While anyone visiting Pattaya from northernmost reaches of Europe will hardly think Thailand is cold, locals are feeling the change of weather, with cool breezes from China blowing in and shivering Thais donning sweatshirts and parkas.
Mornings see a layer of mist and fog blanket the shoreline and temperatures have hit as low as 19 degrees C at night. Days, however, are still warm by world standards, with this past Sunday hitting 30 degrees and other days only falling as low as 26 C.
Vendors at the Grand Hall Market near Friendship Supermarket have brought out coats and warm clothes to sell.
Earlier in the month, however, temperatures touched the low 20s, sending Thais and thin-blooded expats running for markets to buy jackets and even heavy coats starting from 40 baht for a second-hand item.
Cold is an actual problem in northern Thailand, however, where three provinces last week were declared cold-disaster zones when temperatures dipped into the single digits at night. Pattaya denizens can purchase a bag of affordable coats to donate to northerners at the Rong Klua Market in Srakaew. They sell a bag full of second hand coats for 500 baht.
Since November, serious cold weather has hit six provinces, 25 districts, 116 municipalities and 1,182 villages.
Local market vendors say sales are off this year due to the slow economy. Prices, they said, have been kept close to last year’s levels.
As the winter begins and the weather becomes unstable, another thing affected by the weather is vegetables, which are grown in the chilly Northeast. So far, however, cold and rain there have not affected prices here.