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Fire-fighters face breathing difficulties as they battle peat forest fires

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Fire-fighters face breathing difficulties as they battle peat forest fires

By Krissana Thiwatsirikul
The Nation

 

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Photos showing two MI-17 helicopters joining the fight to douse the wildfires engulfing Khuan Khreng peat forest in Nakhon Si Thammarat province were released on Thursday along with the news that several forest fire-fighters has developed respiratory difficulties due to exposure to the haze. One case of acute pneumonitis had been diagnosed.

 

The two choppers took turns to transport water from the Cha-uat-Phraek Muang canal in Chian Yai district to pour on the spots fire-fighters were unable to access on foot, while Fourth Army Region soldiers joined officials and volunteers in an attempt to contain the blaze though strong winds were severely hampering efforts. Smoke from the fire was causing a dangerous level of PM2.5 – airborne particulates 2.5 microns or less in diameter – in the area with readings showing 86 micrograms per cubic metre of air. The safe limit of PM2.5 is 50. This caused several officials to develop respiratory difficulties and one northern-based official, Thananat Tuida, was hospitalised with acute pneumonitis.

 

20190808110128208.jpg

 

As of Wednesday (August 7), a satellite monitoring report cited more than 50 hot spots in Khuan Khreng peat forest and nearby areas. The peat forest fire, which started last Tuesday and led to three districts being declared disaster zones, was contained by Friday but re-ignited on Sunday (August 4) and continues to burn. Officials have dubbed it the worst in 20 years:

 

Meanwhile, Royal Irrigation Department (RID) chief Thongplew Kongjan on Thursday noted that Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chalermchai Sri-on was worried that the Khuan Khreng peat forest’s ignition spot in Cha-uat could spread to the nearby Kuan Khanoon district of Phattalung province and had instructed the RID to push more water into the Cha-uat-Phraek Muang canal to keep the water level high so helicopters could collect water to dump on the blaze, thus allowing the fire-fighters on the ground to move further in. He added that the two choppers had collected a combined total of 112,000 litres in 32 trips so far and 31 water pumps were also in use.

 

20190808110128040.jpg

 

Most fire-hit areas were under control but several spots were still ablaze so officials would fight on until the situation was back to normal, Thongplew said.

 

A report from the forest fire control command centre said that so far 91 accumulated fire spots had been found within the vast peat forest damaging 5,028 rai. The bulk of the fire-damaged land comprised wildlife sanctuaries and forest reserves while 201 rai were Sor Por Kor agricultural land plots and 520 rais belonged to others.

 

Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30374483

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2019-08-08

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I'm far from these fires, but I too face difficulty breathing due to small fires set by the locals in my village.

 

When are the stupid Thais going to learn that they are harming both the environment and the sabai dee of their neighbors? I'm contemplating hurling gasoline filled balloons onto peoples homes where a fire is burning. Maybe then they will get the eff-ing point that their activities are not wanted.

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Submarines and second hand military hardware are what is important to our leader..

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maybe if they attach the submarine, full of water and take 20 heavy duty helicopters and then release the water

 

what about the magical water making hocus pocus to make it rain locally ?

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On 8/8/2019 at 3:25 PM, Gumballl said:

I'm far from these fires, but I too face difficulty breathing due to small fires set by the locals in my village.

 

When are the stupid Thais going to learn that they are harming both the environment and the sabai dee of their neighbors? I'm contemplating hurling gasoline filled balloons onto peoples homes where a fire is burning. Maybe then they will get the eff-ing point that their activities are not wanted.

We do the small fires because mosquitos. Reduce malaria, dengue, zika.

 

Good luck with burning the neighbors houses. That will be good for the air. Maybe Thailand no good for you with the weak lung.

where you live?

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Yinn said:

We do the small fires because mosquitos. Reduce malaria, dengue, zika.

That's why the bulk of the burning happens during dry season when there are no mosquitoes around, right? It's the 21st century. Why can't you people just a)- stop lying through your teeth, and b)- learn to use mosquito coils? Thais burn because of a combination of being too lazy to properly dispose of garbage and selfish attitudes regarding not giving a damn about anyone else. Or to save 20 baht a month on collection costs. Plenty of mosquitoes in the rest of Asia. Do Koreans and Japanese burn trash to keep them away? No!

