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https://www.forbes.com/sites/ericrosen/2019/09/04/the-worlds-most-visited-city-is-bangkok/#73ab433cd262

The World's Most-Visited City Is Bangkok
Eric Rosen Travel

Mastercard has released its Global Destination Cities Index, which ranks 200 cities around the world with the most international visitors. The list is based on the card issuer’s proprietary analysis of publicly available spending data and visitor numbers. The results, which include information on the most-visited cities as well as consumers’ spending habits, are telling.

For the fourth consecutive year, Bangkok topped the cities index with the most international overnight visitors – 22 million in all. Coming up at numbers two and three were Paris and London, respectively, with around 19 million international overnight visitors each.

All the cities in the top 10 hosted more international overnight visitors than last year, except for London, which saw a four percent drop. The forecast for 2019 also predicts growth for the coming year, with Tokyo experiencing the largest uptick as a result of hosting the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics.

The report also looked at the past 10 years of data to pick out a couple other interesting trends. First, growth in international travel has been consistent, with arrivals compounding at 6.5 percent year-over-year since 2009, and spending growing an average of 7.4 percent per year.

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For the fourth year in a row, Bangkok was the world's most-visited city. GETTY

Despite the increasing popularity of smaller cities, major metropolises have maintained their dominance on the list, and the top 10 destinations have remained mostly consistent over the past decade. To wit, Bangkok, London and Paris have been the top three cities every year since 2010, with Bangkok ranking at number one six out of the seven past years. New York is also a fixture on the top 10 list, with 13.6 million overnight visitors in 2018.

Finally, cities in the Asia-Pacific region have experienced the largest increase in international visitors since 2009 with an average 9.4 percent growth rage. By comparison, Europe, which ranked second, only grew 5.5 percent. Mastercard attributes this growth mainly to the explosion of Mainland Chinese travelers – the country has jumped up from eighth to second place among the countries of origin to the 200 destinations ranked in the study. The only country that sent more travelers out into the world was the U.S.

With all that in mind, here are the rankings of the top 10 global destination cities of 2018.

- [/list]Bangkok: 22.78 million
- Paris: 19.1 million
- London: 19.09 million
- Dubai: 15.93 million
- Singapore: 14.67 million
- Kuala Lumpur: 13.79 million
- New York: 13.6 million
- Istanbul: 13.4 million
- Tokyo: 12.93 million
- Antalya, Turkey: 12.41 million

Travelers spent the most nights on average in Antalya – 14, to be exact – followed by New York with 7.9 nights, London and Istanbul with 5.8 nights, and Kuala Lumpur with 5.7 nights.

As for dollars spent over the year and per day, here were the top 10 cities.

- Dubai: $30.82 billion, $553 per day
- Makkah (Mecca), Saudi Arabia: $20.09 billion, $135 per day
- Bangkok: $20.03 billion, $184 per day
- Singapore: $16.56 billion, $272 per day
- London: $16.47 billion, $148 per day
- New York: $16.43 billion, $152 per day
- Paris: $14.06 billion, $296 per day
- Tokyo: $13.77 billion, $196 per day
- Palma de Mallorca, Spain: $12.69 billion, $233 per day
- Phuket, Thailand: $12.01 billion, $247 per day

The top 10 cities by visitor numbers include destinations that attract a mix of business and leisure travelers and are also major international gateways both for international flight routes as well as connecting travel within their respective regions.

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The most visited cities span the gloe. MASTERCARD

The overlap with the spending list is just seven cities, with Makkah, Palma de Mallorca and Phuket knocking out more business-driven destinations thanks to strong leisure markets.

Also worth noting is that Mastercard projects 10.02 percent year-over-year growth in visitor numbers and 12.74 percent in spending in Tokyo for 2019, the highest of the cities on the list, but also 9.87 percent for Kuala Lumpur and 8.14 percent for Istanbul. Phuket and Bangkok should also see strong spending growth for 2019, with 9.16 percent and 8.67 percent, respectively.

Mastercard utilized third-party data and conducted its own analysis to determine the numbers for 2018 as well as its 2019 projections. As with any study of this kind, however, the eventual statistics are sure to be affected by geopolitical developments, economic news, and events within the aviation and hospitality industries. Still, certain trends pinpointed seem sure to continue, including the explosion of travel by the Mainland Chinese population, both within the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, and the dominance of major international cities of the overall most-visited list.

