When you travel in Thailand, it’s important to understand the role social media plays in the country. While this may come as a surprise to many readers, Thailand has a huge number of social media users, so you can use it effectively to help you throughout your trip.
Take a look at the numbers and statistics and what they mean for the future of Thailand, as well as your travel plans.
The popularity of social media
While social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are popular all over the world, Thailand has become a hotbed for them. As of last count, the country has roughly 24 million Facebook users, 1.73 million Twitter accounts, and 1.7 million Instagrammers.
Even more impressive than the number of accounts has been the year-over-year growth rate. Twitter saw growth of approximately 350 percent, Facebook jumped 53 percent, and Instagram is up 13 percent. For a country with an Internet penetration rate of only 26 percent, these numbers are staggering and impressive.
This lack of Internet access, however, is balanced by an incredible 125 percent mobile penetration rate. On top of that, more than half of all mobile users use their devices to gain access to social media apps.
And though Facebook still leads the way, Instagram’s recent growth is indicative of a larger trend. The Thai enjoy location-based services, and Instagram has proved to be a great tool for finding businesses with ease. Many experts suggest the amount of Instagram users will surpass Facebook users in a matter of years.
Proof of Thailand’s love for Instagram can be found by looking at the list of the world’s most photographed places. In 2013, the Siam Paragon shopping mall in Bangkok was the most Instagrammed location in the world.
On top of that, Bangkok trailed only New York City on the list of the most Instagrammed cities. In 2012, Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport was first on the list, with the Siam Paragon shopping mall coming in second.
Both of them beat locations such as Disneyland, Times Square, the Eiffel Tower, and Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles.
What you need to know
If you’re traveling to Thailand in the future, it’s important to understand how social media relates to the culture. Instagram’s success is about more than the application itself.
It essentially comes down to the Thai people’s love of taking pictures and documenting their lives, as well as the marvelous selection of beautiful architecture and iconic locations. So get your phone ready, find your favorite filter, and start snapping pictures of the following places.
- Bangkok. As the heart of Thailand, Bangkok will have you taking pictures of everything. From the time you step off the airplane, you’ll have plenty to do. There are temples, palaces, markets, and a vivid nightlife scene.
- Khao Sok National Park. When you want to escape from the city crowds, retreat to the Khao Sok National Park. Here you’ll find jungles, rivers, caves, lakes, and an array of wildlife. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a photograph with the tall limestone krysts may be worth a thousand Instagram likes.
- Chiang Mai. This old city is a popular tourist destination and offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the surrounding jungle, shop in the Chiang Mai night market, and visit the many temples.
- Tropical islands. If you’re looking for some relaxation, make an effort to get out to one of the tropical islands, such as Ko Samet, Ko Lanta, or the Similan Islands. You may even be able to rent a beachside bungalow.
Wherever you decide to go, you’ll find yourself immersed in grand beauty and unique culture. Just watch out; you may find yourself in the background of someone else’s Instagram post!