Tag Archives: TV

Thailand: Tourism and the Truth

In 2008 Stacey Dooley emerged as one of the stars of the hit BBC Three series, Blood, Sweat and T-Shirts, and has since spent the three years lifting the lid on shocking stories from the developing world.

In 2010 she travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo where she examined the plight of child soldiers and journeyed to Cambodia to investigate the shocking world of underage sex trafficking.

This time Stacey is travelling to one of our favourite holiday destinations, Thailand, to explore the darker side of tourism that the average holiday maker doesn’t see. Hundreds of thousands of us flock to Thailand every year, where for just a few hundred pounds you can enjoy beautiful beaches, top hotels and unbeatable service. A trip to Thailand has become a rite of passage for many young Brits, but why is it possible to enjoy such luxury at such bargain prices?

Stacey begins her trip in Phuket, where she stays as a tourist before swapping roles and becoming a hotel worker. She works as a chambermaid and struggles with the hard work and incredibly high standards, having to clean 14 rooms a day for just four pounds. She also discovers what it’s like to live on such low wages and the sacrifices that some hotel workers have to make. Many live in slum conditions or in hotel dormitories, separated from their children for months at a time.

From BBC Three

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Filed under Thailand, Travel

“Dogtooth” is scheduled to be on FILM4 again

“Dogtooth”, one of this year’s bizarre and highly original movies, will be shown on the Film4 movie channel again. It is scheduled to be on early next Tuesday morning at 01:35. It was first shown on this channel a couple of weeks ago, but there was a problem with our Sky Digibox: it partly recorded the programme. This time I am determined to watch this disturbingly unusual movie without vexatious interruption.

A short description of the movie from Film4:

“What if your parents had scared you into never leaving your house via a series of lies? Dogtooth is that house, and its three teenage inhabitants have subsisted on a diet of total fiction since birth.”

The film is a very strange dark comedy which contains violence and explicit sex scenes. It was nominated in the category of “foreign language film of the year” at the 31st London Critics’ Circle Film Awards, competing with other notable movies: ‘I Am Love’, ‘Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives’, ‘Of Gods and Men’ and ‘The Secret in Their Eyes’.

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101 East – Thailand: The price of health

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Must watch them quickly before they are removed again

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Must watch: Madness in the Fast Lane

In 2008, BBC cameras filmed two Swedish sisters throwing themselves into traffic on the M6. When it was shown on BBC One, nearly 7 million viewers were glued to their screens, and millions more watched it later on YouTube.

The footage was shocking. One previewer wrote “On no account miss this documentary. It opens with what is perhaps the most extraordinary footage I’ve seen on TV”.

But this amazing footage was only part of an even more incredible story, one which could not be told at the time for legal reasons.

Now, two years later, this documentary reveals the full story of the hours just before the cameras captured that motorway footage, and the even more chilling story of what happened over next 72 hours, which left one of the sisters fleeing the scene of a crime, after she had stabbed a man through the chest.

Those who were at the centre of this fascinating legal case, including the police and Crown prosecution service, reveal the complex issues involved in both bringing charges and taking this disturbing case to trial.

A leading criminal psychiatrist, Dr. Nigel Eastman, explains the difficulties the judicial system has in achieving justice and deciding punishment when dealing with mental illness. He explains the possible causes of the womens’ behaviour, and why, in his view, it could happen again.

From BBC iPlayer

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My perspective, as a Thai, on the programme

Much is being discussed and debated about a television programme called “Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand”. The programme has been broadcast on Bravo, a British television channel, every Monday at 10 p.m.  for the last couple of weeks. I watched the first two episodes and I will carry on watching the rest of the series. Personally, I see nothing wrong with the programme. Given the title of the programme it is guaranteed to feature scenes depicting the bad behaviour of some tourists and locals. To my surprise, many people have been making a big fuss about it. The Thai authorities are not pleased to see what features in the show and have been taking action. Some expats are also not very keen to see their fellow citizens behaving badly in the Land of Smiles. Having watched quite a few programmes on Bravo, I am aware of the fact that this channel caters for a particular kind of audience. There have been programmes before on the channel where British tourists have gone abroad and got into trouble. Although this show about Thailand comes across as cheap entertainment, it also provides good advice to foreigners on how to steer clear of trouble when they visit certain places in the country and also how to deal with the locals in sticky situations. Here is a list of websites and blogs that discuss the show:

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/Big-Trouble-Tourist-Thailand-t291222.html

http://absolutelybangkok.com/big-trouble-in-tourist-thailand/

http://www.bangkokdiaries.com/2009/09/10/big-trouble-tourist-thailand/

http://jamie-monk.blogspot.com/2009/09/phuket-jet-ski-debate_12.html

http://jonnytheforeigner.blogspot.com/2009/09/big-trouble-in-thailand.html

http://leosia.com/2009/09/16/big-trouble-video-nasties/

http://www.thai-blogs.com/index.php/2009/09/12/thai-police-ganja-scam-on-big-trouble-in?blog=8

http://www.tfs2m.com/main/2009/09/11/from-the-producerdirector-of-big-trouble-in-thailand/

http://soi1114.blogspot.com/2009/09/big-trouble-in-thailand.html

I bet the people behind the programme have been beaming with pleasure to see it being widely discussed. Hats off to them, I suppose!

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Filed under Farang, Thailand, Thai_People, Travel, UK

Blood, Sweat and Takeaways

To understand how food is produced and imported to the UK, six young Brits, three men and three women, travelled to south east Asia to live and work with the people who produce the food that they daily consume in the UK. In the two previous episodes, they had had to work in remote areas of Indonesia in the tuna and prawn industry respectively. In their latest journey the Brits had to go to the rural area of Isan, the northeast region of Thailand, to live and work with the locals and earn a living as the Isan people do.

To do this, they had to rent a house and work in the rice field as the local workers do to earn money for the rent and food. They had to plant rice all day to earn their wage. On the first day they did not do very well. The owner of the rice field had to ask Thai workers to help them out. Because of this, the Brits were given only half of the wage that they were supposed to get. On the second day, despite the struggle and moaning, they eventually did well and received their full pay. When the summer arrived there was no work for them in the rice field. Like the Thai locals, the Brits had to find other work to do to get money to pay for food and rent. They went to work in a mill. As they were not used to the working conditions, as usual, drama arose. Only one guy, a British farmer, never complained about anything. He just got on with the job. He even did the work that a couple of the Brits could not do. At the end of the day, even though they did not finish by the deadline, the owner of the mill decided not to pay them less than he had promised them. They earned the full 750 baht, hence they had enough money to feed themselves and pay the rent.

When the rice season finished, they had no work to do. One again, they had to find other ways to support themselves. Because they did not have enough money left, they could not afford to buy food. The Thai neighbours even gave them a chicken, but they had to catch it and kill it first. There was no choice for the Brits except to travel to Bangkok to find alternative work, just like the Isan people do. They thought they would encounter better conditions. Instead, they ended up living in Khlongtoei, Bangkok’s largest slum. The final part of their journey is broadcast next week on BBC Three, in Blood, Sweat and Takeaways, in the poorest area of Bangkok and they will have to work as Thai migrant workers do.

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Filed under British people, Farang, Food, Thailand, Thai_People