Saturday, November 12, 2016

Welcome to the jungle

ได้ตื่นตอนเช้าเช้ามานั่งแช่น้ำพุร้อนแบบนี้ทุกทุกวันก็คงจะดี.. #สิปปาฮอทสปริง #ที่พักดี #มีบ่อน้ำพุร้อน #บอกต่อ #เที่ยวเมืองไทยไม่ไปไม่รู้ววว!!
Against expectations of little change, I've set out to compile the last 12 months most popular hot springs of Thailand. 
Were there little changes? No doubt.

As always I tampered with the points system; after all the way we use internet changes constantly as well. 
The major changes were adding Instagram counts for locations, while Tumblr was discarded. 

The former proved to be difficult to achieve a significant difference between the most popular soaks. Problem is, Instagram has no count function for locations (as opposed to tags). Let's just say after counting 300 photo's each I gave the three most popular soaks the same number of points .... Mentionable is that this change allowed for more influence of Thai speaking posters, something which has been difficult to overcome in the past.
The latter was discarded as the Tumblr search function does not work as previously; there's precious little number of searches coming up with a result.

These changes resulted in more prominence for Instagram which attributed to f.i. the hot springs of Betong and Wiang Pa Pao moving up the charts.
I also afforded more prominence to Facebook which helped the no. 1 hot spring to stay where it was, but also boosted Rock Valley hot springs; Facebook in general seems to assist the business owned soaks.

So where does this leave us? 
Points were awarded to relative standings on Instagram concerning tags (i.e. #fanghotsprings), Instagram location, Google search (of the last 12 months), Google search (based on % of the first 100 results), Twitter (number of hashtags/last 12 months), Flickr/Youtube finds, Tripadvisor (number of comments) and Facebook (likes). 

I also looked at the locations themselves and concluded that we need to differ the votes for Pai, as they are now distinctly different; without splitting the votes between Sai Ngam and Pai, what was previously known as Pai would have been top of the batch. As such both are now ex-aequo no. 6. It also signifies how the rambling Sai Ngam soak is heading upwards ...:

Welcome to the jungle 🌴💦 #hotspring #pai #thailand #travel #gopro #goprohero4
Out side the top 10, it's worth mentioning the significance of Krabi's Saline hot springs, definitely a contender for top 10 next year. 
Biggest loser was Lampang's Chaeson hot spring which would dropped from ninth position last year to 17 this year.

The top 10 for 2016
1. (2015: 1) Sankampaeng (Chiang Mai; see also lead photo)
2. (4) Fang (Chiang Mai)
3. (6) Rock Valley (Kanchanaburi; photo below)
4. (3) Hin Dad (Kanchanaburi)
5. (5) Klong Thom (Krabi)
6. (-) Sai Ngam (Mae Hong Son)
    (2)Tha pai (Mae Hong Son)
8. (-) Betong (Yala)
9. (-)Wiang Pa Pao (Chiang Rai)
10. (7) Wareerak (Krabi)

โบกมือลาส่งยิ้มให้ สุขกับความอ้างว้างต่อไป.
What I do find surprising is that less and less of what's considered top soaking  sites of Siam are actually non-consumed: there's more thrill in the notion of naturally occurring hot spring waters than in actually taking the chance to bathe. 
I illustrate this by using only Instagram tags: the top 3 above only have a total of 8 photo's of persons enjoying the waters by immersing themselves. This contrasts with Hin Dad (28 photo's) and Sai Ngam (35 photo's), where the only emphasis is on soaking ...
Possibly it's due to the privateness, but maybe soaking is not so popular with the mainstream ...

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