We’ve compiled a list of the best and worst stories we had to publish in 2013, from the most heart-warming, positive, and exciting news, to the most shocking, sad, and downright gruesome.
The Best List:
2. We wrote three different stories on young student “Frank” Netiwit gains adoration of thousands after standing up against the school system, voicing his thoughts about Buddhism in schools, and eloquently rejecting a Human Rights Award. Go Frank!
3. So many tourists! More and more visitors to the Kingdom every single year.
4. Beautiful, fun-filled Thailand wins a heap of travel and tourism awards, (as usual).
5. The second-highest earning film in China, “Lost in Thailand”, brings in huge numbers of Chinese tourists, making them the main supplier of Thailand’s tourist industry.
6. Last on our “Best of 2013” list: a Dara school teacher miraculously escaped being crushed by a tree branch that fell on her car. Lucky woman!
The Worst List:
1. A Khon Kaen man was arrested for the horrific crime of raping and murdering a 6-year-old girl, who had been left to sleep alone in a pick-up truck outside a concert venue where her father was.
And then, a few days later, we reported this follow-up story, where he confessed to raping “more than ten” other girls in the past.
2. Another terrible rape story: a man who pretended to be a transgendered shaman raping more than 20 young women in Chiang Mai.
3. Here, we reported how Thailand seems intent on making a name for itself as one of the most dangerous places in the world to drive.
5. The yearly smog blankets the city, and here we compiled photos of it sent to us by unhappy, coughing readers.
7. Thailand’s authorities exasperated with wildlife trafficking pandemic in the region, with over 1000 animals being confiscated in 2013 alone.
The Weird List:
1. Silly, ludicrous, and detrimental to the environment: trees were being cut down in the city to accommodate big ugly billboards. Really, Chiang Mai?
2. A thief (clearly not very good at his occupation) was caught on CCTV breaking into a water-filling station, which could only contain a few hundred baht in coins.
4. Here’s an unfortunate list of Thai words that sound perfectly rude in English, you know, in case you didn’t notice.
5. And to end off our weird list with a really weird story, here we reported instances of people lining up to ask a papaya for winning lottery numbers. Yes, you read that correctly!