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Mercury Rising

It seems only five minutes ago that we made this post (Cool wind of Change) about the start of cool season. In reality it’s nearly four months ago and we’re left wondering where the time went. Sadly, the mercury is already rising fast as hot season starts to bite in Chiang Mai. Over the last 10 days the maximum temperatures have climbed steadily now peaking at around 35 °C more significantly, the last few days has seen a sharp rise in night time temperatures which have been up to 22 °C.

The abruptness of the season change is very marked here. One day it warms up, and never cools down again, simple as that, same but opposite is true for the start of cool season. Though the demarcation between the hot and rainy seasons is less defined with the later being preceded by a period of heavy and erratic thundershowers before the real rainy season sets in.

So how was cool season? Weather wise it was very pleasant and didn’t get that cold, even in the evenings the need for a jacket was rare! But what about business? Back in November we wrote: “Many business owners in Chiang Mai are desperately hoping that the changing weather will also bring about a change in their fortunes after one of the worst low seasons in recent memory”. Now talking to our many friends in the tourist sector it seems it really didn’t materialize. In general there seemed to be an increase in the number of foreigners around town, but they seemed very thrifty with their spending.

As for Gay tourists, they remained much fewer in numbers than in years past, though maybe a slight improvement on last year. The many winter migratory gay ex-pats who come for the whole season were still in evidence, but they, along with the resident ex-pats know the real costs of living here and are becoming very defensive about paying tourist prices e.g. in go-go bars.

So, as the leaves drop from the trees and the air con purrs non stop, the only time to venture outside is to water the grass; good bye cool season! At least for now the pollution levels are not too bad but rising, let’s hope 2554 turns out to be one of the better years in that respect.

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