Blog : EXPLORE

5 Events and Festivals Worth Waiting for

5 Events and Festivals Worth Waiting for

Southeast Asia is renowned for many joyful and exuberant festivities. For the remainder of 2018, it’s worth checking out these highly visible public and social occasions.

/// ASEAN ///

 

Living ASEAN has put together five favorite hangouts for you to pick, from art and culture to festivals and go-to party destinations. If you’re ready, let the journey begin.

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018

Bangkok, Thailand / October 19, 2018 – February 3, 2019

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 is Thailand’s first international art show featuring works by renowned artists from across the globe including Yayoi Kusama, Marina Abramovic, Yoshitomo Nara, Elmgreen & Dragset, Choi Jeong Hwa, Wisut Ponnimit, Kawita Vatanajyankur, and Lee Bul. The four-month festival will see many exhibitions being held at thriving art scenes across the capital from Buddhist temples to historic places along the River Chao Phrya, even the busy commercial district on Sukhumvit Road. Precisely, it’s aimed at making Bangkok a world art destination.  

For more information: http://www.bkkartbiennale.com/

http://www.baanlaesuan.com/tag/bangkok-art-biennale-2018/


 

Bagan Hot Air Balloon Season

Bagan, Myanmar / October 20, 2018 – April 10, 2019

Imagine you could fly. The hot air balloon ride promises to be an inspiring experience in Bagan. It’s an interesting way to see the ancient city as you drift over the vast archeological site in that’s home to more than 2,000 Buddhist shrines in central Myanmar. The balloon season starts October 20 and lasts until next April. Because only 22 balloons are allowed each day, it’s good to make reservations in advance so that you don’t miss out on early morning flights. Take in the view over a cradle of civilization that began in the early eleventh century. The Old Bagan landscape is gorgeous at sunrise.

Photographs: https://myanmarvels.com


 

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival

Bali, Indonesia / October 24-28

There’s more to the Indonesian archipelago than volcanic mountains, beaches and coral reefs. Nestled in the uplands of Bali, Ubud is a town with a quiet beauty that’s widely known for traditional crafts and performing arts. Every year writers, thinkers, as well as visual and performing artists converge on the town to participate in the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, which is scheduled for October 24-28. The event in now into its 15th year.

 


 

Cambodian Water Festival – Bon Om Touk

Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Cambodia / November 21-23

The Cambodian Water Festival or Bon Om Touk is celebrated on November 21-23, which coincides with the end of the rainy season based on the lunar calendar. The occasion symbolizes the abundant life that rivers bring. Cities and towns across the country join in the season of festivity, but the biggest celebration takes place in the capital. The water festival culminates in a boat race on the River Tonle Sap that runs through Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. The rowing boats are a legacy from old-time naval warfare and represent the passing of knowledge from past to present generations.

Photographs: http://global-children.org


 

Zoukout Beach Festival

Siloso Beach, Singapore / December 1

In a mood for partying? Come December 1 Singapore’s Siloso Beach will play host to the largest dusk-to-dawn beach festival with plenty of water activities. The event is much sought after by electronic music fans looking forward to dancing the night away. The fun event organized by Zouk nightclub is now in its 18th year. This year’s festival features the music band Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, number 2 on DJ Mag’s Top 100 list. Partying starts at nightfall and continues until the morning after. So dance till you drop!

 

You may also like:

VIRTUAL REALITY ON GOOGLE

 

LOY KRATHONG AND WATER FESTIVALS AROUND THE REGION
The Making of the “Super Ung-Lo,” Ratchaburi’s Fuel-Efficient Cook Stove

The Making of the “Super Ung-Lo,” Ratchaburi’s Fuel-Efficient Cook Stove

The old-fashioned cook stove known as “Ung-Lo” has long been a manifestation of traditional knowledge of the people of Thailand. It’s fair to say that the charcoal stove can make food taste and smell better than can gas-fired cooking ranges. Precisely, nothing can replicate the natural smoky flavor of char. Nowadays, although the ubiquitous influence of gas-fired cooking ranges is felt by everybody, there’s always a demand for the charcoal stove. That said, we believe there’s at least one “Ung-Lo” in practically every household to meet every cooking need, whether it be barbecuing low and slow or cooking with high heat.

