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

Media & Entertainment Podcasts

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.

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:

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

Bangkok’s Seven Deadly Sins: Greed [S4.E67]

1/26/2021
This week Greg and Ed return to the Seven Deadly Sins series with a discussion of GREED in Thai culture. As an opening caveat, Greg makes clear that greed exists in all cultures, and the guys aren’t saying it’s worse in Thailand than anywhere else, but every country and culture deals with it in different ways, and the guys want to talk their way through its different facets to try and understand it better. Ed begins with the claim that there is something in Thai-Chinese culture about the...

Duration:00:30:30

Sawatdee Cough: Bangkok’s Air Pollution Crisis [S4.E66]

1/19/2021
Greg interviews Khun Weena, founder of the Thailand Clean Air Network and an expert on air pollution in Thailand to discuss the who, the what, the why and the WTF behind Thailand’s annual season of poisonous, toxic air. She begins by outlining the fundamental problem: more or less unchecked economic growth, not only in Thailand but around Asia as well, especially in gigantic countries such as India and China. Although the problem has been around for a while, public interest has peaked due...

Duration:00:53:55

Kicking 2020 to the Curb: New Year’s Eve Stories from Better Times [S4.E64]

1/5/2021
In order to wash the bad taste of New Year’s Eve 2021 out of our mouths, Greg and Ed discuss what New Year’s Eve means in Bangkok. Normally it’s one of the biggest nights of the year, but due the resurgence of COVID, this year was fairly tame. So the guys decided to discuss the holiday during better times. Ed begins by noting that the two biggest places to witness the countdown and fireworks in Bangkok are at Central World in the shopping district, and near Saphan Taksin bridge on the...

Duration:00:32:35

Confronting Thailand's Problem With Violence Against Women Part 2 [S4.E63]

12/29/2020
The issue of violence against women in Thai culture is not often discussed. Awareness is low and even when the topic is brought up, the default reaction is to shussssshhhhh, forget about it, don’t make waves. Obviously this is not a tenable solution. Emma Thomas (Under the Ropes) and Nana Wipaphan Wongsawan (Thai Consent) are two women who are fighting to change this. In part 2 of a 2-part interview Greg sits down with both of them to discuss why Thai culture is like this and the issues and...

Duration:00:46:53

Confronting Thailand’s Problem With Violence Against Women Part 1 [S4.E62]

12/22/2020
The issue of violence against women in Thai culture is not often discussed. Awareness is low and even when the topic is brought up, the default reaction is to shussssshhhhh, forget about it, don’t make waves. Obviously this is not a tenable solution. Emma Thomas (Under the Ropes) and Nana Wipaphan Wongsawan (Thai Consent) are two women who are fighting to change this. In part 1 of a 2-part interview Greg sits down with both of them to discuss why Thai culture is like this and the issues and...

Duration:00:40:30

The Annual Bangkok Podcast Listener Q&A Spectacular [S4.E61]

12/15/2020
It’s been a while, but the guys jump into a Q&A show, where they answer questions from listeners. The topics are incredibly wide-ranging - everything from our first Thailand memory to the equipment we use to record to our rules for ‘wai-ing’ service staff! We also touch on questions about whiskey, COVID, Thailand’s tourism outlook, whether or not the infamous commuter vans are safe, and of course, things that Thailand does better than they do back home. Lots more where those came from, so...

Duration:00:41:06

Artist Alex Face on his Iconic Work, Inspiration, and Space Art [S4.E60]

12/8/2020
Greg interviews celebrated Thai artist Alex Face (https://www.facebook.com/Alexfacebkk), known mostly for his large building-sized murals, which appear not only in Bangkok but also in other cities around the world. Alex begins by recounting his interest in art as a child, which slowly developed into a passion and later a career. He explains his love of graffiti (both legal and illegal) and then discusses his education and attempts to live in other countries, including Korea and later...

Duration:00:51:23

How Would You Rate Your Thai Cultural Assimilation? [S4, E59]

12/1/2020
Greg and Ed dive into a great question for expats in Thailand: to what extent are you actually integrated into mainstream Thai culture? Greg posted a quick survey on our Facebook page and uses some responses as a jumping-off point for discussion. Ed begins by guessing he’s probably a 5 on a scale of 1-10. He never socializes with only Thai people, but has good enough Thai language that he can handle himself on his own in the city. He does note though that Thailand may be different than some...

Duration:00:29:00

Bangkok’s Craft Brew Godfather: A Chat With Khun Chit [S4.E58]

11/24/2020
Greg interviews the fascinating Wichit Saiklao, godfather of craft beer in Thailand and founder of Chit Beer, with podcast friend Scott Coates sitting in for fun. Khun Chit relates how he first learned about homebrewing while living in the States, and after returning to Thailand and buying a small house on the river island of Ko Kret, he decided to give it a try with a kit he bought on Amazon. Just seven years later, he is a legend of Thai brewing, not just because of his own popular craft...

Duration:00:40:13

Thailand’s Freedom-of-Expression Minefield [S4.E57]

11/17/2020
Greg and Ed consider the issue of freedom of expression in Thailand and the extent to which it is or is not compatible with Thai culture. The topic is sparked by THAT case...the one about a TripAdvisor reviewer who harshly criticized a Thai resort, only to have the Thai resort file a criminal defamation action against him. After two days in jail and a negotiated settlement, all was well until TripAdvisor put a warning on their website indicating what the resort had done. Ed gives a basic...

