Chiang Mai in the wet season is a stranger place than normal. All the trappings that make it a “must-see” destination remain but it is empty…empty of the tourists who haunt its lanes and bars and markets. And who keep the economy ticking over.

Walking around town, the tuk-tuk drivers keep up their pleas for custom. Most of the time, I am not in the market for their services. Over the past day, I have thrice been the target of frustrated (but not malicious) soliloquies on the fact that “nowadays” tourists have “no money” and “prefer to walk” so as to “exercise”. The last comment has been twice muttered in disdain. It can’t be easy working the tourist sites with so few potential customers.

Roll on the high-season and the tribes of vacationers eager to cruise town in style.