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Chiang Mai tourism is dead! But no one mentions the impact of smog crisis

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Pollution doesnt bring ca$h tourists do thats why.

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most of march was very bad with the smog,everyday.after Songkran they also know it is dead apart from thais and expats.the government should listen to the thais with respect to the bar business and hrs they are open.later opening hrs  would help the nth with tourist coming up to chiangmai and chiangrai as well.it was much better many years ago when bars were open later  and tourist did come for that.but will they listen I think not

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16 hours ago, connda said:

No it's not.  I saw Chinese tourists feeding the pigeons in front of the No Feeding The Pigeons sign at Thapae Gate just a couple of days ago.  All is well!   Plenty of Chinese tourist hanging around. 
And I saw a bunch of farang on motorbikes being pulled over and ticketed on Kotchasan Road east of the canal.  The BIB were very welcoming as they took their 400 THB for whatever offense they could come up with. Most farang drivers seemed to be in the process of being parted from 400 THB and obtaining a souvenir BIB autographed traffic ticket!  Very welcoming!!!  I know those tourist are planning return trips in the future.

You are fine with tourists coming to a country, riding a motor bike which they have no licence for and they have never ridden a motor bike in the lives, wearing no helmets or other safety gear, oblivious to any dangers and even worse having their children on there too with no helmets?  Throw in having a few beers at lunch times in before they wobble back on the scooter to the hostel.... this is all good?  Its the Thai traffic police are in the wrong for trying to stop this?

 

If tourists came to your home country and did that would you tell the police not to stop or fine them?  Unbelievable.  

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No way for NE Thailand to get rid of smog during the months when locals and bordering countries burn sugarcane and forests. Not only tourists but the more so the local population will be effected with respiratory and related health problems. No practical solution to this recurring smog problem that arises out of need to provide livelihood for millions of Thais, but the practice causes massive environmental stress that adversely effects the health of the population.

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Spoiler alert to Thais that scratch their heads and wonder why tourists don't like pollution from smog : Its gonna be empty for a long time and not just for a few weeks or even months

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3 minutes ago, totally thaied up said:

Ten years ago, I thought I had found paradise. Today, I just see roads over run with traffic, masses of Chinese and to me most worrying is higher PM 2.5 figures for longer periods every year. This year, I got away for three months to see family and run from the smoke. Next year I will have to do the same, maybe even longer. If it was not for the Thai wife and CM being her hometown, I would now be living in a different Country. I am happy I have very little invested in CM as for a long term business it is just a losing situation. I have had two businesses in CM and during peak season they just made enough money so you could limp through the low season with just a very small profit in the end. It was just not worth working to make ends meet all year. At the time, my girlfriend thought it was okay as we lived generally rent free and all bills with a little left over per month but it was a lot of work for her and really not worth it for the man hours put in. Twelve to fourteen hours a day she was open, seven days a week.

 

Got to laugh at that. No connection. 😂🤣 From February onwards, it was really bad this year. I left in March and missed the worst of it. If anyone says this is not affecting tourism, they got to be blind drunk. 

And I have been monitoring Pattaya pollution the last couple years and I can tell you it is unsafe from November to April right duing the high season.  In fact visibility is so bad you cannot see Koh Larn from the shore most days.  This is a result of buses, cars, burning and factories in a period with unfavorable winds blowing it all in.

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The damage is done.  I'm out.


 

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On 4/30/2019 at 12:37 PM, Captain_Bob said:

It's dead now for several reasons: 

Low season after Songkran, always was, always will be. 

Seasonal burning/smoke/haze. Same same but worse. Politicians/cops useless. 

Social media: "most polluted city on earth", true or false doesn't matter. 

Hot as ####! and this year almost zero rains. Al Gore was right. 

Chinese invasion, which despite arrivals doesn't bring much local income. 

And... the continued failure of over-saturated copy-cat business sense: 

Let's open a cheap guesthouse / travel agency / restaurant and money will fall out of the sky!!! 

