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A very merry Christmas from The Thaiger team

The Thaiger

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A very merry Christmas from The Thaiger team | The Thaiger
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Caitlin, Champ, Earth, Jett, May, Austin, Tim and Mike would like to wish every single one of our readers a heartfelt Merry Christmas. Whilst the challenges of 2020 have brought grief, confusion and sadness to many, it’s also reminded us about the importance of family and friendships. It’s also been a year of change for us too… we’re all in this mess together!

Christmas is an annual reminder about valuing life’s simple gifts – giving, sharing and being there for each other. If you can’t be together with your family or long-standing friends today put a moment aside to call them, maybe just a quick personal message.

If you’re a Christian you may be worshipping with others, or at least recalling the original message of Christmas and the birth of hope in Jesus Christ. For many others, the tradition of family and friends getting together and celebrating will be a shared experience today. If you’re alone, The Thaiger is always here with some fresh news and we’re thinking about you on this day.

We’d also like to wish our peers a very Merry Christmas – fellow story-tellers and journalists at the English-language Bangkok Post, Thai PBS World, Nation Thailand, The Pattaya News, Thisrupt, The Phuket News, Khaosod English, Chiang Mai Times and the many Thai-language outlets that form the core of Thailand’s vibrant news media.

Also to our broader Thaiger family that provide HR, IT, accountancy and administrative services as well as the new Tadoo.co staff working in the Bangkok offices under the leadership of Pruek.

The Thaiger is grateful for everyone’s support over this most difficult of years and promise to continue to provide accurate, timely news and information in return.

Have a happy and joyous day!

A very merry Christmas from The Thaiger team | News by The Thaiger

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, December 25, 2020 at 10:12 am

    And a merry Christmas to you all.
    Keep up the good work.

    • Avatar

      Tony Grace

      Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 4:11 pm

      Wish you all a wonderful Christmas and prosperity for the coming new year.

  2. Avatar

    The Grinch

    Friday, December 25, 2020 at 11:47 am

    Your work is appreciated and enjoyed.

    Thanks, and Happy Holidays to you all.

  3. Avatar

    Charles

    Friday, December 25, 2020 at 11:51 am

    I wish you all the same.
    Thank you for providing good news all year round.

  4. Avatar

    TV

    Friday, December 25, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    Merry Christmas Tiger team. Thank you for the daily updates and videos. Let’s hope 2021 will be a year of more good news than in 2020. X

  5. Avatar

    Peter

    Friday, December 25, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Merry Christmas to you all.
    Unfortunately, cannot be in Thailand this Christmas for the first time in 7 years.
    Hopefully a speedy and safe vaccination program will be rolled out globally in 2021.
    Take care.

  6. Avatar

    Wayno

    Friday, December 25, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Merry xmas to team Thaiger. Thanks for your hard work

  7. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Friday, December 25, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    Thanks guys for allowing me to contribute. You do a fantastic job to pull it all together……..

  8. Avatar

    Kim Peter Glasfurd

    Friday, December 25, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    Merry Xmas to you all you keep me alive with your news when I am so far away from my wife and family Regards and keep up the good job Kimbo Down under

  9. Avatar

    Rudolf

    Friday, December 25, 2020 at 10:49 pm

    Merry Christmas to all Tiger Team!
    And thousand thanks for all information you make and share in this year.

  10. Avatar

    Jim Marshall

    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 5:30 am

    Merry Christmas to all the staff at the Thaiger, keep up the good work
    Best regards Jim ?

  11. Avatar

    brian mc

    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 10:19 am

    try not to think too much, just because the thais call it wan kit maah

  12. Avatar

    Kristof

    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    Thank you for keeping us informed. Happy Holidays All. Strength & Solidarity in 2021.

    龙舟-罗宁

  13. Avatar

    Ivan Brooker

    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    I value your perspective and news from Thailand .
    I am married to a Thai lady so your words help me understand Thailand better .
    Happy New Year .Thanks for all your words of wisdom .

