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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.
 
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show series
 
We think almost every long-term expat has been asked how long they’ve been here before, only to see the challenge, throw down their card, and ask the inevitable: “How about you?” It’s an unspoken contest. But does it even matter? Greg and Ed tackle this issue of status, noting that although they’ve been in Thailand TWENTY YEARS, that number is dwar…
 
Greg interviews Colonel Johnny Thoyts, an old friend who has been retired in Thailand for over 20 years. Johnny has had an interesting time in Thailand - as the former British military attaché, he summarizes his career and his various experiences living in Thailand and dealing with some of the country’s top military and diplomatic brass. Next, John…
 
The guys discuss the sticky situation of what it means to lose your job in Thailand as an expat, and the relative insecurity that all of us have, no matter how long we’ve lived here. Ed gives a quick overview of the law: if you have a non-immigrant ‘B’ visa connected to a work permit and a Thai company, and your work permit is canceled, then your v…
 
Greg interviews Midnight Poonkasetwattana and Inad Rendon, the Executive Director and Program Director at APCOM, a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of gay men who are facing discrimination. We begin by raising the issue of the image of Thailand as a very gay-friendly place. Does the reality match the reputation? According to Midnight…
 
Welcome to season 5! Greg and Ed discuss the new season, which admittedly is mostly a continuation of the last season - if it ain’t broke, etc. But some nostalgia is warranted, and the guys reminisce about the last two seasons since Evo’s departure. Ed can’t believe he’s done 150 shows plus, and both guys make some modest suggestions for changing t…
 
Greg interviews Chris Larkin, creator of ThaiCitizenship.com, a website that answers all the confusing, conflicting, confounding questions about getting citizenship in Thailand. Half Thai-Half Australian, Chris grew up mainly in Australia and got his Thai passport in his early twenties. Now married to a woman from New Zealand, it was their yearly s…
 
If Thailand is good for one thing, it’s ‘interesting’ expats, and Greg and Ed keep it light with a humorous discussion of some of the crazy characters they’ve met over the years in Bangkok. All names have been changed of course, but Greg recounts a few stories of ‘Chandler’, an out-of-control, heavy drinking, motorcycle riding, jacket busting, wrec…
 
Ed interviews Chokwan ‘Kitty’ Chopaka, an expert on the cannabis industry in Thailand. The interview begins with a discussion of how Kitty ended up in this field - strangely, it was her mother that suggested she’d make a great ‘ganjapreneur.’ After trying a cannabis venture in the U.S., Kitty founded the Thai company Elevated Estate, which serves a…
 
In a return to our Neighborhood Focus series, Greg and Ed check out Soi Suan Phlu and some of the surrounding area, broadly known as either Sathorn or Yen Akat. We start with a discussion about Suan Phlu of yesteryear, when almost all foreigners had to go there for a miserable immigration ritual. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Suan Phlu seemed dreary and …
 
Greg interviews Mark Wiens, an old friend known far and wide for his awesome YouTube videos about eating food. Good food. Weird food. Scary food. Any type of food. Mark tells us how he started as a regular food blogger, slowly morphing into video as the technology improved, and his efforts to keep up with Google’s demands while still putting out qu…
 
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 th…
 
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 w…
 
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 p…
 
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 figh…
 
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 figh…
 
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 t…
 
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 lov…
 
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, …
 
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…
 
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 an…
 
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 n…
 
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 …
 
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…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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 y…
 
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…
 
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…
 
After a brief intro explaining the podcast’s decision to accept advertising (within strict guidelines), Greg and Ed jump into a topic important to anyone travelling to Thailand: What are the most important Thai laws to know? Ed gives a quick lawyerly disclaimer: don’t rely on this podcast to make important decisions, but instead just use it as a gu…
 
Greg interviews Jarrett Wrisley and Chalee Kader, well-known and successful restaurateurs in Bangkok. After quick bios, they begin by dispelling some myths about the restaurant business and explaining some of the harsh realities of competing in a big city such as Bangkok. Even during good times, it’s a tough business, but during the COVID era it is…
 
Greg and Ed continue their ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ series with LUST - yep, we go there. Well, figuratively, anyway. On the record, the guys don’t actually recommend that you visit any of the red light districts in Bangkok - there are so many more interesting things to do in the city that aren’t as...potentially icky. But let’s be honest - they remain a…
 
Ed interviews Putsawan ‘Poy’ Tipsakorn, a friend and former student of his who did an exchange year in the U.S. while in high school. Ed and Poy begin with her background in a small town in Nakhorn Ratchasima province and her conservative all-girls school and how she got the idea to go to the States in the first place. From there the story moves to…
 
