Tag: thailand


Can Thailand follow in Indonesia’s footsteps?

Indonesia’s President has signed a moratorium, (a temporary prohibition of an activity) on all new oil palm plantation development, an official said on Thursday (Sept 20), in a move initiated by environmentalists.

The moratorium pauses any new land being made available for plantations in the world’s top producer of the edible vegetable oil, a key ingredient in many everyday goods, from biscuits, cakes, shampoo and cosmetics.

President Joko Widodo signed the instruction, which will last a minimum of three years, on Wednesday.

“The moratorium is to improve the governance of sustainable oil palm plantations, provide legal certainty, increase the productivity of smallholder oil palm plantations, maintain environmental sustainability and contribute to the reduction in greenhouse gases,” he told AFP in a WhatsApp message.

Plantations on the Indonesian Sumatra island, Papua and the Indonesian part of Borneo have expanded in recent years as demand for palm oil has skyrocketed, bringing huge profits to companies and tax revenues to the government.

The palm oil growth has been blamed for the destruction of tropical forests that are home to many endangered species, and forest fires that occur every year during the dry season due to illegal slash-and-burn clearance.

An aerial view of a palm oil plantation in Indonesia's South Sumatra province. October 2016 Photo supplied by: REUTERS

An aerial view of a palm oil plantation in Indonesia’s South Sumatra province. October 2016
Photo supplied by: REUTERS

The moratorium was first proposed in 2015, following devastating fires that covered large stretches of South-east Asia in toxic smog for weeks.

A moratorium on conversions of new peat lands was established in 2011 to improve management and reduce fires, but campaigners say this is sometimes ignored when local governments grant concessions.

In 2015, the government banned new development on all peat lands after swathes of carbon-rich peat were drained for use as plantations in recent years, creating highly flammable areas.

The decision comes as Indonesia and Malaysia battle a move by the European Parliament to ban the use of palm oil in biofuels.

The EU Parliament voted earlier this year in favour of a draft law on renewable energy which calls for the banning of palm oil in biofuels from 2030, due to the accumulating concerns about its impact on the environment.

Indonesia and Malaysia will be hard hit economically as they are the world’s top exporters of palm oil.

Can Thailand follow in Indonesia’s footsteps, and stop the burning of their crops?

View the original article here


Opportunities in the Thai Solar Energy sector

A significant increase in Thai Solar Energy since 2010 has seen a climb from almost nothing to a total of 3 GW of solar installations in the country! This already satisfies half of their target for the year 2036… 

There have been seven opportunties outlined by the prestigious International Lawyers. Pugnatorius which we have inlcuded below. To see the original article written by Praktikantin, click here.

Image supplied by PV Tech Thai Solar Energy

Image supplied by PV Tech
Thai Solar Energy

seven opportunites

  1. New solar tenders: There will be new public tender procedures to develop more solar farms in Thailand. It can be expected that the bidding processes in 2018 will have more strict regulatory requirements concerning the location, capacity, PPA conditions, and overall feasibility of the tenders.

  2.  Off-market solar farms: Many solar energy projects are realized off-market and outside of a formal public tender process. Foreign investors will need a close connection and cooperation with a Thai partner and may have to adjust their business policies to local standards. Keeping the projects local have an advantage for the Thai economy!

  3. Acquisition of existing solar farms: During the last few years there was a flourishing trade of electricity production licenses and power purchase agreements, several semi-finished or already established and electricity producing solar farms are now for sale. These projects can be acquired through an asset acquisition or the transfer of the shares in the solar farm company.

  4. Utilization of own rooftops: As a cost-effective way to leverage solar energy, commercial and industrial property owners are allowed to install solar panels onto their own roofs and to produce electricity “behind-the-meter” for self-consumption. See one of Eyekandi-Solar’s previous post. Such investment can be delivered, financed and maintained by third parties under EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction), O&M (Operating & Maintenance) and finance agreements.

  5. Solar rooftop investments: Under Thailand’s upcoming solar rooftop legislation, (foreign) investors and developers are (hopefully) allowed (i) to cooperate with commercial and industrial rooftop owners, (ii) to generate electricity, (iii) to sell the electricity to the grid (net metering) and (iv) to enter into power purchase agreements with commercial and industrial parties (C&I PPA).

