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Burning Season in Chiang Mai – Everything You Need to Know

Burning Season in Chiang Mai – Everything You Need to Know

Burning Season in Chiang Mai – Everything You Need to Know

Are you planning to visit Northern Thailand this January? Consider considering this trip. The period from January to March is known as the smoking season in Chiang Mai. Quality in northern Thailand, especially in Chiang Mai, is at an all-time low for various reasons. Many travelers need to be aware of this and face several problems. Here’s a complete guide to prepare you for the worst of Chiang Mai’s hot season.

What Causes the Burning Season?

There are several reasons for the poor air quality in Chiang Mai. Vehicle pollution is the usual suspect, but Chiang Mai’s fire season is sounding the alarm. In the dry season, farmers in northern Thailand burn their fields in preparation. Of their country for the following year and also to dispose of biological waste, such as corn, that cannot be sold on the market. Although it is illegal to burn the fields because it harms the environment and people’s health, farmers continue the practice for the lack of cheaper alternatives. Also, unregulated pollution from tuk-tuks, cars, and trucks contributes to poor air quality.

Although newer vehicles cause less pollution, their environmental impact is negligible. The problem is exacerbated during the high season (October to February) when travelers flock from around the world and traffic on the roads increases. The city is also surrounded by mountains such as Doi Saket, Doi Suthep, Doi Khun Tan, and Doi Inthanon, forming a dense valley that traps the smog over Chiang Mai. Finally, the rains end in Chiang Mai at the end of October. There is no rain. Air purification means the air dries up in February.

When does the Burning Season Start?

There has yet to be an official date for the start of the fire season in Chiang Mai. Dates vary from place to place. You will feel the heat in January, followed by an increase in heat and smog in February. Things start to take their toll in March. When the temperature hits an all-time high, pollution limits visibility. If you want to be safe and escape the toxic air, try not to travel to Chiang Mai in March.

And if it rains, you might be lucky, as farmers postpone burning when it rains in February, but that’s rare.

Survival Guide

Head out of the City

While it’s not a good choice for locals who depend on the city for their livelihood, tourists can certainly move on to a better destination. Domestic flights are cheaper than usual this season, so you can book a ticket to southern Thailand and spend time at the beautiful beaches and bays the places have to offer. If budget is not an issue, embark on a relaxing tour of Bali or Malaysia.

Wear N95 or Higher Grade Masks

Most of the local population wear cheap masks, available for as little as 10 baht. That doesn’t solve the problem because harmful particles aren’t filtered out. Class N95 covers to protect you from 95% of harmful particles. The size of 0.3 microns or larger. The masks can be bought at a local store or online and come in cool designs and bright colors to help you survive Chiang Mai’s smoking season.

Stay Indoors

The best way to avoid being affected by toxic air is to stay indoors. As temperatures are at their highest during this period, it is best only to venture out early in the morning or late in the evening. The rest of the time, turn on the air conditioning and watch a good movie on the TV. Chiang Mai’s hot season can quickly make you uncomfortable, and if you plan to visit the city, you will miss the good views, like everything else. Be shrouded in smog. So if you have respiratory or pollution issues, you should skip this trip.

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