This week Greg interviews Khun Voranai Vanijaka, a well-known Thai journalist, social commentator, and founder and editor-in-chief of Thisrupt.co, an English language website and social media enterprise that focuses on social and political issues in Thailand. Khun Voranai explains his unique background as a Thai man who grew up in Austin, TX, and a…
 
After a very strange intro in which Greg extols the virtues of a mind-numbingly happy Finnish folk tune, we get into the main episode, which comes in two parts. First, Greg interviews his friend Yining, who is just finishing a two week quarantine after returning to Thailand from Singapore. She explains the quarantine process in Bangkok, her COVID t…
 
Greg and Ed interview Florian, an old friend of Greg’s and coincidentally the occupant of Greg’s old apartment in Chinatown with a beautiful view of the Chao Phraya River. Florian is a man of many talents, but this interview focuses on his multi-year project to build a modern house in the jungles of Mae Hong Son province, in northwestern Thailand. …
 
In a new series cooked up by Greg’s evil brain, the guys explore Bangkok through the prism of the Seven Deadly Sins. Each of the seven shows (not in a row, thankfully) will see the guys pick one of the sins and discuss how it relates to their own experience in Bangkok. Starting with the Sin of Pride, Greg and Ed each come up with a few things that …
 
This is Part 2 of Greg’s interview with Dan Fraser, an old friend, Thai TV star, and owner of adventure travel company Smiling Albino. Continuing their conversation, Dan talks about the challenges of transitioning from a business manager ‘control freak’ (his words) to a TV entertainer whose role is mostly to be the goofy foreigner having crazy expe…
 
Greg interviews Renaissance-Expat Extraordinaire Dan Fraser, an old friend of both Greg and Ed and a former guest of the podcast in season 1. As both the star of a Thai TV show called ‘Long Ruk Yim’ and the owner of Smiling Albino, a high-end adventure travel company, Dan is afforded some really unique opportunities for understanding Thai culture, …
 
We return to our Thai history series with a fascinating look at the role that several Thai cannons played in some important historical events. First, with the help of a cool blog on Thai history from our friend Ken Lohatepanont, Greg tells the story of some silver cannons gifted by King Narai of Siam to Louis XIV of France. It turns out that during…
 
It’s an extra-long show this week as Greg interviews Jessica Vechbanyongratana, a professor at the faculty of Economics at Chulalongkorn University, about the numbers that make up Thailand’s economy. Beginning with Thailand’s notable jump up the list of countries with the biggest inequality gap, Jessica explains the methodologies and data that led …
 
Inspired by a great post on a Thisrupt, the topic is counterfeit goods. Most people are aware that all types of counterfeit goods are available for sale in Thailand, whether it is watches, handbags, DVDs, or software. Greg and Ed trade stories about how Thailand allowed them to embrace counterfeit culture in their early days of living in Thailand, …
 
Greg interviews Khun Natapanu Nopakun, the Deputy Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. You’ve probably seen him on TV - he’s the guy who gives English language updates of what’s going on with the Thai government, and especially the coronavirus situation. Khun Natapanu begins by explaining exactly what his job is - giving info on foreig…
 
When you are a kid, you are taught to look on the bright side of everything. In that spirit, Greg and Ed search for any possible positives in their lives as a result of the lockdown (which, generally speaking, SUCKS). Ed begins by noting that his relative lack of social life has given him more freedom to experiment with his diet, which consequently…
 
You know how foreigners aren’t allowed to be tour guides in Thailand? Well guess what - there’s an interesting little loophole to that, and it’s a great opportunity to get to know Thai culture in a very real way. Greg interviews Dr. Peter Hufschmid-Hirschbuehl (hereinafter referred to as ‘Dr. Peter’ for obvious reasons), the President of the Nation…
 
Greg and Ed tackle the complex question of privacy in Thailand, especially as it compares to privacy back home. But there are lots of types of privacy, so what do we mean? Firstly, as an expat, you live in a kind of bubble of privacy anyway - often left alone and largely cut off from the Thai-language media, which only increases the sense of privac…
 
The topic is a bit morbid but these are strange times - Greg interviews polyglot and podcast favorite Stu Jay Raj on the roots of the Thai language as they pertain to pain and medicine. They begin trading stories over the fiendishly tricky (for Westerners anyway) pronunciation of the Thai language, and the often hilarious (and obscene) mistakes tha…
 
Greg and Ed recorded a show that goes in-depth on Thailand’s alcohol ban and whether or not it makes sense as a way to combat the coronavirus. What they did NOT count on was the ban being lifted 3 days AFTER they recorded the show! No worry - it’s still a very relevant discussion. First up, the boys try to give the ban the best spin possible - does…
 
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