  6. Floating solar farms: As the Third Way, the development of floating solar arrays (floatovoltaics) should be the next big thing. New projects are available and provide for an attractive return on investment, independently from the pending rooftop legislation. Details can be found at “Floating solar farms in Thailand“. Eyekandi-Solar recently wrote about the floating solar farm in Rayong, see article here.

  7.  Internet of (Solar) Energy: Internet of Energy (IoE) means the implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) technology with distributed energy systems to optimize the efficiency of the generation, transmission, and utilization of electricity. As soon as Thailand and its regulatory framework are ready for a peer-to-peer energy trading community, every person can trade their energy directly, using a blockchain technology without any middleman. Are you familiar with SolarCoin?

    Solar coin

Are there any opportunities which they may have missed, that you feel are important to highlight? Get in touch with us and let us know.


Solar Rooftop Project Plans revealed by CPF

CPF will install Thailand’s largest solar rooftop to promote sustainable energy consumption

In 2017, Thailand announced it’s intentions to migrate toward digital change. Most of their strength has been put into technological advances such as: internet banking, e-commerce and electric vehicles. Only a few people know that actually one of the largest digital changes in Thailand are being made in Suburbia. 

Charoen Pokphands Foods (CPF)’s Nakhon Ratchasima chicken broiler complex is located approximately 300 kilometers northeast from Bangkok. This broiler complex is among one of the most innovative chicken complexes in the world, producing millions of broilers per week for consumers in Thailand, Aisa and abroad.

CPF unveils solar rooftop project plans

CPF unveils solar rooftop project plans

Inside the Chicken Coooo

The broiler complex in Nakhon Ratchasima is equipped with the most updated technologies in the poultry business. These innovations are playing very important roles in giving the world class food safety, animal welfare and traceability.

The complex is designed in a compartment model which is in line with the World Organisation of Animal Health (OIE). This compartmentalisation strategy is to separate all facilities within the complex from each other under common biosecurity to avoid contamination and an epidemic.

Processes (sensitive to Vegan viewers)

The new born chicks are transported from the hatchery facilities to broiler house by trucks with air ventilation designed specifically for preventing external contamination.

During the chickens’ lifetimes, they live in a controlled environment with an automatic feeding system which also provides comfort and necessary monitoring.

Dr. Payungsak Somyanontanakul, CPF’s vice president and animal welfare expert, explained that, “besides enhancing strict biosecurity, these technologies can significantly improve the living environment within the complex.”

“We believe the best quality products must come from the cleanest and healthiest environment. Farmers will no longer need antibiotics growth promoter for healthy and happy chickens,” he continued.

“It is company’s policy that farm animals must be free from hungry and thirsty, discomfort, pain, injury and disease, fear and distress, and being able to express normal behavior,” he said.

All broilers are farmed with the Evaporative Cooling System (EVAP), a technology that controls the temperature, moisture and even gives accurate day and night atmospheres within the chicken house which enables a comfortable life for the chickens, in a tropical climate like Thailand’s.

An unlimited amount of food and water is given to the chickens through a machine, while scales are installed inside the chicken house for their entertainment as well as for collection of necessary data. This data is monitored with live broadcasting.

The future of digital farming

CPF has recently announced its partnership with JDA Software, Inc., a leading supply chain software developer, to accelerate its digital supply chain transformation.

Prasit Boondoungprasert, CPF’s chief operating officer, said “the company is moving toward digitalization to improve the efficiency in the operation and provide better consumer satisfaction.”

The Solar Rooftop

CPF invests in ‘largest solar rooftop scheme in Thailand’

CPF invests in ‘largest solar rooftop scheme in Thailand’

CPF has signed an agreement with Gunkul Engineering, which will invest in 100% of the project.

The project, CPF says, will allow it to produce food in an environmentally friendly way. The company aims to work in accordance with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure that production is energy-efficient. The solar rooftops will be set up at all CPFs’ manufacturing plants.

The installation will reduce CPFs’ greenhouse gas emissions by 28,000 equivalent tonnes of CO2, which CPF states will benefit its renewable manufacturing setup and Thailand’s environment. So far, the company notes that it has reduced its emissions by more than 79,000 equivalent tonnes of CO2 in line with its commitment to sustainability.