/// THAILAND///
Story: Trairat Songpao /// Photography: Kosol Paipoei

Ruam Sukhawattago is owner of “Gold Stoves,” an old manufacturing factory located in Ratchaburi Province. He kindly takes a break from work to show us around and share his experience. No doubt it’s an opportunity to observe traditional knowledge at work and see how the cloning process has evolved over time to fit modern circumstances. In the process, Ruam succeeds in crafting a fuel-efficient cook stove that he calls the “Super Ung-Lo.” The product is made from materials sourced directly from the community, such as clay and rice husk ash. In all, the handcrafted cook stove takes ten days from start to finish.

Super Ung-Lo Super Ung-Lo Super Ung-Lo

How It’s Made

First of all, clay goes through a curing process to become liquefied overnight. Then the soft clay is mixed with soil and rice husk ash. The ratio of soil to ash is 2:1. Work the moistened clay mix into paste with the hands until it’s thick and malleable enough to be molded to its final shape.

Let it cure for 12 hours before attaching three cooking pot supports to the inside wall of the fire chamber. The support points should be raised slightly higher than the mouth of a stove. Rub off the rough edges on the clay surface to give it a nice finish. Cut an opening in the lower part of the wall to make an air inlet. Then, let stand for five days before putting it in a kiln, where the clay stove becomes hardened by heat. 

Next is the making of a perforated clay brick or grill that separates the fire box from the ash chamber below. The lower room doubles as air inlet and ash removal port. The round grill prevents the fire from falling into the space underneath. Traditionally, a total of 61 holes are made while the brick is soft and easy to cut. The grill is fired at the same time as is the stove body.

From the kiln, the hardened earthenware is placed inside a metal casing for protection. The void space is filled with rice husk ash for heat insulation. Finally, it’s time to seal the top circumference with cement mix and install the perforated brick to complete the process.

Super Ung-Lo Super Ung-Lo

The “Super Ung-Lo” cook stove is designed to save fuel in line with the policy of the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency. It differs from traditional cook stoves in that:

  1. Shape: It’s perfectly shaped to store thermal energy in material by raising its temperatures.
  2. Stove top circumference: The stove mouth is capable of supporting 9 sizes of cooking pots (sizes 16-32)
  3. Support points: The three support points are raised above the top circumference only slightly to minimize heat loss.
  4. Fire chamber: Relatively speaking, its fire chamber is smaller than that of a traditional cook stove, which translates into less fuel being used.
  5. Grill: The perforated clay brick is made thicker for durability. Its efficiency comes from a forceful current of air that is pulled through many smaller holes using convection.

Super Ung-Lo Super Ung-Lo

Touring the factory, we come across so many cook stoves to the extent it gets us thinking about the future of the age-old industry. Will this occupation continue to have pride of place in modern circumstances? Interestingly enough, Ruam replies:

“At one time, the US Embassy invited me to join my counterparts from Laos and Vietnam for a meeting on Ung-Lo making in Vientiane. I represented Thailand in that event. At the time, many versions of cook stoves were discussed and compared in a bid to identify a design that produced the highest heat, had the least impact on the environment, and the most energy efficient. The Thai Ung-Lo proved to be the case. It started a fire in the least amount of time. By comparison, it produced the highest heat with water reaching the boiling point very quickly. In fact, the kettle boiled twice while the Vietnamese stove had only just started a fire.

“It turned out that theirs was a biofuel stove, which produced a lot of smoke. Experiments showed the Thai stove was made to a high quality standard. I couldn’t help wondering why the Americans were so interested in the Ung-Lo. Their answer was that 20 years from now, humans would have turned around to using traditional cook stoves due to natural gas being used up. Oils derived from petroleum would have been depleted less than 50 years from now, unlike wood which is a renewable product. So, now I understand.”

