Romance, sex, nightlife and anything to do with visas were the topics you cared most about this past year, according to the numbers. We won’t judge you.

Also: Six Times the Thai Internet Was Delightful in 2017

Rejoin us after the list to see those stories we hoped would get more attention. But first, here are the 13 most popular Khaosod English stories of 2017 by the acclaim of you, our discerning readers!

1. Isaan Love Triangle: Thai Men Found Lacking by Farang-Loving Women

Surin net idol Supawadee Lailani Bouteleux and her French husband, Dimitri Bouteleux. Photo: Jessica Difford / Facebook

Who knew a write-up about an academic look at farangs, the women who love them and the men spurned by those women would draw so much interest and debate? That’s one of those rhetorical questions.

2. Why Everything is Closing Early and Bangkok Nightlife May Never Be the Same

Photo: Dark Bar / Facebook

If there’s one common thread uniting residents of the capital city, it’s their affection for fun after dark. So when the rug was suddenly pulled out from under the free-wheeling scene and it became difficult to find a drink after midnight, readers responded to this explainer of what was going on.

3. Bangkok Literally Sinking in Sex as Brothels Steal Groundwater

Baitoey R Siam, second from left, on a set for Carabao’s music video ‘Nang Ngam Tuu Krajok’ which depicts a brothel.

From the Only in Bangkok file came what was essentially an environmental and resource issue that took a signature twist when it turned out a rapacious appetite for water at Bangkok’s sex joints was to blame.

4. Shades of California Wow as True Fitness Takes a Bow

Gym members gather at a True Fitness branch Thursday in Exchange Tower near Asok intersection. Photo: @Meawzilaz / Twitter

Perhaps it was memories of the California Wow implosion several years ago or just the number of people affected that drove interest in this story of another major fitness chain going belly up. Or maybe it was the rhyming headline.

5. 4-Year Professional Visas Get Green Light


Thailand’s schizophrenic and ever-shifting immigration policies are often faulted as problematic and inconsistent by its foreign residents. Stories about visas therefore are heavy on “reader impact” and therefore reads.

6. Show us Your #Songkran! Share Your Photos With #KhaosodEnglish

Photo: Helmi099 / Flickr

There is no group out there as beautiful or erudite as Khaosod English readers. When we put out the call for you to share your moments of festival fun, you delivered – to our great delight. Thank you.

7. 10-Year Visas Now Available: Thai Immigration

Such a popular topic – and draw for toxic comments.

8. 25 Die in Fiery Chonburi Wreck

Policemen and rescue workers on the scene of a Jan. 2 crash in Chonburi where 25 died when a van collided with a truck. Photo: Matichon

“Bus plunge” stories are a trope of daily news perhaps nowhere more than in Thailand. But this entirely avoidable disaster pulled together threads of poor road safety, lack of accountability and sheer human tragedy right at the outset of the year.

9. Aussie Man Falls to Death from Parasail on Phuket Beach

A screenshot from video shows the moment an Australian man fell to his death from a parasail on Phuket’s Kata Beach.

Also on the topic of safety – or lack thereof – are the regular stories out of tourist deaths in the waters off Phuket and Pattaya. The bodies pile up, yet nothing seems to change.

10. Thainet Flips Out Over Headbanging Bird

This head-bobbing pigeon from Syd Weiler’s Trash Doves Facebook sticker set has gone viral in Thailand since its Feb. 1 release.

Sheer delight. In a year the internet has faked news, poisoned democracies, spread hate and divided societies, along comes a reminder that we can easily be united by something joyful.

11. Meet the Thai Medical Student Suing Donald Trump

A photo file of New in November 2016, after the election news, at San Francisco General Hospital. Photo: Jirayut Latthivongskorn / Courtesy

A little bit of the 2017 Trump Effect probably rubbed off on this story about a Thai-American overachiever suddenly confronted with politics becoming very personal – through no fault of his own.

12. Mourners Witness ‘Royal Body Theft’ Ritual

A cover is taken off the royal urn Thursday at Sanam Luang.

We were particularly proud of our live coverage of the funeral rites in October for King Bhumibol. Along the way, one reporter’s account of a secret rite that changed how many saw what was happening was deemed worthy of a standalone report.

13. The Curse That Haunted Bangkok 150 Years – Until Now?

Worshipers pray at the Bangkok city pillar shrine. Decades after the first city pillar was laid there, the royal court had to place a new one because the former is believed to have been marred by a curse.

It’s rare for the stories that we as news nerds get most excited about to match those which win a mass audience. We were deeply gratified to see that happen with this beautifully crafted report tying together political realities old and new with a thread of the mysticism that is so captivating, both literally and figuratively.

Read: Our Person of the Year 2017: King Rama X

Our Picks

Conversely, there are the features and enterprising stories we poured our hearts and time into, hoping they would set the world on fire. They may not get the most clicks and shares – but don’t worry, we’ll keep doing them.

Sexual Violence Stalks Activist Community

This was a difficult story to tackle. As journalists committed to truth and justice, we often write about the pro-democracy community. But we’re also committed to following stories wherever they lead and holding people accountable without fear or favor. So when whispers spread that the activist community can be a hostile place for women, we spared no effort in investigating and deeply reporting accounts of sexual violence – and attempts to cover it up. A month after we reported this, the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke and powerful figures began to be held accountable worldwide as #MeToo came to define 2017.

New Welfare Cards a Boost For Rich or Poor?

Few are as vulnerable to Thailand’s shifting political winds as its most vulnerable citizens. The junta’s attempts to replace the populism of previous governments with its own brand of the same seemed well-intended but poorly conceived. We tried to unpack the issue with deep, explanatory and ongoing reporting culminating in this feature report that attempted to explain it all and examine the issues.

Thailand’s Great Government Giveaway

We like the internet. As much as we love print media, we’d rather be pushing online frontiers than proofing plates before they go out to the press. Our most ambitious multimedia reporting experience of the year went into distilling government policy into this highly clickable, interactive explainer of the issue.

Many Complaints, Few Results from Thai Anti-Graft Agency

Time and again, petitioners make a splash and garner public attention holding news conferences to file complaints with the National Anti-Corruption Commission. Most languish or get dropped.

Like many of you, we see stories of mendacity and injustice follow the same time-worn and predictable arcs, and wonder why larger questions aren’t asked. Then we ask them, and do our best to tell you what we found out. So when the national anti-corruption agency’s vows to thoroughly investigate powerful figures were dutifully reported by the media, we took a critical look at its track record in holding anyone accountable. What we found was an agency with a massive budget – and little to show for it.

Royal Funeral For #KingBhumibol Live Blog

Smoke lingers in the air above the crematorium Thursday in Sanam Luang.

Part of our editorial mission is to tell stories from the ground-up rather than the top-down by putting the humans affected above the outsized personalities. When it came time to cover the culmination of a year’s mourning.

Questions, Acceptance Follow Surprise Decision Not to Air Cremation

Covering the funeral would not have been complete without acknowledging its surprise conclusion which left many mourners confused about what had happened.

Thai Woman Speaks Out on the Secret That Almost Killed Her

Worada Elstow

A narrow range of “culturally acceptable” body types combined with stigmas against seeking psychological help make for a dangerous mix when it comes to women’s health. We were fortunate to find one brave young woman with a poignant story and fearlessness in sharing it.

With No Elections in Sight, Why is Prayuth Campaigning So Hard?

The dominant political narrative of the year has been the junta’s pivot toward electoral politics with an eye on maintaining power. It’s been a transparent exercise, if unintentionally, despite the unconvincing denials.

Anything we missed? Anything you’d like to see more of in 2018? Contact us or leave a comment.