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Smog in Beijing-- is it really that bad?

Smog in Beijing-- is it really that bad?

Nov 9th, 2004, 01:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 136
Smog in Beijing-- is it really that bad?

I would love to visit China but have heard lots of horror stories about the smog in Beijing. Is it really that bad, or maybe it is just a story to sell newspapers?

I had some friends from LA who visited Beijing recently (in October) and they reported smog so bad that the media strongly encouraged everyone to stay in doors. They said visability was just a few hundred yards. They were from LA and have experienced smog but reported that the smog they saw in China was 100 times worse than in LA.

Any word about the smog from visitors to Beijing?
travdis is offline  
Nov 9th, 2004, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Well yes, it's pretty bad, but it depends on the weather. LA smog seems to be more of a constant, with onshore winds bottling the murk up against the mountains. I found Beijing worst at night, which I put down to a temperature inversion effect, but a couple of days the winds were kind and it wasn't too bad. But I'm only going by one week's experience - other posters may have a better idea of seasonal variations.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 9th, 2004, 03:05 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 150
In a word, yes!!!!.....its so bad in Beijing that its "foggy" all day. we were there in july. On the other hand other than noticing it, it didnt detract from the trip and I cant contribute horrible anecdotes. It was really noticible how bad it was once we left the city to go to the Great Wall. Now the traffic...thats another story lol
fromMA is offline  
Nov 9th, 2004, 05:36 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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I visted Beijing last November, and the air was very bad, however, I would describe it as "smokey" rather than "smoggy". To get an idea as to what the air is like (especially at night), just imagine everyone in your hometown burning his fireplace at the same time. If there is a light breeze in the afternoon, the sky will clear and be nice and blue for your photos. Otherwise, the sky and everything else will have a gray tinge.

I also visited Beijing this past March. No problem with smoke in the air, but on windy days, the sky was yellow from the sands of the Gobi desert. It gave the city an eerie glow.

Unless you have a serious breathing problem, the bad air is no reason to skip a visit to one of the most fascinating cities in the world!
OJudy is online now  
Nov 9th, 2004, 05:56 PM
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i also visited in march and the air was clear comparitively....smog is no reason, imo, not to visit a place...
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 9th, 2004, 06:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We visited the end of May to first of June and the smog was not bad. The VERY worst place I visted in China was Xian. The Yantze river area is also very smoggy during the May-June. We could not see the new dam from the viewing area.
JaneB is offline  
Nov 9th, 2004, 09:44 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Air pollution is a major problem in every Asian city, but unless you have respiratory problems, like allergies or severe asthma, I wouldn't let it discourage you from traveling.

In additon to industrial pollution, several cities also have natural pollution: At certain times of year the dust storms in the Gobi desert really affect the air quality in Beijing. In Jakarta the volcanic dust is a factor and in Singapore smoke from forest fires in other countries can affect the air.
marmot is online now  
Nov 16th, 2004, 05:05 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 109
It really depends on the time you visited. I visited in Sept. and it was bad, not worst.

The bottomline is, as OJudy said, the smog is not a reason to skip Beijing unless you have serious breathing problem.
r_shum is offline  

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