475 episodes

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.

Want to explore Bangkok on your own? Check out Greg's self-guided audio tours on Voice Map! https://voicemap.me/publisher/greg-jorgensen

The Bangkok Podcast Greg Jorgensen & Ed Knuth

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 121 Ratings

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.

Want to explore Bangkok on your own? Check out Greg's self-guided audio tours on Voice Map! https://voicemap.me/publisher/greg-jorgensen

    Lawyer Dave Lawrence Gives a Legal Perspective on Divorce in Thailand

    Lawyer Dave Lawrence Gives a Legal Perspective on Divorce in Thailand

    Greg and Ed interview Dave Lawrence of Pegleg Legal about the technicalities of divorce in Thailand. Although Ed previously discussed his big ‘D’ on an earlier show, his situation was so simple that it’s probably not representative of the typical divorce. Dave begins with his process for new clients. First, he asks if the marriage was registered in Thailand. Many ‘couples’ actually never get legally married in Thailand, which of course changes your legal rights. Second, he asks if the couple has any children. As one would expect, kids tend to significantly complicate matters. However, Dave makes clear if a couple is not legally married, then the mother automatically becomes the sole custodian of the child, and the biological father has no automatic rights. 
    Next, Ed asks Dave about ‘common law’ marriage, the idea that a couple can be deemed legally married just by living together for a certain number of years, but it turns out that concept doesn’t exist under Thai law. If it ain’t on paper, it ain’t real, at least in Thailand. The guys continue peppering Dave with various marriage and divorce scenarios, including what property is considered ‘marital property’ subject to division and how child custody is handled by biological fathers who have a properly registered marriage. 
    The topic isn’t exactly rosy, but the big ‘D’ is something that we are all better off knowing something about. 
    Don’t forget that Patrons get the ad-free version of the show as well as swag and other perks. And we’ll keep our Facebook, Twitter, and LINE accounts active so you can send us comments, questions, or whatever you want to share.

    • 48 min
    AI vs The Big Mango: What ChatGPT 4o and Gemini Know (and don’t know) about Bangkok

    AI vs The Big Mango: What ChatGPT 4o and Gemini Know (and don’t know) about Bangkok

    Greg and Ed perform an interesting test of the current state of AI: can you actually trust what different AI’s have to say about Bangkok and Thailand? Greg uses ChatGPT, while Ed is a Google guy through and through, so Gemini it is. The first question involves a bit of Thai history: exactly when and for how long did Thailand use a red flag with a white elephant? Proper research reveals the correct answer is 1855-1917, but ChatGPT misses by a wide mark, with an answer of 1917 to 2017 (!). Gemini does considerably better, with an answer of 1855-1916. 
    ChatGPT does better with the next straightforward question: Is Bangkok a province of Thailand? The technically correct answer is ‘no,’ because Bangkok is designated as a ‘special administrative area’ in the Thai system of government. Both AI get the answer right, with Gemini possibly providing a more thorough explanation. 
    The challenge continues, with questions about Japan and Thailand in World War II, directions in Bangkok, and the history of Southern Thailand. Both AI models do an okay job but also clearly make some factual stumbles. So the lesson of the day appears to be that AI might be helpful as a general background research tool, but always check your facts and don’t count on it 100% - especially when it comes to trying to understand Bangkok!
    Don’t forget that Patrons get the ad-free version of the show as well as swag and other perks. And we’ll keep our Facebook, Twitter, and LINE accounts active so you can send us comments, questions, or whatever you want to share.

    • 32 min
    Blending Fact & Fiction: Paul & Yuangrat Wedel Return to Discuss Their Novels Set in 1900s Siam Part 2

    Blending Fact & Fiction: Paul & Yuangrat Wedel Return to Discuss Their Novels Set in 1900s Siam Part 2

    This is Part Two of Greg and Ed’s interview with Paul and Yuangrat Wedel, returning guests to the show who previously talked about their book “Radical Thought, Thai Mind.” This time around the fascinating couple discuss their two novels, “Beads On A String” and “Dark Karma,” each historical fiction based in Southern Thailand. In this part of the interview, the couple focus on the historical characters and events that are interwoven into the fictional narrative. Greg asks about the sensitivity of dealing with certain high status characters, but Paul and Yuangrat make clear that they very closely followed historical records about public statements and acts. 
    The interview continues to address such matters as the technology changes that swamped Siam at the turn of the century, the delicate political relationship between Bangkok and the southern sultanates/provinces, and plans for the next episode in the narrative which will encompass the 1932 coup that ended absolute monarchy in Thailand. Listen in for a fascinating interview with a truly erudite couple!
    Don’t forget that Patrons get the ad-free version of the show as well as swag and other perks. And we’ll keep our Facebook, Twitter, and LINE accounts active so you can send us comments, questions, or whatever you want to share.

