Many nations have changed their travel advisory for Thailand and are telling their citizens that the poor air quality could be hazardous for their health, leaving the Asian country which strongly depends on tourism reeling.
The air quality in cities such as Khon Kaen, Mae Hon Song, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan and Lampang is very poor. “It is now more serious than usual,” says a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the EU.
“Chang Mai is now at the top of the ranking of most polluted cities in IQAir AirVisual, an air quality index.”
Thai farmers burn their land every year to make room for new crops. “Normally the polluted air disappears after a week or two, but this time it’s stubborn,” says the head of the medical branch of the University of Chiang Mai, who canceled the lessons.
Regional airports can be closed due to poor visibility. Outdoor movement is discouraged, windows must remain closed and those who go out into the street would do well to put a mouth cap on. “This does not necessarily mean that we are not advised to go on holiday to Thailand, but it is really a clear warning,” says the Dutch ministry, that holidaymakers who are in Thailand or who are going there one day recommend keeping in touch with their travel organization.
In Bangkok, tourists are provided with mouth masks by their hotels, making for an odd sight in the city.