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,
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
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