Travel

Meet the pigeon spookers helping tourists achieve the perfect Instagram shot

NEWS COPY - WITH VIDEO AND PICTURES??????This is the side of Instagram people are not meant to see - professional 'pigeon spookers' making the birds fly so tourists can get the person shot. Thousands of travellers a day flock to the popular Tha Pae Gate, an historical ancient wall in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, where the birds also gather. Many recreate a popular image of themselves standing in front of the red-brick fortress with the birds fluttering around them in a haze of grey. Search on social media shows how the scene has become synonymous with the destination. However, footage taken this week on Wednesday (25/09) shows how pigeon feed hawkers help to stage the shot. 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. One of the new 'pigeon spookers' is Noon, 30, who said she earns around 350 Thai baht (11.5USD) a day. She said the money helps to ''pay for her daughter's school fees''.

A tourist posing at Thae Pae Gate, Northern Thailand, with pigeons flying around her (Image:viralpress)

Work getting you down lately? Are you tired of London, tired of life? Are the chill winds blowing in from the North and the dark nights drawing in slowly sapping your will to endure?

Is the mere thought of setting your alarm for 7am to cram yourself into a packed commuter train for 45 minutes, steam rising from your rain-damp clothes, enough to fill you with a sense of all-consuming dread?

Well, do we have a job opportunity for you! Why not pack it all in and move to Thailand to frighten pigeons – on a professional basis?

Thae Pae Gate, an ancient wall in Chiang Mai (Northern Thailands largest city) is a popular tourist destination. Like all such places, its become a site of pilgrimage for people who want a truly epic Instagram snap.

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But what on Earth, you ask, has all of this got to do with scaring pigeons?

Well, calm down, because well tell you: many of the tourists who visit Thae Pae specifically want a photograph of themselves with the birds fluttering in the background.

The problem is that most of the time the pigeons are simply hanging out, being pigeons – which isnt very photogenic.

Thankfully, enterprising pigeon hawkers have found a way to solve this problem and help tourists achieve the perfect shot.

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Charging 20 baht (around £0.53), they stamp their feet and wave flags, thus galvanizing the pigeons into flying around and providing the perfect backdrop. Which really takes doing it for the gram to whole new levels.

One of the new pigeon spookers is Noon, 30, who says she earns around 350 Thai baht (£9.29) a day (which, admittedly, isnt a lot).

But the money does help to pay for her daughters school fees.

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