Pollution in Bangkok is legendary. Still one of the world’s most polluted cities, Bangkok tends to stun newcomers with the thick pall that sometimes hangs over the city or is disgorged from taxis, buses, trucks and tuk-tuks.
For someone like me, who has lived in the city for a decade, pollution in Bangkok is often not noticed anymore as the longer you live there the more you get used to it. But, let’s face it, when you leave Bangkok for a trip, vacation or permanently, it’s then you realize just how bad the city’s pollution really is.
Even a government study last year showed just how dirty Bangkok’s air is, with levels of hazardous substances more than three times the acceptable international standard. That’s why, now that I’m in Spain for a month’s holiday, I’m realizing just how disgustingly dirty the air in Bangkok is as, in a small Spanish town the air is crisp, clean and easy to breath. Now I’m beginning to understand why I never exercise outdoors in Bangkok as the air is dirty, hot, oppressive and, quite frankly, difficult to breath. Yet, in Spain, I’m happy to hike for miles.
All I can say is, if you’re planning a trip to Bangkok and don’t like pollution, bring a mask or spend most of your time indoors as, in the 10 years I’ve lived in the city, Bangkok’s pollution hasn’t decreased by any noticeable level and the air quality certainly hasn’t improved. I honestly doubt it ever will.
A group of students from Potisarn Pittayakorn school even made a video about Bangkok’s terrible pollution for a science project. Check it out.