Tourists in Thailand now pay locals to get the perfect candid (but not so candid) shots by scaring pigeons into flight. Tha Pae Gate (an ancient wall) in Chiang Mai is one of the most prominent and renowned tourist attractions in Thailand. The place knows for its pigeon population is now a landmark for tourist from all around the world in search of an epic Instagram photo.
Travel influencers are known for doing some very notorious things in order to get a goof picture fit for the gram. Mostly inactive at times, these pigeons at Pae Gate don’t usually fly around people’s heads or across the wall as seen on social media. With locals, frightening pigeons for the sake of a better photo has taken on its own trend leading to the invention of the “Pigeon Spooker” job.
Armed with the sole purpose of scaring pigeons, these “Spookers”, charge you up to 20 baht (USD 0.65) to stomp around and wave flags in order to get those wings flapping. However, with frightened birds being high health risk and kind of a nuisance, the city of Chang Mai is trying to suppress any pigeon spooking by fining such actions. “Pigeon Spookers” are being arrested if caught trying to deliberately scare birds and those selling bird feed nearby will have to pay a 20,000 baht ( about USD 650) as fine. Despite previous warnings, a number of vendors have since been caught in raids by police and government officials.
On one hand, you’re paying for the experience of having hundreds of pigeons flapping around you (which can be both traumatising for you and the poor birds) while on the other its a cheap price to pay for the sweet, delicious taste of Instagram Validation. But genuinely do you thing that validation is really worth it?