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Nude selfies culture clash in Chiang Mai & Malaysia

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Are nude selfies just a silly fun thing that some tourists do for fun? Can earthquakes be caused by nude selfies? Should tourists be thrown in jail or deported for taking nude selfies?

Tourists have taken to snappy nude or naked selfies in the strangest locations in recent months, sometimes making locals furious.


Nude selfies culture clash in Chiang Mai & Malaysia

First, there was the selfy, then there was the nude selfy, and the countries of ASEAN have not been the same since.

Are nude selfies just a silly fun thing that some tourists do for fun?

Can earthquakes be caused by nude selfies?

Should tourists be thrown in jail or deported for taking nude selfies?

Perhaps tourists change their privacy settings before sharing nude selfies?

What if the tourists just used photoshop instead of taking their clothes off in public?

All these issues and more have arose during the last few weeks as the trend of nude selfies (or naked selfies) has taken off across ASEAN.

Screenshot of  front page of British newspaper The Sun meant to be humorous.


Such a pose might be acceptable in social media, if appropriate privacy settings were made.

The nude selfies session that took place shortly before last week's deadly earthquake deeply offended many local people in Malaysia.

While western attitudes towards selfies might range from considering them a fun party trick to perhaps a deep religious experience or a form of artistic expression, some locals in Malaysia (as well as their local ancestral mountain spirits) were deeply offended.

The Malaysian courts have already charged some of the nude-selfy taking tourists with crimes against public decency.

Three tourists, two Canadians, one British and one Dutch have been arrested in Sabah and are facing three months in jail if they are found guilty on public nudity charges.

Some of the tribes who live near Mount Kinabalu on the island of Borneo in Malaysia (the Lotud tribe of Sabah) believe ancestral spirits actually reside in the mountain and watch over the mountain and when the spirits saw the tourists taking off their clothes, in what amounted to their own home, the mountain spirits became furious.   

Furthermore, these tribes worry that the anger of these mountain spirits over tourists posing naked may be the root cause of the 6.0 earthquake that shook the area on June 5 killing 18 people.

The tribe will perform a religious ceremony to talk to the mountain spirits and ask them what's up.

If the mountain spirits say, yes, they were angered by the nude selfies, then the next step will be to make an offering to placate the mountain spirits, called "sogit" in their tribal language (read about all the details here).

One of the self-confessed nude selfie-takers struck back at Malaysian with a YouTube video here (warning: contains swear words) as well as social media [Facebook] postings here.


A gay photography and social group known as "Outdoor" took nude photos as a hobby and shared them on social media (without appropriate privacy settings), that is until this week, when they were caught red-handed (See photo at top of page).

Two male university students were arrested this week for tweeting photos of themselves posing nude in public places in Chiang Mai, stirring public debate on social media about whether they ruined the province’s image.

Police in the northern province launched an investigation June 3 into the nude selfies taken in several locations on many occasions, including a kilometre marker and a traffic sign showing the direction to the city.

It took about a week to track down and arrest the two students using CCTV footage from private and government sources, particularly the Police Eye project.

The two students are charged with distributing pornography via computer and public indecent exposure.

Police said both students confessed to posting the images, saying it was just for fun and not intended to smear the province's image. They both extended apologies to Chiang Mai.

The Outdoor group normally held meetings at the back of Chiang Mai's provincial hall. Some of the group's members even lived as far away as Bangkok and traveled to Chiang Mai by plane to take nude selfies.

Read full article here

This Hong Kong model quickly left Thailand after a quick nude bungy cord jumping session in Chiang Mai.


A week after a Hong Kong model took a naked bungee jump and shared photos and video of it on social media, government authorities in Chiang Mai took legal action against the owner of the bungee cord jump (X-Centre Bungeem) who was fined 1,000 baht and also apologised for letting this happen.

The naked bungee jumper had luckily already left the country.

Artistic nude selfies among the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat made by a Chinese group calling itself Wanimal.


Nude selfies at popular tourist sites around ASEAN have also become a rising trend with tourists from China, France and the US posting naked photos taken at the ancient and sacred Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia.

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amounted to : was the same as .... -

ancestral (adj): involving your ancestors or something you get from your ancestors, people in your family who lived a long time ago - ที่ได้จากบรรพบุรุษ, ที่สืบต่อมาจากบรรพบุรุษ

ancient : very old - ที่เก่าแก่ ที่โบราณ

apologise : to say you are sorry for doing something wrong or for causing a problem - ขอโทษ

appropriate : suitable or right for a particular situation or purpose - ที่เหมาะสม

arrest : (of the police or, in this case, soldiers) to take someone under control because they are believed to have committed a crime - จับกุม

attitude : someone’s opinions or feelings about something, especially as shown by their behaviour - ทัศนคติ, ลักษณะท่าทาง

authority (noun): a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ

caught red-handed (idiom): when someone sees/catches you doing something you should not do, especially something illegal - จับได้ขณะกระทำผิด

