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    The Thai capital of Bangkok has beaten London to be crowned the world’s most popular travel destination this year, according to an annual ranking by global payments and technology company Mastercard released on Thursday. Tourism has been one of the rare bright spots for Thailand, Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, which has grappled with weak consumer confidence and exports after a 2014 coup the military said was aimed at ending months of political unrest. More than two years after the military took power in the “Land of Smiles” Thais continue to be one of the happiest /or at least less unhappy people / in the world. These are the results of the latest “Misery index” where Thailand has a score of 1.11 percent, which is the best – or least miserable – for all 74 economies surveyed by Bloomberg. In Thailand except the eternal summer they also enjoy an unemployment rate of around one percent, prices that do not increase for years and unfading optimism, which seems encoded in the genes of the local people.

    Meanwhile, Thais have very limited access to much of the information and to the world news. Speaking against government would lead you to prison, share local people. While walking the streets, riding a taxi, or even while praying in Buddhist temples, you can everywhere see portraits of the King and Queen of Thailand ranging in size from very huge to very small ones. For me it was a shock, but local people accept this as normal. Censorship is everywhere. For example it is forbidden to reach the 23th floor of the condo you live with the elevator, you can only reach the floor where you live. TV scenes of women in a bathing suit, or action ones s well as images of weapons are being censored. While in the criminal news of the evening TV broadcast one may observe another public punishment of a “guilty” citizen done by several military. It is the most intriguing how being under this regime of control, local bars are flourishing. Built along main boulevards and in the neighborhoods outside the center, where local men go to pay for the pleasant company of beautiful young women.

    Here are Nana and Cowboy Street, which attract like a magnet aging gentlemen from around the world starving for fresh flesh. There are sleek nightclubs, where the speed of convergence with local bar girls is directly proportional to the thickness of the wallet. A stone’s throw are Buddhist temples, where everyone seeks his Nirvana before diving into the sinful world around .

    Bangkok, the city of angels, with the longest name and the most smiling people in the world.