There has been plenty of news around in 2019 for Thailand. The Top 10 stories ranked by their significance by our writers is very different from the Top 10 stories you searched for and clicked on at The Thaiger.
Some other stats. You clicked on The Thaiger 81,177,191 times (up to December 29) during 2019, the busiest month was October where you clicked on The Thaiger 18.3 million times. We started the year with 3 staff and finished the year with 19.
From the bizarre to the informative, YOUR top choices reflect a trend for stories that aren’t necessarily about politics and climate change! Here are the top 10 most popular Thaiger stories for 2019, from the most clicked-on story down to number 10.
With 151,000 views, this story captured your imagination more than anything else in 2019. Hmmmm. Of all the reasons you may end up in a Thai hospital, this is not a common one. Although doctors and nurses did send us plenty of follow up emails attesting to any number of kitchen utensils, fruit and appliances having much the same predicament. Men allegedly fall over with a similar result quite often leaving them in a less-than-graceful pose at their nearest medical establishment.
May 2020 be the year you don’t fall over!
The tropical storm ‘Pabuk’ was well predicted in the week before it eventually made landfall in Thailand. Our video explanation of the storm was also our most-watched video this year. Good preparations reduced the amount of destruction caused by the storm.
Visas, the tightening of enforcement, a few new rules and the alleged exodus of expats were popular topics this year. Immigration police seemingly changed their stance from ‘Good guys in, bad guys out’ to ‘Bad guys out, good guys out’ if you believe a lot of the commentary circulating around the local chatrooms this year. The net result is that expats in Thailand rose in 2019 with Japanese and Chinese being the highest number of new expats for the past twelve months.
Moving past the medical, weather and immigration Top 3, people also wanted to research living in the Land of Smiles. Our most popular information story was an honest look at some of the issues that expats pose when they live in Thailand. A holiday is a very different experience to full time life in Thailand.
PHOTO: Number Seven in the “hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand” – the bar girls don’t actually love you.
The Bangkok bombings in August, a series of small bombs primarily detonated as a ‘warning’ rather to inflict a lot of damage, reminded us that there are still problems the Kingdom has to address before peace can fully descend on the country. Although the trials are still ongoing, it is thought that this series of explosions around the capital were related to the insurgency in the deep south of Thailand.
There isn’t any prostitution in Thailand. Until someone makes a rare and unlikely spotting (cough) or an NGO goes combing through some of the tourist red light districts and reports it. Sometimes the Pattaya police needed some outside assistance to locate some of the reported 30,000 prostitutes working in the seaside party town.
Just like the prostitutes, the scams really don’t exist. Unless you’re almost 100% of tourists and expats, even locals, who fall for one of the many clever schemes concocted by locals to extract money from you. A few minutes on the internet will usually save people from all sorts of inconvenience and losing their money. We listed 10 popular scams in Thailand.
Road crashes are always clickable stories. The Thaiger has a policy of only reporting road deaths when there are significant numbers, dangerous locations or prominent people – in this case it was the horrifying death of the son of a popular music label owner. Thailand remains as one of the most dangerous places to drive in the world, although the vast majority of death statistics are of males, under 24 and riding a motorbike at the time.
There was plenty of online chatter about Thai immigration officials ‘tightening the screws’ on long-stay visas over the year. The issue was more of tighter enforcement rather than any new guidelines. But the TM28 and 30 forms were much discussed, at length.
Another of our Top 10 lists was another popular story for 2019. This time we took a cheeky look at the types of expats moving to Thailand. We also had plenty of other suggestions from readers. We’ll update the list in 2020 with some of the suggestions… well the ones we can publish anyway.
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