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Top 10 busiest airports in the world – first half of 2018

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Beijing Capital International Airport is still the world’s second-busiest airport by passenger traffic, witnessing with nearly 50 million passengers passing through in the first half of this year. This from the Civil Aviation Data Analysis, a civil aviation data platform based in Shanghai.

The list, comprising 17 international airports around the world, ranks airports in terms of passenger traffic as of the end of June.

So where is the world’s busiest airport?

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport remains the world’s busiest airport, with passenger traffic of 52.64 million in the first six months, while Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi saw the fastest growth of passengers with an increase of traffic of 13.41 percent.

No 10 – Indira Gandhi International Airport
Total passengers: 35.04 million

No 9 – Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Total passengers: 36.69 million

No 8 – Hong Kong International Airport
Total passengers: 36.91 million

No 7 – London Heathrow Airport
Total passengers: 38.07 million

No 6 – O’Hare International Airport, Chicago
Total passengers: 39.45 million

No 5 – Tokyo Haneda Airport
Total passengers: 41.06 million

No 4 – Los Angeles International Airport
Total passengers: 42.68 million

No 3 – Dubai International Airport
Total passengers: 43.74 million

No 2 – Beijing Capital International Airport
Total passengers: 49.38 million

No 1 – Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Total passengers: 52.64 million

Top 10 busiest airports in the world - first half of 2018 | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Passengers are waiting in the terminal of the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Dec 17, 2017 – VCG

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Thailand

Things that have changed in Thailand in the Covid Era | Top 10 | VIDEO

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Things that have changed in Thailand in the Covid Era | Top 10 | VIDEO | The Thaiger

Top 10 things that have changed in Thailand during the Covid-era

Things have changed. In some cases they’ve changed a lot and may never be the same again. Many people are suffering as a result of the impacts of lockdowns and the border closures. Some people are being forced to re-invent their lives as a result. Here are some of the main things we believe have changed since January this year.

Face Masks

The now every-present face mask is now with us for a long time. In Asia, it was never uncommon to see people wearing face masks, for traffic, air pollution, fears of disease or just to a fashion statement.

In the Covid-era, mask wearing will now just become a normal thing we wear when in public spaces. Even when the government relaxes the actual laws about the wearing of face masks, most people, we predict, will continue to wear them anyway.

Taking Your Temperature

It’s everywhere, it doesn’t appear to be very effective or reliable, but it’s not uncommon to have your temperature taken by someone pointing a gun-thing at your head, numerous times a day. The only people to have benefitted from these temperature checks are the manufacturers of infra-red temperature check machines.

Flying in the Covid-era

While the domestic carriers are all flying again, they’re doing it tough. Planes are sometimes half-empty and there’s certainly less choice of times and destinations, compared to before the Covid travel restrictions set in.

But it hasn’t stopped the budget airlines from making the situation extremely competitive with the fares still very low. The aviation industry will certainly re-emerge with fewer airlines as some will be unable to weather the Covid storm.

Confidence

Many business had to close during the lockdown. Some have re-opened, some tried to re-open but have since closed again, and some are struggling along as best they can. But people, through fear or simply being unable to afford it, are going out and spending less. The impacts of recessions across the reason will have long-lasting, profound effects on consumer confidence.

Eating Out

There’s been few clear winners in all this Covid mess. Delivery companies are just one of them, and the local motorcade delivery services in particular. Grab Food and Food Panda are just two examples of the new way we eat and many restaurants are changing their table service model, and even their take away services, to suit the new normal of food on demand. Some restaurants have even closed their doors forever and turned into virtual restaurants, delivering food exclusively through the convenience of app ordering and delivery.

The Travel Industry

Apart from the obvious lack of international tourism, there’s no doubt we’re simply going to be travelling less in the short to medium term. Many people will be unable to afford the long holidays of the pastand may travel less, or not at all.

For the communities that relied on tourism, the changes in their situation has been profound. Businesses are having to reinvent their model to cater for domestic tourism or simply find other ways to diversify their business plan, or just wait out the situation.

