

The farmer above might tell you it’s a ‘real bitch’ to start a fire in the rain.



March 19, 2014 Posted by | climate | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – Floods Cause Traffic CHAOS


Via: City News – Chiang Mai

The Northern Meteorological Department told the press that the monsoon trough covered northern and northeastern Thailand while the southwestern monsoon trough covered the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. This caused widespread and heavy rain all over the country.

In Chiang Mai City, places that were worst hit included the Padad Underpass near Police Region 5, Chiang Mai Department of Land Transport, Sri Pingmuang community, Nantaram community, and Fahmai community.

Flooding also occurred at Sanpakoi Market, Night Bazaar, Changklan Road, Central Plaza, and Chiang Mai Airport.

This caused gridlocked traffic. (yeah, no kiddin’!)


July 25, 2013 Posted by | climate | , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – Doctor says Thailand should match WHO’s pollution standard

Via: Bangkok Post

A doctor providing medical care to haze-affected patients in the North has called for an adjustment to the pollution safety standard.

Dr Chaicharn Pothirat, chief of pulmonary, critical care and allergies at Chiang Mai University’s faculty of medicine, said the current maximum safety level of 120 microgrammes per cubic meter per day for particles less than 10 microns is far higher than that set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In 2005, the WHO set the maximum safety figure at 50 ug per cu/m per day, but it has not been adopted in Thailand.

Dr Chaicharn said prolonged exposure to the hydrocarbons present in haze increases the risk of cancer and damage to the respiratory system.

Dr Chaicharn said doctors in the North had in recent years noticed an increase in non-smokers with lung cancer.

Medical research conducted between 2008 and 2010, based on emergency visits by doctors from the faculty, found incidences of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and long-term lung disease increased in parallel to every 10 ug per cu/m rise.

”With haze, we tend to discuss just the damage to tourism, scenery, visibility, and sore eyes and noses,” said Dr Chaicharn. ”Those impacts are small when compared with the long-term health risks. How many people in the North will die of cancer because of it?”

Dr Chaicharn called on officials to adjust the standard to more accurately reflect the problem. ”We first have to admit the fact that we have a problem, a serious problem,” he said.


personal thought:

I believe the two leading Englisgh language papers, the Bangkok Post and the Nation, should post BOTH the Thai ’50 microgrammes per cubic meter per day’,  AND the WHO/US/ EU ‘120 microgrammes per cubic meter per day’ in EVERY article/editorial.


April 8, 2012 Posted by | Bangkok Post newspaper, climate, The Nation newspaper | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – Haze problem has improved (bull-sh*t!)

Via: Pattaya Daily News

Chiang Mai Mayor Tatsanai Puranupakorn has ordered his subordinates to spray water in the air, forbid vehicles emitting black smoke to be driven on streets, and apply many other methods to reduce the smoke haze problem. The province has been under smoky air for a couple of days. (how about three-weeks. with another seven-eight weeks to go!

With these measures imposed, small dust particles have been reduced. (SEE PHOTO)

The Mayor said Chiang Mai is a valley; therefore, if there is thick haze, it will be very difficult to solve the problem.

Meanwhile, Lampoon province, which has been experiencing smoke problem for a week, has also begun to see a reduction in the dust particles as well. The provincial governor has ordered authorities to strictly prohibit people from burning crops or pollute the air in every way.

Note: EVERY YEAR we hear this bull-sh*t: UNTIL the rains start (mid to late April).

Why then?

Because it’s a real bitch to start a fire in the rain.


February 23, 2012 Posted by | climate | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thailand – Air unsafe in five northern provinces

Via: The Nation

The particles referred to by the department are PM10 (particulate matter 10 micrometres) or smaller.

Lampang had the highest reading, at 235.3 micrograms per cubic metre of air. Safe levels of PM10 particles are considered to be 120 micrograms per cubic metre or less.

NOTE: Both the US and the EU consider has set the number at 50, NOT 120! But then again, the US and the EU haven’t had nearly as many Noble laureates as Thailand. (yeah, right)

The four other provinces with seriously high levels of particles were Phrae (218.08 micrograms), Lamphun (192.1 micrograms), Phayao (123.5 micrograms) and Chiang Rai (123.5 micrograms).

“The excessive level of these small dust particles can affect the health of locals,” Chukiat Pongsiriwan said yesterday in his capacity as head of Phrae’s Natural Resources and Environment Office.

The PCD measured levels of small dust particles in the North yesterday as part of its airquality monitoring operations. To tackle the problem, the PCD called on authorities to prevent people from burning garbage, agricultural scraps and dry leaves.

Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr Paijit Warachit said smoke from the fires could hurt locals’ health. “It affects the heart, blood vessels, respiratory systems, skin and eyes,” he said.

People in smokefilled areas should wear masks to cover their mouth and nose, Paijit said. “If you experience eye irritation or tightness in the chest, please seek medical help.”

NOTE: Most of the masks sold in Thailand are NOT SUFFICIENT to keep out the PM10, but hey you look cool!

Lamphun Governor Surachai Khanarsa said he had declared 287 villages as forestfire control zones to prevent the fires from worsening air quality.

Meanwhile, Chiang Mai public health chief Dr Wattana Kanjanakamon said large amounts of smoke in the air in his province had caused the number of patients to increase by 10 per cent this month.

“We have seen a higher incidence of respiratory problems,” he said.

Although the amount of small dust particles was within safe limits in Chiang Mai, the threat was increasing, according to governor ML Panadda Disakul.

“We have prepared necessary measures. If the dust particles reach a critical level, we will ask the Agriculture Ministry to make artificial rain,” Panadda said.

Note: They can  do what they did a couple of years ago, and ban Korean barbeques; and yes, I’m serious.



Several times a year, airports have to turn on their ‘landing lights’ during daylight hours; and somewhat rare, their have been flight cancellations.


personal thought:

If you have any sort of health condition, such as emphysema or asthma, I STRONGLY SUGGEST you AVOID Nothern Thailand between 15-Feb and 15-Apr.


February 18, 2012 Posted by | climate | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thai Visa (dot) com

I think this is the BEST ‘expat’ source of information for people who:

LIVE in Thialand


– are considering MOVING to Thailand


– are simply thinking about VISITING Thailand


April 23, 2011 Posted by | accomodation, climate, cost of living, education, employment, entertainment, marriage, medical, restaurants, retirement, transportation, visa | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Songkran!

It’s currently RAINING in Chiang Mai!


Forecast for Tomorrow is ‘Scattered T-storms’.


Forecast Friday – Mostly Sunny

Yeah well maybe, ’cause that’s what they said about TODAY.

April 13, 2011 Posted by | climate | , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand -more cold weather coming

photo: typical clothing you would see in the Cool Season (mid-November to mid-February); but late March, almost never.


The mercury in many parts of the country will plunge by three to five degrees Celsius for a few days due to a low-pressure ridge, the Meteorological Department said yesterday.

Greater Bangkok could shiver in 19-degree (66F) weather while even the South might see temperatures drop as low as 22 (72F) degrees.

Pensiri Trisat, a meteorologist in the North, said thermometers showed just 7.8 (46F) degrees on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai.


“The cold snap will likely continue until the end of the month,” she said.

A northern weather bureau said the hot season would return early next month, at about 39-40 (102-104F) degrees.

“It will be scorching then just like any other summer.”

April 17 is expected to be the hottest day of the year, as the sun will be directly overhead.

“But if there are clouds, it’s not going to be that hot,” the bureau said.


page 23

March 30, 2011 Posted by | climate, The Nation newspaper | , , , | Leave a comment