    • 43 min
    Blending Fact & Fiction: Paul & Yuangrat Wedel Return to Discuss Their Novels Set in 1900s Siam

    Blending Fact & Fiction: Paul & Yuangrat Wedel Return to Discuss Their Novels Set in 1900s Siam

    Greg and Ed interview Paul and Yuangrat Wedel, returning guests to the show who previously talked about their book “Radical Thought, Thai Mind.” This time around the fascinating couple discuss their two novels, “Beads On A String” and “Dark Karma,” each historical fiction based in Southern Thailand.
    The two begin with a discussion of the origin of the novels. In short, Yuangrat grew up in the deep South of Thailand with a family of mixed ethnicity, including Thai, Malay, Mon, and Chinese ancestry. This rich family tree provided the raw material for the characters who populate the story. Then the couple did serious historical research on the epic changes that the South of Thailand went through in the late 1800s and early 1900s. With the character and the historical framework, they then wove a fictional story that intersects with actual historical events. 
    Greg, having dug into the first novel, attests to the pull of the story, which is a fascinating (and surprisingly horny!) look into a part of Thailand that was caught in the middle of a whirlwind of change, and the people that played a role in how it evolved. The discussion looks at topics that still play a big role in Thailand today - royalty, religion, money, corruption, gambling, and complex family dynamics. Against the backdrop of southern Thailand at the turn of the 20th, it’s a fascinating look back into the past and the creation of a story that’s as layered and nuanced as the real-life details the novels portray.
    Tune in for part two of the intriguing interview next week. 
    Don’t forget that Patrons get the ad-free version of the show as well as swag and other perks. And we’ll keep our Facebook, Twitter, and LINE accounts active so you can send us comments, questions, or whatever you want to share.

    • 38 min
    Ed’s City Review: Bangkok vs Hong Kong - Which One Comes Out on Top? [S7.E24]

    Ed’s City Review: Bangkok vs Hong Kong - Which One Comes Out on Top? [S7.E24]

    Continuing our regional focus of late, Greg and Ed discuss Ed’s recent trip to Hong Kong and how it compares to big, bad Bangkok. Ed begins with a big caveat: he’s not really much of a traveler, and he spent only 2 ½ days in Hong Kong, so his take is that of a true noob. That being said, Ed begins on the positive side, noting how geographically beautiful the city is, being situated on mountainous islands that present incredible photo opportunities. 
    However, when compared to Bangkok, Ed found a lot of shortcomings. First, Hong Kongers tend not to smile much, including customer service staff. After years in Thailand, Ed realized how spoiled he has become. Second, the LOCAL cuisine was almost comically bland, with food literally being served unspiced and with no condiments on the table. (Both guys agree though that when you factor in all the international cuisine there, the food options overall are great.) Third, money and social status was discussed openly and almost constantly by Ed’s tour guides, which to Ed’s western ears came across a bit crass.
    On a more neutral note but still unusual, the tour guides also openly discussed Hong Kong politics and their disdain for China in general. As a student of politics, Ed didn’t mind, but their open near-hostility seemed inappropriate in a tourist setting.
    Greg provides some counterpoint to Ed’s experience, having enjoyed Hong Kong in the past, and Ed admits he needs to return, sans tour guides, to explore the city more in depth. How do you think Hong Kong measures up to Bangkok? 
    Don’t forget that Patrons get the ad-free version of the show as well as swag and other perks. And we’ll keep our Facebook, Twitter, and LINE accounts active so you can send us comments, questions, or whatever you want to share.

    • 39 min
    Regional Podcast Pals: Joah McGee on Covering Tragedy & Hope on Insight Myanmar

    Regional Podcast Pals: Joah McGee on Covering Tragedy & Hope on Insight Myanmar

    Wrapping up our short series on our regional podcast peers, Greg interviews Joah McGee from the Insight Myanmar Podcast. Joah begins by explaining his early life in Myanmar and how he initially went to the country to study meditation and later secured a proper job doing training for an American Embassy-related organization. He managed to juggle professional life dealing with politics, with a personal life in monasteries practicing meditation. This eventually led Joah to making a documentary about a famous monk and writing a guidebook for foreigners wishing to study meditation in the country. As his expertise increased, a podcast focused on spiritual aspirants was the logical next step.
    All was not to stay rosy, however, as the country suffered a military coup in 2021. At that point, Joah and his partners made the decision to transition the podcast to more general stories about on-the-ground realities in the country, which of course necessitated dealing with the complex political situation in Myanmar. Greg questions Joah about issues such as self-censorship, guest selection, and the overall tone of the show. Joah explains that the harsh reality of current life in Myanmar requires serious shows, but that he does his best to mix things up and highlight the many special aspects of Burmese culture that people often forget among the grim stories in the news. 
    For a great change of pace from the Bangkok Podcast, check out Insight Myanmar. 
    Don’t forget that Patrons get the ad-free version of the show as well as swag and other perks. And we’ll keep our Facebook, Twitter, and LINE accounts active so you can send us comments, questions, or whatever you want to share.

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
121 Ratings

121 Ratings

Mental_Wrestle ,

Great dynamic between the two hosts.

Love it. Less interviews and more topics please

Alfoneh ,

Excellent introduction…

to Thai politics and society. Thank you!

ORT 23 ,

The best podcast

I’ve listened to this podcast—- this is the only podcast I’ve listened to every week for the last 3 years. I absolutely LOVE Greg and Ed’s content and it has helped me go from a 15 year old cross country runner to a professional 18 year old 100 mile runner, and they literally were the ONE podcast I listened to every week before my long reps on a track

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