The Economy

Thailand is in recession. So is everywhere else, and the situation, sadly, is likely to get worse as the Covid-era stretches out and restrictions hold back investment. Some previously good businesses are now out of business. Businesses that were struggling before have been proven unsustainable.

Globally, the government stimulus poured into local economies has caused artificial spikes in some stock markets. In other countries, where the government paid salaries for companies that were forced to close up or sack staff, are finding it hard to ween people off the grants and get them back to work.

In Thailand the economy has been hit hard, particularly in the export , tourism and hospitality industries. The downstream effects of all the staff losing their work, will have an effect on the local economy for many years.

Shell shock

Thailand, reliant on international tourism, has found itself exposed once the borders were closed. As the situation extends way past the ‘few months’ people were expecting, the full impact is starting to hit hard, particularly in places like Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Their reliance on tourism has exposed their economies and left thousands wondering what else they can do to sustain themselves.

Whilst Thailand has recovered quickly from past political unrest, tsunamis and past pandemic threats, this time there will be a much longer path to recovery and will force many businesses to re-evaluate their businesses.

The red light industries

The reality has certainly hit home for tens of thousands of Thailand’s sex workers. Although not officially recognised in Thailand, prostitution has been a huge local industry in the past, creating an enormous underground market for locals and international tourists as well.

Without official government acknowledgment, their jobs are not recognised and their salaries vanish once the bars and borders close. No rights, no unemployment pay. The number of prostitutes in Thailand could be upwards of 100,000, and these workers have had to head home, many back to the northern and north east provinces. Thailand’s red light districts were locked down for almost 3 months and bars and clubs, and the bar girls and boys, have been struggling ever since.

The pause button

There are few people that have not been profoundly affected by the impact of the coronavirus. Whilst some have been confronted directly with health issues, and even the deaths caused by Covid-19, of friends or relatives, others have had to put their lives and businesses on hold.

People have been unable to travel, business doors have been closed, many people have lost their job and thousands of events have had to be cancelled or postponed.

Even though many parts of the economy are being to grind back into action, there will be a lingering hang-over for just about everyone as they re-orient their lives to suit the new situation.

In some cases, the pause button may have to be hit again, as the world continues to battle Covid-19, and find new ways to live with it.

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Tourism

Riding and renting a motorbike in Thailand | Top 10 tips | VIDEO

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Riding and renting a motorbike in Thailand | Top 10 tips | VIDEO | The Thaiger

Motorbikes and scooters are the most popular mode of transport in Thailand, and most of south east Asia. In many cases, they’re the ‘engine’ for the local economies. Most of them just go and go and go, they’re astonishingly reliable. Getting around on a motorbike is easy enough and will get you to your destination faster, whilst the cars and trucks are plodding along in the traffic.

But riding a motorbike in Thailand can also be very dangerous. If you stick to the common sense basics – ride within the speed limits, wear a bike helmet, obey the traffic rules and don’t drink and drive – it remains a perfectly reliable way to get around.

Here’s our Top Ten tips to make your journey on the motorbike safer, and, more comfortable.

Number 1. Wear appropriate clothes. Falling off a motorbike without anything covering your knees or elbows, is going to be painful enough – having at least some fabric between you and the road is going to reduce the painful grazes a bit. Long pants and a long shirt are a good start. Always wear shoes for the same reason. And a motorbike helmet as well – it’s the law and it could save your life.

Number 2. Keep your bike in good condition. As hardy and reliable as the modern motorbikes are, they will run better and for longer if you keep up the service schedule, and change the oil around once a month. Apart from changing the engine oil, keep an eye on the tyres as the road surfaces in much of Thailand, plus the heat and humidity, will wear down your tread quickly. Your brakes will also need checking. Then there’s the lights at the front and back, which are your best way to inform other driver’s what you’re doing in the traffic. Indicators may not be used much by the locals, but YOU should.

