We are going first week of March to Bangkok and wondering if it is a good time to visit Chiang Mai? Is the smoke from the fires really bad?
Pollution in Chiang Mai is heavier at this time of year but it's not like you'll see and smell smoke and burnt rice field particulate raining down on you. I've not noticed it as a problem walking around while living here over the last year. You could also do activities outside Chiang Mai. Or rent a motorbike and head for the hills. You won't get lost so badly you won't find your way back. Depending on how much time you have, to spend a few days here would still be worthwhile.
If you wanna see rice fields you should go during October-November
The burning season goes on for 2 months, February and March is the worst time to go to Chiang Mai . I have friends who have stayed during this time last year and this year, no one is hanging around for the burning season. What I have heard from friends of mine, some mornings they would get woken up from coughing caused by the smoke, Itchy eyes runny nose and they were not even living close to any fields. This cant be too good for anybody's health.
We lived in Chiang Mai for 2 months, even though we had the visa for 3 months we didn't want to hang around the smokey season.
I hope this helps
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