 

Burning plastic garbage does not "reduce malaria, dengue, zika". All it reduces is life expectancy, sperm count and brain cells.

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On 8/8/2019 at 2:50 PM, webfact said:

Photos showing two MI-17 helicopters

And a DC-3 air tanker?

The aircraft has had its radial engines replaced with turbine engines. The conversion by Basler results in the aircraft’s model name changing from DC-3 to BT-67.

https://fireaviation.com/2019/01/15/dc-3-air-tanker-used-for-dust-control-in-thailand/

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8 hours ago, Genmai said:

That's why the bulk of the burning happens during dry season when there are no mosquitoes around, right?

Look YOUR post Mr Anger. You say the “small” fires. Or not. The small fire near the house is for mosquito.

now is not the dry season. 

 

8 hours ago, Genmai said:

 

It's the 21st century. Why can't you people just a)- stop lying through your teeth, and b)- learn to use mosquito coils?

555555 How many coil you need???? 

 

8 hours ago, Genmai said:

 

Thais burn because of a combination of being too lazy to properly dispose of garbage and selfish attitudes regarding not giving a damn about anyone else. Or to save 20 baht a month on collection costs. Plenty of mosquitoes in the rest of Asia. Do Koreans and Japanese burn trash to keep them away? No!

You really simple guy. Korea and Japan are not tropical area. North Asia, not south east Asia. Look at map.

 

 

8 hours ago, Genmai said:

 

Burning plastic garbage does not "reduce malaria, dengue, zika". All it reduces is life expectancy, sperm count and brain cells.

You did not say plastic fire. But I think you right, affect your brain.

maybe you like to live in Japan. 

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@Yinn, I live in an area where virtually all of my neighbors burn their garbage on a regular basis. Aside from leaves and branches this almost always includes plastic bags and bottles and whatever junk is lying around. It's a very rare day indeed when I can smell pure wood smoke without the acrid stench of plastic mixed in. Judging from many of the posts on this forum and my own personal experience this seems to be a common way of garbage disposal in your country. The burning intensifies during dry season. This is both agricultural and residential trash burning. There is no way that this is primarily done to chase away mosquitoes because during the dry season there aren't many mosquitoes anyway. This is done because the majority of Thai people are lazy and careless. And regardless of how many mosquitoes may or may not be chased away by smoke it's a fact that the negative effects of breathing in smoke far outweigh any positives. 

 

As for you comment: 

6 hours ago, Yinn said:

Mr Anger

You're right, I am angry and I have every right to be. Why should I have to tolerate disgusting smoke flowing through my house every night? Are you telling me if I blow cigarette smoke in your kid's face you're not going to get angry? If I compromise your health and the health of your family out of laziness and apathy and then make up some story about why I do it - I'm sure you'd get angry too.

 

Anger is a valid human emotion. A combination of strange values, superstitious beliefs and emphasis on saving face above all else means Thai people grow up emotionally stunted. Westerners get angry all the time - because we can handle it. Thais shy away from anger because all everybody learns is to suppress it. That's why if a Thai gets angry it usually ends up in someone getting shot or stabbed.

 

 

6 hours ago, Yinn said:

maybe you like to live in Japan.

In fact I did live in Japan for many years, some of those years spent in the countryside. I understand Thai education isn't that great so I'll be patient with you. Swarms of mosquitoes are not a problem unique to Thailand. Believe me when I say that in Japanese countryside villages where there are rice paddies and lush forests the summertime evenings have just as many mosquitoes as your country. Yet there I have never seen anybody burning anything to chase them away. The main difference between Thailand and Japan is that Japanese people practice common sense. And it's not just the Japanese either. Most developed nations where people have brains do the following things regarding mosquitoes:

 

1- build proper houses without cutting corners. Thai houses are full of holes and cracks in the walls and floors. The inner walls between rooms often do not go up all the way to the ceiling leaving a huge gap for all sorts of bugs to fly around.