Super Ung-Lo

We came away feeling good knowing we have formed friendships and understanding with each other. It made us happy to go by the saying, “Whatever you do in life, do it for love.” Ruam Sukhawatago no doubt was of the same opinion.

For a chance to visit the “Gold Stoves” factory, or get yourself something good like a “Super Ung-Lo,” call 08-7977-8677 for information.

Source : www.baanlaesuan.com

 

The BaanLaeSuan Fair Midyear 2018, Plenty of Events You Don’t Want to Miss

The BaanLaeSuan Fair Midyear 2018, Plenty of Events You Don’t Want to Miss

The BaanLaeSuan Fair Midyear 2018 is scheduled for 4-12 August at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center, Bang Na (BITEC Bang Na). Save the date! The annual event taking place at Halls 98 thru 104 showcases the latest in smart-home technologies and innovations designed to answer modern lifestyle needs. Hence, this year’s theme is aptly called the “Internet of Home.” Nowadays, microcomputers can be used for a variety of purposes, while the “Internet of Things” (IoT) has made it possible to monitor in-home safety, control lights and temperatures, and possibilities are endless. Needless to say the network of computing devices embedded in everything home has changed the way we live in one way or another. That being said, the houses of the future will look significantly different. And we don’t want you to miss out on it.

Entrance to the “Internet of Home” Exhibition

The entrance hall is the first stop on your journey into the BaanLaeSuan Fair Midyear 2018. Reduced ornamental details are intended to make the entryway beautiful and welcoming as a photo-op venue. Plus, it’s about keeping it simple.

Whether it be a flight of stairs, door frames, or window casings, every house part is a symbol that communicates the ideas and the quality of being useful and suitable in modern circumstances. Meantime, the lighting arouses enthusiasm, while a television screen gives handy hints about what’s on display inside.

BaanLaeSuan Home Ideas
Smart Home Where Things Work by Voice Command

There are technologies aplenty to make your home smart and capable of answering modern lifestyle needs.

While the Internet of Things allows business to connect with technology with amazing results, the Internet of Home offers a glimpse into the future of human dwellings, especially the kind that’s controlled by microcomputers and a network of interconnected devices. Take for example a voice command that works by converting the analog waves of human voices into digital data that in turn cause machines and other systems to operate.

This part of the show illustrates how technological advancements are being used to create modern conveniences in every part of the home. And it’s happening now. The areas already benefiting from smart home technologies, such as voice recognition and related applications, are:

The Kitchen, dining room, and backyard: The kitchen serves multiple functions. Both the countertop and the island designed for food preparation can transform into bar counters or dining room furniture when needed. Here, three design options are operated by voice command. They are:

1.In the Morning, the lighting over the kitchen countertop and nearby island operates by voice commands. At the same time, the TV set turns itself on to bring in morning news.

2.Romantic Nighttime View. Voice commands turn off the lights in the kitchen by night, while the dining room and nearby backyard remain fully lit culminating in romantic dinner experience.

3.When it’s party time, all the lights in this area turn on, while the stage is aglow under the lights in many vibrant colors. At the same time, the stereo system turns on and fills the room with the sound of music.

The exhibition also showcases a part of the backyard that’s equipped with charging facilities for electric cars. The area can be easily updated to suit different purposes in future.

The bedroom, dressing room, and bath: The dressing area and adjacent bathroom come complete with smart mirrors that operate by a voice-recognition app. Two sets of commands are on display in this part of the show.

1.In the morning, a voice command opens the curtains to allow the bedroom to bask in the early morning sun when the temperatures are mild. At the same time, the lighting in the dressing room turns on.

2.By night, the curtains are closed and bedroom lights are turned off by the voice-command app, turning the bedroom into a cool and restful place.

Having seen enough of home decorating ideas, it’s time to head for the Book House E-commerce Café. It’s a quiet hangout for people with a passion for reading, and you are welcome to download something to read for free for 24 hours.

Take your time to browse around the store for new book releases from BaanLaeSuan Printing and Publishing, or just lean back and chill out with a cup of fresh-brewed coffee.

