The Bangkok Podcast | Conversations on Life in Thailand's Buzzing Capital-logo

The Bangkok Podcast | Conversations on Life in Thailand's Buzzing Capital

Media & Entertainment Podcasts

Online since 2010! Greg Jorgensen and Ed Knuth have been knocking around Bangkok since the turn of the century. Exploring dark corners, eating amazing food, and interacting with fascinating people, the two have gotten to know and love Thailand's capital in all its confusing, mysterious glory. Every week they chat about topics near and dear to those living here, those visiting here, or those who are just curious about what it's like to live in Asia's craziest city.

Online since 2010! Greg Jorgensen and Ed Knuth have been knocking around Bangkok since the turn of the century. Exploring dark corners, eating amazing food, and interacting with fascinating people, the two have gotten to know and love Thailand's capital in all its confusing, mysterious glory. Every week they chat about topics near and dear to those living here, those visiting here, or those who are just curious about what it's like to live in Asia's craziest city.

Location:

Thailand

Description:

Online since 2010! Greg Jorgensen and Ed Knuth have been knocking around Bangkok since the turn of the century. Exploring dark corners, eating amazing food, and interacting with fascinating people, the two have gotten to know and love Thailand's capital in all its confusing, mysterious glory. Every week they chat about topics near and dear to those living here, those visiting here, or those who are just curious about what it's like to live in Asia's craziest city.

Language:

English


Episodes

Alcohol: Thailand’s Favorite Boogeyman [S5.E37]

11/23/2021
In a very topical show Greg and Ed discuss the role that alcohol plays in Thai culture. For a country that seems to love restricting alcohol consumption, be it for religious holidays or even election days, Thails love to drink (the most in SEA, actually). But there’s a rather huge gulf between the way Thai people actually behave and the image that the Thai government would like to project to the world, which is of a ‘conservative Buddhist country.’ This leads to a discussion of the partial...

Duration:00:28:41

Hassles and Hope: Thailand’s Big Reopening [S5.E35]

11/9/2021
The boys address the big story of the day: Thailand’s long-delayed reopening to tourists, at least from certain low-risk countries. Ed begins by recounting the current (at the time of the show) rules for tourists: COVID medical insurance, a negative test within 72 hours of departure, and a negative test after touching down which MAY require a night in a government-approved hotel. Note that the info in this show was accurate at the time of recording, but things change fast - check here for...

Duration:00:35:40

What’s the Deal with Solar Power in Thailand? [S5.E34]

11/2/2021
Greg interviews Tristan Knowles, an Australian expat in Thailand working for the Asian Development Bank, specializing in infrastructure finance in the Mekong region, including alternative energy such as solar power. Greg begins by asking the obvious question: Thailand is practically constantly sunny, so why aren’t there solar panels on every rooftop? Tristan gives a detailed answer focusing on incentives. Obviously there’s an upfront cost to investing in solar power, whether you are a...

Duration:00:53:38

Thailand in Movies & TV vs. Thailand in Real Life [S5.E33]

10/26/2021
On today’s show Greg and Ed address a pretty simple question: When you see Bangkok in movies and in series, are you actually seeing an accurate portrayal of the way Bangkok REALLY is? The guys decide that the short answer is probably not (certainly not in Thai lakorn), but there are some interesting exceptions. For example, even big-budget movies such as “Hangover 2” and “Raya and the Last Dragon” get many details right, such as Fanta served in a plastic bag or ‘toilet paper’ (to Westerners)...

Duration:00:42:44

From Coffee to Conflict: Kenyan Ambassador Lindsay Kiptiness [S5.E32]

10/19/2021
Greg interviews Lindsay Kiptiness, the Kenyan Ambassador to Thailand. Ambassador Kiptiness begins by introducing himself and explains his responsibilities as ambassador to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Burma. He explains his unfortunate arrival during COVID times, and his desire to really explore Thailand when it fully re-opens. The Kenyan healthcare system is behind Thailand’s, but he notes that Nairobi did serve as the center of COVID treatment for UN officials. Greg asks the...

Duration:00:44:26

Dungeons & Dragons & Bangkok: An Alignment Chart for the City [S5.E31]

10/12/2021
Greg and Ed confess to their past as Dungeons and Dragons-loving young geeks. Who would have thought? The boys take inspiration from an old blog post of Greg’s where he applied D&D’s famous moral alignment chart to Bangkok. Moving through the list, Ed provides his feedback as each example is presented. Greg begins by explaining the system (for those of you who were less geeky or simply missed D&D generationally). Then Greg gets into his examples. Who best represents ‘Lawful Good’ in Thai...

Duration:00:35:38

Building a Thai YouTube Channel for Kids Into a Family Business [S5.E30]

10/5/2021
On this episode Greg chats with his buddy Jesse Davis. You might not know Jesse’s name, but if you have kids, chances are they know his daughter. About four years ago Jesse and his daughter started Brianna’s Secret Club, a YouTube channel aimed at kids where Brianna and her pals do things like unwrap gifts, play with toys, build stuff, and do other kid-related things. The channel took off, and soon became a full-fledged family business, with budgets, schedules, assistants, and studio time....

Duration:00:52:45

Accents, Dialects and Stereotypes with Stu Jay Raj [S5.E28]

9/21/2021
Greg interviews returning guest Stu Jay Raj - polyglot, expert language teacher and man about town. Greg begins by asking Stu about his recent series of videos analyzing the second language capabilities of various celebrities, including Jon Cena and Robert DeNiro. Stu responds by explaining his MindKraft program, which is kind of a general learning system that can be applied to languages of all types, from linguistics to music to computer coding. Stu expounds his belief that the human brain...

