Tilapia lake virus (TiLV) is an emerging virus that is rapidly spreading across the world. Over the past 6 years (2014–2020), TiLV outbreaks had been reported in at least 16 countries, spanning three continents, including Asia, Africa, and America. Despite its enormous economic impact, its origin, evolution, and epidemiology are still largely poorly characterised. Here, we report eight TiLV whole genome sequences from Thailand sampled between 2014–2019. Together with publicly available sequences from various regions of the world, we estimated the origin of TiLV to be between 2003–2009, 5–10 years before the first report of the virus in Israel in 2014. Our analyses consistently showed that TiLV started to spread in 2000s, and reached its peak in 2014–2016, matching well with the timing of its first report. From 2016 onwards, the TiLV population declined steadily. This could be a result of herd immunity building up in the fish population, and / or a reflection of a better awareness of the virus coupled with a better and more cautious protocol of Tilapia importation. Despite the fact that we included all publicly available sequences, our analyses revealed long unsampled histories of TiLVs in many countries, especially towards its basal diversification. This result highlights the lack and the need for systematic surveillance of TiLV in fish.