Graphic illustrations of the “Internet of Home” concept
The Chairmen of Thai Design, A Room Magazine Showcase at The BaanLaeSuan Select Fair

The Chairmen of Thai Design, A Room Magazine Showcase at The BaanLaeSuan Select Fair

A chair exhibition featuring works by distinguished Thai designers … You will yearn to add one to your collection.

“The Chair” is one of the greatest inventions. Since a long time ago, with dexterous hands and logical minds, humans have crafted more chairs than we ever know. Even now, most furniture brands and design studios continue to come up with amazing new designs. Plenty of good reasons they should never stop!

Design isn’t about just drawing to show the look and function of a product. Rather, it has to do with showing good aesthetic judgment, something that helps people enjoy the magic of sculpture. In a nutshell, the chair is more than a separate seat to sit in. It’s a million experiences.

Well-thought-out design gives us a sense of connection to events past and present. Whether it’s looked at from a cultural, economic, technological, or social perspective, the chair offers a wide range of benefits and serves the purpose for which it’s intended.

Organized by the capable team of Room Magazine, the Chairmen of Thai Design showcases a fascinating array of works by Thai designers who are experts in the field. You will find plenty of great ideas on view that heralded a new chapter in Thai furniture design, including products that have won critical acclaim both at home and abroad.

As business adapts to a rapidly changing world, you are invited to join us in celebrating the creativeness of Thai designers. Together, they go to work applying more effort toward achieving a higher goal.

A major attraction at BaanLaeSuan Select Fair, the Chairmen of Thai Design exhibition will happen at the Plenary Hall, Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, May 30 to June 3, 2018.

A special event on Friday June 1 from 4 to 6 p.m., meet up with distinguished designers who showcase their products at the show. At the risk of stating the obvious, the informal gathering is about the chair and how things have changed. We don’t want you to miss it.

Designers from 30 studios showcasing at the Chairmen of Thai Design

1.The Savannah, Yothaka, by Suwan Kongkhuntian
2. The Rush Chair, o-d-a studio, by Piti Amraranga and Jutamas Buranajade
3. The Sputnik, Salt and Pepper Design studio for Corner 43 Decor, by Anchana Thongpaitoon and Pipidh Khowsuwan
4. The Wave, Ayodhya studio, by M.L. Pawinee Santisiri
5. The Noodle Stool, 56th Studio, by Saran Yenpanya
6. The Fluctuation of Precision, Anon Pairot studio for SCG, by Anon Pairot
7. The Brace Stool, Deesawat, by Jirachai Tangkijngamwong
8. The Grid, Dot Design studio for Galvanii, by Krit Phutpim
9. The Batten, Thinkk studio for Tectona, by Decha Archjananun and Ploypan Theerachai
10. The Sumo, Mobella, by Anuphon YooYuen
11. The Kiri, Mobella, by Ath Supornchai
12. The Jaak Stool, Tima studio, by Supachai Klaewtanong
13.The Radee, Bambunique, by Amornthep Kachanonda
14. The Ele 1.1 Dining, by Doonyapol Srichan
15. The Tori, Golf-JC studio, by Jakkapun Charinrattana
16. The Fig, Masaya, by Apiwat Chitapanya
17. The Waterweed, Sumphat Gallery, by Rush Pleansuk
18. The Core Chair, Trimode studio for Corner 43 Decor, by Pirada – Paradee Senivongse na Ayudhya, and Shinpanu Athichathanabadee
19. The Tension, Plural Designs, by Piboon Amornjiraporn
20. The Placer, Whoop, by Pitchaya Maneerattanaporn
21. The Bangkok Taxi, Everyday studio, by Wuthichai Leelavoravong and Dr. Siriporn Kobnithikulwong
22. The Sora, Satawat Design, by Ratthee Phaisanchotsiri
23. The Anonymous Chair, PHTAA studio, by Ponwit Ratanatanatevilai, Harisadhi Leelayuwapan, and Thanawat Patchimasiri
24. The Cane, Atelier2+ studio, by Worapong Manupipatpong and Ada Chirakranont
25. The Gom, Hari Ora, by Chayanin Sakdikul and Nutdanai Siribongkot
26. The Enso, Flo, by Naroot Pitisongswat
27. The Lock, Room Lab, by Vongsatorn Chaicherdchuvong
28. The Saturno, Kenkoon, by Pichak Tanarojviboon
29. The Chamfer, Plato, by Noraset Sabai
30. The Suite, Studio AB, by Apirat Boonruangthaworn
 

