Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand | DW Documentary


king rama the first wanted to make his mark so he decided to turn a small fishing village into his new residence bellicose neighbors had reduced his hitherto beloved capital into rubble the gods were consulted and the evil spirits placated good advice was exchanged no efforts were spared and high-flying plans were forged the wise prophesied a golden future a residence for the gods they even saw a capital of the world there was also a new name for this global seat of government Krung Thep mahanakhon never heard of it that’s no surprise outside the country the new city continued to be known under its old name to the good new day when the Mamas now [Music] welcome to Chrome tap that’s it short form Bangkok’s official name still is the longest name of any capital in the world with more than 20 million visitors Bangkok took the top spot of most visited cities in the world in 2016 well ahead of London and Paris [Music] the wat arun named after the indian god of dawn is one of Bangkok’s best-known landmarks and Thailand’s most famous temple it’s adorned with flower patterns made of shells and Chinese porcelain more than a million individual pieces were used to maintain the temples shine these mosaics are polished and the stucco freshened up every 10 years this has to be done by hand on the Wat Arun hey token we use very traditional very simple methods in our restoration works – the white stucco is made of ground and fired sandstone making it more durable than any modern paint it dries in just a few minutes you can wash it and it’s very resistant to rain and moisture the technique takes a lot of time and it’s expensive that’s why it’s only used for the restoration of royal temples [Music] the easiest way to reach the Wat Arun is by ferry those who opted to come here by car will encounter Bangkok from its least pleasant side [Music] the dream of the car friendly city for nearly an entire century planning and construction in Bangkok focused almost exclusively on motorized personal transport these days it’s possible to cross the city center on three lines with a sky train or the underground there’s no better way of getting from A to B in a quick and safe manner in Thailand’s capital the greater metropolitan area of Bangkok is home to more than 15 million people with a population density two and a half times that of Los Angeles [Music] the two skytrain lines are no less reliable than trains in Switzerland compared to the chaos on Bangkok streets they feel like a parallel universe an almost clinically clean and perfectly organized world of punctuality ice cold air from air-conditioning units and polished granite passengers mustn’t make a mess and they’re not allowed to eat or drink either the problem with this system is that with its 36 kilometers and its capacity of roughly 700 thousand passengers a day it’s still far too small for this sprawling city an airplane graveyard in the middle of Bangkok the shells of several retired planes lie here from short-haul craft two jumbo jets it’s not an official museum and not an actual destination for tourists the compound is in private hands and that’s why it’s possible to visit it for a fee of around five years the investor had originally planned to use these wrecks for event oriented dining experiences alternatively he hoped to sell off parts neither plan worked the airplane graveyard isn’t listed in travel guides yet and most Bangkok residents haven’t been here either the best way to find this place is to look up the address online and show a taxi driver the map it’s much easier to find the white TriMet the temple of the Golden Buddha [Music] it houses a treasure that 700 years old and had long been thought lost the statue of the sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded it was hidden under a simple stucco coating covered in colorful glass shards this coating was accidentally damaged during renovation works in 1955 revealing its gold interior the statue weighs five and a half tons and consists depending on the body part of up to 99% gold the material value of the gold is around 300 million euros but its spiritual value is immeasurable Chinatown unmistakeably starts right behind the temple long before Bangkok became the capital there was already a large Chinese community here this immigrant community has maintained its traditions and faith to this day just like Chinese architectural styles and a portion for bright bold colors [Music] [Music] houses that look like film sets and nighttime crowds to rival airports at peak travel times anything with between two and eight legs lands in the pots and on the plates here except of course the tables and chairs you need a bit of courage but not a particularly robust stomach to eat your fill [Music] the where’s spilling out on to narrow sidewalks further crowd Bangkok’s bustling pavements the tourists love it and the locals have learned to live with it but many street vendors don’t pay proper taxes at best we’re told they make unofficial donations to the police that’s a thorn in the side of the military junta that seized power in 2014 and a problem for its state coffers if it were up to the government all this trading would take place in the regulated monitored context of organized markets some street vendors have already been cleared a good compromise between the chaotic