 

2- clean up the yard. A Japanese garbage dump/trash sorting area is more clean and organized than the average Thai person's household. Sorry but it's true! Thais seem to make a habit of dropping and leaving all sorts of crap lying around, leading to many small waterlogged areas which are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

 

3-mosquito nets. From my observation most Thais would rather purchase a new phone and motorbike before purchasing mosquito nets for their house. It's rare that I see these nets installed in any houses at all. 

 

4- light mosquito coils. The easiest and cheapest method. These have been around since early 19th century. Yet I've almost never seen them in use here.

 

6 hours ago, Yinn said:

555555 How many coil you need???? 

Usually just one per big room? I really don't understand your reasoning here. You burn a pile of trash, it smokes and chokes everybody. Then you go to sleep. 2 hours later the mosquitoes are back. Why can't you just use a coil? It lasts longer and doesn't slowly kill you or harm others' health around you.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Genmai said:

@Yinn, I live in an area where virtually all of my neighbors burn their garbage on a regular basis.

 

I don’t. You live in the north sure. Not everywhere the same like you think.

6 hours ago, Genmai said:

 

Aside from leaves and branches this almost always includes plastic bags and bottles and whatever junk is lying around.

Here we ONLY burn leaves for mosquitoes.

6 hours ago, Genmai said:

 

It's a very rare day indeed when I can smell pure wood smoke without the acrid stench of plastic mixed in. Judging from many of the posts on this forum and my own personal experience this seems to be a common way of garbage disposal in your country.

Depend wher you live.

6 hours ago, Genmai said:

 

The burning intensifies during dry season. This is both agricultural and residential trash burning. There is no way that this is primarily done to chase away mosquitoes because during the dry season there aren't many mosquitoes anyway.

Like I said, we only do it for mosquitoes 

6 hours ago, Genmai said:

 

 

As for you comment: 

You're right, I am angry and I have every right to be. Why should I have to tolerate disgusting smoke flowing through my house every night?

 

Why did did you move there?

 

6 hours ago, Genmai said:

 

 

Anger is a valid human emotion. A combination of strange values, superstitious beliefs and emphasis on saving face above all else means Thai people grow up emotionally stunted. Westerners get angry all the time - because we can handle it. Thais shy away from anger because all everybody learns is to suppress it. That's why if a Thai gets angry it usually ends up in someone getting shot or stabbed.

Not true.

6 hours ago, Genmai said:

 

In fact I did live in Japan for many years, some of those years spent in the countryside. I understand Thai education isn't that great so I'll be patient with you. Swarms of mosquitoes are not a problem unique to Thailand. Believe me when I say that in Japanese countryside villages where there are rice paddies and lush forests the summertime evenings have just as many mosquitoes as your country. Yet there I have never seen anybody burning anything to chase them away. The main difference between Thailand and Japan is that Japanese people practice common sense. And it's not just the Japanese either. Most developed nations where people have brains do the following things regarding mosquitoes:

 

1- build proper houses without cutting corners. Thai houses are full of holes and cracks in the walls and floors. The inner walls between rooms often do not go up all the way to the ceiling leaving a huge gap for all sorts of bugs to fly around.

Not my house.

 

6 hours ago, Genmai said:

 

2- clean up the yard. A Japanese garbage dump/trash sorting area is more clean and organized than the average Thai person's household. Sorry but it's true! Thais seem to make a habit of dropping and leaving all sorts of crap lying around, leading to many small waterlogged areas which are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

You moved to a low quality place. Probably cheap right?

 

6 hours ago, Genmai said:

 

3-mosquito nets. From my observation most Thais would rather purchase a new phone and motorbike before purchasing mosquito nets for their house. It's rare that I see these nets installed in any houses at all. 

I am am sitting under one right now.

 

 

6 hours ago, Genmai said:

 

4- light mosquito coils. The easiest and cheapest method. These have been around since early 19th century. Yet I've almost never seen them in use here.

Not good for your health.