To view the original article published on July 4th by FeedStuffs.com, click here


Thai Solar Pioneer, Inspiring Women Across Thailand

Inspiring story about a local Thai business woman and entrepreneur

Well known local Thai business woman and entrepreneur, Wandee Khunchornyakong Juljarern, has been interested in the solar industry for more than a decade. With experience in off grid installations, she continued to get rejected from banks and investors to fund her Solar Farm initiative. The excuses ranged from her age, to lack of experience in ‘commercial solar projects’.

“The more people say, ‘You should not try it, you should not take a risk,’ the more I want to do it,” Wandee said in an interview. Her goal was to prove Thailand could use solar energy, so that “we can change the form of energy production, instead of relying on only conventional means”.

Finally the Thai government announced permits for solar power plants that could feed into the grid,  and Wandee Khunchornyakong Juljarern was the first in line.

Kasikornbank, the 10th Bank she visited for assistance, whose president was also an engineer, showed interest in her initiative, and agreed to fund only 60% of her $20 million request. For the remaining 40%, she sold some of her family land she had inherited…

“My mum said, ‘Do what pleases you.’ My husband said, ‘Let me think for three days’,” she recalled. Her response was that she would sell it anyway, she said, roaring with laughter.

Wandee Khunchornyakong Juljarern’s first solar farm opened in April 2010 in Korat, in the northeast of Thailand.

4 years later, Wandee’s Solar Power Company Group (SPCG) had 36 solar PV plants with a capacity of 250 megawatts.

SPCG is now one of Thailand’s largest solar companies. Between 2013 and 2016, its revenues more than doubled.

As chairman and CEO of the listed company, Wandee has been recognized by the United Nations for her commitment to clean energy, and in 2015 Forbes dubbed her one of Asia’s most powerful women.

“We are helping the world by reducing CO2 (emissions) by almost 200,000 tonnes equivalent per year,” said Wandee. This amounts to taking more than 40,000 cars off the road, according to statistics provided by the World Bank.

Solar Farms and Solar rooftops, Thailand Image supplied by SPCG Thailand

Solar Farms and Solar rooftops, Thailand
Image supplied by SPCG Thailand

Moving the Solar streak forward

Wandee is planning to venture into Myanmar, where millions of people lack access to electricity, but realises the difficulty of implementation in a nation without national policy on renewable energy.

Talking of the Success in Thailand…

“I would call Korat almost every hour asking, ‘What’s happening? You have enough sun? How many kilowatt hours?’” she said, chuckling in the modern building now housing the company in a fashionable part of Bangkok, with soothing green walls and images of a lush forest on the glass doors and walls.

Luckily, the project outperformed expectations and within three months, she was looking for more investors.

The International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s private-sector division, and the multilateral Clean Technology Fund gave early financial backing.

Wandee, who humbly still lives in her old house, wants to continue working and pursuing her Solar dreams, despite her age.

“Women… have to have confidence in (themselves),” she said.

Original reporting by Thin Lei Win, and editing by Megan Rowling. Credit for the content of this article goes to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, corruption and climate change. Visit this link for more.


Thailand Energy Authority give Private Solar Power Buying ‘thumbs up’

After a 4 year postponement, Thai energy policymakers have finally given the ‘go-ahead’ to start buying solar power produced by private buildings and households.

The surplus solar power generated by private buildings and households (that are accepted by the programme) will be able to be sold to the state, and be fed back into the grid.

Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency is carrying out studies to outline the investment conditions, which are expected to be concluded this year. He said there is no solid time frame yet because details such as business model, investment budget, power tariff, net metering system, supporting region and capacity from each building are still under development.

A village in Than To district of Yala, next to the Malaysian border, is one of several small pockets of private homes partially powered by solar energy, but the government now pledges a nationwide plan to encourage this form of alternative energy. (Photo by Patipat Janthong) Bangkok Post

A village in Than To district of Yala, next to the Malaysian border, is one of several small pockets of private homes partially powered by solar energy, but the government now pledges a nationwide plan to encourage this form of alternative energy. (Photo by Patipat Janthong) Bangkok Post

The power tariff to sell back to the state will be around 2.44 baht per kilowatt-hour (kw/h).

The cost to develop rooftop solar PV panels has seen to be on the decline.
This programme will allow for private buildings and households to sell their power either under a business-to-business model or to sell surplus electricity wholesale to the state. “We are working to support households to participate in the power generation from their own rooftops and to receive revenue from selling the surplus electricity,” Mr Siri said.