  14. Avatar

    Ian

    Monday, December 28, 2020 at 6:35 am

    You keep me informed daily about Thailand I’m so glad I found you hope to be putting down roots next year thankyou

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Northern Thailand

Son lights himself on fire after asking mom for lottery money

The Thaiger

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Son lights himself on fire after asking mom for lottery money | The Thaiger

A woman’s 32 year old son, in northern Thailand’s Phrae Province, is in critical condition from lighting himself on fire after falsely believing that his mother had won the lottery and would not share her winnings with him.

Police at Denchai Police Station were alerted of a man who burned himself in Ban Mai Jua, Denchai District and notified a rescue team at Somdej Phra Yupparat Hospital. 60 year old Pen, the auntie of the man, who is only identified as Tossapon, says she was having breakfast when she heard an argument.

When she looked out the window, she saw Tossapon on fire and wrapped in a blanket. She says he ran to a water hose and put the fire out, but not before almost catching his house on fire. Officials arrived and found that several items in Tossapon’s bedroom had been on fire, along with pieces of the blanket scattered throughout the house. They also found burnt pants and a pillow.

At the hospital, officials met 64 year old Sila, the mother of Tossapon, waiting for her son in front of the Emergency Room. Sila told police her son is a “psychiatric patient” because he used to use meth, or “yabba” in Thai. She says his addiction left him with long-term damages and says her son often falsely believes his mother won the lottery, to which she tells him she lost the lottery ticket.

Sila says she tells him it is not true, but this time Tossapon asked for proof and continued questioning her the next day. The mother says she described her love for her son, which upset him, leading him to wrap himself in a blanket and set himself on fire.

“Son, 99% of the love that I have for you has been changed to hate, the remaining 1% is technically loved because of the word ‘son’.”

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Thailand

Why Thailand celebrates the New Year not once, not twice, but 3 times

Maya Taylor

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Why Thailand celebrates the New Year not once, not twice, but 3 times | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Amazing Thailand

While the year just gone may be referred to as 2020 by most of us (with perhaps a few expletives thrown in, given the year it was), we are currently in the year 2563 in Thailand. As everyone who lives here knows, Thailand uses the Buddhist calendar, as well as the Western, or Gregorian, calendar, adding to our eternal confusion when wading through Thai documentation.

While the Gregorian calendar, also sometimes called the Christian calendar, is based around the birth of Jesus, the Buddhist one begins with the birth of Buddha, currently 2563 years ago. However, as can be seen below, the date in Thailand is usually written by combining the Gregorian date and month with the Buddhist year. The quickest way to work out what the year equates to in the Gregorian calendar, is to subtract 543 from the Thai year.

Why Thailand celebrates the New Year not once, not twice, but 3 times | News by The Thaiger

A lot of superstition governs the Buddhist calendar, with certain days having special meanings and considered more auspicious than others. Thais take these very seriously, particularly when choosing when to hold a wedding or funeral ceremony. Even when to buy a car or to propose marriage. The calendar is less frequently used by the younger generation, who tend to rely more on the Gregorian one.

Meanwhile, when it comes to celebrating the arrival of a new year, Thailand does so 3 times. The Buddhist New Year, the Chinese New Year, and the Western New Year, are all celebrated in some or all parts of the Kingdom.

The Buddhist New Year
This celebration is also known as Songkran, or Thai New Year, and is celebrated in April, when the weather is usually at its hottest. Traditionally, Buddhists celebrate Songkran by performing a ceremony in which they pour water over statues of Buddha, as well as on each other. This represents a period of cleansing, in which bad fortune and sins are washed away.

However, the original water ceremony has also evolved into large-scale water fights and street parties involving super-soakers and buckets of water (often, ice cold). It’s a bit of a mega-party that, in pre-Covid times, was a huge tourist draw. Although the water throwing only lasts a day in most places, it can continue for several days in some, even up to a week in places like Chiang Mai.

The Western New Year
In Thailand, despite the Buddhist New Year being marked in April, the official start of the year, particularly for international businesses, is still January 1. This is a public holiday and the evening before is the scene of glittering New Year’s Eve festivities, just like Western countries. While celebrations this year may have been somewhat muted due to the ever-present awareness of Covid-19, in more normal times, you can expect parties, live music, and fireworks a-plenty. By the way, Happy New Year!