Number 3. Make sure you have a proper license. Your car license in your home country isn’t legal in Thailand to ride a motorbike. Your International Drivers License for cars, issued in your home country isn’t going to cut it either. Legally, the only document that will satisfy the Thai legal system, officially, is a Thai motorcycle license. Keep this in mind if you want to rent a motorbike! If you live in Thailand you simply must get a proper motorbike drivers license of you want to ride a motorbike here. And whilst we’re talking about a Thai Motorbike License, we’re talking about the ones you get from the Land Transport Offices, not along Khao San road for 500 baht!

Number 4. Check your travel and health insurance. Every week The Thaiger hears from tourists stuck in a Thai hospital with mounting hospital bills and an insurance company that won’t pay out because they didn’t have a proper drivers license. Or no insurance at all. And even if you have travel or health insurance, check the fine print because most insurance contracts don’t include driving on motorbikes in Thailand.

Number 5. Driving is different in Thailand. Many of the rules are the same as countries that also drive on the left-hand side of the road. But it is a totally different vibe. Apart from the lunatics that drive too fast, drink-drive or ghost ride…. That’s driving against the flow of traffic on the wrong side of the road…. there’s just a different attitude to driving. It’s a bit like swimming with a school of fish… if you just go-with-the-flow, and keep in the stream of traffic, you’ll generally do well. Be extra careful and mindful if you’re not used to the flow of Thai traffic. Number

Number 6. Green lights mean GO. Red lights also mean GO…. sometimes. You’ll see what we mean. Don’t even think about trying it. You’ll either end up fined, or dead.

Number 7. Have a practice. If you’re either new to driving a motorbike or new to driving a motorbike in Thailand don’t thrust yourself into a busy stretch of road immediately. Try something a little calmer and slower to get a feel of the subtle differences in Thai traffic movement. You’re sharing the road with trucks, cars, buses and passenger vans.

You’re meant to stay on the left hand side and you’d be well advised to do so, despite the behaviour of some Thai motorbike drivers that want to mix it with the ‘big boys’. Get some confidence with your motorbike and way it handles, and moving in and around traffic on a quiet road before you tackle the main roads.

Number 8. There’s pot holes, then there’s POT HOLES. The roads around Thailand have really improved in the past decade but you’ll still find pot holes in places there wasn’t one the day before. If you want a really good reason for giving plenty of distance between you and the car in front, it’s to see the pot hole before you end up IN it. Whilst car tyres might glide over these holes in the road, your motorbike is likely to come to an abrupt halt, with you continuing over the front of the handlebars – something to do with Newton’s first law of motion.

Number 9. If you’re not sure, don’t. Never ridden a motorbike? Didn’t ride a motorbike in your own country? There’s two good reasons not to try it for your first time in Thailand.

It can be a bit of a challenge for even experienced motorbike drivers, well different anyway. There’s plenty of other ways to get around and if you want THAT selfie for your Facebook page there’s thousands of bikes parked by the side of the road where you can get a photo. Just because your friends did it when they travelled to Thailand doesn’t mean you have to.

Number 10. Police will often arbitrate on the spot at an accident. If you are in the wrong and damaged someone or someone else’s bike you’re probably going to have to pay up. Now, there’s the ‘official’ way to sort things out in these case and the ‘unofficial’.

The policemen will get to the scene soon enough and, often, decide there and then who was at fault. They’ll often negotiate how much should be paid as well. The urban myth is that Thai police always side with the the locals – that’s not the case although, if you are indeed in the wrong then you’re IN THE WRONG!

If you are concerned that you’re being rolled by the locals in sorting out a simple motorbike accident then call the Tourist Police or your consulate immediately. DON’T agree to pay any money to anyone until you’ve spoken to at least the Tourist Police.
Getting into an argument with the local police will almost certainly guarantee you’ll come off second best. Demanding that you speak to the police chief, etc, will also usually end up in the situation not going well in your favour. Be patient and don’t lose your cool. You are in a foreign country, you’re a guest and they do things differently – end of sentence.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Top 10 ways life is different in the Covid Era

Tim Newton

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Top 10 ways life is different in the Covid Era | The Thaiger

Get used to it. Things have changed. There is no ‘new normal’, there is just NEW. We’re living in the Covid era and all having to adjust to economic calamity, changed schedules and some things, previously easy, are now difficult, or banned altogether. What are some of the things that have changed?

