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Top 10 most popular stories at The Thaiger in 2019

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Top 10 most popular stories at The Thaiger in 2019 | The Thaiger
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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.

Number One

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!

Bangkok woman hospitalised after she falls over and a cucumber ended up inside her

Number Two

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.

PABUK: Latest information on the path of the storm across the Gulf

Number Three

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.

13 Bangkok passengers refused entry into Thailand by immigration police

Number Four

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.

Top 10 hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand | The Thaiger

Top 10 most popular stories at The Thaiger in 2019 | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Number Seven in the “hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand” – the bar girls don’t actually love you.

Number Five

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.

Four bombs go off around Bangkok this morning, two injured

Number Six

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.

Prostitutes in Pattaya, police locate seven foreigners selling illegal services

Number Seven

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.

Top 10 scams in Thailand

Top 10 most popular stories at The Thaiger in 2019 | News by The Thaiger

Number Eight

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.

Big bike rider decapitated in horror crash in Bangkok

Number Nine

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.

Screws tightening on Non Immigrant visas for expats wishing to live in Thailand

Number 10

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.

The Top 10 types of expat in Thailand (2019)

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Expats

Ban on sales and promotion of alcohol online starts December 7

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Ban on sales and promotion of alcohol online starts December 7 | The Thaiger

From December 7 you’ll no longer, officially, be able to purchase alcohol online in Thailand, according to a posting in the Royal Gazette back in September, the Thai government will prohibit the sales and promotion of alcoholic drinks on every online platform from December 7.

The ban includes direct sales, promotion and introduction of alcoholic products online, but will not include electronic payments of purchases at retail stores, restaurants and bars.

Selling and buying beer, wine and spirits online has become more popular, but the Thai PM says that internet alcohol sales are harder to control than sales at local liquor stores. The announcement said that it’s difficult to check that the provisions of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act are being followed online, like no alcohol sales before 5pm or on certain holidays (although many local stores didn’t follow the rules anyway).

“The Royal Gazette had published the announcement of ‘Prohibition of the sale of alcoholic beverages via electronic sales nationwide’ on September 8 noting that alcohol has become more easily accessible online due to the popularity of social media platforms and specialist Apps.

“No person shall sell alcoholic beverages or provide services related to alcoholic beverages on electronic channels. Online payment for trading such beverages at actual stores are excluded.”

With Thai officials obsessed with the perceived evils of alcohol, Thailand already has a ban on the sale of alcohol before 11am, between 2 – 5pm, and after midnight. It’s also illegal to brew your own beer at home or to post pictures of branded alcohol online, either as a private citizen or as a company. But the government’s latest announcement, that drinkers won’t be able to purchase alcohol online that really ignited the Twittersphere and social media.

Deputy PM and the Minister of Public Health, Anutin Charnvirakul, told AP after a meeting of the alcohol control committee on November 7, that they’d agreed to draft guidelines, under the revision of the Public Health Ministry, to inform the Public regarding the Royal Gazette announcement of banning online alcohol trading.

“Violators of the new ban will be subject to up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to 10,000 baht.”

People will still be able to use electronic methods of payment, like bank transfers, when buying alcohol at stores, restaurants or other establishments, just not purchase from online portals.

The Ministry is going to launch a publicity campaign about the new bans in the week leading up to December 7.

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Economy

Government aims to offer work permits to foreigners who invest at least US$1 million

Maya Taylor

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Government aims to offer work permits to foreigners who invest at least US$1 million | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.pinoythaiyo.com

Probably the most expensive Work Permit in the world. The Thai government is considering offering work permits to foreigners who invest at least US$1 million in Thai property or businesses. The Centre for Economic Situation Administration has approved a proposal to grant work permits to eligible Elite Card holders. In order to qualify, they must have the top-tier Thailand Elite visa card, which costs 1 million baht and is valid for 5 years. They must also be prepared to invest their funds for at least 5 years.

The governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Yuthasak Supasorn, says it’s hoped the move will boost foreign investment in the Kingdom. It’s hoped the plan could generate 31 billion baht for the economy, 1 billion of which would come from Elite card fees, with the remainder being generated by foreign investment.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the TAT and the Foreign and Interior Ministries to work together on the proposal, before submitting it to Cabinet for final approval.

The CESA has also approved the proposed partnership between the TAT, Thai Airways, and local hotels, in which tourism packages inclusive of quarantine, can be offered to foreign arrivals. It’s understood the packages will be available from December 1 until March 31 next year. The government is targeting 2,000 visitors, generating revenue of 200 million baht every month.

Just another ‘proposal’ we have to keep track of as the visa situation in Thailand becomes increasingly complex.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Finally! TAT partners with hotels, airlines, to offer travel stimulus package for expats

Maya Taylor

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Finally! TAT partners with hotels, airlines, to offer travel stimulus package for expats | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Shutterstock

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is partnering with airlines and over 300 hotels around the country in another domestic tourism stimulus scheme, this time aimed at expats. It’s understood all foreigners and their families, living in the Kingdom, are eligible to avail of the scheme.

The “Expat Travel Bonus” offers a 1,000 baht per night discount on hotel accommodation at participating properties. The more nights booked, the bigger the discount. Participating hotels are registered with the Thai Hotels Association and can be found here.

The promotion will run until December 31 and interested travellers will need to contact the hotels directly to book. The scheme also allows for a 50% discount on domestic flights with AirAsia, Bangkok Airways, and Nok Air.

Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi from the Thai Hotels Association, has welcomed the scheme, saying hotels need as much support as possible in the absence of international tourism.

“With very limited travel from overseas, Thai hotels need all the support they can get, so there’s never been a better time for expats to help out and enjoy a great value vacation at the same time. I am happy that the association can be a part of this campaign.”

The TAT’s Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya echoes the sentiment, saying he hopes more expats will take advantage of the opportunity to get out and explore more of the country in which they live.

“In Thailand, the expat market has great potential, so we hope this campaign will encourage more expats to explore Thailand and show support for our hospitality industry.”

Before you rush into booking the ‘promo’ prices and taking advantage of the stimulus, check the prices for the same hotels on Agoda.com, bookings.com, hotels.com or your favourite OTA – The Thaiger.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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