Duration:00:54:21

This is Thailand With Scott & Trevor from Talk Travel Asia [S5.E27]

9/14/2021
Greg and Ed sit down with old friends and travel experts Trevor Ranges and Scott Coates of the Talk Travel Asia podcast. The guys run through a whole range of questions: How do you first come to Thailand? How did you meet each other? How do you adapt to Thai food? How did you learn (or not learn) Thai language? What Thai cultural rules have you learned? How long did it take to feel as if Thailand was really your home? And perhaps most significantly, how has Thailand changed you for the...

Duration:00:58:05

Bangkok's Seven Deadly Sins: Envy [S5.E26]

9/7/2021
Continuing the series on the 7 Deadly Sins, Greg and Ed address the envious Envy. Of course, we love Bangkok, but no place is perfect - so, what are some things in other countries that we are envious of from our perch here? Greg begins by looking over the fence at coffee culture in Vietnam. Presumably due to French influence, Vietnam has an insane number of local cafes that take coffee (and ice cream, as Ed points out) deadly seriously. The strict government helps to keep Western chains to a...

Duration:00:34:00

Golfasian’s Mark Siegel Talks Fees, Tees & Thai Golf Holidays [S5.E25]

8/31/2021
Greg interviews Mark Siegel, the director of Golfasian, one of Asia’s largest golf tour operators. Greg opens with the caveat that neither he nor Ed are golfers and leaves it up to Mark to do his best to sell us on a golf holiday in the Land of Smiles. Greg begins by noting that his first thought of a relaxing holiday would not be to spend 4 hours walking around in the scorching sun, but Mark (in the first of his many insights) responds that if you’re back in the freezing winter of Canada...

Duration:00:38:54

A Few Surprising Details About Raising a Kid in Bangkok [S5.E24]

8/24/2021
In this episode, Greg fills us in on all the special concerns of being a parent in Bangkok. As if being a parent on its own didn’t have enough surprises, it turns out there are several things to keep in mind if you are expecting or even just bringing a child to the Big Mango. Pre-eminent is of course the issue of proper schooling, be it Thai or international or some combination of both. Greg explains the 3 C’s - cost, commute, and curriculum - that all new parents must build their life...

Duration:00:36:34

From Dreams to Comedy: Teaching Thai With a Twist [S5.E23]

8/17/2021
Greg interviews Kru Nan from the “You Too Can Learn Thai” podcast. Greg begins with the theory of the ‘critical period,’ that the human brain is primed to learn languages early in life but not later. Kru Nan notes that the research is not final and that adults might actually have some advantages over children. For example, adults may be able to absorb more information more quickly and also to contextualize it because of their pre-existing knowledge about the way the world works. Next, Greg...

Duration:00:51:15

Don’t be That Guy: Expat Stereotypes to Avoid [S5.E22]

8/10/2021
Greg and Ed discuss some negative expat stereotypes - roughly the person you (probably) don’t want to become while living in Thailand...at least forever. We all fall prey to stereotypes sometimes - they have to come from somewhere - but if you’re not careful, you can become comfortable with some of these lifestyles and before you know it, they come to define your new identity in your new home, and suddenly you’re known as The Whiner, or The Apologist. And that’s just the beginning! Heaven...

Duration:00:33:07

The Bombing of Bangkok During World War 2 [S5.E21]

8/3/2021
Greg interviews Khun Panarat Anamwathana about the bombing of Bangkok during World War II. Beginning with a discussion about how Thai people today perceive Thailand’s involvement in the Second World War, K. Panarat notes that many Thais’ attitudes are actually shaped by popular culture and specific romantic stories about that time period in Thai history. Most Thais today don’t realize the tragic nature of the conflict and the truly precarious nature of Thailand’s relationship with both Japan...

Duration:00:49:39

Cultural Refresher: Books & Movies to Rouse Your Thailand Mojo [S5.E20]

7/27/2021
On a suggestion from listener Emily, Greg and Ed go back to basics with book and movie recommendations for people new to Thailand and Southeast Asia, or old-timers looking to refresh their knowledge after being disconnected during all this covid hullabaloo. Ed begins with three foundational books: the all-time classic ‘Lonely Planet Thailand,’ written by friend of the podcast Joe Cummings, the insightful (if a bit outdated) ‘Culture Shock: Thailand,’ and the super creative ‘Very Thai,’ by...

Duration:00:41:41

Fostering Hope in Khlong Toey with Bangkok Community Help [S5.E19]

7/20/2021
Things are not so great right now, and they’re even more desperate for people who live on the edge, which is why we’re pleased to chat with Friso Poldervaart, Greg Lange, and Kerv Chittaropas about their organization Bangkok Community Help. The three are instrumental in providing the community of over 100,000 with food, medical supplies, living essentials and care packages in Khlong Toey, Bangkok’s biggest slum community. The discussion gets into the history of Khlong Toey, how the English...

Duration:00:47:41

Ed Reports Back: Visiting the Phuket Sandbox [S5.E18]

7/13/2021
Ed relates his 4-day adventure in the much-reported-on Phuket Sandbox. But spoiler alert: It wasn’t a great trip, mostly due to bad luck: it was gray and rainy almost the entire time, thus denying him quality beach time. Oh well. But what was not bad luck was the way that the Thai government has marketed the Sandbox. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has repeatedly stated that Phuket is ‘open’ to tourism as of July 1st, and Ed took that to mean that the most popular area on the island,...

Duration:00:42:36