The challenges these cities will confront in the face of ever-increasing numbers are myriad. Among them is developing the infrastructure to handle all these new visitors including public transportation and accommodations, providing amenities and services for travelers from new regions to take advantage of, and broadening security policies and procedures to ensure the safety of their populations and visitors. Equally important will be providing outlets and goods through which they can capture those hard-earned traveler dollars.

Looking at trends from the past decade of international travel should be especially useful for accomplishing these goals as well as directing the experience and nature of the travel experience for the many more international visitors cities across the globe are sure to welcome in the future.

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When I receive a call from my fellow salesman to help him visit a customer this morning I was delighted when I came to know the address, its like 30m from one of my favourite restaurants in Bangkok serving Chinese braise goose. So I quickly left earlier to catch lunch there - 

Front of the restaurant
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Interior
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Braised goose and beer then best
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Bitter gourd soup with pork ribs
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Cabbage stir fry with "shao-rou"
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This is what I came here for 
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What a lovely lunch

www.hanpalo.com

  • Praise 7

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some pics from a recent drive to Thai

 

One of my must-haves in Hatyai. Chinese style stir fried kuay tiao/hor fun  (they also hv yellow noodles and bee hoon) with sliced pork.

I prefer this dry style but they also do a wet style.

The staff n boss speak hokkien but not mandarin. Dry is "da" and wet is "tham" iirc. One serving is 55bt.

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Another favourite in Hatyai: mixed pork soup with siew yoke. The shop does breakfast and lunch.

The siew yoke is the main draw here. Worth the calories/cholesterol. 

Not cheap though. This with a drink cost 185bt. 

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Decided to try a Bak Kut Teh stall in Hatyai as it was a cold and wet morning.

It's labeled as Singapore Bak Kut Teh but I beg to disagree. It's really very bitter to me. Strong herbal base.

It's even more bitter than the BKT from Klang.

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BKT options

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Interesting to note that the You Tiao is shaped in a typical Thai style, and served with kaya too 55

They also offer pig brains and coagulated pig blood.

 

  • Praise 6

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One of my regular meals at the night market in Chumphon.

Kuay tiao (pad thai?) with sliced pork.

Beehoon and yellow noodles are also available.

The other two choices of toppings are prawns and char siew.

It's 55bt, and comes with a huge plate of raw vegetables containing cucumber, bean sprouts, spring onions.

I added peanuts after I took the pic.

This stall is always crowded. They have 5 or 6 tables which are often full, and I see many customers takeaway multiple packs.

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Evening market in Ratchaburi. The usual Thai pop-up market selling clothes, sundries, vegetables, raw meats as well as cooked food.

And as always, street dogs hoping for a morsel. They're friendly though. Not too aggressive.

I didn't buy anything this time around. Just stopped for a look-see.

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Saw these mooncakes sold at Top Market. I got a few to give out. Feedback is they're sweet as expected lol

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Saw these desserts (along with many other types). Looked enticing but I didn't get them as I was full.

The blue and red grains are variants of sticky rice. The blue is probably coloured either with butterfly pea flowers or (more likely) artificial colouring.

Brown topping is probably coconut

Not sure if the yellow topping is egg custard. Or perhaps mango custard? Looks too yellow for egg.

Portions are pretty huge too. About the size of my palm and slightly over one inch tall.

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  • Praise 8

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Discovered an interesting restaurant about 4km from office, went there for lunch for the first time. Its a northern Thai restaurant serving Chiangmai Chiangrai food

The front 
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Entrance
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Nicely decorated with north Thailand theme
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Khao soi
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Added the condiments - onions, pickled cabbage and chili
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A mix of crispy noodle and soft yellow noodles
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Pork soup noodle
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Pork belly
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Food is very authentic northern Thai, worth to visit again

  • Praise 6

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One of the food craze in Thailand these recent years is what Thai call "Leng" its basically pork back bone spicy and sour soup. I believe the word "leng" is borrowed from local Teochew Chinese that means dragon as teochew will call the vertebrae "leng kut" meaning dragon-bones as it resembles a dragon.

