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Pop Culture Travel Destinations

Hello guys! How was your holiday? Did you guys enjoy splashing water? I hope you all have a great one!! And before we have to get back to work or study I’m back again with an interesting topic for you all today. Lately, I have been looking through twitter and travel pages and found that the dream destination for many people have changed because of the impact of pop culture.

I’m really sure you all know that now we have been living in the world of pop culture era. The term of popular culture holds different meanings depending on who’s define it and the context of the use. In this case, popular culture is something that people agree about. It  involves the aspects of social life most actively involved in by the public. As the ‘culture of the people’, popular culture is determined by the interactions between people in their everyday activities such as styles of dress, the use of slang, greeting rituals and the foods that people eat are all examples of popular culture. Popular culture is also informed by the mass media.

There are numerous sources of popular culture. As implied above, a primary source is the mass media, especially popular music, film, television, radio, video games, books and the internet. According to the development of technology, nowadays people all around the world can easily access these type of media. So until this point you guys might questioning how it all has to do with people’s travel destination right? I have to say that it is because now people can experience things through the media without having to get the real life experience. They can learn and see the world just right at their home on the computer or tv screen.


People dream destination in the past is mostly the top attraction places in each country. People often visit a place like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Great Wall in China. However, it has changed since the popular culture started. People began to know about places that are not considered as the top sites for the country. For instance, nowadays, the foreigners come to Thailand with the expectation to see and experience the nightlife in KhaoSarn Road or Thai people wish to go to Korea to visit the places that their favorite tv series are filmed.



I also have my pop culture dream destination that I’m pretty sure it is the same as most of you guys. It’s a place where it filmed the World’s best known movie “Harry Potter”.  Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter film series is actually a few locations around England: Christ Church College and Cathedral in Oxford was used for its 16th-century stone staircase, and the design of its dining hall inspired Hogwarts’ Great Hall; Gloucester Cathedral was used for the school’s hallways in the first two films; Lacock Abbey near Chippenham in Wiltshire was used for a number of Hogwarts’ classrooms; and Bodleian Library of Oxford University, Fourth Form Room of Harrow Old Schools in Greater London, and Alnwick Castle in Northumberland were all locations used to bring Hogwarts alive on the big screen.

Apart from Harry Potter filming location, there are so many interesting places around London waiting for me to visit so I really help this dream destination is going to happen very soon.

 

 

I hope this blog helps you guys see how much pop culture can impact us today and feel free to share your pop culture destinations with me!! see you guys soon 🙂

The Impact of Cultural Diffusion to Tourists

Hi guys! Nice to you see you all again. I hope you guys are doing great 🙂 Last week, I have studied about the cultural diffusion in my mass media and society class and I think it is an interesting topic to write the blog about. As you all know that nowadays we are living in the world of globalization. Everything can easily exchange from place to place even cultures and traditions so no wonder how people are so connected and somehow we have changed the way we live our life. Culture has become fluid and may adapt and change because of new influences. Some might say culture has become more homogenised because of this, while others may say that culture has diversified because of the increased choice and variety.

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First of all, we have to know what is the cultural diffusion?

Cultural Diffusion is the spread of cultural trends across locations. Beliefs, practices and ideas get shared from person to person and sometimes even around the world through this diffusion.

To help you guys understand more about the cultural diffusion. Here are some of the examples:

  • A Chinatown is an area which full of asian people and asian food is exist all over the world.
  • Some people in the United States play hockey, which is played in Canada.
  • The spread of music throughout the world shows cultural difussion. For example, jazz started as a blend of the music of Africa and the Caribbean.
  • The English language contains many words from other languages.

After I have learned about the cultural diffusion, I came up with a question that as an impact of the cultural diffusion, are tourists come to visit Bangkok because they interested in our traditional culture or the culture that we obtained from other places or countries?

From the my research through the trip advisor’s board, I found out that some of the tourists all over the world recently love to visit our city because they fall in love with the food, shopping malls and night club

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It is obvious that the things they love about Thailand are not our traditional culture. Food can be an exception in this case but not with malls and night clubs because it is a invention that we have obtained from other countries. For example, the architecture of most of the malls these days are the European and Western styles. Also the products that selling in the malls are also mainly import from other countries. As same as the night clubs, most of them turn on Western songs which is clearly did not promote our traditional culture.