This programme is aimed at achieving policymakers’ goal to have all types of renewable energy make up 30% of the country’s total power generation by 2036 from 10% at present.

The policymakers expect to see a decline in heavy dependence on fossil-based power in the long run. Fossil fuels make up 85% of national power.

Mr Siri said the programme may be accelerated to increase the proportion of renewable energy and meet the target sooner than projected.  The rooftop programme was launched for the first time in 2013 with a total quota of 200MW. Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan were allocated 80MW of the total, equally distributed between private buildings and households. At the time, the power tariff was set at 6.10-6.96 baht per kilowatt-hour, higher than for the upcoming programme.

Solar rooftop owners will operate as independent power suppliers (IPSs). The Energy Regulatory Commission reported that registered IPSs in Thailand have a combined capacity of 2,600MW and more new IPSs are being launched each month with an average capacity of 4-5MW.
IPS capacity will account for 6.5% of the total power production system in Thailand.

Click here to view the original post written by YUTHANA PRAIWAN – Bangkok Post


Delta Considers Storage Options, Asia

Delta, expanding their horizons

Delta Electronics Thailand is a maker and distributor of power management solutions and electronic components. The company is currently undergoing studies in the feasibility of an energy storage business in response to the global popularity of electric energy. Storage of which comes with it, hand in hand.

It has been confirmed that Delta will team up with the PTT Group and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to invest in energy storage in future.

“Our feasibility study is for the energy storage business and the future market, both locally and overseas,” Kittisak Ngoenngokngam, business director for Southeast Asia, said.

“Delta expects this collaboration to be concluded soon.”

Curtis Ku (front), senior business director of Delta, takes Yossapong Laoonual, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of Thailand, to visit Delta's solar rooftop in Bangpoo Industrial Estate. THITI WANNAMONTHA   Bangkok Post

Curtis Ku (front), senior business director of Delta, takes Yossapong Laoonual, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of Thailand, to visit Delta’s solar rooftop in Bangpoo Industrial Estate. THITI WANNAMONTHA
Bangkok Post

Mr Kittisak said that ‘Delta will install trial energy storage of 500 kilowatt-hours at its plant in the Bangpoo Industrial Estate in the third quarter’.

He further said that ‘energy storage will be included in Delta’s business segment of infrastructure together with its solar-panel inverter and charging station for electric vehicles (EVs)’.

Delta has recently provided a 2MW solar rooftop at the Bang Poo plant which supplies ‘quick charges of 25-50 kilowatts (KW)’.

Hsieh Shen-yen, Delta’s president, said that the renewable energy business and energy-saving solutions are a growing global trend. Delta is continuously searching for new opportunities to grow and invest in those business, mainly in the form of mergers and acquisitions in order to keep up with the public demand.

Delta expects 2018 revenue growth of 10% to 50 billion baht, thanks to demand growth for products globally, especially in Asean and India.

Last year, the company posted revenue of 49.3 billion baht, up 5.1%, though net profit fell by 10.6% to 4.9 billion baht.


TSE and the future of Renewable Power Plants

Are Renewable Energy Plants still viable in todays age?

Thai Solar Energy Plc (TSE), believes that “the potential for renewable power plants in Thailand has become unfavourable after energy policymakers have put off plans to buy power generated from renewables for five years.”

Policymakers have further announced that new renewable power producers will equate the feed-in tariff as fossil-fuel power producers, at about 2.40 baht per kilowatt-hour, as their production cost is equal to or lower than their traditional counterparts.

Cathleen Maleenont, TSE’s chairman and chief executive has said that, “The country has no potential to operate a renewable power plant and sell electricity to state utilities because profits will decline under the new rate.”

Some renewable investors operate under a power purchase agreement with the EGAT and Metropolitan Electricity Authority under a business-to-government (B2G) model.  But Ms Maleenont said that “Selling power in the business-to-business (B2B) segment remains of interest to renewable investors because both parties can negotiate on prices and terms.”

“We can invest in renewable power plants in the country for B2B purposes, but there is less business opportunity in the B2G segment,” she said. “For our overseas outlook, TSE is very keen on operating renewable power plants because other governments still offer a high adder rate.”