 

6 hours ago, Genmai said:

 

Usually just one per big room? I really don't understand your reasoning here. You burn a pile of trash, it smokes and chokes everybody. Then you go to sleep. 2 hours later the mosquitoes are back. Why can't you just use a coil? It lasts longer and doesn't slowly kill you or harm others' health around you.

 

 

Ok, I know you think everywhere thailand same as you. 

This link if you read, you can see my area. You can see the time of the post, they not special place I go, is just everywhere where I live. Not special photo. I do it for another farang like you who thinks everywhere the same. 

 

Also so look on the air pollution map. AQI. Is always clean here. West coast Thailand. Ranong, Phangnga 

You moved to the wrong place.

Good luck.

 

Go to #51, to see photo where I live.

 

 

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On 8/12/2019 at 11:30 PM, Yinn said:

Go to #51, to see photo where I live.

@Yinn First I have to say that your photos are absolutely stunning. It really does look like paradise. I've never imagined Thailand could have a crystal clear lake where you could swim. The other photos are amazing too and I'm sure that me and the other members here would love to see more.

 

Unfortunately your comment -

On 8/12/2019 at 11:30 PM, Yinn said:

I know you think everywhere thailand same as you.

- applies to you more than it does to me. Where you live is NOT typical or representative of the rest of the country. And I can prove it.

https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/10/7/2553/pdf

 

This is a research paper titled "Assessment of Air Pollution from Household Solid Waste Open Burning in Thailand" written by three Thai professors from Thammasat, Mahidol and KMUTT. The paper was published last year.

 

There's a lot of interesting information there but the following sections are especially relevant to our discussion.

 

From Section 3.1 -

Quote

When considering the management of household solid waste that were not collected by the LAOs, there were a total of 15 methods employed by the households. The methods of household solid waste management were: (1) collection of solid waste in bags and dumping thereof on authorized sites (23.7%); (2) burning of solid waste on their property (34.4%); (3) burning of solid waste outside their property (19.3%); (4) dumping of solid waste on their property (1.7%); (5) dumping of solid waste on the roadside (2.2%); (6) dumping of solid waste into a trench or small canal (0.5%); (7) dumping of solid waste on abandoned lands (0.8%); (8) burial of solid waste on their property (0.8%); (9) burial of solid waste outside their property (0.3%); (10) dumping of solid waste into a river, canal, or swamp (0.5%); (11) segregation of solid waste for sale (2.1%); (12) segregation of hazardous waste to be dumped on authorized sites provided by LAOs or municipalities (0.02%); (13) composting of solid waste (0.4%); (14) segregation of food waste for animal feed (8.6%); and (15) others (4.7%).

 

Further down in the same section -

Quote

With respect to the open burning of solid waste by households, whether inside or outside their property, it was found that plastic bags, polyurethane foam waste, foam containers, wooden pieces, leaves, branches, wet solid waste, plant scraps, vegetable scraps, food waste, rubbers, and leathers were most subjected to open burning by households, estimated at 66.8%, 60.2%, 55.3%, 35.4%, and 34.9%, respectively

 

And lastly this map from 3.2 showing the amount of household solid waste generated per year on the left, and the amount of waste burnt in open areas on the right -

 

image.png.55ad92daf8753ed5dd3cfc3684708313.png

 

From those 3 pieces of information we can conclude the following:

 

1- Burning household waste on their own property and outside of their own property is the Thai's most common way of trash disposal, accounting for 53.7% of all disposal methods. Note that only 23.7% of Thai people choose to properly collect waste in bags and dump them on authorized sites. Also note that elsewhere in the paper they describe how even a significant percentage of the waste that is collected is incorrectly processed and burned anyway in large open dump sites. So basically if it doesn't get burnt by your Thai neighbor it's likely to get burnt by the local government.

 

2- Plastic and foam makes up the largest % of composition of the household trash that is burnt.

 

Now please locate your house on that map (hint - it's in the pristine tiny blue section on the bottom left). Now look at the rest of the country.

