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. 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.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 points! With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 60,000 point sign up bonus worth up to $1,200 in value, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.