If you’re bored of simply reading about Thailand and want to mix it up a bit, why not delve into the world of Thailand podcasts?
Podcasts certainly aren’t a new phenomenon but — as with many things — they have been a little slow to trickle down into the Thai media offerings. That’s all changed in the last few years, however, as Thai podcasts have found their footing and are starting to put out entertaining content on a (relatively) regular basis.
Whether you’re after the best Thailand travel podcast or just an amusing Thailand expat podcast to chuckle along to on your morning commute, you’re certain to find something that tickles your pickle.
The Best Thailand Podcasts
Focused on our chaotic capital, Bangkok, the Bangkok Podcast originally began in 2010 but was revamped in 2016 as a popular Thailand expat podcast.
Now the two co-hosts (Greg Jorgensen and Evo Terra) share all the “weird, wonderful, awful, interesting, and mystifying aspects of expat life in Bangkok” with their subscribers.
Evo Terra is an experienced traveler (and something of a digital media mogul) who decided to make Bangkok his home in 2016, and his co-host Greg has been living, working and writing travel stories in Thailand since 2001.
The Bangkok Podcast mainly covers expat experiences, plus examines Thai religion, culture and language, and topics as controversial as drug use and legalisation.
Interviews are a regular feature on the show, and previous guests have included a transgender ladyboy, a Muay Thai fighter and Thailand’s ex-finance minister.
The Bangkok Podcast team usually put out roughly one show a week.
Thirty-something Karsten Aichholz is the brainchild tech entrepreneur behind the Thailand expat podcast Brewed in Bangkok.
He’s lived and worked all over the world, speaks fluent Thai and has enjoyed the good life in Bangkok for many years. His podcast is all about the ‘real’ Bangkok. Gritty interviews pull no punches, and authentic stories, off-the-beaten-track insights and experiences immerse listeners in the reality of the hidden world of Bangkok and the extraordinary people who live there.
The very first Brewed in Bangkok Podcast set the precedent for future episodes.
Entitled ‘Surviving a Tsunami’ it features an interview with Daniel Kvarnemo who shared his experiences during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and dealing with the devastating aftermath.
The accompanying website to the podcast also includes useful guides for people who looking to live, work, retire or start a business in Thailand.
‘Life in Thailand’ is one of the Thailand podcasts geared towards giving advice about navigating Thai life. The idea behind it is to answer questions for expats and people who are considering moving to, traveling to or working in Thailand.
Hosted by Business English teacher and freelance writer John Wolcott, the show reports on relevant issues all over Thailand.
So far topics have included ‘How to Quickly Find a Job in Thailand’, ‘How I Make Money in Thailand’, ‘ Having a Baby in Thailand’ and ‘Should you ship your things to Thailand?’.
Podcasts typically last around 15-30 minutes and contain plenty of useful tips and info from an experienced expat in Thailand.
If you are an expat living and/or working in Thailand, Thai podcasts like the Learn Thai Podcast could be invaluable. It aims to teach subscribers to learn to speak, read, write and understand Thai quickly and easily.
These educational podcasts can be used independently, or in combination with video and text lessons.
The Learn Thai Podcast focuses on teaching real ‘street Thai’, the way it is spoken by everyday people. Conversation lessons use native Thai speakers talking naturally as they would in ordinary situations — this means that listeners are learning current, modern Thai rather than an outmoded style of language.
The big advantage of these podcasts is that you can download the audio files and then listen and learn as you are walking around or commuting – fitting your learning in around your daily tasks. The downside is that unlike other podcasts, these lessons aren’t free. The cost for the complete Learn Thai Podcast Premium Course is $197.
Lastly, the quirky and cultural Poet in Bangkok podcast concentrates on issues regarding making art in a changing Thailand.
It’s a pretty niche subject for a podcast, but for creative types it offers some really interesting insights into Thailand’s art scene.
Amongst others, episodes so far have featured interviews with such people as Thai art gallery curators, cartoonist and artist Kathy MacLeod who revealed how painting the sex-tourists of Soi Cowboy helped her shed light on the reasons why she makes art in the first place, and Note Pongsuang — a Thai artist and one of Bangkok’s most revered party organizers who discusses growing up gay and poor, and explains how his work and elaborate parties are a response to both his young life and the oppression of Thailand’s social hierarchies.
This serialized story and interview podcast is hosted by two artists; Colin Cheney — a poetry author and editor of a writing and art journal — and Donald Quist — a short story writer and lecturer. Both hosts live and work in Bangkok.
And there you have it — our pick of the best Thailand podcasts.
Which do you think is the best Thailand travel podcast?