Duration:00:28:26

Linguist Rikker Dockum on Raising Multilingual Kids (S4.E56)

11/10/2020
Greg interviews repeat guest Rikker Dockum about the ups and downs of raising bilingual children, beginning with an update on (now Dr) Rikker’s life back in the US - including his own two kids, both products of two cultures. Next, Rikker segways into some common myths and truths about language acquisition. First, he dispels the idea that a parent needs to have a high level of fluency in a language to avoid hurting a child’s ability to learn it. In fact, kids are so adapted to learning...

Duration:00:55:28

Bangkok's Seven Deadly Sins: Wrath [S4, E55]

11/3/2020
The boys reenter the world of the Seven Deadly Sins with a discussion of ‘Wrath’ in Thai culture. What’s the angle? Well, here is Ed’s theory: every society has roughly the same amount of total anger, but in the West negative feelings are expressed in small amounts over time. However, in Thai culture, where there is pressure to always say ‘mai pen rai,’ negative emotions build up over time and come out in an explosion. In an entirely unscientific discussion, the guys give examples that...

Duration:00:25:31

Phra Pandit on the Buddhist Concepts of Birth, Death & Rebirth [Season 4, Episode 54]

10/27/2020
In this episode of Bangkok Podcast Metaphysics, Greg interviews our favorite guest, Phra Pandit, about notions of heaven and hell in Thai Buddhism. Phra Pandit begins by explaining the difference between reincarnation and rebirth. In Theravada Buddhism, there is not a belief in a constant, steady soul. Instead, life force, for lack of a better term, passes from one lifetime to another, like a flame from one candle to the next. In general, a person cannot remember his or her past lives, but a...

Duration:00:39:57

Greg (Con) and Ed (Pro) Debate the Merits of Thai Massage [Season 4, Episode 53]

10/20/2020
In this episode, the guys debate the pros and cons of one of Thailand’s most famous cultural pastimes. Despite being friends for going on 20 years now and agreeing on a lot of things, Greg and Ed do NOT agree on Thai Traditional Massage (TTM). Ed loves it, Greg...does not. Ed argues that while TTM may not be for everyone, its unique mix of pain and pleasure are deeply relaxing and well worth it in the long run. Greg contends the pain ain’t worth it, and there are countless better ways to...

Duration:00:37:13

Bangkok’s Evolving Health & Fitness Mindset [Season 4, Episode 52]

10/13/2020
If you’ve been in Bangkok for any length of time you’ve seen the ‘healthy lifestyle’...uh...lifestyle...change a great deal. But why, how, and to what end? Greg interviews Jack Thomas, founder and CEO of BASE Fitness to chat about the evolution. After several years of high-pressure sales and overly-packed gyms, the scene kind of imploded in the mid-2000s, led by one famous name that rose higher and fell harder than any. But the industry is back and healthier than ever, driven in part by the...

Duration:00:44:18

Neighborhood Focus: Chinatown & Talad Noi [Season 4, Episode 51]

10/6/2020
Greg and Ed return to their ‘Neighborhood Focus’ series with a review of the Chinatown-Talad Noi area of Bangkok, a neighborhood is near and dear to the boys’ hearts, as Greg used to live there, and back in the day he introduced Ed to the area’s many charms. Greg begins with a mini-history of Chinatown and its many historic streets, most of which you can still walk on today. Ed summarizes Chinatown as ‘chaos with street food.’ Its popularity is extremely high with both Thais and foreigners...

Duration:00:34:00

David Robinson Talks Heritage and Creativity on the Chao Phraya River [Season 4, Episode 50]

9/29/2020
Greg interviews David Robinson, co-founder of the Creative District Foundation, which promotes the mighty Chao Phraya River community for tourism and cultural purposes through the excellent website Bangkok River, which provides resources, history, and insight into the communities that line it. But before all this happened, David - a former resident of Sydney and London - felt the neighborhoods around the river in Bangkok were under-utilized and under-developed. (Greg and Ed wholeheartedly...

Duration:00:40:43

The Unique Role That Teachers Play in Thai Culture [Season 4, Episode 49]

9/22/2020
Ooooh, topical! This week, Greg and Ed discuss the unique role of teachers in Thai society, where educators occupy a uniquely reverential role, often in stark contrast to western countries, where it is ‘just another job.’ Ed notes that the issue of how teachers are treated is near and dear to his heart, given that he has spent the last twenty years teaching Thai students. But Ed makes clear that (in his opinion) there’s a contradiction between the type of independent-minded graduates that...

Duration:00:35:52

An Economist Speaks: The Numbers on Thailand's COVID Economy [Season 4, Episode 48]

9/15/2020
First, we want voicemails from our listeners! Become a friend on LINE (scan the QR Code below) and send us your thoughts, greetings, or an awesome joke. In a great show for economics nerds and anyone just interested in how the Thai economy is faring, Dr. Jessica Vechbanyongratana returns to discuss the Thai economy during the pandemic and what - if anything - we can do to help the recovery. Spoiler: not much Beginning with anecdotes of how economists were already predicting a bad 2020 at...

Duration:00:54:43