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One of the most popular place that tourists love to visit in Bangkok is Khao Sarn Road. It is known to be must-visited night life place in Bangkok. It is so famous that it described by Alex Garland in his best selling book The Beach as “the centre of the backpacking universe”. Therefore, no wonder why we can find various nations of the tourists in the Khao Sarn Road.

In my opinion, the cultural diffusion brings both benefit and drawback. The advantage of it to travel industry is that all these mixing of cultures attract tourists to travel to our country. It is not hard for the tourists to love these places because it seems different to their home but still have a sense that they can feel connected. However, the drawback of cultural diffusion is that our traditional culture would eventually faded away and the tourists might not pay attention or acknowledge about the beautiful culture of Thailand. Therefore, I think we as a Thai people should promote our own culture to the world as well as obtaining the good things from other cultures. The balance of these two would help creating the good image of our country and help increasing the number of tourist coming to our country as well.

So that is my opinion on this topic. Feel free to share you own. Thank you for reading my blog and see you guys soon!

Postmodernism x Toey Tiew Thai

Hello guys! Welcome back again. I hope you all have a great weekend 🙂

This week I’m still stick with the topic which is how society and media affect the travel industry. However, I will put some more details with something I have learned in my JM204 Media and Society class.

Several weeks ago, I have learned about the new big topic which is “Postmodern”. Some of you guys may not know what is the postmodern. So postmodern focuses on the importance and power of the media and popular culture. It said that these are the factors that govern and shaped all other forms of social relationship. In another world, it said that how we live our lives are shaped by the media.

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To this point, you guys may wonder how postmodernism plays a role in our travel lifestyles. So nowadays media became part of our lives. We connect with the media all the time. For instance, we always check our social media account and we also watch the television or surfing things on the internet. Therefore, it is obviously that the media is one of the big factor that shape the our minds and the way we are thinking. This best example  to see how it influenced our travel lifestyles is that there are so so many travel programs either on television or online recently. We have to accept that this is the fastest way for us to discover and explore the world. If we don’t have these media, we would never know that there are some beautiful places existed.

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As I mentioned above that there are so many travel programs nowadays. Most of them are mainly focus on the places they wanted to represent and their aims are to acknowledge the audiences about the travel sites. However, there is one unique travel tv show called “Toey Tiew Thai”. It started to on air since 2011. The show is so popular among people in all ages especially the teenagers. The show is run by the three openly gay hosts. “Toey Tiew Thai” began as a bit of a lark on the Internet before GMM One Channel picked it up for broadcast.   The show is around 1 hour long and it takes the audiences to many travel destinations in Thailand. There is one section that let the audience interact with the show by let people voting and comment on the hosts’ photoshoot each week.

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Much of the hilarity comes from the chatter among the three hosts and the way they describe the places they visit. The strategy of the show is to make the audiences feel like they are traveling with their friends and every place the show represent is possible for the audiences to follow. The show didn’t take the viewers to luxurious places where people need the large amount of budget. Instead, it takes people to the place that is affordable and possible to go even if they have a low budget. Some places might be the places where people already familiar with but the show wanted to represent the way to make the normal trip seems more special. The The way the show makes it easy and entertaining is probably the reason why “Toey Tiew Thai” is stand out of all the other shows.

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The show so popular that many of the viewers follow the routes and want to experience it at the real place. Therefore, it helps improve our tourism and travel economics in the country. However, sometimes there is a case that people disappointed when they arrived at the real place because it seems so much better in the media and it was not the same as they had expected.

From my point of view, the media is very powerful tool which can really influenced the audiences’ decision to travel. So it seems that we live in the world defined by images and representation that is called “hyperreality” which it hard for us to distinguish between what is real or not because the connection of media and society is so close.

What do you think of postmodernism and travel lifestyles? Feel free to share your idea with me. I’ll see you guys again soon 🙂

Social Media & Travel Industry

Hello guys! Welcome back again to ‘The World As I See It’  your most favorite blog ever lol. I have to say Happy New Year 2017 to all of my wonderful readers!  So how are you guys doing? I hope you all are doing good because I could say that I really enjoy my 1 month break from the university life. I probably took a break for too long but now I’m back with some more interesting things adding to my blog. So if you guys keep following my blog, you would see that the previous posts were all about my travel experiences. However, I’m coming back with a bit change to each post later on. This time I’m hoping to give you guys more information about how the social media and society has an impact on each travel destinations. Is that sounds more interesting?