 

This paper proves what all of us expats have been saying all along and people like you continue to deny. Thai people love to burn trash. If they don't burn it at their own house they burn it outside of their house. If they bother to dispose of it properly it's burnt at an open dump site anyway. Most of that burnt trash is not leaves and branches, no, most of it is foams and plastics. You are living in a tiny special section of the country which is not representative of the other areas. Thailand not everywhere same as you. Please stop lying.

 

On 8/12/2019 at 11:30 PM, Yinn said:

Not good for your health.

 

No smoke is good for you. But inhaling smoke from leaves is far worse for you than lighting a mosquito coil. If you disagree please provide evidence. 

 

On 8/12/2019 at 11:30 PM, Yinn said:

Not true.

What part you disagree with exactly?

 

On 8/12/2019 at 9:18 AM, Yinn said:

You really simple guy. Korea and Japan are not tropical area. North Asia, not south east Asia. Look at map.

 

It's really funny that a Thai should tell a foreign expat to look at a map. Sorry @Yinn, Korea and Japan are EAST Asia, not NORTH Asia 🤡 . I guess they don't teach you that in Manee Mana..... Still I'm not sure what your point is? Japan has just as many mosquitoes in the summer. Nobody burns. 

 

But let's say all of this is false. Let's say I'm wrong, all the expats are wrong, the 3 professors are wrong, and you're right. Ok. Imagine I'm living next door to you. You're burning leaves. I DO NOT LIKE the smoke drifting through my house and I DO NOT WANT to be disturbed by you. So I ask you to stop burning. What will you do?

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58 minutes ago, Genmai said:

@Yinn First I have to say that your photos are absolutely stunning. It really does look like paradise. I've never imagined Thailand could have a crystal clear lake where you could swim. The other photos are amazing too and I'm sure that me and the other members here would love to see more.

Because we care. We work together. I clean the plastic and foam that come from the ocean on the beach. My friend help. The orbortor help.

I pick up Thai rubbish, but also from Indonesia (a lot), Burma, Malaysia, and even Australia etc. 

we do not throw rubbish on other people land. Terrible thing to do.

 

58 minutes ago, Genmai said:

Unfortunately your comment -

- applies to you more than it does to me. Where you live is NOT typical or representative of the rest of the country. And I can prove it.

https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/10/7/2553/pdf

 

This is a research paper titled "Assessment of Air Pollution from Household Solid Waste Open Burning in Thailand" written by three Thai professors from Thammasat, Mahidol and KMUTT. The paper was published last year.

 

There's a lot of interesting information there but the following sections are especially relevant to our discussion.

 

From Section 3.1 -

 

Further down in the same section -

 

And lastly this map from 3.2 showing the amount of household solid waste generated per year on the left, and the amount of waste burnt in open areas on the right -

 

image.png.55ad92daf8753ed5dd3cfc3684708313.png

 

From those 3 pieces of information we can conclude the following:

 

1- Burning household waste on their own property and outside of their own property is the Thai's most common way of trash disposal, accounting for 53.7% of all disposal methods. Note that only 23.7% of Thai people choose to properly collect waste in bags and dump them on authorized sites. Also note that elsewhere in the paper they describe how even a significant percentage of the waste that is collected is incorrectly processed and burned anyway in large open dump sites. So basically if it doesn't get burnt by your Thai neighbor it's likely to get burnt by the local government.

I not sure I understand everything exactly.

But that map, with the red area of south issan, show to me that we not the same.

you say we are, I tell you that already.

issan people shy to say to other people, south people not shy. Somebody disturb my house with smoke, I will say.

 

 

58 minutes ago, Genmai said:

 

2- Plastic and foam makes up the largest % of composition of the household trash that is burnt.

What your country do with that? The plastic that can not be recycle and the foam? 

 

 

58 minutes ago, Genmai said:

 

Now please locate your house on that map (hint - it's in the pristine tiny blue section on the bottom left). Now look at the rest of the country.

 

This paper proves what all of us expats have been saying all along and people like you continue to deny. Thai people love to burn trash. If they don't burn it at their own house they burn it outside of their house. If they bother to dispose of it properly it's burnt at an open dump site anyway. Most of that burnt trash is not leaves and branches, no, most of it is foams and plastics. You are living in a tiny special section of the country which is not representative of the other areas. Thailand not everywhere same as you. Please stop lying.

