-‘The land of smiles that people all over the world are paying attention to’-
‘Thailand, charm & Magic power’
One in four Koreans visited Thailand for 10 years before COVID-19 swept the world. Surprisingly, Koreans were the second most visited foreigner in Thailand after China, India, and Malaysia (Thailand adjacent country).
For Thai people, Korea is recognized as a soft power country such as K-pop and drama, and a refreshing country with high technology. It is not too much to say that "the trend is Korea" in Thailand.
However, it was not long before Korea emerged to Thailand in modern and contemporary history. It was a country that received food aid from Thailand during the Korean War, and it was only after 1968 that Korea surpassed Thailand for the first time in terms of per capita GDP.
The relationship between the two countries is greatly influenced by the Thai people's unique consumption of Korean Wave culture along with Korea's rapid economic development.
Korean Wave have appeared much differently and negatively in China and Japan, but Thailand is not. More than 25 percent of foreigners around the world studying Korean are Thai, while the royal family and the prime minister of Thailand say they are Korean drama lovers.
No Thai person, including politicians, corporate executives, and broadcasting company executives, is worried about the spread of Korean culture. Rather, they ask back, "There were any bad things that Korean culture done in Thailand?" It is a sign of tremendous confidence in their own culture.
Thais can afford even if floods hit or droughts continue. They are not jealous of the rich. Even if not enough, most people say they're "happy."
Thailand has many similarities with Korea, but it's interesting and exotic culture resembles an onion that come out fresh no matter how much you peel them off.
The charm of Thailand often comes as magic power. It's hard to know with a few days' trip.
It was always regrettable that the Thai information that Koreans encounter was biased mainly in the academic and tourism fields.
But Now It is fortunate that a lot of information imbalances are being resolved thanks to the Internet and SNS.
I would like to add stories that I have observed and experienced while living in Thailand for 20 years.
I hope it will be the good effect to understand and discover Thailand. Especially for those who bought an air ticket to Thailand!
Bangkok in late fall of 2022
Lee You-Hyeon, Harry