But before we focus on each places. I want to give a basic knowledge about the impact of the social media to the travel industry.

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First of all, we have to know what is the term ‘social media’ really means?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary

The term ‘social’ means something of or relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society

The term ‘media’ means the system and organizations of communication through which information is spread to a large number of people

From these two terms, we can combine and get a basic definition of social media which is the web-based communication tools that enable people to interact with each other by both sharing and consuming information.

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Social media is a phrase that we all heard a lot these days. Almost everything in our daily life has got to do with the social media. For examples, we love to keep up the news, share our lives, make new friends and contact with friends and family through the social media. Nowadays, there are several social media platforms that are very popular such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.

In these days, we couldn’t deny that social media has provided many opportunities in many businesses and industries in all categories. It is a useful tools that helps promote the brands and helps the company to achieve the business goals. The reason why social media is so useful is because most of social media platforms are free to use. Also, some of the platform has paid advertising option specifically for brands that want to reach even more new audiences. Therefore, it is very easy for everyone to start using it. Also, some of the platform has paid advertising option specifically for brands that want to reach even more new audiences.

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Reading up to this point, I bet you guys wonder how social media related to the travel industry. Social media has a big impact on the travel industry by completely revolutionized by social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Social media has allowed travelers to provide an almost interactive experience with their followers. They do this by posting status, pictures and videos on their social media account or they may also do the check-in when they travel to different places.

According to eMarketer, approximately one-fifth of leisure travellers worldwide turn to social media platforms for inspiration within different categories of their travel planning including:

  • Hotels (23%)
  • Vacation activities (22%)
  • Attractions (21%)
  • Restaurants (17%)

And can you guys guess which social media platform is most used by travelers? I bet you are all correct. Yes, it is Facebook!

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Facebook is one of the prime destinations for sharing life events and travel related content. 52 percent of users surveyed said their friend’s photos inspired travel plans, and 76 percent post their vacation photos to social networks.

During vacation, 55 percent of those surveyed liked pages relating to the trip they were planning. It can be clearly seen that social media is an important research tool for vacationers.

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I have to say that I’m also the one who always get the travel inspiration on Facebook either  from the posts of my friends or all those travel fan pages.  I always come up with the new travel destination every time I see all these posts. The picture above is one of my favorite travel pages. The page is named ‘World Of Wanderlust’ . It has founded since 2012. The admin of this page update all the posts and pictures of herself traveling to many different places. She is also writes about all the tips, tricks and many useful information about each destination. I found that these travel pages are very useful because I have got an idea of where to go and what to do on each destination. For example, I can check out the best restaurant there or which activity or site that I must go visit there.

As I mentioned before that there are so many social media platforms so obviously Facebook is not the only option people have. Many other ones also has an influence on the travel industry but I have to admit that the features and functions in Facebook made it very easy to be the popular one.

 

I hope you guys got a better idea of how the social media related to all the travel trends nowadays. Thanks for keep following up with my blog and I’ll see you again soon 🙂

 

 

 

Four Five Seconds to Laos

Hello guys 🙂 Welcome back again! As I have promised, this week I’m going to bring you guys to Vang Vieng which is one of the beautiful town in Laos. Vang Vieng is a tourist-oriented town in Vientiane Province. The town lies on the Nam Song River. Vang Vieng is surrounded by the karst hill landscape which made it looks unique.

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After 5 hours on the van, we had arrived at the centre of Vang Vieng then we took a 10 minutes of walking around the city before headed to the resort. We stayed at the River View Bungalows for the rest of our trip.

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River View Bungalows  located in the center of Vang Vieng with spectacular views overlooking the Nam Song River and mountains. It offers a convenient location for Vang Vieng travel and sightseeing opportunities. The Bungalows is only one kilometer to Padeng Cave and Ring Cave and 15 kilometers to Elephant Cave and Water Cave.

