I was planning on spending the last 5 days of February in Chiang Mai as part of my 3 week holiday - in fact, I now need to go up to Chiang Mai at some point as I have booked a flight from there on March 1st.
In my research I have only just stumbled upon stories of how the air pollution and smoke during that period is unbearable - does anyone know first hand if this is true and how bad it is? I'm really thrown now... having planned my whole itinerary and booked my flights, seemingly for the ideal time of year to visit Thailand, I don't know what to do. I'd be grateful for any more info or advice anyone could pass on.
Cheers! Brody x
#1 brody33 has been a member since 2/2/2013. Posts: 3
Not just Chiang Mai but all of northern Thailand/Laos/Myanmar/etc. is prone to smog in late-Feb through March due to seasonal farmland burning. Every year it varies, some years better some worse. It's been raining here in CM the past several evenings which is very unusual for this time of year, the upside though is it keeps the air clean and the days gorgeous and sunny. What will the air quality be in a few weeks? Check back here or keep an eye on http://aqmthai.com which shows daily air quality figures. If PM-10 levels get over 120 it's considered unhealthy, but for now the air situation is very good.
Thanks for responding! Very useful link, I'll check in with it a day or two before I was planning to travel and see how bad things are. That does mean holding off on booking the sleeper train until the day before - do you think that's likely to be a problem in mid-late February?
If the air does get bad, I still need to be in the area in order to catch my flight. I'd obviously be gutted to miss out on spending the time I'd planned on in Chiang Mai.. I don't suppose you'd have any ideas/recommendations for places nearby that might be less smoky and that could be a good alternative?
#3 brody33 has been a member since 2/2/2013. Posts: 3
Thanks for posting the air quality link. I am also going to Chiang Mai in March and have been worried about the pollution especially since I have asthma. I'm going to have to keep an eye on the levels.