VERNACULAR HOUSES AROUND THE ASEAN

VERNACULAR HOUSES AROUND THE ASEAN

If you are interested in design based on local needs, local materials, and local traditions, you will find vernacular building exhibitions well worth a visit.

/// Thailand ///

 

The expo area features 5 show pavilions designed by the design firms.

Five show pavilions are open now at Architect ’18, the ASEAN’s largest building technology exposition organized by the Association of Siamese Architects (ASA). It’s happening on May 1-6, 2018 at Impact, Muang Thong Thani.

Plastic crates filled with clay are readied for the show at Architect ’18.

Other attractions range from a photography display by Vernacular Built Environment and Cultural Heritage Studies Group, and exhibitions by various architectural firms, to retail businesses, and seminars featuring distinguished speakers from Thailand and abroad.

The expo’s must-see events include a show pavilion by Boon Design, which presents building techniques using materials readily available in a locality, such as plastic crates for fruit transportation filled with clay.

Inside one of the show pavilions dedicated to vernacular-style living
The dark exterior that is characteristic of the Boon Design show pavilion

Designer Boonlert Hemvijitraphan said: “Traditionally, earth has been a material of choice for home building while plastic crates come in handy as byproducts of the industry. The choice of materials is often dictated by availability in a particular area. Homes can be made of anything, whether it’s earth or wood, so long as they are adapted to suit local needs and requirements.” Like so, a vernacular house in Southeast Asia may appear dim on the inside because there are only a few openings. Lace fabrics on the windows tell stories of clever adaptations to suit local weather conditions.

Vernacular houses on the waterfront in Myanmar, Cambodia, and Thailand
photograph reflects local beliefs and customs around the Region.

The building techniques differ from country to country across Southeast Asia as illustrated by the photo exhibition by the Vernacular Built Environment and Cultural Heritage Studies Group. Its members include Isarachai Buranaut, Kullphut Seneevong Na Ayudhaya, Somchai Chuechuaychu, and Surapong Jamniyom.

 

You may also like…

10 INSPIRING MODERN TROPICAL HOUSES

 

WOODEN THAI HOUSE IN THE LANNA TRADITION

 

Virtual Reality on Google

Virtual Reality on Google

 Of course you have heard of the oldest and most famous places in world history. But, do you know that one of Google’s main ambitions is to inspire you to see them in a fun and simple way?

 

/// Photo: Google ///

With Google VR and drone footage, the multinational technology company lets you experience virtual reality of 25 historic sites in 18 countries across the globe — from Bagan, an ancient city in central Myanmar, to Thailand’s former capital Ayutthaya, to the ruins of Pompeii in southern Italy, and Al Azem Palace in Syria, which dates back to the days of the Ottoman Empire.  

Also enjoyed by many is Google Arts and Culture, an online platform through which people can access images of artworks and exhibits hosted by participating museums. For the education of future generations, Google is partnering with CyArk, a non-profit organization dedicated to making historical and cultural heritage sites accessible to the public. CyArk uses laser light technology to crate 3D representations of sites of outstanding universal value.

