[Image source]

So, as another busy year draws to a close, what were the most popular posts on New Mandala during 2011?

Falling just outside the top ten is Greg Lopez’s short post on Expats share their views on corruption in Malaysia. The popularity of this post reflects New Mandala’s growing commentary on Malaysia as a result of the efforts of Greg’s work as our Malaysia editor. New Mandala hopes to continue this southward expansion and, if the recent flurry of interest in Singapore is any indication, even the proud city state is not beyond our reach.

(Thanks also to Simon Creak who has worked as our Laos editor and to Michael Montesano who has worked tirelessly as our book review editor.)

The tenth most popular post for 2011 is Thai monarchy and Wikileaks by Nicholas Farrelly. This is another short post but the topic is one that never fails to capture the interest of New Mandala readers, especially those in Thailand. So far it has generated almost 100 comments.

At number nine is Chris Baker’s insightful commentary on Yingluck’s election campaign imagery, Yingluck on the streets. No one describes hair styling better than Baker!

Number eight was my post about Seditious tales in Thailand. And I scored again, at number seven, with my breaking news post that Thailand’s floods were caused by rain: Thai flood cause revealed: rain!

At number six an old favourite of New Mandala readers popped up again: Thailand’s crown prince. This is a 2007 post referring to rumours about Vajiralongkorn’s health.

The fifth most popular post demonstrated that all members of the Thai royal family excite the attentions of readers (especially when birthday parties are involved). This was Pavin Chachavalpongpun’s tribute to the royal hound: Happy Birthday Thongdaeng, complete with colourful images of cake decoration and gift hampers.

New Mandala readers simply cannot get enough of the crown prince, and at position three and four his complex domestic life featured prominently with Nich Farrelly’s Plane audacity in Thai dispute and my Crown Prince’s family update? Truth, as they say, is stranger, and often more entertaining, than fiction.

Number two may come as a surprise to some readers: Phongpisoot Busbarat’s detailed study of penis implantation in Southeast Asia: Linga bell, linga bell, jingle all the way. With all those bells it is perfect reading for the festive season (but please don’t try it at home). This post gets a steady stream of readers almost every day. By the time the end of the year comes it may well have gained the number one position.

The most popular post for the year (at the time of writing) is Nich Farrelly’s announcement about Andrew Marshall’s Thai Story. Marshall’s three-volume bombshell created enormous online interest, both on New Mandala and elsewhere. The New Mandala post has attracted 175 comments debating the merits of Marshall’s work. New Mandala readers love debate, and this post provided plenty of it.

I hope you enjoy revisiting some of these posts over the Christmas-New Year season. If you have some favourites that don’t appear in the top ten please tell us about them.