For weeks, a toxic veil hung over the Thai tourist attractions of Chiang Mai and Bangkok. Swiss tells how the situation is on the site.
The basics in brief
- Parts of Thailand have been covered in toxic smog for weeks.
- The reason for this was slash-and-burn – the cities of Chiang Mai and Bangkok were affected.
- A local resident in Zurich says he scratches his throat when he’s not wearing a mask.
If you are planning a spring break in Thailand, don’t forget to pack masks. A dark veil hung over the tourist hotspots of Bangkok and Chiang Mai for weeks: a toxic haze of slash-and-burn smoke.
Elias C. * (23) Born in Zurich, currently studying in Bangkok for a semester abroad. For him, this phenomenon has now become part of everyday life.
“When I look out the window, I see fog over the city,” he tells Nau.ch. “It’s a burden on the people here, especially because of the long-term consequences.”
It is noted that many residents wear masks outside to protect themselves from the bad air. “If I’m outside for a long time without a mask, I always notice that my throat starts to itch. Then I put a mask on.” Inside, on the other hand, there are air purifiers.
“You don’t have to practice.”
He couldn’t tell how bad the situation was. Because: “You are not required to wear a mask. It only happened after I distributed the masks for free in my house.”
He also has an app from his university that shows him when the air is bad. “You shouldn’t do any sports after that,” says C.K. But he does not notice any other limitations.
“I also understood that it is bad in Chiang Mai at the moment. You always see pictures where everything is orange.” The city of 130,000 inhabitants is considered the city with the dirtiest air in the world. The authorities ordered a home office here.
Thais are suing the head of state for smog
But he knows the people who still travel to Temple City. “They said it wasn’t as bad as the media makes it out to be. I think it’s very concentrated in certain places, but it’s not like that everywhere.”
The toxic smog over Thai cities has disastrous consequences for the population in the long term. According to a doctor from Chiang Mai University, exposure to pollution increases the risk of lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. It also shortens life expectancy by four to five years.
Have you ever been to Thailand?
So 1,700 citizens of Chiang Mai filed a class action lawsuit. They accuse Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha and two authorities of not doing enough to stop deforestation. He should not constantly apply established guidelines and rules.
* Name known to the editors
“Typical entrepreneur. Lifelong beer expert. Hipster-friendly internet buff. Analyst. Social media enthusiast.”