I'm surprised you weren't told to avoid this time of year in Chiang Mai. It's absolutely dreadful. Flights are often cancelled because of poor visibility. Much much worse than Dali although I've seen almost as bad in some parts of Sichuan. But the rest of the year Chiang Mai is great. Just stay off the main tourist drags and it's a beautiful little city
@jj123. Perhaps they are burning trash (small branches) trimmed from trees. That generates a lot of smoke.
Or it could be burning for the same reason as in my area last night. Maybe some spring festival thing.
Either that or they are getting all of the bonfires done before the government inspectors get back from their holidays.
I meant to write "Chiang Mai is also polluted with tourists", not "Dali is..."
about the Feb 11 smog:
"According to the office of the Kunming Forest Fire Prevention Command, this smog came from Yuxi, because the area under the jurisdiction of Yuxi City is undergoing “planned burning”."
That explains it. Thank you!
In line with the gist of Ocean's and ricsnap's comments from yesterday, I am always surprised when people are especially critical of Kunming's air quality.
In statistical terms, Kunming's air pollution has been among the lowest of major Chinese cities when statistical rankings have been published (although it has been a while since I have seen a new one come out).
Anecdotally, I spent some time in a more northerly part of China where the air regularly smelled like coal and the haze was such that you literally could glimpse blue sky only a few times a month. This was in stark contrast with Kunming where the sky can be blue for weeks on end and the air quality is good enough that I generally just go about my day without paying it any mind.
I can be critical of Kunming air quality, not especially critical, but critical. Comparing Kunming to some of the world's most polluted cities is perhaps missing the point.
Checking the real time AQI just now, Kunming was 175 (unhealthy) currently worse than Beijing.
Some of those who complain the loudest about air quality in Kunming smoke between 20 and 40 a day. You know who you are :)
@tigertiger: Your reference to "especially" is well-taken, as I intended that word to exclude concerns such as yours from the type of criticism I was addressing.
Kunming vs. Chinese cities or Kunming vs. international cities: different comparisons are valid in different contexts. Glass half-full, glass half-empty. In the context of of Chengdu1's post about seeking a city to move to in China, I think the former comparison is on point.
None of this is to suggest that blue skies are the same thing as AQI or that the air quality shouldn't be better. It's just that sometimes (such as with some posts in the "Air Quality!!! Kunming Not So Good" megathread) I get the feeling that people are talking about a different city.
The Kunming smog issue is on the Yunnan Chanel 2 news tonight. Fires in Yuxi are set to continue. Apparently the people of Kunming are also complaining.