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Lanterns grounded in Chiang Mai for Loy Krathong world record attempt

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Lanterns grounded in Chiang Mai for Loy Krathong world record attempt | The Thaiger
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Enthusiastic enforcement of the TM30 form is one thing. Backing down on modern new public buses in Bangkok is another. But now the Thai government have gone too far!

Officials in Chiang Mai have ordered the cancellation of a major sky lantern event, including a Guinness world record attempt, planned for the Loy Krathong festival in November, caving in to local conservation groups.

The event, which was jointly organised by the Chiang Mai Tourism Industry Council and the Office Huay Toeng Thao reservoir tourism promotion project, was to be held at Huay Toeng Thao in Mae Rim district of Chiang Mai.

More than 20,000 Chinese tourists are expected to join the event and the organisers had hoped to set Guinness world record for the largest number of sky lanterns to be floated in the air at a single event.

The event, however, was slammed by conservation groups, claiming that the release of sky lanterns is not a traditional Lanna custom and they can disrupt air travel, cause fires and result in garbage.

It is reported that Maj-Gen Suebsakul Buarawong, commander of the 33rd Army Circle, has ordered the cancellation of the event and, instead, has ordered the development of army-controlled areas to be tourist attractions as well as recreational spots.

The Thaiger wonders why the 33rd Army Circle is making civic decisions following the return to civilian rule, assuming the flying lanterns were not a military hazard.

A coordinator for the Rak Chiang Mai community network has praised the army’s decision to cancel the aerial display and world record attempt.

Watch how the yearly mass display of lanterns in Chiang Mai inspired a favourite Disney scene from ‘Tangled’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTCbBi7unkg

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Air Pollution

Air pollution reaches “unhealthy” levels in Thailand’s north and northeast

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Air pollution reaches “unhealthy” levels in Thailand’s north and northeast | The Thaiger

18 provinces in Thailand’s north and northeast are being hit by a wave of smoke and air pollution as the burning season kicks in for the country’s agricultural sector. The next 2 months are the peak of the burning off season for agricultural waste as farmers prepare their land for the next crops of corn, rice and sugar and use the fires to aid the harvest of some of their crops.

With sugar cane plantations, for example, farmers choose to burn the leaves off the plant, exposing the stalks, before harvesting the profit-making stalks, saving time and money. There are mechanical ways to achieve the same result but the farmers, pushed to slender profit margins by the multinational food companies, are unable to invest and amortise the additional costs.

The levels of PM 25 micron particulate, a measure of the smoke and haze, has been at “unhealthy” levels in Chiang Rai, Phrae, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Tak, Phetchabun, Phayao, Nan, Chiang Mai, Lampang, Khon Kaen, Roi Et, Chaiyaphum, Ubon Ratchathani, Saraburi, Nong Khai, Nakhon Phanom and Nakhon Ratchasima.

The Pollution Control Department are now openly admitting that the major cause of the seasonal smoke is “open burning by farmers who are preparing their land”, according to the Bangkok Post. On Monday the Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan issued orders to prevent farmers from starting the plantation fires. You can check the result of his orders in the fire map below.

Air pollution reaches

iqair.com measures the average level of PM2.5 dust in the North at between 35-85 micrograms per cubic metre (μg/m³) yesterday, considered “unhealthy”. In the Northeast, the levels ranged between 40-99μg/m³.

The Thai Pollution Control Department considers PM2.5 readings below 50μg/m³ as “safe” but the Thai standard is twice as high as what is considered safe by the World Health Organisation.

firms.modaps, the NASA satellite fire tracking service, shows the number of fires currently alight around Thailand and the concentrations in the north and north east. The fires in northern Cambodia and north east Myanmar are also contributing to the Thailand’s smog and haze, depending on which way the winds are blowing. During this time of the year, the winds are predominantly north east and light across much of Thailand. The firms.modaps feed is live, registering the fires alight at the time the screen capture was taken.

Air pollution reaches

Bangkok starts off Wednesday with relatively better air quality than the past few weeks.

Air pollution reaches

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Chiang Mai night markets reopening tomorrow

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Chiang Mai night markets reopening tomorrow | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Hotel.com

Night markets in Chiang Mai will be reopened tomorrow after the province went 6 consecutive days with no new Covid-19 cases.

According to Chiang Mai Governor, Charoenrit Sanguansat, the province and the provincial disease control committee agreed to ease up restrictions on social and business activities after the number of infections continually dropped and no new infections were reported during the past week.

As a result, flea markets, night markets, and walking streets across the province will be reopened tomorrow onwards.

However, the governor still reiterates that marketplaces and visitors must follow the disease control measures strictly.

Since the start of the second wave of Covid-19 in mid-December, Chiang Mai has tightened restrictions to prevent the virus spread in the province, with the order to close all markets and social activities for 14 days on January 6.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Environment

Thailand on fire – NASA satellite website tracks the country’s farm fires

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Thailand on fire – NASA satellite website tracks the country’s farm fires | The Thaiger

Thailand is burning. The burning off of harvested crop plantations is lighting up the agricultural areas. The truth is starkly revealed in the live NASA satellite feeds which track the fires around the world.

Thailand on fire - NASA satellite website tracks the country's farm fires | News by The Thaiger

CHART: Fires in the past 10 days around parts of Thailand – Firms.Modaps

Concentrations of the current fires can be seen in Central Thailand, north of Bangkok, parts of Isaan, north east of Bangkok, and around Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. Notably the concentration of fires in northern Cambodia and across the north-western border in Myanmar, is also causing plenty of problems as the foreign smoke drifts across the borders. No matter what Thai officials do to enforce the rice, sugar and corn plantation burn-offs, there is little they can do about the haze drifting across the borders.

Bangkok, so close to clusters of fires, is in for a bad air pollution day anytime the light winds of the start of the year blow from the north or the east. The lack of rain adds to the problem, the annual problem, that engulfs Thailand’s capital during days between December and April, with the worst month, statistically, being March.

The alternative method of preparing for the next harvest, mechanical removal of the refuse and waste after harvesting, is both unpopular in Thailand and economically unviable for the small farmers whose margins remain thin with the multi-national buyers of their produce pushing for lower and lower prices every year.

In Chiang Mai, from January to the end of March, the locals even call it the ‘burning season’. Coupled with the hot season, the farmers in northern Thailand burn their fields to prepare land for the next harvest and also to get rid of biowastes like corn that can’t be sold in the market. It’s officially illegal to do the burn offs but the lack of enforcement leaves the problem unresolved and the smog and haze remain as predictable as the annual wet season.

Chiang Mai also has a local geographic problem which exacerbates the bad smoke pollution. The city is in a valley, surrounded by hills, trapping in the smoke and helping block any breezes that could otherwise blow it away.

For today, Bangkok’s air pollution is better than the past two days but still registering as ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ with city readings mostly between 140 – 170. Parts of the city, mostly south-east and south west, were registering readings above 300 in the past few days.

Thailand on fire - NASA satellite website tracks the country's farm fires | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: IQair.com

Watch this video for some more information about Bangkok’s smog…

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