I guess we already know that people will pull all sorts of ridiculous stunts to get Instagram likes. Well, locals in Thailand are aware of that too and some of them have started a pretty quirky business. They spook away pigeons near Tha Pae Gate, an ancient wall and popular tourist attraction in Chiang Mai. They scare flocks of pigeons so they fly through the frame and make tourists’ Instagram photos at least 30% likable.
Of course, I made the statistics up. But joking aside, I’m pretty fascinated by this whole thing. Tha Pae Gate is a place where both flocks of pigeons and flocks of tourists gather. As Viral Press explains, many people take a photo of themselves standing in front of the red-brick fortress. And many of them want to have the pigeons fluttering around them. Just check out #thepaegate hashtag on Instagram.
Apparently, people don’t care that their shots with birds flying around them will be pretty much the same as thousands of other Instagram photos from the same spot. So, they’re willing to pay money to the “professional pigeon spookers” to help them get the perfect shot.
This is how it works: “after receiving 20 baht (0.65USD) they then line up the pictures before stamping their feet or waving a flag to make the birds scatter around the subject,” Viral Press writes.
A legal minimum daily wage in Thailand is between 308 and 330 Thai baht. If you were wondering about how much the “pigeon spookers” earn, it can actually go a bit higher than this. Viral Press cites 30-year-old Noon, who says that she earns around 350 Thai baht (which is around $11.50 USD) a day by scaring pigeons away for tourists’ photos.