The past few weeks have been pleasantly (relatively) cool here in Bangkok. The occasional dawn temperature of about 18c although highs have still be in the low 30s.
There was a cold front pushing down from China, strong winds that kept the skies crystal clear, so clear you could even see a few stars at night – a rarity in light-saturated Bangkok.
Then the winds stopped and an inversion layer set in, trapping the pollution and suspending it in the humid tropical air. This morning, I drove in the dark to Rama IX Park and the view the whole way reminded me of driving in the fog of my native San Francisco.
By the time I arrived at the park, I was wondering whether it was a good idea to run. Stretching out and warming up, I captured the above image. All the lights had been turned off already except for one bright flood light in a parking lot across the park.
The light beams cut through the filter of the pollution, streaming between branches and backlighting runners who looked like zombies moving in the misty distance.
The temperature was pleasant and I decided to run. It was my fastest run in nearly a year, 5 km in 35 minutes. Not a record setting pace but good for me. By the end, though, I could feel the irritation in my lungs, the soreness in my throat, and the burning in my sinuses. No doubt, the air was not fit for strenuous exercise.
Hopefully, in a few days the inversion layer will break and the air quality will improve. Until then, indoor exercise only.