For now, join us on incredible adventures to some of the most famous heritage sites in the ASEAN. Appreciate peace and tranquility in Bagan, an ancient city in Myanmar, and experience virtual reality of Wat Phra Sri Sanpet in Ayuttyaya, Thailand. The temple ruins were used as backdrop for scenes in one of many Hollywood movies filmed in Thailand. (https://artsandculture.google.com/project/cyark)

3D Model of Eim Ya Kyaung Temple in Bagan, Myanmar
3D Model of Wat Phra Sri Sanpet in Ayuttyaya, Thailand 
Pompeii, Italy
Teotihuacán, Mexico
Taos Pueblo, the United States
Al Azem Palace, Syria
The Monastery of Geghard, Armenia
The Brandenburg Gate, Germany
Chichén Itzá, Mexico
Ayutthaya, Thailand
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds, New Zealand

 

You may also like…

10 UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

5 HEART-SHAPED SPOTS AROUND THE ASEAN

Thailand Will Be Home to the Region’s Largest IKEA Store

Thailand Will Be Home to the Region’s Largest IKEA Store

The new IKEA store in Johor, Malaysia was dubbed Southeast Asia’s largest when it opened for business four months ago. That’s about to change as the candidate for the top spot will open in Thailand in a matter of days.

/// Thailand ///

 

The world-renowned, Swedish-founded furniture retailer will launch its newest, largest store in Southeast Asia in Bang Yai, Nonthaburi on March 15. It will be the country’s second IKEA store that’s geared towards meeting the needs of people in Nonthaburi as well as outlying districts in Bangkok’s Northwest.

IKEA Bang Yai will be the Swedish chain’s largest store in Southeast Asia come March 15.

The newest retail establishment in Bang Yai spreads over a surface of 50,278 square meters, compared to 46,700 square meters at the IKEA Tebrau store in Johor. The Malaysian store was opened on November 16, 2017.

The IKEA Bang Yai store is partially solar-powered. Its solar arrays comprising 4,548 photovoltaic cells mounted on the rooftop are capable of producing 1.5 megawatts per year, or about 13% of the building’s electricity needs. It is LEED certified for quality and achievement in green building features.

Unlike other IKEA retail establishments, the Bang Yai store has cashier stations on every floor. The new design enables shoppers who are short on time to get in and out of the store faster.

Bird’s eye view of the IKEA Tebrau store in Malaysia

IKEA’s world largest store is located in South Korea. Opened in December 2014, the IKEA Gwangmyeong has 59,000 square meters of business space. The chain retail establishment has six stores in Southeast Asia — two in Singapore, three in Malaysia, and one in Thailand. The Bang Yai store will be number 7 in the region.

 

You may also like…

JATUJAK ISN’T JUST FOR WEEKENDS

 

10 INSPIRING MODERN TROPICAL HOUSES
3 Apps to Check Air Pollution Levels

3 Apps to Check Air Pollution Levels

Despite the omnipresence of the Internet in society today, there seems to be a disconnect between the impact of pollution and access to the information needed to protect public health. Strange as it may sound. According to a 2017 estimate by the environmental tech company Plume Labs, only 0.246% of the earth has access to that vital information.

/// ASEAN ///

 

 As air pollution levels rise from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok to Yangon, and Phnom Penh to Jakarta, it’s wise to stay abreast of the latest developments. There are many websites and apps that measure the concentrations of both PM2.5 and PM10 and other pollutants. Here are three useful apps to check air quality wherever you are.

An example page of the Real-time AQI app.
An example of Real-time AQI’s advisory page showing air pollution values, concentrations of airborne particulates, and protective mask recommendations by Greenpeace.

– Air Quality: Real-time AQI App –

The Real-time AQI app for Android and iOS shows air quality information from more than 10,000 monitoring stations in over 60 countries, including mainland China, Korea, Japan and countries across Southeast Asia. It provides, among other things, data about the concentrations of smaller airborne pollutants (PM2.5) and larger particulates (PM10). The former refers to extremely small particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter or about 3% the diameter of human hair.

Updated hourly, the same information is linked to the developer website http://aqicn.org along with data on harmful gases and other readings such as temperatures, pressures, and humidity. The site also publishes visualized maps and protective mask recommendations from the global independent campaign organization Greenpeace. Get to know three types of masks to protect you from PM2.5 that ordinary surgical masks cannot. Whether it’s on the mobile app or the website, good infographics are worth a thousand words and a good place to start researching.