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Before we arrived at the Bungalows, we had seen these street food stalls all around Vang Vieng. They sell various kinds pancake, sandwiches, burger and smoothies. These stalls sell the same products and it was funny that they located near to each other. Me and my friends bought sandwiches for each of us from the different stalls.

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We didn’t do much on the first day in Vang Vieng. We were just taking pictures around the Bungalows and went out to find a travel tour. It was easy to find a tour because there were so many company available. We bought a travel package which including  Tham Chang (Elephant Cave),Tham Nam (Water Cave) ,Tham Phu Kham Cave and Blue Lagoon. This tour package also provided kayaking around the Nam Song River.

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After we had booked the tour, a tour guide told us that we could go to the Tham Chang Cave on that day because it was not very far from our Bungalows. The cave is located on the Southern side of Vang Vieng. You have to pay the entrance fee at the gate of Vang Vieng Resort and cross the bridge over the Nam Xong to the steps leading up the cliff to Tham Chang.

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The cave is said to have been used as a refuge during the 19th century. Its name chang meaning ‘loyal’ or ‘steadfast’. The cave was quiet and dark. It was kind of interesting to walk and take pictures around. Inside the cave, there was the Buddha with the lights shinning on it which was very beautiful.

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We went out for the whole day on our second day. First, we were heading to Tham Nam or the Water Cave. The Water Cave is simply a network of rivers running through the mountainside. The cool thing is that you can hire a tube and torch for 10,000 kip and follow a rope right through the cave.

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Our next destination were Tham Phu Kham Cave and the Blue Lagoon. We have to walk passed the village of Ban Na Thong in order to get there. A hiking trail on the forested hill leads to the Phu Kham cave’s entrance, about halfway up the limestone cliff. The cave is a labyrinth of chambers. The main cave chamber contains a Thai bronze ­reclining Buddha.

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At the bottom of the track to the cave is the Blue Lagoon, a beautiful pool with crystal clear waters. Next to the pool is a tree with ropes hanging down from its branches to swing off from and jump in the water. Actually, I was a bit disappointed after I saw the Blue Lagoon because I thought it would be much bigger than the real one I had seen.

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We ended the day by Kayaking back to our Bungalows. I think Kayak is the most favorite activity for me. It was chilling and relaxing. Kayaking on the Nam Song River is perfect to enjoy the amazing Vang Vieng nature surrounded by rugged karsts and beautiful rural scenery.

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On the last day of our trip, we were just chilling and waiting for the bus to head back to Udon Thani. We chose to take a bus straight to Udon Thani then take a flight from there back to Bangkok. I could say that this trip is one of my favorite. I really enjoyed my time there and I hope that there will be a trip with these friends again soon.

Ps. Thanks again to all of my Laos trip crews for all these pictures! If you guys want to see more beautiful pictures, you can search #fourfivesecstolaos on the instragram.

Thank you all my wonderful readers for reading my blog. I really appreciated it and I hope you guys enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them every week 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four Five Seconds to Laos – A Day In Vientiane

Hello beautiful people of the internet. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! And of course, I’m here to serve you some interesting experience as always. This week I’m taking you guys to Laos, one of our neighbouring country. So if you guys ready, let’s get start 🙂

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This trip happened in December last year. I went there with my BJM friends. It was our first trip abroad together. We just talked about it and booked the flight and hotel just a few days later actually before I even asked a permission from my mom and dad lol. On the departing day, we were a final call passengers because there were so many people waiting at the check-in counter. So as soon as we checked in, we ran straight to the gate. And that’s probably why we named this trip ‘Four Five Seconds to Laos’. Everything was happened so fast lol.

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Vang Vieng was our destination but we wanted to stop at Vientiane for the first night. We took a flight to Udon Thani Airport and then went to the international border check point in Vientiane by taxi which took around an hour. After we entered to Laos, we rent a private van to the downtown of Vientiane. We needed to get their early because we haven’t booked a hotel yet so we wanted to get there before it’s getting dark. It was not that easy to find a hotel because it was a beginning of high season. Finally, we found a hotel to stay for a night.

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Vientiane is a small city so it’s really easy to travel around. We chose to travel by Tuk Tuk because it was fast and cheap. This tuktuk is a cross between a Thai tuktuk and Filipino jeepney. It has a larger passenger wagon than the Thai Tuk Tuk. My suggestion is to negotiate the price before setting off.