A TSE-built solar rooftop project in Nakhon Ratchasima. The company is looking to expand its business to provide renewable energy to other countries.  Image supplied by the Bangkok Post

A TSE-built solar rooftop project in Nakhon Ratchasima. The company is looking to expand its business to provide renewable energy to other countries.
Image supplied by the Bangkok Post

TSE Solar plants in Japan

Ms Maleenont said that TSE Overseas Group is in charge of 8 solar power plants across Japan with a total capacity of 176.72 megawatts.

5 of these solar power plants, with a combined capacity of 6.99MW, have already secured income with a feed-in tariff of ¥36 yen (10.41 baht) per kilowatt-hour to sell electricity to Japan’s state utilities on a 20-year long contract.

What do you think about this, and the fact that TSE have said that there has been a decline in renewables? Do we want to set good examples of using renewable and green energy, or do we still want to be consuming and using fossil fuels?

We believe in the future of renewable and solar energy power generation.

Lets us know at Eyekandi-Solar, we’re interested in what you think!


Thai Energy Companies Expand Across Southeast Asia

Thailand’s increase in Energy Usage

Through the technology practices taking place inside individual homes in Southeast Asia, startups including Solar and Wind companies, are expanding dramatically.

For twenty years, the Thai government have implemented renewable energy policies in support of this green tech, of which the country is now reaping the benefits. Oil and Gas Companies are also now profiting after recovering from a three-year slump, increasing electricity demand due to economic growth, and renewable technologies that have finally become competitive against fossil fuels.

Long-standing reform policies have turned Thailand’s state energy company PTT into a successful international oil and gas producer, they have encouraged the development of power producers such as Electricity Generating, and fostered the emergence of renewable energy start-up companies such as Energy Absolute.

“The power businesses in Thailand have developed expertise in this sector, and are now well placed to support energy development across the region,” said Robert Grant, Asia Pacific head at Canadian-listed SNC-Lavalin, a company focused on energy, infrastructure and mining.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members have a combined population of more than 600 million people, with an approximate collective GDP of $3 trillion.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), ASEAN’s energy use rose by 60 % in the last 15 years, which portrays that the region’s demand could grow another 66% by the year 2040.

“You can already see increased activity by Thai investors in the ASEAN region,” Grant said.

The expansion has been reflected in the local stock exchange, with shares of energy companies growing nearly 75% since the start of 2016, against a broader market gain of less than half that.

It’s also sparked a mass broadcast of listings, with Thai power companies having raised more than $2 billion from initial public offerings (IPOs) in 2016 and 2017.

An ‘Ecosystem for Growth’ 

Government policy “created an ecosystem for growth for Thai energy companies,” said Maria Lapiz, head of institutional research at Maybank Kim Eng Securities, with the first reforms coming in the 1990s.

That was the time when the Thai government began allowing small power generators (1-90 megawatts) to sell their power back to the national grid. Thailand was also an earlier adopter of natural gas, which now generates about 60% of the country’s electricity.

‘In 2012, Thailand was one of Asia’s first countries to introduce “feed-in” tariffs to give solar developers additional payments on top of normal prices when selling electricity to utilities, channeling investment into the sector.’

Similar tariffs have been applied to other renewable power sources, including wind, small-scale hydro, biomass and biogas.

The privatization of PTT was another big boost to the energy sector. “PTT was privatized in 2001, which helped drive growth in the energy sector from E&P to refiners and helped in the development of the Thai capital market,” said Lapiz.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Thailand is the first Southeast Asian country to be one of the top 15 solar power generators, in the world.

Early Birds in the Renewable Sector

“Thailand started development in renewable power much earlier than regional peers,” said Thidasiri Srisamith, Chief Investment Officer of Kasikorn Asset Management.

Because of the early start and positive relationships with neighbouring countries, Thailand is “a leader in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, and will continue to expand into these countries,” she said.

Thailand’s largest solar company Superblock, has plans to grow, with a $1.8 billion  wind farm investment in Vietnam.

Thailand’s biggest wind power generator, Wind Energy Holdings, plans to start investing in solar, hydro and biomass to back up its capacity, not just in Thailand, but also in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Australia.

“Going forward, Thai power company growth will depend on the ability to secure capacity and have a steady stream of projects … which (are) increasingly coming from overseas,” said Kasikorn’s Thidasiri.


Thai Minister Announces Increase in Coal

Diversify the source of Fuel for Power

The Thai Energy Minister, Siri Jirapongphan, has recently announced that Thailand is expected to increase the mix of electricity generated by coal and renewables to diversify its source of fuel for power generation.

