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.
"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".
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 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 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."
"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."
"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
"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."
"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."
"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!"
"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.
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.
Thailand's international borders not re-opening for tourists until 2021 – TAT – 271,000
Coronavirus – six new cases confirmed in Thailand – 159,000
UPDATE: Confusion over Thailand designating 11 destinations as 'high risk' – 155,000
Thailand increasingly blaming caucasians for coronavirus crisis – 154,000
Chinese keep arriving in Thailand, UK man spreads virus to 11 others – 153,000
Thai health minister has a slash at 'dirty farang' – 150,000
2,700+ infected, 80 dead, 8 cases in Thailand – 149,000
July 1 will end all lockdowns in Thailand, including international travel – 145,000
Foreigners in Thailand worried about their security – 139,000
South Korea issues travel advisory for Thailand – 37,000
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