Talk Travel Asia podcast welcomes back Phillip Cornwel Smith to talk about his latest publication: Very Bangkok. There’s no doubt that Bangkok is one of the world’s most visited cities. Its sites are some of the most featured on Instagram, and almost everyone will come up with some mental pictures of the city, good and bad, the moment they hear the name. Founded in 1782 when the Chakri Dynasty established Bangkok as Thailand’s capital, it’s a vibrant, dynamic city that dazzles the senses at every turn. Some love it, others hate it, and all with good reason. Today we’ll explore the City of Angels well beyond the surface with longtime resident and author Philip Cornwel Smith, who will share insights from his book Very Bangkok.

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If you travel, you almost always end up spending a reasonable amount of time in a hotel or lodging of some sort. Your room and property typically plays a key role in your experience, especially if it’s a special trip or one to a new part of the world you’ve been dreaming of for a long time. You’ve likely had a hotel experience that you still remember due to a few special touches and you’d go back in a flash if you were there again. And you’ve likely also stayed somewhere that was a bust and tainted your overall memories of a destination. On this episode we’ll go beyond the throw pillows and welcome drink to think about what makes a great hotel experience, with Jason Friedman, a longtime luxury hotelier specializing in Asia.

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First off, this is not a podcast about attractions and activities your dog or cat could enjoy while he or she is on holiday in Asia. While that would be fun, this is about how you can experience animals as a tourist in Asia. Some are good, some are bad, but all can be contentious as animal rights are something we care passionately about but are not always taken as seriously in Asia as they are in certain countries with more strict enforcement.

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Episode 58: Asian Bar Game Olympics

A game cafe trend took off in Asia a few years back that included both board game cafes and beer pong tournaments, and it doesn’t seem to be dying down. Today, there are a wealth of opportunities to get your game on both in and out of bars across the region. In fact Scott and I recently organized and competed in the first Bangkok Bar Games Olympics. Today we are going to talk about a variety of places to play different games across Asia, everything from family fun to just get drunk.

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Introduction:  Trevor is in Kuala Lumpur visiting Scott for the recording of this episode, during which time they plan to do some cycling in Scott’s Bukit Kiara neighbourhood. The two discuss their different experiences biking in SE Asia as well as the great aspects of exploring the region by bicycle. Trevor enjoys how travel by bike allows you to mingle closely with local communities, while Scott talks about how it’s great to see the local sights. They bring in a cycling expert to share his expertise on what riders can expect from cycling in various countries across the greater region. From where the best areas are for climbing, road-riding trips, off-road adventures, and everything in between, we get to the bottom of what SE Asia has to offer riders.

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Bagan at sunrise

Bagan at sunrise

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Bangkok is legendary as one of the world’s most exotic and exciting cities. It’s also one full of scams, hustles, and tourist traps, luckily most of them relatively innocent and non-violent.  Scott and Trevor cover a few of the most common, elaborate, and colorful Bangkok scams so that you can have a lot of fun in Bangkok and not get ripped off!

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