Top CNNGo Bangkok stories of 2011
Never a dull moment in Thailand. Of course, the biggest story of the year was the nationwide flood crisis, a tragedy that affected millions.
Also significant was the July general election, which voted in the nation’s first female prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra.
And then there was that therapist who gained global notoriety for slapping women's breasts to make them bigger.
By covering stories like these, as well as the places and trends that make this one of the most vibrant cities in the world, CNNGo aims to present travelers with an insider's view of the very best of Bangkok and beyond.
Here’s a round-up of the 2011 CNNGo Bangkok stories that our readers loved, hated and howled at.
Most popular articles
CNNGo Bangkok's best-read story of 2011 just happens to be among our most controversial.
Nothing gets people fired up quite like air travel and the misery that comes with it. So when a local crew member articulated the nine easiest ways to annoy flight attendants it didn’t go over too well with global travelers, who weren't shy about leaving their reactions in our comment box.
Coming in at second place and proving international travelers were keen for up-to-date information during Thailand’s recent disaster was our “Thai flood crisis: Updated info for tourists” piece, which we kept up-to-date throughout the crisis with the latest travel information.
Everybody loves to hate on Bangkok's tuk-tuk drivers. So it's not surprising our third most popular story of the year was a photo gallery of local drivers sharing their most shocking and hilarious stories.
Story with the most unfortunate headline
Hey, it was TripAdvisor’s phrasing, not ours. Nevertheless, readers weren't shy about pointing out the hilarity of it.
Top food story that offended
But the headline on this story managed to annoy more than a few readers: Thailand's 13 most totally and utterly repulsive dishes.
In the writer's defense, he actually tried and enjoyed many of the foods on that list. Most of us, however, recoil at the thought.
Best story with the word “crap” in the headline
Thailand's penchant for putting "fried crap" on the menu has long been a source of amusement among travelers.
But it also highlights the complexities involved in transliterating the Thai language into English. In this article, we give travelers some hints on pronunciation to help them navigate ambiguous Thai menus, street names and neighborhoods.
Story that made us wish we were part of the one percent
With no shortage of fine designs and private pleasure to choose from, international visitors with big bank accounts will have few problems finding the perfect spot to sit and swill margaritas as they take in a private seaview sunset in Phuket.
Most popular "Tell Me About It"
CNNGo’s opinion pieces -- aka TMAIs -- are known for provoking, enlightening, annoying and in some cases even angering our readers. Bangkok’s best-read opinion piece of 2011 was Dwight Turner’s “Thailand, land of smiles. But only if you're white.”
"None of the travel advice I read, language I learned, nor cultural practices I mastered prepared me for how I'd be perceived and treated because of my dark skin -- an ugly reality of life in Thailand that is hardly discussed and rarely challenged," he wrote.
This piece attracted a wide variety of reader comments, from those who said they too have witnessed discrimination based on skin color, to those who expressed doubts about the severity of his experiences.
Nicest slice of local culture
In this piece, we profiled a remarkable Thai man who spends his spare time crafting saxophones out of bamboo.
Story that made us want to hit the bar
Mixologists around the city continue with their attempts to translate the bold, complicated tastes of Thai cuisine into great drinks for their customers. Others are drawing inspiration from Thai culture itself.
Some work, some don’t. The eight featured in this article all manage to pack a tasty punch.
Story that made us fall in love with night markets again
Since featuring this very cool shopping spot in Bangkok's Lad Prao district early this year, the Weekend Train Market has become one of Bangkok's most popular places to eat, drink and browse for vintage clothing, furniture, antiques and other odd knickknacks.
Unfortunately, they've since hauled out the old train bogeys. But it's still a fantastic place to spend an evening.
Best "Hangover Part II" story
When it was announced that "The Hangover Part II" would be filmed in Bangkok, the world went wild. "Think of the possibilities!" we cheered.
In the end, the writers stuck to the same story line, while employing every possible Bangkok cliché one could cram into a film. (Ladyboys, check. Drug-dealing monkeys, check.)
By the time "The Hangover Part II" came out in theaters, most locals were so over hearing about the film. But few can deny it was good for tourism. Our list of the local shooting locations gives fans a chance to relive some classic movie moments.