Anyway this is Leng - soup is similar to tomyam, spicy and sour.
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Its lunch time so its crowded and this popular stall is near my office
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Also popular for roast duck
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and roast meats
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The Leng of course
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Lunch for 5 costs only 450 baht or $20
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It's the weekend, time to relax by doing some cooking. Missed Singapore's curry so cooked some today

Prepare the blended mixture of shallots, onions, ginger, galanga, dry and fresh chili
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Fry some lemongrass and curry leaves
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Mix in the blended mixture fry until fragrant and then add chicken
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Add water and coconut milk
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Bring it to boil at low heat and its ready to go

I like it with indian roti

Lunch
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Supper
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Edited by steveluv
  • Praise 8

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Saturday cooked chicken curry, today Sunday cooked beef rendang curry

Ingredient
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Preparing roasted coconut
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Start cooking
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Finally

 

 

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A. Mallika restaurant in Bangkok receives many awards for its very authentic and traditional Thai cuisine over the years so for those who really want to experience good and real Thai food that is traditionally prepared you can try this restaurant at https://goo.gl/maps/Y8NNPHKRGYEuv9JU7

Malluka is a pretty big family restaurant with very nice and cozy outside sitting, a band plays there every night singling mostly oldies
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Inside
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Flower mocktail
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when mix with the lime and lychee shot it changes colour
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Spicy mushrooms packed with Thai herbs eaten with raw vegetables (khwa ging haet)
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Steamed egg (khai tun)
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This is some wild vegetables with eggs
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Galanga light coconut soup (toum kha gai)

Seafood custard or commonly known as otah (hor mok)
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Sweet and sour grouper (pla gao sam lot)
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Dessert is khanom-krok a soft pancake thats a little crispy on the surface and liquid like inside with some spring onions, fantastic.
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Dinner costs only $112 (with 3 bottles of beer)
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Edited by steveluv
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As I do daily, peddling my screws town to town Friday brought my to a town 100km from Bangkok in Nakhon Nayok province. Found an oldtimer shop selling braised soya sauce duck done the old fashion way

Old shop
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Looks like the 50s type of shop
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Freshly braised duck
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The old teochew man
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Simple, fragrent and meat super soft
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  • Praise 6

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Share some photos of Bangkok Chinatown (Yaowarat) taken on an early Sunday morning 

Chinatown alley
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Roadside food seller
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and customers breakfast by the walkway
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Opening stalls in the morning
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Buying fruits from a pushcart seller
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Selling flowers
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Frying fishcakes
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Rice with mix and match dishes, wonderful colour Thai food
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Relaxing and breakfast
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  • Praise 4

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Noodle stall and customers
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Sticky rice and curry seller
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Old lady finished marketing
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Busy alley
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Chinese confectionary
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Relaxing outside an old Chinese shop
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Narro walkway
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Public toilet
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Preparing deep fried food here for generations
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Take a break, have a Kit Kat
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Gossiping vegetable seller and customers
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Wet market
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Popiah skin seller, all freshly made
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Fresh pork stall
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Tofu stall
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People are nice, even walkway is narrow Thais are patient to motorcycles 
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Fishmonger all freshly caught
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Dry tofu
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Newly opened MRT station in the heart of Chinatown 
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End/Begining of the market
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Ever busy road of Yaowarat
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Bought some beautiful fresh pork belly from him, going for S$7.70 per kilogram (170 baht)
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Cooked food prepared in an alley - bbq meats
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Prawn seller peeling prawns
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Can find all sorts of Chinese cooking stuff here
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Preserved stuff
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This is something not allowed in most modern cities, roadside stall and roadside dining, this is the beauty of Bangkok
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So what do I have for breakfast at Chinatown? My favourite noodle stall of course.

Its located between 2 buildings in a narrow walkway
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Stall front
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Stuffs to be put into the simple bowl of noodle
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Chef
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Boss sitting beside teh gas tank counting money whole day
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See what I mean when I say stall is between two buildings. Ingenious isn't it?
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My dry yellow noodle
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Simple soup rice noodle
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  • Praise 4

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When you think of mom's cooking while living overseas, just call her and ask how to cook.

Lorbak

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Made dinner tonight, fried noodles and cooked fish maw soup

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