I did say you live the wrong place. Everywhere different. The map show that.

 

58 minutes ago, Genmai said:

 

 

No smoke is good for you. But inhaling smoke from leaves is far worse for you than lighting a mosquito coil. If you disagree please provide evidence. 

"...burning one mosquito coil would release the same amount of PM2.5 mass as burning 75-137 cigarettes. The emission of formaldehyde from burning one coil can be as high as that released from burning 51 cigarettes."

"The estimates shown above are derived based on the assumption that pollutant concentration in the room is homogeneous. In reality, concentrations actually inhaled by room occupants may be higher than the estimated concentrations because the room air may not necessarily be well mixed and the source (coil) may be placed in close proximity to the breathing zone (the bed level during sleeping). In houses using mosquito coils, children usually sleep in small rooms. To prevent them from excessive mosquito biting, the windows of their rooms are often closed during sleeping hours. Thus, the predicted indoor concentrations above are likely to be very conservative and underestimate actual concentrations..."

"Researchers have found that the gas phase of mosquito coil smoke contains some carbonyl compounds with properties that can produce strong irritating effects on the upper respiratory tract--for example, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde (Chang and Lin 1998). Because coil consumers usually use mosquito coils for at least several months every year, cumulative effects from long-term exposure to the coil smoke may also be a concern....Epidemiologic studies have shown that long-term exposure to mosquito coil smoke can induce asthma and persistent wheeze in children"

 

 

58 minutes ago, Genmai said:

 

What part you disagree with exactly?

 

 

It's really funny that a Thai should tell a foreign expat to look at a map. Sorry @Yinn, Korea and Japan are EAST Asia, not NORTH Asia 🤡 . I guess they don't teach you that in Manee Mana.....

 

North east Asia actually. The Thai call it north Asia, but you only understand what the English speaker tell you.

 

we are in thailand. Look on thai language map. I know you won’t understand that farang not always correct.

 

 

58 minutes ago, Genmai said:

Still I'm not sure what your point is? Japan has just as many mosquitoes in the summer.

Not true.

at all. Problem with farang, they think they know everything, and local people all stupid. Don’t want to listen.

 

https://www.mosquitosquad.com/greater-dc/about-us/blog/2014/july/worst-places-in-the-world-for-mosquitoes/

 

58 minutes ago, Genmai said:

 

Nobody burns. 

But this strange Japanese building hides a dirty secret. This is actually the Maishima Incineration Plant, where 900 tonnes of rubbish is hauled in from around Osaka and burnt every day.

 

 

58 minutes ago, Genmai said:

 

But let's say all of this is false. Let's say I'm wrong,

Ok

 

58 minutes ago, Genmai said:

 

all the expats are wrong, the 3 professors are wrong, and you're right. Ok. Imagine I'm living next door to you. You're burning leaves. I DO NOT LIKE the smoke drifting through my house and I DO NOT WANT to be disturbed by you. So I ask you to stop burning. What will you do?

I would not do that.

we don’t do it everyday. Maybe one time for one month, it really reduce the mosquito a lot. About two hour for one month enough to reduce. They fly away, because they hate it.

 

you want your neighbor all get Zika, dengue and malaria? So selfish.

 

i will take photo next time I do it. I think you don’t understand. Really funny that a foreign expat should tell a thai about mosquito.

 

also you talk about burn rubbish, I tell you is only leaf. Plastic is toxicity. And when we do it, I don’t stay there and breath it.

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4 hours ago, Genmai said:

@Yinn First I have to say that your photos are absolutely stunning. It really does look like paradise. I've never imagined Thailand could have a crystal clear lake where you could swim.

 What will you do?

One more thing. Please put the danger rubbish in this bin. We must all work together.

 

 

395069B0-68B7-416F-8645-703FEDFBF516.jpeg

C4CECFC7-5604-48FA-9B5A-BC90C249F8B5.jpeg

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