Wearing masks

Like it or not, the wearing of masks, certainly in public, is likely to become the norm. Even if governments drops rules about the wearing of masks it is very likely that Thais, and just about any other Asian cultures, will continue to wear them, at leas tin the short to medium term. They’ll become a show of solidarity, perhaps even a fashion item. But they’re here to stay.

Whilst there is all sorts of medical evidence about the value of wearing face masks as a partial protection from Covid-19, and any other respiratory viruses, it won’t hurt to keep wearing the mask. And being guests in the country, if it makes the locals feel more comfortable around you if you’re wearing a mask, just put on the goddam mask!

Fear of foreigners

The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked a whole new era of nationalism, xenophobia and fear. That is true in Thailand and just about everywhere else as well. It’s a natural response to something new and unknown. That ‘foreigners’ were the first to introduce Covid-19 into Thailand (the first case identified in Thailand, and the first outside of China as well, was a Chinese tourist flying into Bangkok from Wuhan), merely gives the impression that things beyond the borders are bad, whilst everything inside the border is OK.

In many countries the shift in cultural attitudes, and the fear of foreigners, will spark political changes and a different attitude to immigration around the world.

Travel

Travelling domestically, and internationally, is going to be different in the future. In the short-term we’ve already seen many discount, and even legacy, airlines, having to put their hands out for government loans. Much of the world’s fleet of jets has been grounded and, like it or not, getting the whole aviation machinery up and running again, will take time and be incredibly costly.

Even if the boom gates are raised and cross-border travel and tourism starts again in earnest, there are some airlines, hotels, tour operators, attractions and other downstream players, that haven’t been able to weather the Covid storm and will probably never be seen again. Of course new players will eventually emerge if conditions continue to improve. Even still, the mere prospect of getting back on a plane or stepping on a cruise ship will not be a major priority for many in the near to middle future.

Many world travellers, for business or pleasure, will simply not have the economic capabilities to travel, or their trips will be shorter, or the hotels they book will be cheaper. Until economies improve, the entire travel business will be a humbled industry, hobbled by the fear to pack the suitcase and head overseas.

Vaccines

Just the mere mention of the word has people rushing for their keyboards. Pre-Covid, there was already a big anti-vaxxer movement, mostly people misinformed about the nature and purpose of vaccines – certainly the improvement in health care during the 20th century was responsible for saving millions of lives.

A Covid-19 vaccine will be a game changer for just about everything else in this list but, even if a safe and viable (and hopefully reasonably inexpensive) vaccine is developed, many will refuse to be vaccinated. Their decisions will help drag on the suffering for the rest of the world.

In the short term there may also be refusals of people without vaccines to fly, or enter stores and other public spaces.

A few vaccine inconvenient truths… firstly, it is likely that it won’t be 100% successful and that it may need booster shots to remain effective. Secondly, if a Covid-19 vaccine is developed, it will be the first coronavirus vaccine ever developed. But, given the enormous impact of this pandemic, as governments have closed down economies in an effort to contain the virus, the need to develop a vaccine has never been so important.

The ‘D’ word

Depression.

Every economy in the world has suffered, some more than others. Economies are now registering deep recessions that will eventually turn into a major depression – the first such economic collapse since the Great Depression of 1929 – 1932. This is just something all governments need to face. And we’ll all need to confront the effect it will have on our family and personal situations.

Despite the lines drawn on the maps, the world is now linked in such a way that recessions and economic malaise in one country will affect just about every other country to some degree. World supply chains are so complex that all manufacturing will also be affected, everywhere.