The Chinese New Year
According to Wikipedia, up to 16% of Thailand’s population is considered ethnic Chinese, with the Kingdom having the largest overseas Chinese community in the world outside mainland China. This group also has their own calendar, with a noisy, firecracker-dominated celebration to welcome the Chinese New Year in late January or early February. The festivities culminate in the “lion dance”, involving 2 people in a large, colourful lion costume, performing dance moves.

There’s no doubt about it, the Thais love an excuse to party. And celebrating a new year, not once, not twice, but on 3 separate occasions, is one way to guarantee some fun. Let’s hope that the first of those celebrations, which took place last night, heralds the arrival of a more positive period for all!

SOURCE: Spirit of Thailand

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Events

WOW what a year! Thailand’s top news stories for 2020 as voted by YOU.

The Thaiger

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WOW what a year! Thailand’s top news stories for 2020 as voted by YOU. | The Thaiger

TOP 10 (non Covid) THAIGER STORIES FOR 2020

The Thaiger started 2020, as we all did, with high hopes and few clues that we were heading into a profound disruption for almost the entire year. Even as we were tapping away at the keyboards on January 1, 2020, there were stories emerging in Wuhan, China about a mysterious new respiratory disease that was starting to pop up at the provincial hospitals.

But, although Covid consumed much of our top stories in 2020, there were other stories of course as life continued to stumble along in Thailand. Here are the stories, from 1 – 10, and the number of people that read each story on thethaiger.com. We’ve also added the Top 10 Covid stories for the year as well, as voted by YOU, our readers.

Thai Army sniper goes on shooting rampage in Korat – up to 20 shot and killed – 124,342

February 8

“A police and army detachment is currently searching for an army sniper in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Korat city centre. The solider has shot dead at least 12 people late this afternoon. The city is in virtual lockdown as security officials are trying to clear the areas around the crime scene. The gunman was live-streaming the entire incident and taking selfies in front of the crime scene.

A police spokesman is advising the public to move away from the area, “stay indoor, and obey instructions from security officers”.

Thai PM announces Emergency Decree, comes into effect on March 26 – 72,587

March 25

Although Covid-related, it was also the most impactful story here in Thailand which would lead to the lockdowns, economic impact, border closures and, possibly, contributed to the protests as well. It was big news.

“Thai PM Prayuth Chan-o-cha told a news conference today that Thailand will be under emergency decree from this Thursday (March 26) until the end of April, 2020 to deal with the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak in the Kingdom.

The decree means the PM will have the executive power to declare further measures to contain the virus, including giving extra authority to officials and creating checkpoints to reduce people’s movements.”

Thailand loses US free trade benefits worth billions of baht – 66,267

April 26

“Thailand loses duty free access for 42.2 billion baht in exports to the US market from today, 6 months after Washington warned it would pull back on trade privileges unless the kingdom committed to labour rights reforms. Once trade preferences for Thai products are removed they are subject to tax of between 4% and 5%, making them more expensive in the lucrative US market.”

30 horses die in one day in Thailand’s Northeast – 58,853

March 27

“30 horses have mysteriously died in Thailand’s Northeast yesterday. The Thailand Equestrian Federation is urging horse fanciers not to transport any animals until a cause can be identified. It’s unlikely the situation has anything to do with the Covid-19 outbreak.

10 of the horses had sudden severe seizures before dying and the other 20 repeatedly bucked and jumped before collapsing, dead.”

Cambodia burns, Bangkok chokes, schools closed – 56,560

February 26

“Bangkok mums and dads will need to sort out what to do with the kids for the rest of the week after the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration closed public schools from today because of the excessive air pollution. Most of the smoke and haze is blowing in from Cambodia with light easterly winds.

All schools under the supervision of the BMA will close until Friday. Air quality in the capital has worsened over the past two days with Bangkok recurring the world’s 5th worst air pollution yesterday (today it is 10th). The forecast today is for light winds and poor air circulation which will compound the accumulation of PM2.5 dust and smoke particles.”

Man comes face to face with 5-metre king cobra while in bed – 52,003

February 22

“A man in the southern province of Trang got a shock when he lay down for a nap and found he was being watched by a 5-metre king cobra staring at him from the ceiling. The man’s home is on a rubber farm, where cobras and other venomous snakes are often found. The local rescue team, who reportedly specialise in capturing king cobras, received notification of an extremely long one at the man’s home.”