CCTV footage : video from a CCTV camera - ภาพหรือหนังในเทปวิดีโอจากกล้องวงจรปิดเพื่อรักษาการความปลอดภัย

ceremony (noun): a formal public event - งานพิธี

charge  : an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime - ข้อกล่าวหา

clash : a fight between groups of people - การปะทะกันสองฝ่าย

club (noun): an organization or group of people who join together for some purpose such as a hobby or to share some interest - สโมสร, สมาคม

confess (verb): to admit that you have committed a crime - สารภาพผิด

court : the place where legal trials take place and where crimes, etc. are judged - ศาล

culture (noun): the customs and beliefs, art, way of life and social organization of a particular country or group - วัฒนธรรม

decency (noun): honest, polite behaviour that follows accepted moral standards and shows respect for others ความประพฤติที่ถูกทำนองคลองธรรม - ความประพฤติที่ถูกทำนองคลองธรรม

deport : to send someone out of a country, usually because they do not have a legal right to be there - เนรเทศออกจากประเทศ, ส่งตัวกลับประเทศ

direction : the way something is moving or coming from - ทิศทาง

earthquake : a sudden shaking movement of the ground - แผ่นดินไหว

experience (verb): to have something happen to you or to live through some event - ประสบ

expression : things that people say, write or do in order to show their feelings, opinions and ideas - การแสดงความคิด, การแสดงออก

furious  : extremely angry - ซึ่งโกรธจัด

guilty : having been decided by a court of law that you committed the crime your were accused of - มีความผิด

hobby : an activity that you do for pleasure when you are not working - งานอดิเรก

humorous : funny and entertaining; showing a sense of humour - ตลก,ขบขัน

in public : when other people, especially people you do not know, are present; in full view of other people - ต่อสาธารณะ, ต่อชุมชน

indecent exposure : being naked or without clothes in a place where people can see you -

investigation : the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something in order to discover who or what caused it or how it happened - การสอบสวน, การตรวจสอบหาข้อเท็จจริง

issue : a problem that needs to be considered - ประเด็น

jail (noun): a prison - เรือนจำ, ห้องขัง, คุก

launch : starting something - การเริ่มต้น

local : in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น

locals : people who live in a particular place - ชาวบ้าน

location : where someone or something is - ที่ตั้ง,ทำเล

naked : not wearing any clothes - เปลือยกาย

normally : usually; in normal circumstances - โดยปกติ, ตามปกติ

nude : a person who is not wearing any clothes - คนเปลือยกาย

nudity : the condition of not wearing clothes, or of not covering a part of the body that is traditionally covered when you are in public - การเปลือยกาย

occasion : a time at which something happens - ครั้ง, โอกาส

offended : upset because of something said that is rude or embarrassing - ขุ่นเคือง

offering (noun): something that is given as part of religious worship - ของบูชา, ของถวาย (ทางศาสนา)

party : a group of people who are doing something together such as travelling or visiting somewhere - คณะ, กลุ่ม

placate (verb): to make somebody feel less angry about something - ปลอบใจ, ทำให้สงบ,ปลอบโยน,ทำให้พอใจ

pornography : books, magazines, DVDs, etc. that describe or show naked people and sexual acts in order to make people feel sexually excited, especially in a way that many other people find offensive - หนังสือ ภาพ เรื่องเขียน หนังและศิลปะที่ลามก

pose : to stay in a particular position in order to be photographed - วางท่าถ่ายรูป

privacy settings : changes to social media account, so that only your friends or family can read your postings and see your photos -

province : one of many divisions of the government of a country into smaller parts - จังหวัด

provincial hall : the main government building in a provincial capital - ศาลากลางจังหวัด

public : the public; all people; the people in general - มหาชน, ประชาชน

public : open to people in general; intended to be seen or heard by people in general - อย่างเปิดเผยให้รู้

public : open to people in general; intending to be seen or heard by people in general - อย่างเปิดเผย

range from : to include a variety of different things in addition to those mentioned - ขยายออก, แบ่งประเภท

religious (adj.): relating to religion, or to the beliefs and practices of a particular religion - เกี่ยวกับศาสนา

reside : to live in a particular place - อยู่อาศัย

root : a basic cause or idea - รากฐาน, แก่นแท้, ต้นตอ

ruins : the remains of a building that has been badly damaged or destroyed - ซากปรักหักพัง

screenshot (noun): a photo/picture taken from the screen of a computer; screengrab -

selfie (noun): a photo you take of yourself or of yourself with someone else -

session (noun): a period of time that is spent doing a particular activity -

shake (past form shook) : to move or make someone or something move with short, quick movements - สั่น, สั่นสะเทือน, เขย่า

share : to have or use something at the same time as someone else - ใช้ร่วมกัน

silly : acting in a stupid or embarrassing way , especially in a way that is more typical of a child than an adult; showing a lack of thought, understanding or judgment - เซ่อ, บอ, โง่

social media : the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. - เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์

source : the place/person/organisation from which you get something - แหล่ง

spirit (noun): the soul thought of as separate from the body and believed to live on after death; a ghost - วิญญาณ

step : one of a series of actions that you do in order to achieve a particular aim - ขั้นตอน

take off : to become successful or popular very quickly or suddenly - ได้รับความนิยมอย่างรวดเร็ว

took place (verb): happened (in the past) -

track down (verb): to try to follow and find someone or something - ตามรอย

trend : a new development in clothing, make-up, etc - แนวโน้ม

tribe : a group of people of the same race, and with the same customs, language, religion, etc, living in a particular area and often led by a chief - เผ่า, เผ่าพันธุ์

trick : a special and effective and skilful way of doing something - วิธีพลิกแพลง, เทคนิคพิเศษ

what's up : what is happening -


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