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Hello!!

I'm heading back to Thailand from March 25 to April 24 and have firmly decided to train in Chiang Mai for 1 month at Hongthong Muay Thai Gym.

After some research and advice from friends, I was told the following:

1) It will be the hottest season during the time i'm there, and that's OK - I just have to suck it up and get used it...Gotta burn this fat anyway lol

2) Burning Season for crops/farmers and worst being from Early March to Mid May. - I think this is the only thing I'm concerned about so I have some questions about this. 

> For those that have lived/trained in Chiang Mai (I know Sylvie has lived here for many years) what's it like training during Burning Season and did it affect your health, cardio/conditioning, etc? I'm a little worried about this as I've been told that it was so bad, and some said it wasn't as bad as you think. I do have a minor case of exercise-induced asthma but I know this is only triggered when it gets freezing cold (especially here in Canada) I do have a puffer with me that I once in a while take before exercising. And to be honest, when I was in Thailand (Bangkok) It was tough for a few days due to the heat/humidity but eventually, I got used to it. And I felt a whole lot better even though it felt like training in the sauna... haha

Anyway, that's all! Let me know your experience regarding training during the Burning Season in Chiang Mai. All the best! :) 

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I'd say that it's BOTH awful and also not as bad as you think. The reason it's both is that when it bothers you, it's really bad and seems like it lasts forever; but there are long stretches in any given day when you don't notice it at all. The times it was bad for me was when I went out running. Some folks try to run in a particle mask and some of the older folks (westerners) in Chiang Mai will wear the particle masks all the time when driving around on their motorbikes. I don't think that's necessary, but I'm also not asthmatic or 70 years old, so maybe for them it is necessary.

During training I didn't notice it too much, most gyms have a semi-enclosed area where the ring is and unless there's a wind blowing the smoke in it doesn't tend to permeate those areas. And 90% of your time is spent indoors, in your room, anyway. You won't notice it there. I was at Lanna, which is right at the foot of the mountain so the smoke would sometimes get kind of caught in the basin of the valley and not move much, which sucked. But Hongthong is farther out in a flatter area, so probably the smoke is less stagnant there. But I never was out in that direction during burning season so I'm not sure.

The shortest version of this complicated answer is this: burning season sucks. But it's not bad enough to keep people from training and visiting Chiang Mai during that time, it's just annoying and "not ideal."

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I'd say that it's BOTH awful and also not as bad as you think. The reason it's both is that when it bothers you, it's really bad and seems like it lasts forever; but there are long stretches in any given day when you don't notice it at all. The times it was bad for me was when I went out running. Some folks try to run in a particle mask and some of the older folks (westerners) in Chiang Mai will wear the particle masks all the time when driving around on their motorbikes. I don't think that's necessary, but I'm also not asthmatic or 70 years old, so maybe for them it is necessary.

During training I didn't notice it too much, most gyms have a semi-enclosed area where the ring is and unless there's a wind blowing the smoke in it doesn't tend to permeate those areas. And 90% of your time is spent indoors, in your room, anyway. You won't notice it there. I was at Lanna, which is right at the foot of the mountain so the smoke would sometimes get kind of caught in the basin of the valley and not move much, which sucked. But Hongthong is farther out in a flatter area, so probably the smoke is less stagnant there. But I never was out in that direction during burning season so I'm not sure.

The shortest version of this complicated answer is this: burning season sucks. But it's not bad enough to keep people from training and visiting Chiang Mai during that time, it's just annoying and "not ideal."

Thanks for your honest and thoughtful input Sylvie! Either way, I'm still super excited to be there and train - well....we'll see how that goes once I arrive :P I think.... I'd prefer this over tummy sickness tbh LOL

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