Waitress has double lottery win – 50,489

March 19

“A waitress from Ban Sabah Village in Lampang rovince won 12 million baht in yesterday’s national lottery by pure luck, after she couldn’t a ticket with her license plate number. The woman says she initially knew the exact number that she wanted to buy, but as there were no tickets with the number, the vendor gave her two random tickets. She was shocked when she realised the big win, but insists she’ll continue living a normal lifestyle.”

Hungarian overstayer dies in Suvarnabhumi detention cell – 48,739

January 27

“A 60 year old Hungarian man has died in detention at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport. Lazlo Balogh was awaiting deportation for overstaying his visa. Laszlo was handed over to the Suvarnabhumi airport police for repatriation on Saturday, January 25. He showed no unusual signs after being put in the detention cell and was sleeping normally on Saturday night, according to police.”

Thai man strikes it rich after finding whale vomit – 48,465

December 13

“A Thai man in Nakhon Si Thammarat is striking it rich after finding whale vomit on the local beach. Narit Suwansang thought his discovery was just a large rock, but had an inkling that it could be something more. US$4.2 million more, that is!”

Top 5 places to celebrate New Years Eve in Bangkok (2020)46,300

“It’s hard to imagine a more vibrant city anywhere in the world, with warm weather and an entire population ready to party, to celebrate your New Year on December 31. Bangkok will host New Years Eve parties on almost every corner but we’ve listed the Top 5 locations for you to see in 2020.”


TOP THAIGER VIDEOS FOR 2020

The most popular YouTube video produced by The Thaiger this year was a spontaneous “turn the camera on and film” look during a casual drive along Phuket’s west coast in October.

The second popular YouTube video produced by The Thaiger was a similar look at the seaside party town Pattaya. Again, it had been devastated by the lockdowns and travel restrictions, a situation that hasn’t improved leaving the city devoid of its usually high-season surge this year.


TOP 10 Covid THAIGER STORIES FOR 2020

In so many cases this year The Thaiger would publish a Covid story, and the Thai Government’s reactions to the situation, only to have the situation changed in coming days. Foreigners, eager to know what was going on and how the situation would affect them, were having to keep an open mind as the government prevaricated from one day to another. So, many of the stories, reported accurately at the time, were subject to changes and modification in the coming days. It was frustrating for The Thaiger and our readers.

Thailand Coronavirus (Covid-19) News Stories, Headlines and Breaking Articles – 278,000

This was our landing page where we collated, and still do, all the Covid-related content throughout the year, providing a valuable and accurate resource about this year’s major disruption. Hardly surprising that it was the most landed-0n page on thethaiger.com this year.

Number 1

Thailand’s international borders not re-opening for tourists until 2021 – TAT – 271,000

Thailand’s international borders not re-opening for tourists until 2021 – TAT

Number 2

Coronavirus – six new cases confirmed in Thailand – 159,000

Coronavirus – six new cases confirmed in Thailand

Number 3

UPDATE: Confusion over Thailand designating 11 destinations as ‘high risk’– 155,000

UPDATE: Confusion over Thailand designating 11 destinations as ‘high risk’

Number 4

Thailand increasingly blaming caucasians for coronavirus crisis – 154,000

Thailand increasingly blaming caucasians for coronavirus crisis

Number 5

Chinese keep arriving in Thailand, UK man spreads virus to 11 others – 153,000

Coronavirus UPDATE: Chinese keep arriving in Thailand, UK man spreads virus to 11 others

Number 6

Thai health minister has a slash at ‘dirty farang’ – 150,000

Thai health minister has a slash at ‘dirty farang’

Number 7

2,700+ infected, 80 dead, 8 cases in Thailand – 149,000

Coronavirus UPDATE: 2,700+ infected, 80 dead, 8 cases in Thailand

Number 8

July 1 will end all lockdowns in Thailand, including international travel – 145,000

July 1 will end all lockdowns in Thailand, including international travel

Number 9

Foreigners in Thailand worried about their security – 139,000

Foreigners in Thailand worried about their security

Number 10

South Korea issues travel advisory for Thailand – 37,000

South Korea issues travel advisory for Thailand

 

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