People have started coming to Phuket in droves. It was as if someone flicked a switch and all these people suddenly appeared. The high season is well underway.
I first noticed something was up when a large number of foreigners materialised where I live on Yaowarat Rd, but these people aren’t tourists – they are teachers. I don’t know how I feel about this invasion of foreigners. I kind of liked my area of town because it was quiet and fairly peaceful, but I can’t leave my apartment without bumping into hordes of teachers carrying bundles of paper and looking for somewhere to eat lunch.
They move in packs, too, which is disconcerting. Term has either started or is imminent. In Patong, the usual throngs of people have begun arriving. It’s great for Phuket because this will be the first full-blown high season since the tsunami. It’s estimated that up to six million people are going to pass through Phuket in the next few months.
As usual, there will be a few undesirables. Last night a group of yobs threw a bottle and smashed a glass panel at a bar in Patong. The manager very coolly told them to pay 4,000 baht and walk away. The yobs, being yobs, caused a scene and the police were called. They ended up paying 4,000 baht to the bar and 2,000 baht to the police. It was priceless.
I can tell it’s high season because a number of friends from the UK have embarked on trips that will inevitably include stays in Thailand. Khaosan Rd will be unbearable at the moment.
I enjoy high season because you get to witness all manner of extraordinary goings on in the areas frequented by tourists. Those tourists can be a funny bunch. Everyone must have seen tourists doing offbeat things at some point, right? Drunks tourists = chaos.