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After we checked-in and took a rest for a little while, we headed out to Patuxai which located at the far end of Thanon Lane Xang in the government and diplomatic district.  Patuxai means “Victory Gate”. It is a massive concrete monument which similar in style to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France. The Patuxai or Patuxay was built in the 1960’s as a memorial for those who gave their lives serving their country in several wars.

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Vientiane Night Market was our last stop for the first day. It was where we could find hundreds of shops selling superior silk weaving, metalwork, and woodcarving pieces. The Market located near the Mekong river so we could have a nice walk on the riverside. The opening hours is from 6pm-10pm. We also had a dinner near that area before we walked back to the hotel.

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On the next morning, we headed to find a transportation to get to Vang Viang. We could get there by a bus or van. We decided that we should go there by a van because it took less amount of time. We spent around 5 hours on the van. It was quite a harsh trip because the road was kind of rough. We arrived at Vang Viang in the evening and went straight to the resort.

Thanks to my crews for all the pictures; llschvtsvision, amumuisbrown, djjanny, pinggyping, wanida and aowheii 🙂

Next week, I’m going to continue talking about our journey to Vang Viang so stay tuned!

A Sweet Escape in Siem Reap Part2

Welcome back guys! This week I’m going to continue my sweet escape in Siem Reap so if u guys ready let’s go 🙂

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I woke up early…(way too early for me actually) for the second day because we were going to see the sun rise at the Angkor Wat. I got ready and took a Tuk Tuk straight to the Angkor Wat around 4.3o am. When I arrived there, I queued up for the ticket. There were so many people waiting there to see the sunrise which made me thought of the quote “see Angkor Wat and die”. Fortunately, I already saw it so I could die happily lol. But guys believe me that this place is a must. The picture that I took might not look that great but the real one was spectacular.

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Angkor Wat was built by Suryavaramarn II. It is the heart and soul of Cambodia. One thing that I found it very interesting about Angkor Wat is that it has more than 3000 beguiling Apsaras (heavenly nymphs) carved into its walls. Each of them is unique with different hair styles. I really enjoyed walking around and seeing them in details.

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I walked and took pictures around Angkor Wat for a few hours then headed to other temples. As I have mentioned that most of the temples are located in the Angkor complex so it took me only few minutes to travel from place to place.

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Bayon temple was my second stop. It was the state temple of King Jayavarman VII which built at the end of the 12thcentury. The temple represents the intersection of heaven and earth. Bayon is known for its huge stone faces of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, with one facing outward and keeping watch at each compass point. There are 51 smaller towers surrounding Bayon, each with four faces of its own.

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The curious smiling faces around the temples made this place very captivating and standing out from other temples. I think it definitely worth visiting. This place might be a bit crowded depending on the time. I heard that to watch the sunset at Bayon Temple is amazing. Although I have never experience it, I still believe that it must be great!

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Ta Prohm was my next destination. This temple is beautiful with the sense of living jungle. It has a perfect interaction between nature and man-made art. Ta Prohm was a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of King Jayavarman VII. It was constructed in the late 12th century to early 13th century.

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Ta Prohm is an excellent example of the monastic complex style temples.It is extensively ruined, but you can still explore numerous towers, close courtyards and narrow corridors. This place was where the Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider filmed, therefore; it really gave a feeling of these two movies. If you are a fan of them, you have no reason for not going to this place!

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My last stop was at Phnom Bakheng temple. It was built by Yasovarman I. Phnom Bakheng has five tiers with seven levels. I headed there to see the sunset view over the Angkor Wat so I got there around 4 pm in order to have enough time to climb up to the top of the hill. At Phnom Bakheng, I could see a panoramic view of the landscape and also the beautiful Angkor Wat from the top. It became more beautiful when the sun does set. My recommendation is to get there early to get a nice spot and wear a comfy shoes because you have to hike up the hill. Believe me, this place is worth your time!

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These places are the one that you shouldn’t miss and I have to say that a trip to Siem Reap is a must! You should go there once in your life. I’m the one who got there and always want to go back again and again. I think there is something special in Siem Reap and one time is not enough for me 🙂