The subject of Overcrowding and back doors comes up a lot and and RS takes his lumps, I think unfairly. So I'd like to broaden this out a little for some perspective.
In the early 1980's I was living in Washington DC and needed to get to Bali. I called several "Travel Agents" and "Bucket Shops" in the US (Washington, LA and SFO) looking for a flight to Bali.
Not a SINGLE one of them knew where Bali was or it's capital city (Denpasar) or even WHAT COUNTRY (Indonesia) it belonged to. I had to tell them. To say that our view of the world was limited would be an understatement. And I see and read much the same in some of the posts every time this subject comes up here.
One could be forgiven for thinking that no one knew about Bali then and you would have it for yourself. Far from it, just like in Europe many others had access to information we did not have or were not interested in. Bali at that time was overrun with Brits, Germans and Aussies who were all complaining about how it was overrun. THEIR guidebooks had listed Bali for many years...Tony and Maureen Wheeler put it in their original Asia on a shoestring guide. And this was a BIG boost to crowding there.
My first time there I stayed in a small and very cheap guesthouse at about $5/day. The last time I was there I stayed at the Oberoi. I had a private compound bungalow with it's own pool last inhabited by Mick Jagger. ($800/night in 1992)
Similarly on the same first trip I spent time on the Thai Island of Koh Samui. Then it had one dirt track around the island and a few clusters of thatched huts renting for $2/day right on the beach. A bottle of Mekong Whiskey was $1 and you could eat a seafood feast for about $2. (With beer)
Now Koh Samui is an international resort chock a block with 4 and 5 star resorts. Not unlike the Oberoi
This is not a Europe-centric issue it is world wide and has been going on for a very long time. World population in 2018 is reliably estimated at 7,632,819,325 (yea that's 7.6 Billion).
In 1984 when I first went to Bali, and was going to Europe twice a year, the world population was only 4,701,530,843 (4.7 Billion). This is a rise of 2.9 BILLION PEOPLE. That is a little more than TWICE the population of India in 2017. In addition and just as importantly, in the 1980's 44 percent of the worlds population lived in extreme poverty earning less than $2/day. Now fewer than 10% are in that condition. (NY Times). Meaning that MILLIONS more are able to afford to travel.
This past year I spent 4 months in Europe and experienced the incredible overcrowding for myself. Never in all my previous trips to Europe going back many years have I encountered so many people, crowding so many places.
However given the information above it should be no surprise to anyone that the so called Back doors no longer exist as they once did. The best back door of all time was Koh Samui. It took less than ten years from my first visit to the opening of an international airport and big changes. Not only do these changes come they happen very fast.
(I originally posted this in the other discussion on Back Doors but after re-reading it I felt it was a bit off topic for that discussion and I deleted it and re posted it as it's own thread)