Thailand launches naturist magazine
Conservative governments and what was seen as a 'conservative' mindset among the population, and add to that a fear of fierce tropical sunlight and a beauty ideal which puts a white skin way ahead of a tan.
All those factors have conspired to make Asia a difficult continent to promote naturism to reach the level of popularity it has won in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, and now recently, Latin America.
Yet, one country is steaming straight ahead, regardless of all preconceptions.
Thailand first saw the formation of a Naturist Association of Thailand (NAT) in 2007, the gradual opening of naturist hotels and resorts around the country, from Pattaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and this year also the island of Phuket, the staging of an international NATCON conference now in its fifth year, and now, again in a major move forward, the launch of a magazine, titled Bare@ll.
Despite what some might think, naturism in Thailand is not something for the thousands of expats calling that country home only. At least a third of NAT's 3,000 members are Thai, and the new magazine is bilingual Thai and English.
That is an excellent move, since most Thai are unlikely to find objective information and background about naturism in anything but eventual foreign publications, and that only from time to time. The new publication will bring naturism right to the doorstep of any interested Thai citizen. When a Thai questions naturism or wonders what it is all about, a naturist will have the magazine to show them and make them understand.
The annual NATCON conference is also a focus for other Asian naturists from India to China and Taiwan, allowing them to learn from the experiences of their Thai colleagues and prepare for a day when each Asian country will have at least a similar organization, and possibly also its own naturist resorts.