 

Plume Air Report provides air pollution levels in Yangon and Phnom Penh, which are not listed in the AQI app.
Flow, a portable instrument for checking air quality values and weather maps by Plume Air Report.

– Plume Air Report App –

Plume Air Report on the iPhone is a reporting and forecasting app that tracks real-time air pollution levels for every city in the world. The environmental tech company (website https://plumelabs.com) is the maker of “Flow,” a mobile personal air tracker that measures harmful pollutants indoors and outdoors. Real-time data including air quality indices, temperatures, UV levels, winds, and humidity are updated hourly along with pollution forecasts for the next 24 hours and statistics for the past 7 days. Flow makes it possible to track harmful air pollutants even in cities without AQI monitoring stations. The device is open for pre-order. Check the website for availability.


 

An example page of the AirVisual app showing unhealthy air pollution levels in cities across the globe. The information is updated hourly.

– Air Quality: AirVisual App –

AirVisual is a real-time and forecast air quality app that provides AQI indices for over 70 countries worldwide. Available on both Android and iOS, the free app gathers information from more than 9,000 locations via global networks of government monitoring stations and AirVisual’s own sensors. By giving historical, real-time, and forecast air pollution data, AirVisual is a pocket guide to avoiding harmful airborne particles. The AirVisual Earth Map is a good place to start tracking pollution levels and weather conditions with hourly updates.

In Southeast Asia, notably Bangkok, Chiangmai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Jakarta, thick haze of air pollution isn’t going away any time soon. As the fight for clean air continues, it pays to be in the know and avoid places with high concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10. The mobile apps mentioned above are three of many technologies designed to get the message across in the interest of public health and safety.

 

You may also like…

AIR QUALITY AROUND THE ASEAN
SOUTHEAST ASIA’S CAR MARKET UPDATES
TEN RATHER ODD SINGAPORE LAWS
Air Quality around the ASEAN

Air Quality around the ASEAN

Air pollution is just one aspect of the wider environmental and health problems in major cities around the ASEAN. It’s a wake-up call among city dwellers from Bangkok to Jakarta to Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.

 

Traffic jam in Bangkok, Thailand
PM2.5 Level, Hanoi and Jakarta, 14 February

The crux of the matter is the high concentrations of small airborne particles (known as PM2.5) that enter the body through the nose and mouth. They pose greater health risks than larger particles (known as PM10), which the body is capable of eliminating through coughing, sneezing, and swallowing.

Technically speaking, PM2.5 refers to particulate matters with a mass aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 micrometers. They are capable of traveling deep into the body causing anything from mild symptoms such as nose and throat irritation to more serious conditions like lung and heart problems, even lung cancer.

To get the information across to the public, a monitoring system was devised. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a number used to communicate how polluted the air is in real time, and how bad it is forecast to become. AQI readings above 150 are considered to have direct impacts on the health conditions of sensitive groups of people.

While industrial pollution left cities across China and India in the smog, countries in Southeast Asia have become alert to the man-made problem and begun taking action to reduce PM2.5 levels.  Let’s hope that it’s not too late.

PM2.5 Level, Bangkok and Chiang Mai, 14 February
Highest PM10 Level, Saraburi in Thailand, 14 February

A few weeks into the new year 2018, it was a terrible shock to find thick haze of air pollution blanketing the entire landscape of Bangkok Metropolis. The spike in PM2.5 concentrations that cut down visibility and posed a threat to public health was blamed on a mix of humidity and seasonal inactivity in the air flow.

The same also happened to Chiangmai in the northern part of the country, and the haze hasn’t fully lifted. While local governments called on farmers not to burn their fields in preparation for the new planting season in Chiangmai, Bangkok authorities were looking for ways to free up traffic snarls and reduce air pollutants from industrial plants.

