The following are my most popular tweets about Thailand for February 2016 (click here for last month). They are not necessarily the most retweeted, but they are the ones that got the most engagement on Twitter.
1. This is a classic example of how tourism can be unsustainable if not regulated. It was originally a beautifully site, but everyone rushed there to take selfies and trampled all of the grass in the process.
Chinese New Year festival parades in Nakhon Sawan next week are some of the best I've attended. Highly recommended pic.twitter.com/WoEeuJfbQG
2. Chinese new year festivities can be both colourful and loud. One of my favourite places to observe this festival is in Nakhon Sawan.
3. Whoever thought of this PR event should get a bonus. Initially we thought they were just transporting the dinosaurs to a new theme park in Bangkok. But it turns out it was done to generate chatter on social media. And it worked!
The abbot of Wat Tamru in Samut Prakan has installed superhero statues to encourage people to visit the temple pic.twitter.com/tW7V7jFrel
4. These days, temples seem to be more like tourist attractions. They will do anything to generate more money. First it was the riverside markets, and now quite a few of them have started to install these larger than life super hero statues.
5. Buddhism was one of the things that I liked about Thailand when I first came here. Mainly because it is more about way of life and not much to do with religion. But, with scandals over recent years of monks having sex, selling drugs, and now these monks fighting, I am beginning to rethink.
6. It’s always great to read these “feel good” stories in the newspaper. This one is about a noodle shop owner that gives out free food to people who donate blood.
7. Although there seems to be an increase in attacks on foreigners in Thailand, I truly believe this is in proportion to the large influx of tourists. They are aiming for 32 million foreign tourists this year. Attacks like this will probably increase, but it still only affects a minority of people. Thailand is still a safe country to travel. But, of course, more needs to be done to insure tourist safety.
8. Thailand is mainly a Buddhist nation, though strictly speaking, it isn’t the national religion. Not yet anyway. As drinking is one of the deadly sins, you cannot buy alcohol at certain times during the day and during every religious holiday.
9. Another “feel good” story on Twitter this month. A policeman came to the aid of a foreign backpacker by taking her on his motorcycle to catch her bus.
10. Of concern this month was tourism safety. There were a number of cases where tourists died or were badly injured at tourist attractions in Thailand. In this case, swimming accidents at the “Grand Canyon” in Chiang Mai and deaths at a zipline attraction. I tweeted quite a few times saying safety of tourists needed to be taken more seriously.
Thanks to everyone who engaged with my tweets during February. I got 15,300 retweets, 7,600 likes and 1,200 replies. The majority of my tweets are about Thailand, where I have lived for twenty two years. I tweet the good, the bad and the ugly about the country, but as many people have noted, I mainly only see the good. Please don’t blame me for that. I don’t get paid to tweet, nor do I accept payment for tweets. If I like it, I will tweet it. If you have an upcoming event or have opened a new attraction that might be of interest, then please let me know. See you on Twitter at @RichardBarrow.