Stock markets, artificially inflated with government stimulus, will eventually collapse or correct. The effects of these corrections will then ricochet downstream and affect hundreds of thousands of businesses down the line.

Already, there are sectors of business – retail, restaurants, travel, entertainment – that have been massively hit as they’ve responded to the challenges of closures, bans and lockdowns. Some are re-aligning their business models to cope with the changes. Others will struggle. Many will go out of business.

The internet

Whilst the rest of the world has been largely confined to its own borders, the internet continues to link the world in ways that confound any virus. With all its scams, propaganda and porn, it’s still an astonishing tool that is reshaping the way we live, pandemic or otherwise.

It’s also been the carrier of conspiracy theories, misinformation and nonsense about ‘plandemics’, secret laboratories, vaccine theories, 5G towers causing the coronavirus, etc, etc. Somehow Bill Gates and GMOs have been dragged into the long list of garbage written about Covid 19 as well. Oh, Covid-19 is ‘just the flu’ and Big Pharma (with a capital B and P) are also ‘in’ on the plan too.

But the internet is still our best bet at some sort of information democracy where ideas rise and get discussed, where news and information is mostly freely available. Where we can watch hours of 60s sitcoms or important historic documentaries, and where you can share your words, music and art to the world.

And Porn Hub.

The winners

Although most of the world, the vast majority, has been adversely affected by Covid-19, there have also been some winners.

Some tech companies, fuelled by specific stimulus of the US stock market by the country’s central bank, have become massively wealthy over the past 6 months, making the owners and shareholders rich – Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook and others.

Some businesses have also thrived like food delivery, news and information providers, cleaning services, drive-in theatres (yes, they’re back!), game and app developers and content streamers like Netflix.

And Porn Hub.

It’s only just begun

We’ve now been enduring the effects of the pandemic since the start of the year. From the early reports out of a small community in Wuhan, to the global onset and pandemic, Covid-19 has changed 2020 and turned it into a nightmare for some, a disruption for others, an interruption to travel, and forced us all to rethink our lives and careers. Some 860,000+ people have also succumbed to the virus – their only crime, breathing.

But, looking back through history and the behaviour of similar viruses, this is just the beginning of what will likely be at least 2-3 years of spikes, outbreaks and also a progressive list of successful treatments and, hopefully, a vaccine.

In the case of both MERS and SARS, both recent coronavirus outbreaks, the virus seemingly ran out of steam due to strict lockdowns and containment. In the cases of MERS, it still kills between 150 – 500 each year over the past 5 years but is considered ‘under control’. SARS was declared officially contained in 2004.

Despite all our technology and medical advances, containment and lockdowns, wearing masks and ramping up general community hygiene standards, are still the best ways to fight these viruses.

Even when Covid-19 is either eventually contained, or becomes endemic, there will be another virus appearing sooner or later.

Real Estate

This trend has already kicked off and will ultimately be a profound change to the way we all live and work. Whilst real estate in some of the world’s cities is losing value and people are moving out, properties in outlying areas, and ‘retirement’ areas, are booming. This reverses a decades-long trend for people moving back to cities.

The perception that it is more dangerous living in close quarters in a city, either perceived or real, is starting to play out with tangible changes in property markets around the world.

With office spaces the situation is even more profound. Even cities like Bangkok, where the virus has been less of a concern than many of the world’s other big cities, values for office space are dropping and the demand has also dropped markedly. Suffice to say, if you’re looking for office space in Bangkok, now’s the time to snap up a deal!

Social distancing

It’s a term that’s in just about every article about Covid-19 these days. But before 9 months ago, we’d never heard of it. Now it’s a ‘thing’ and part of the new normal. It’s likely we’re going to all stand just a little further apart from each other from now on.

The hand shake will become just a little less used and a person with a cough or sneeze will get a sideways glance.

More people will work from home than in the past. The lockdowns proved that many jobs actually work remotely and some of the lesser-known video chat software became overnight hits. Who owned Zoom shares before Covid-19? Bet we all wish we did.

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