In Jakarta, where traffic jams were just as bad, the need to reduce air pollution has been a hot topic for quite some time. Jakarta’s problems stemmed from rapid increases in vehicular emissions in the city and industrial pollution in the northern part of the city. A recent study showed that over 60% of the population of the Indonesian capital were facing increased risks in respiratory and pulmonary disease.

Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City were no exception when it came to air pollution from vehicular emissions. Motorbikes remained the most popular means of transportation nationwide. The country with a population of 92 million had over 45 million registered motorcycles. A 2013 study showed that high PM2.5 levels were linked to about 40,000 deaths, equivalent in seriousness to a 5% economic loss.

Sources:

http://aqicn.org

http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/environment/176546/how-serious-is-air-pollution-in-vietnam-.html

 

You may also like…

SOUTHEAST ASIA’S CAR MARKET UPDATES

 

10 UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

 

10 REMARKABLE AND BEAUTIFUL BIG TREES IN THAILAND

 

5 Heart-Shaped Spots around the ASEAN

5 Heart-Shaped Spots around the ASEAN

Going somewhere this Valentine’s Day? For inspiration, here are five heart-shaped lakes and islands around the ASEAN. Imagine waking up on the beach with crystal clear water, soaking up golden sun on the rice field, or escaping to the forest of luxuriant foliage found only in the tropics. Check out these places.

 

Rih Lake, Myanmar

– Rih Lake / Myanmar –

Dubbed a hidden paradise, Rih Lake is off the beaten track. It’s located in Chin State bordering India and more than 480 km from Mandalay, the second largest city at the center of mainland Myanmar. The isolated, heart-shaped lake is surrounded by paddy fields and forested areas. The area is home to the Mizo people, who inhabit both sides of the Myanmar-India border. The lake, which is accessible from Rihkhawdar, a nearby tourist destination, is considered a pilgrimage site for Mizo people and the passage to their eternal home after death. Because it’s not easy to get to from within Myanmar, most visitors come here from the Indian side. 


 

Siit Lake, the Philippines / Photo: Rafael Naranjo

– Siit Lake / The Philippines –

Siit Lake is in Sulu, a province in the southern part of the Philippines. The heart-shaped body of water is 800 meters wide and 1.6 kilometers from one end to the other. The Sulu archipelago is part of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindana0 (ARMM). The provincial capital, Jolo, is located on the island of the same name. The Sulu archipelago is accessible from Mindanao Island. Due to its remoteness, the lake is not easy to get to.


 

Cocks Comp Island, Myanmar / Photo: Gatpattama

– Cocks Comb Island / Myanmar –

Located in the Andaman Sea, Cocks Comb is a small limestone atoll with a stunning heart-shaped lagoon in it. On a clam day, you can swim through a natural tunnel into the beautiful lagoon, also known as the Emerald Heart. The seawater is perfect for snorkeling and coral reef diving. Cocks Comb Island is accessible from Myanmar’s southernmost city of Kawthaung and Thailand’s Ranong Province. Many tour operators offer guided service from Ranong.


 

Dao Island, the Philippines / Photo: www.privateislandsonline.com

– Dao Island / The Philippines –

Dao is a beautiful private island located in Busuanga Bay, Palawan Province. The 47.9-hectare (about half a square kilometer) island boasts crystal clear waters and pristine tropical forest. The crescent shoreline of the paradise island can be seen from the east side. 


 

Thung Thalay Luang, Thailand
Thung Thalay Luang, Thailand

– Thung Thalay Luang / Thailand –

Thung Thalay Luang is an artificial lake designed to store rainwater in the Yom River Basin. Located in the north central province of Sukhothai, the large body of water features a small heart-shaped island with a beautiful Mandapa on it. The pillared pavilion for public rituals contains soil from villages across the province as the symbolism of love and social harmony. Accessible via a well-marked entry road, the island is a sight to behold from the air.

 

You may also like…

10 MOST ROMANTIC HOTELS AND RESORTS IN THE REGION

 

5 AMAZING LESSER-KNOWN TROPICAL ISLANDS

 

THE CAFÉ APARTMENT, A SUPER-HIP BUILDING IN HO CHI MINH CITY
X