Note your last sentence,,,,,,,,  you made no mention of the fact that better than a year ago a police mandate was issued to all guesthouses that they could not do nightly rentals.  Needed a Hotel License now to do.  There is a difference between a guest house and a hotel as there is a difference between a car and a truck.  ...and the vehicle laws pertaining to cars vs trucks are different.  Hotel licensing rules make it just about impossible for a small guesthouse to meet same.  There should be different rules for guesthouses vs hotels as there are for cars and trucks.

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16 hours ago, connda said:

"Its the Thai traffic police are in the wrong for trying to stop this?"

 

Lol.  But they are not 'trying to stop this."

They only pulled over motorcycles and let all the cars pass.  You don't understand the nature of the money making activities?  It has nothing to do with enforcement.  These are money generation stations that pick their fruit off of the lowest branches.  Pulling cars over takes up too much room and takes too much time.  Motorcycles are their targets.  Small in size, easy to pull over, quick and easy to process, and if the rider is foreign it's almost a guaranteed 400 THB.  If the government was about enforcement, then if a rider (driver) is unlicensed or without a helmet then their vehicle would be impounded and they forced to walk and it would be illegal for the rental shops to rent a motorcycle to an unlicensed rider in the first place and they should face fines in addition to paying to get their rental vehicles out of impoundment - but it doesn't work that way.  :thumbsup:  Cha-Ching - it's about generating cash flows for the BIB. No license?  No helmet?  Pay a fine and you're on your way.  No problem.  Because it's not about safety or enforcement.
Nobody cares about real traffic enforcement here.  And only the deluded think traffic enforcement is real.  It's not and never will be which is why the roads of carnage are so damn dangerous.  

They are motor bike check points... not car check points.  Go to other locations... they are stopping only cars and not bikes.  Also you don't need to wear a crash helmet driving a car, and hopefully not many tourists will drive a car having not passed a driving test or ever driven one before in their lives.

 

 

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I am genuinely surprised when I hear other members here state the range of months they consider the pollution to be bad in CM. Many years ago I came to the conclusion that, if you value your long-term health, you should get out in the first week or two of January and not return until May.

It will only get worse. The locally generated pollution will increase as the building boom continues, and no government will ever be able to control the regional burning - any Westerner angrily insisting that the authorities should "do something" simply does not understand the sheer size of the region and the scale of the problem.

If the pollution season starts to expand into December too, the northern tourist industry will be in dire trouble. I have already shifted the Thais in my life into online business so that they can more easily spend half the year somewhere safe. Anyone considering Chiang Mai as a year-round home needs their head examined.

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On 4/30/2019 at 3:13 PM, newnative said:

   Only money or very bad international publicity gets any action on problems in Thailand.  Perhaps the loss of tourists--with the loss of their money--will spur some action on the bad smog.  But, don't hold your breath.  Err, maybe do hold your breath if you are outside in CM.

Maybe they will have the sense, but don't count on it, to start appreciating the expats living here and the money they spend here, even if it is not as high as they want to make it easier to stay.

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3 hours ago, totally thaied up said:

I read a blog the other day about why expats leave to live overseas. For me ten years ago it was for adventure and to make my dollar go further. I saw a lot of SEA and decided Chiang Mai was a clean and cheap place to stay. Now with the AUD in the bin, inflation and the three to four months of smoke, it really has me thinking have I done the right thing. Having to spend three months a year to get away from the smoke has just poured the bucket over the thought of full-time retirement here. Those that stay I find are those that are stuck with families and that must truly suck. Others are apologists that most likely cannot get away from it all. Who really wants to suck that amount of pollution into your lungs. One friend of mine that is not well funded and cannot get away spent two months in his condo this year, not going out at all. The government has to be blind drunk not to see what is going on and this is going to affect the bottom line for a lot of businesses. People are asking me while I am on holidays in Australia how is Chiang Mai now and I just got to tell them not to come during the smokey season. I have no faith at all in hoping they will clean these issues up. It is really a shame what has happened here. The region is just too big to monitor and we have neighbors that burn as well. Nope, not going change. You need a plan B from February onwards if you value your health.

Unfortunately it seems to get worse and longer each year no hope in sight.

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