Tourists May Feel Effects as Bangkok’s Air Quality Hovers at “Unhealthy” Levels
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
A toxic haze fell over Bangkok toward the end of 2018 due to a combination of pollutants in the air. By the end of January, the city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) reached an “unhealthy” level, leaving some to question just how safe it is to visit Thailand.
Ideally, AQIs lie below the 100 level, but on January 30, Bangkok’s AQI reached 200 micrograms per cubic meter, according to World Air Quality Index. Just one microgram per cubic centimeter more and the AQI would’ve been categorized as “very unhealthy” rather than “unhealthy.”
For reference, according to World Air Quality Index, Kuala Lumpur has a level 53 AQI, North Singapore has a level 68 AQI, Hong Kong has a level 53 AQI and Jakarta has a level 53 AQI at the time of publication. These cities all currently fall within an acceptable, “moderate” level of air quality.
AirNow describes an “unhealthy” AQI as a scenario where “everyone may begin to experience health effects” and “members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.”
The potential health implications associated with poor air quality can be unsettling for travelers. TPG’s Lori Zaino is currently in Bangkok, and got a first-hand feel for the air quality there. Zaino reported that about 15 to 20 percent of locals seemed to be wearing masks. Zaino also said that her hotel, the Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn, was not readily offering up masks to guests, but upon calling the front desk, the hotel was able to provide masks for her.
As for how the air quality has affected Zaino on the trip, she described that the difference is noticeable but not detrimental. “I can tell it’s more polluted than usual, but I’m not struggling to breathe. My eyes are a bit irritated, and I find myself clearing my throat,” she added.
Currently, there is no travel advisory for the region from the US Department of State specifically regarding the air quality. However, Thailand does have a Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions advisory due to civil unrest.
With the potential for high-level air pollution, though, travelers should consider protecting themselves from the poor air quality by refraining from partaking in prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion or by using a mask that will help to keep particulate matter out of the respiratory system. You can also check a city’s AQI in real time before your next trip.
H/T: The Telegraph
Featured by Artit_Wongpradu/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees