After nearly half a century of reporting for the international news media, I for one know that life can be hazardous to your health – but why vacation in one of the world’s top danger zones?
Already world champion for deadly road traffic, Thailand’s northern region was this week declared the most dangerous on the planet. Air quality is so horribly bad that choking victims, locals and visitors alike, feel a strong urge to run for oxygen.
Meanwhile Bangkok keeps coughing up the same old song: Mai pen rai!
After fleeing Nan province a week ago because of a thumping disco that deprived us of sleep, we are now deprived of breathable air. What next? My lungs are aching, my eyes are red and irritated – and so is my mood.
Visibility at Nan airport was down to 400 metres yesterday while on northern country roads most car drivers have switched their lights on full-beam during the day to cope with the dust cloud.
The Weather Channel’s report for the North is “37C, smoke”. Everybody here is constantly inhaling smoke!
I have written to the Tourist Authority of Thailand’s governor, after receiving a response from its complaint centre that was so inadequate, irresponsible and discouraging that I could have laughed had the situation not been so frightening. I have decided to cut short my vacation in Thailand.