It’s high season. Crowds are larger, though some locals say there are not as many people as last year. More vendors have materialized, some tailor shops have doubled their sales staff, popular restaurants are full throughout prime time, lines of parked tuk-tuks have materialized because they’ve overlowed their off-season queue area, the number of beggars in the tourist district has grown by 3 or 4X, the danger of scooter riding on the narrow streets has grown because the new tourists don’t realized they’re walking down the middle of a road. What unnerves me is that the young hormone-fueled local idiots who ride fast through the narrow streets now seem to ride even faster.
The additional people have not caused any substantial drawbacks for me. There are times and places where I can’t get a table or a beach chair, but there are other options, including eating earlier or making lunch my big meal of the day, which it often is anyway. More American voices are overheard, as well as Italian, Russian, etc. I can see myself living here during future high seasons, no problem. Only real problem was finding the second class sleeper cars from Bangkok to Chiang Mai are all booked. There are frequent buses, but that’s a 10 hour ride.
At one place where I’m a regular I paid a 180 baht tab with a 500 without incident while a tourist near me was asked if he had something smaller when he tried to pay for his lunch with a 180. (set rant on: What i the F’ing deal with businesses in the high season, especially ones that are busy, acting like they don’t have change? ATMs give only 1000s, they should be thankful we manage our bank note selection so we can offer a 500 instead of a 1000 on a 180. I wonder what happens if somebody offers a 1000 on a 50 baht bar bill, then the staff says we don’t have change and the foreigner gets up, with 1000 still firmly in hand, and says ‘I’ll settle up next time’. set rant off).