Local traders have reaped the benefit of the popularity among Chinese tourists of Chiang Mai’s Tha Pae Gate, which is used as a backdrop for pre-wedding photographs.
Chinese couples wearing bridal costumes and other smart clothes are a common sight at the gate, where the pigeons that gather to be hand-fed by tourists are often used as photo props.
Some photographers intentionally make a sudden loud noise to provoke the birds into flying en-masse from the area, creating a beautiful backdrop for their romantic pictures.
The growing use of Tha Phae Gate, the main entrance to the northern old town area within centuries-old walls and a moat, has been welcomed by local vendors, especially those selling bird food.
“The more tourists that come to the area, the better our incomes and the tourism atmosphere,” said a local vendor.