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PM heads to Chiang Mai – today’s #1 most air-polluted city

Thaksin Shinawatra in Chiang Mai
Former PM Thaksin Shinawatra visits Chiang Mai

Not the former prime minister Thaksin… we’ll get to him in a moment.

But first, the current Thai PM, Srettha Thavisin, is heading to Chiang Mai today on a scheduled visit of the northern city. And, depending on the way you see it, the situation couldn’t be worse, regarding the northern Thailand air pollution.

The prime minister arrives on a day, not the first, when Chiang Mai is rated in the respected air pollution monitoring app,, as the #1 most polluted city in the world!

The areas, marked with the purple colour-coding, means the air quality is ‘very unhealthy’.

Chiang Mai, as well as Chiang Rai and other neighbouring provinces, are suffering some of the worst air pollution readings today with the Chiang Mai governor admitting that the problem is almost solely due to the recent forest fires, most of them deliberately lit by local farmers.

Whilst the forest and plantation fires around Chiang Mai are bad enough, the NASA Firemaps website is showing a huge contribution to the problem from the lawless northern Myanmar area, largely inhabited by ethnic militias, drug manufacturers and online scam gangs, some of them operating as Thai.Myanmar border casinos.

The prime minister scheduled his visit to the northern city almost two weeks ago and his timing, to inspect the region’s air quality, couldn’t have been better.

It’s also been reported that he might take the opportunity to meet up with a tourist to Chiang Mai, the former prime minister, and recently released ‘prisoner’, Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin is on a three day visit to his political heartland of Chiang Mai and is meeting up with former friends, along with a few political hard-hitters, including current ministers, ministerial secretary-generals, and the deputy police commissioner Surachate Hakparn.

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