“The share of coal in our power generation mix is very low at slightly less than 20 percent,” the Energy Minister said at the International Energy Forum last week.

“We need to diversify the sources of fuel for our power generation. Having a reasonable percentage of coal to be used for power generation would be a necessity in considering the security of fuel supply to our generation system.”

In the past Thailand has relied mainly on natural gas

The power demand from the citizens is falling behind consumption, requiring the country to import more piped gas from Myanmar and more liquefied natural gas.

A plan set a few years back by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to build coal-fired power plants in the southern Thailand towns of Krabi and Songkhla have been delayed due to opposition from villagers and environmentalists.

“We need to conduct a more global strategic environmental assessment to identify a more suitable location to build a coal-fired power plant that Thailand needs,” Siri said, adding that a decision on the whereabouts of the coal fired power plants locations could be made towards the end of this year (2018).


Increase Coal Use in Thailand. Photo supplied by PennEnergy Thailand

Increase Coal Use in Thailand. Photo supplied by PennEnergy Thailand

“In terms of contribution to carbon dioxide generation, Thailand can be considered as one of the lowest in the world,” Siri said.

Authorities increased retail electricity prices by 3.5 percent last year for the first time since 2014, citing rising oil and gas prices.

Falling costs for solar panels has made the renewable resource competitive against fossil fuels.

“We have proven in several pilot projects that we can expand on our success to promote more electricity generation from renewable resources at a price which we call grid parity at 8 cents (per kilowatt hour) on a wholesale basis.”

Going forward, Siri said that Thailand will only be accepting grid-parity prices of electricity generated from renewable/green sources.

Follow this link to read the original article on the Reuters website by Florence Tan in NEW DELHI and Chayut Setboonsarng in BANGKOK; Additional reporting by Promit Mukherjee in NEW DELHI; Editing by Christian Schmollinger


Air Pollution: Can we see the Blue Skies of Chiang Mai again?

Air Pollution in Chiang Mai

Local farmers throughout northern Thailand continue to traditionally ‘slash and burn’ the crops, typically between February and April every year.

Particularly post-harvest rice and maize fields are set on fire in order to clear the land of plant remains and, at the same time, fertilise the soil in preparation for the replanting of crops before the rainy season starts. Unfortunately this results in chronic air pollution in and around Chiang Mai. The evidence is seen in constant smoke, haze, dust and debris in the city and surrounds.

Despite the dangerous level of air pollution in Chiang Mai, many people are still going outside without proper facemasks and many people continue to exercise and jog in the evening.

chiang mai city smog

Chiang Mai City smog

Chiang Mai Air Quality Index


At the time this article was written, the air quality at real time in Chiang Mai was recorded at 163. It is almost Mid-April, and the air pollution is suppose to be decreasing.

What is being done about it?

Reactionary initiatives by local authorities to combat the smog involve the implementation of fire bans (and the attendant imposition of financial penalties on those caught in violation), extinguishment of forest fires, distribution of face masks as well as the deployment of aircraft over Chiang Mai with the purpose of seeding clouds in order to artificially induce rain or to disperse large quantities of water into the air in an effort to dampen the smoke.

But is this enough?

Have the blue skies returned to our city?

Besides the tens of thousands of individuals treated for respiratory-related conditions at this time of year, the dense smog that often shrouds the city severely reduces the visibility (down to as little as 100-200m) often blocking out the sun, obscuring views of the magnificent Doi Suthep mountain, now and again preventing flights from landing at Chiang Mai Airport.

Blue skies are sometimes visible in the early hours, but maybe we’re just wanting to believe they’re returning… being it almost mid-April.

You Should Wear the Face Mask, or just go on vacation

The cheap surgical style cloth masks so often worn by local Thai people should be avoided, and so should simply just covering your nose and mouth with a bandana or similar article, as this is ineffective as a barrier against the harmful particles carried in the air. Instead, opt for a facemask/respirator which is certified to screen against the smallest and most damaging airborne impurities, and, ideally, one with a layer of activated charcoal to additionally absorb the smell of smoke.

If you’re in a situation where your finances allow, stick to the south of Thailand during this time. The beach is lovely this time of year.

The forecast for Chiang Mai’s sky

In the past, by the end of Songkran Festival, Thailand’s New Year, the rain starts to come and the air quality gets better.

Songkran has now started, and we are hoping for the best…