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Life in Chiang Mai


Slow season is upon us!

By Heather Allen
As we all enjoy the cooling mango rains, Songkran is past us, as are most major holidays, we look forward to the slow tourist season that is upon us. However, given the numbers of Chinese tourists still wandering around, standing in the middle of the roads, I wonder how slow it will be this year?
Years past have seen drastic drops in tourist numbers and the increasing number of complaints of local business people about falling revenues but perhaps this year’s slow season won’t be so slow. There is a new direct flight to Shanghai that has me sorely tempted to visit China and must surely tempt our Chinese neighbors to drop by for a weekend in addition to the direct Macau and Hong Kong flights. I would love to see a direct Xiamen flight but that may be too much to ask for!
However one thing that did slow us all down was the heat. I know it actually hasn’t been that long but it has seemed endless as we all melted into small puddles on the steaming pavements. Well, that is if we actually were on the pavements that is! However, you have to give our Chinese visitors kudos for being quite stoic when faced with the heat, still riding bicycles around town when I could barely make it to the 7-11.
The social scene slows down around town as well although a quick perusal of the community happenings page shows that it is not totally dead. I suspect we have all looking for events inside with air conditioning, however. The main topic of conversation seems to be the weather both the heat and the rains, followed by the Chinese tourists who stand in the middle of the road, of course.
Life slows down in the slow season and after the frenetic pace of the high season and then the even crazier Songkran holidays, which some of us spent throwing water and others of us spent hunkered down in our bunkers, I think everyone in Chiang Mai is ready to slow down and take a breath. We have all looked forward to the mango rains as they are called, those short showers and thundershowers that clear the air and drop the temperatures for a short time. Best of all, slow season is mango season and the ubiquitous mangoes and sticky rice to savor. Somehow I picture a Chinese tourist standing in the middle of the road eating mangoes and sticky rice and looking at their map.


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Slow season is upon us!