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“Smoky-Season” in Chiang Mai. Where to escape?
Chiang Mai is known as a hotspot and go-to-destination for digital nomads. Beautiful scenery, landscapes, cheap living cost, decent places to work from, and its nice weather are a few things that Chiang Mai has to offer – and they are indeed the magnet for the digital nomad community that attracts them to come. However, when the “Smoky-Season” comes, it might not be an ideal place to live and work from.
“Smoky-Season” which usually takes place in February until April – is a period of time when most parts of Northern Thailand, including Chiang Mai is dealing with haze and bad air quality. This occurs as the dry season is coming to an end and forests are covered with dry leaves – making it easy to spark a fire. The lands are intentionally burnt by the farmers to prepare them for cash crops.
According to the real-time Air Quality Index (AQI) in Chiang Mai, it can reach up to 325 – a hazardous level of air pollution. It is bad enough that it can cause coughing, red and itchy eyes, sore throat, and shortness of breath.
So Where to Escape?
While we do love Chiang Mai, it might not be a good time to travel, work, or stay there during the “smoky-season”. There are some places nearby that are equally awesome or even better to escape to during this period of time. One of them is Da Nang, Vietnam.
Why Da Nang?
Located in the central of Vietnam, Da Nang, the 3rd largest city in Vietnam hosts a beautiful coastline with the mixture of its shining citylights and the scenery of towering mountains. Sounds like you’ve got the best of both worlds?
Weather and Air Quality
Since you are traveling to Da Nang to get away from the polluted air in Chiang Mai, this section might be the most important part to read. I mean, it will make a little sense to escape to another polluted place, right?
Da Nang has two periods – dry and wet season. The best time to travel is from January to March (which is when the “Smoky-Season” takes place), in this period, the weather is neither too hot and humid nor too cold and wet. Clear blue skies and sunny days will surely warm up your days here.
Compared to other big cities in Vietnam like Hanoi and Saigon, the air quality in Da Nang is better – with the AQI standing at a moderate level (AQI: 84). This will be a safe haven for you to get some fresher air!
Coworking Spaces and Cafes
With a growing digital nomad scene, more coworking spaces are opening up in Da Nang. Enouvo Space, one of the pioneers of coworking space in Da Nang is known for its modern and cozy workspace and environment. Located in the heart of Da Nang, Enouvo Space brings up the concept of Co.Break Co.Work Co.Play which goes beyond a shared workspace. Whether you are looking for a flexible or fixed desk for one, or a space for your team, they have got it all covered! Dorms and private rooms are ready to welcome you soon at Enouvo Space 2, this upcoming May. This co-living space will be the perfect option for you while you are in town, escaping from the hazy Chiang Mai.
If you are not into a coworking space environment, there are plenty of cafes where you can sit comfortably and do your work at. 43 Factory is one of our favourites in town. Located just a few steps away from the beach, this coffee shop ticks off all your checklist. Good ambiance? Check. High-speed wifi? Check. Decent coffee? Check!
Direct flight from Chiang Mai to Da Nang by budget airlines will cost you from 100 USD for a round trip. To get around the city, a motorbike is the easiest way. This will cost less than 8 USD per day – or even cheaper if you deal for a longer-term.
So, are you ready to escape?