Bangkok is a city thatís at the leading edge of Asia yet still somehow stuck in the past. Itís a place of contrasts: ancient temples neighbour internet cafes, luxury automobiles compete for space with tuk-tukís and sprawling air conditioned shopping malls sell everything from Lanna antiques to the latest high fashion clothing. From the stinky khlong taxis to the thumping nightclubs to the ridiculous amount of food on every street corner, we revel in living here.
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Bangkok Podcast #77 - The End
Well folks, after much discussion and late night Skype dates, Greg and Tony have unfortunately decided that Bangkok Podcast has reached the end. As you've no doubt heard us talk about before, putting a podcast together takes a lot of time and effort, and time is something that both Greg and Tony have very little of these days. So, it's time to hang up the ol' mics.
But with one last show left, we talk a bit about Greg's recent trip to Macau, Tony's upcoming trip to Bangkok, and a great new e-book by a local blogger called 101 Things to Do In Thailand that can help fill the void left by the podcast closing up shop.
But we'll both still be around on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and various other online haunts - just because the podcast is over doesn't mean the journey is done! (cue some righteous 80's hair metal ballad).
A very sincere thanks to all of our past guests, listeners, supporters and fans who have helped make the show such an enjoyable thing to do since our very first show on May 3, 2010. We hope to see you all again - if not in real life, then definitely online.
Bangkok Podcast #76: Walking, Flooding, Commuting & Whitening
This episode of Bangkok Podcast comes a bit late due mostly to the fact that both Tony and Greg have new jobs and are working like crazy men. Crazy men! But thankfully this nutty city still gives us enough to talk about. On this episode we're joined by Ali Weiner, who is organizing an amazing event for a very good cause. In an effort to raise awareness of the dangers and realities of human trafficking and to meet their goal of raising $100,000 dollars for various charities, her, her friend, and as many others as want to join, are going to walk from Bangkok to Three Pagoda's pass on the Thai Burmese border. That's right - walk the whole way. Ali tells us how the idea came about, describes the route she'll take, and lets us know how we can help. In fact - if you want to join her on her walk, feel free!
Greg and Tony also talk about three news stories that have been burning up the news lately - the incredible amount of rain Bangkok is has been getting of late (which hopefully won't be enough to cause more floods this year); a reduction in the price of the poorly-conceived airport rail link to help boost ridership (the reduction is only good for a few hours during the middle of the day); and the newest beauty product to hit the market, vagina whitening cream (note to girls everywhere: No. No. No).
And don't forget to check out our sponsor, the Bangkok Tree House, which goes above and beyond when it comes to serving amazing meals using locally-grown ingredients.
On this show Greg and Tony welcome back past guest Paul Garrigan who joins us to talk about his new adventure as a muay thai fighter. While always harbouring the dream of stepping into the ring Paul was reluctant to start training as a fighter believing he was too old. However he learned that once he got into the ring and overcame a series of injuries, boxing became a form of meditation for him.
If you’ve been following the Thai news over the past few months, you might have heard about the big constitutional court crises a few weeks ago. As with many things in Thailand lately, it was a very he said/she said kind of debate with very high stakes. People were predicting doom! Riots! Chaos! Cats and dogs living together! Thankfully, in a very Thai outcome, the court came down squarely in the middle so that neither side won and neither side lost.
It might come as a shock, but neither Tony nor Greg are scholars of Thai politics or law, but they know someone who is! For the first part of the show we welcome our friend Saksith Saiyasombut, a blogger, journalist and all-around nice guy who has reported extensively on the uh, entertaining Thai political scene over the past few years. He joins us on Skype from Germany (excuse the fuzzy call quality) and fills us in on what exactly the hubbub was about, what the decision means, and what happens next.
The other topic we wanted to get into for this show is something that we get asked a lot – just how expensive is it to live in Bangkok? Dreams of $5 hotels rooms and $1 feasts still somehow fill the brains of the never-ending stream of visitors, but unfortunately, price-wise, Bangkok ain’t what it was 20 years ago. Today, it’s a major Asian metropolis, a global transport hub, and home to big industry and big money. Tony and Greg go over what it takes to live in Bangkok from month-to-month with a comfortable western lifestyle. From groceries to entertainment to rent to maids, there’s a lot to take into account.
Welcome back! Ten months after our last regular show, Tony and Greg are back with a new format but the same focus - Bangkok in all its wonderful, weird, awesome, odd glory. With Tony in Japan (but still heavily involved in Thailand) and Greg now married and busy with a variety of projects, a weekly hour-long show just isn't possible anymore. However, with the magic of Skype and a few new high-quality microphones, we decided that a monthly show focussing on the Big Mango's top stories would be a nice way to ease back into the podcast bath (uhh...so to speak).
On our first show back, we talk about two of the top stories that have been burning up social media and coffee houses this month. First is the Thailand's Got Talent show in which a nice young lady came on stage and proceeded to strip off her shirt and bra, dump paint all over her chest, and rub her boobies on a big canvas! Art or trash? Well, watch the clip on Youtube and decide for yourself. Whatever it was, the powers that be certainly weren't pleased - and it got even stranger when it came out that the TV show had paid the girl to do it!
Next we talk about a CNNGo article titled How to be a Bangkok Local: Ten Tips on Faking It, a humorous, tongue-in-cheek jab at some of Bangkok's stereotypes and eccentricities. But apparently, subtle humour and sly satire don't translate too well into Thai and the story was soon the talk of the town, with people accusing the (Thai) author of being a traitor, of insulting the country, and being just a very rude person. Of course, there were those who 'got it' and thought the story was funny, but that didn't do anything to quell the back-and-forth on the comment section.
We are also happy to mention our partnership with Coconuts Bangkok, the city's newest news and reviews website, which we browse to see what people are talking about. Head on over and see the most up to date information on everything Bangkok.
We also wanted to send a big thanks to our sponsor, the Bangkok Treehouse, an environmentally friendly retreat in the heart of Phrapradaeng, a lush expanse of jungle just across the river from Bangkok. It's a beautiful and peaceful place to escape the city, with awesome food and some pretty badass surroundings. As they say on their website, it's a view with a room, a very apt description.
And don't forget our random plug of the month - PechaKucha, a fun and cool presentation event taking place in Bangkok on July 9. Check it out online (https://www.facebook.com/PechaKuchaBangkok) and if you feel like seeing Greg make a fool of himself, come down to check it out - he'll be one of the presenters!
Nice to hear something about BaNGKOK from expats besides bargirl stories. These two nerds from Western Canada make an honest attempt at producing something worth listening to. There experiences in Krung Thep include interactions with the local folk. Would like to hear more from working class Thai guests.