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A Thai worker labors in Israeli fields adjacent to the Gaza Strip on Oct. 12. Ilia Yefimovich/picture alliance via Getty Images hide caption

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Ilia Yefimovich/picture alliance via Getty Images

Thailand's former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, foreground, with, from left, his son Phantongtae, his daughters Pinthongta and Paetongtarn, arrive at Don Muang airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023. Sakchai Lalit/AP hide caption

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Sakchai Lalit/AP

Move Forward Party leader and prime ministerial candidate Pita Limjaroenrat gives a press conference at the party headquarters in Bangkok on May 14 after polls closed in Thailand's general election. Jack Taylor/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Jack Taylor/AFP via Getty Images

Political activist Mongkhon Thirakot flashes the pro-democracy gesture of a three-finger salute ahead of going to a court in Thailand's northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, Thursday Jan. 26, 2023. AP hide caption

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AP

In this photo provided by Cambodia's Fresh News, smoke rises as a fire burns Thursday through the Grand Diamond City Casino and Hotel near a Cambodia-Thai international border gate in Poipet, Cambodia. Fresh News via AP hide caption

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Fresh News via AP

Thai business tycoon and transgender activist Chakrapong "Anne" Chakrajutathib poses for a photo after a news conference Thursday in Bangkok. Sakchai Lalit/AP hide caption

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Sakchai Lalit/AP

A family of a victim mourns as they bring a blanket and a milk bottle during a ceremony for those killed in the attack on the Young Children's Development Center in the rural town of Uthai Sawan, north eastern Thailand, Friday, Oct. 7, 2022. Sakchai Lalit/AP hide caption

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Sakchai Lalit/AP

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, air force and naval aviation corps of the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) fly planes at an unspecified location in China on Aug. 4. Fu Gan/Xinhua via AP, File hide caption

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Fu Gan/Xinhua via AP, File

Major fire damage fills the interior at the Mountain B pub in the Sattahip district of Chonburi province, about 100 miles southeast of Bangkok, Thailand. Anuthep Cheysakron/AP hide caption

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Anuthep Cheysakron/AP

The first customer of the day, Rittipomng Bachkul celebrates after buying legal marijuana at the Highland Cafe in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, June 9, 2022. Sakchai Lalit/AP hide caption

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Sakchai Lalit/AP

A tourist strolls along the white sand of Maya Beach in Thailand. The destination was once overrun by visitors, but thanks in part to the pandemic, its ecosystem has had time to recover. Michael Sullivan/NPR hide caption

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Michael Sullivan/NPR

In Thailand, the pandemic helped a famous beach recover from an onslaught of tourists

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M. dances at a go-go bar. She was working as a topless dancer — and also as a sex worker — in the tourist city of Pattaya, Thailand, until the bar closed down in January. She decided to return to her hometown to look for work in a different sector. Allison Joyce for NPR hide caption

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Allison Joyce for NPR

Above: N., a sex worker at a bar in Pattaya, Thailand. The sex trade has offered good-paying jobs for many people from rural areas who were facing a life of tending rice paddies and digging up cassava roots. Allison Joyce for NPR hide caption

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Allison Joyce for NPR

Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya, whose grandfather co-founded energy drink company Red Bull, walks to get in a car as he leaves a house in London, in April 2017. Charges have been dropped against the Thai heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune who is accused in a 2012 car crash that killed a Bangkok police officer. Matt Dunham/AP hide caption

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Matt Dunham/AP

Suchart Prasomsu, 53, leads a rescue team of 30 volunteers in Bangkok, using his motorcycle to get to car crashes and crime scenes. Since the start of the pandemic, they've also been called on to try and keep people from killing themselves. Patrick Brown for NPR hide caption

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Patrick Brown for NPR