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The feature stories of 2022 you really should have read | #datingscams | #lovescams | #facebookscams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating


Disappointed by what passes as digital discourse? Tired of “trashy” content? Well, it might be time to look in the digital mirror. We don’t get a say in what Big Algorithm surfaces in your feed, which is why we frequently urge folks to subscribe to our newsletter and visit the site directly, like we did in the pre-Facebook long-long-ago.

We’ve produced reams of reporting consistent with our values on human rights, equality, equity, dignity, and justice. We also wrote extensively about the city we love to call home: Bangkok.

These stories don’t get the clicklove; That’s okay, we’ll keep doing them anyway.

What you actually read: The 2022 Bangkok stories you read the most

Here are our favorite dozen features published in 2022. 

After deaths at Wonderfruit, attendees complain festival ‘ill-equipped and negligent’

Most recently, Coconuts Managing Editor Todd Ruiz and Reporter Nicky Tanskul have been investigating the circumstances behind the deaths of two people – one a longtime Bangkok resident, the other a visitor from Indonesia – at the recently concluded Wonderfruit Festival. Through dozens of interviews and first-hand field reporting, we have so far managed to piece together some of what happened and discovered broader questions about the adequacy of the festival’s emergency services.

Bangkok’s Mean Streets: Any hope for actual, lasting change?

Bangkok did its greatest soul-searching this year after a promising young doctor was bowled over and killed by an off-duty cop speeding on a racing bike. A lot of frustration flowed over making the streets safer for pedestrians through improved safety features. Less so the callous driving culture that places motorists above those on foot. And so little has changed. Solutions remain elusive. Everything from the width of the sidewalk to maintenance and funding present problems. We talked to a few people including pedestrians, disability rights activists, and those from urban development organizations about the issue.

Under a bridge, Phra Khanong’s gilded past told in piles of hair (Photos)

Trying to avoid all the world’s death and misery? Take a walk into a fading corner of Phra Khanong, where its golden past lives on under a bridge in the form of a dozen or so old-timey barbers who cut hair in the open air – for only THB100. Meet the barbers and learn about how this neighborhood, once the warm heart of cosmopolitan Bangkok, fell on hard times but is making a comeback today in this colorful feature by Managing Editor Todd Ruiz, who finally got a haircut he could live with.

Weed ended his acting career. Today brought vindication.

More than anything else, 2022 was the Year of Weed. When we reported back in January that weed would become fully decriminalized, even our competitors called us “fake news.” Not only did our reporting bear out, but we were ready with colorful and helpful features about navigating the new normal, including this profile of one of the scene’s most entertaining and provocative true believers, Soranut “Beer” Masayavanich of Sukhumweed.

Manit Intharapim: Elevator-punching icon fights for a better Bangkok – for all

In eight years, Manit “Saba” Intharapim went from “IT guy” in a wheelchair to a respected figure within and without the community of people with disabilities. Coconuts reporter Chayanit Itthipongmaetee spent many hours tagging along with the founder of advocacy group Accessibility Is Freedom as he scrutinized a newly opened park, Siam Square, and BTS rail stations and tried to get the ears of gubernatorial candidates, all to learn about his work and life as a disability rights activist. 

9 times our obsession with women’s deaths failed to change Thailand 

Do the media direct society’s gaze, or are they a mirror held up to its face? This is a question we keep in mind whenever the same sickening spectacle repeats itself. Here’s the script: Something horrible happens to a woman, and all of Thailand becomes transfixed by every prurient detail as every lakorn trope – dedicated daughter, blamed-victim, vindictive ex, cruel friends – is trotted out. This year, it was actress and drowning victim Nida “Tangmo” Patcharaveerapong; who was portrayed as unlucky in love, unlucky in life, and exploited by all. We examined this trend with examples from over six decades.

Ther: Thailand’s all-women craft brewers meet respect abroad, trouble at home

There is no describing the versatility of our inimitable reporter Chayanit Itthipongmaetee. Human rights and transgender health care issues? Check. Fine dining? Oh yeah. Arts? Yep. Beer and Weed? Check and mate. Chayanit tracked down a group of Thai women who elbowed their way into the boys’ club of brewing by producing excellent craft beers that command respect.

Spooky, sexy, political: Thailand’s golden age of comics fading fast

There’s no other way to say it. Reporter Nicky Tanskul, who joined us this year, is a big geek. He’s also a knowledgeable geek with a grasp of what’s cool and why. When a large international exhibition was held of comic illustrators, he was ready to tear into the topic and shine a light back on the amazing history of Thai cartoonists.

Women, fight! Historic bouts KO ban at Thailand’s oldest Muay Thai stadium

For many, the traditions of Muay Thai are as sacred as those of the temple. So it was of huge significance when Thailand’s most historic boxing stadium ended an eight-decade ban on women fighters.

Thai fishers step up to clear seas strangled by deadly ‘ghost nets’

Correspondent Ewen Mcleish took us to the end of the pier and under the waves to find out how economies and ecologies can coexist.

Traffickers escape justice over borders as victims go punished at home

We published a multi-part series on the faces of modern-day slavery. Unthinkable to most, it isn’t people on the far margins of society falling into the cracks, but normal people looking for a better living. Tricked into captivity and forced to carry out scams on their own compatriots, they face double jeopardy upon rescue, returning home to a country that eyes them with suspicion.

Facing eviction and sued for millions, Tubtim Shrine caretakers get brief reprieve

How important is one little shrine with a long history in the grand scheme of things? For years, we have covered the saga of the endangered Tubtim Shrine, once the heart of a vibrant Chinese-Thai community, and the university that would tear it down in the name of building yet more condominiums. It may be a small shrine, but it represents the larger story of Bangkok’s attitudes about development and history.

Thailand has a new Oct. 6 horror it’s unlikely to remember (Opinion)

“Lest we forget.” Those words are meant to insure society’s worst episodes remain visible in the rearview mirror, but not repeated. How many of us have already forgotten that a former police officer butchered dozens of babies this year. Managing Editor Todd Ruiz reflected afterward that the massacre came, to the day, on the nearly forgotten anniversary of another time security forces killed youths en masse.

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