street food stalls and the polished night market is a hearty Thai barbecue diners help themselves to as much food as they can eat for around five euros then they cook off riot at their table to their taste tourists should definitely try more than they’re served in typical tourist response the ingredients are fresh and properly cooked that’s why everything here is very hygienic I would recommend you to not go to the regular places like cows on all these tourist places but to go into the side side roads we call their coat SOI and that’s where you can find the real Thai Street food and you will have something different than the FATA from herring fillets to masam encourage this duck chef and his colleagues get plenty of inspiration from Thailand street kitchens even after years in Bangkok that inspiration takes the shape of fresh shrimp tartare seasoned with chili for the typical Thais spiciness with mango for a touch of the exotic and avocado to turn it all into a swinger salad a very small salad the park society restaurant prefers to boast with the view it affords when dining on the roof terrace the gourmets have half the city and Bangkok’s biggest urban green space Lumpini Park at their feet speaking of park [Music] [Applause] The Swan lumpini or Swan loom for short his Thailand’s biggest open-air fitness venue when temperatures drop a little in the late afternoon locals head here for a workout [Music] everyone’s allowed to train spontaneously without a contract those who come just the one time pay fifty cents the monthly price is roughly five euros [Music] whipping yourself into shape is completely free if you use the many other apparatuses in the park and then there’s stretching and jogging too but beware there are rules there’s a designated area and joggers have to run in a counterclockwise direction there’s more exercises have to keep an eye on the time because there’s a daily 42nd state-mandated pause in the park that’s strictly enforced [Music] [Music] that was the national anthem wherever it’s played people are expected to stop in their tracks it’s frequently confused with Thailand ii anthem which also brings public life to a standstill but it’s dedicated just to the king one of the richest men in the world on October the 13th 2016 a world ended for millions of ties this film footage was taken minutes before the death of king rama the ninth the oldest male monarch in the world at the time people were praying for their king whom they venerated far more than his successor but nobody would talk about that publicly because insulting the monarch is a crime that carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison beloved venerated idolized the mourning period for the dead King was set at one year after 70 years on the throne many people in Thailand feel that that’s too short rather than too long public life is now back on track except on the roads of course that’s why for our trip from the historic to the modern centre we’ve chosen a mode of transport that’s definitely congestion free the clong boat over the past century almost all of Bangkok’s canals have been filled in to create room for roads there are speed boats in regular operation on one of the few remaining waterways when the water in the clong Fester’s after long dry periods the stench from the canal rivals Venice at the height of summer but never mind a ride on a clong boat is an experience nobody should miss the trip on the canal is a trip along the city’s Future past properties are classed as premium locations in Bangkok if they can be reached by skytrain by underground or by one of the major arterial roads that’s not the case for the area around the canal as a result property prices are more reasonable here and the pace of urban densification is slower too [Music] when money speaks the truth is silent [Music] entire neighborhoods in Bangkok often have to make way for new construction projects heritage buildings Town Planning they’ve heard of that here but such things tend to get in the way of development we’re visiting an area that so far been able to withstand the construction boom at least in part located by the embassy quarter the starting point of our tour is Somerset Park one of the few private but publicly accessible green spaces in the city it’s right on the attractive Swan blue road to get going we choose not to walk instead we opted for a mode of transport whose characteristic engine noise gave it its onomatopoeic named tuk tuks are a symbol of Thailand most tourists have never taken a tuk-tuk before and they want to try at least once no wonder it’s fun and you sit in the cool breeze in contrast to taxis tuk tuks don’t have a meter prices are often too high that’s why it’s best to get your hotel reception to organizer talk talk and negotiate a good price for you in advance liya hai depart I’m a cop it’s worth looking at the ground in Bangkok from time to time because that’s where one of the city’s biggest problems becomes apparent Bangkok is sinking if you pull the plug in a bathtub full of water and styrofoam beads facing to the bottom something comparables happening in Bangkok because vast quantities of drinking water are being depleted from the ground beneath the city in the second half of the 20th century the growing city sank by up to one meter per decade if that had carried on at the same rate parts of the city would already be below sea level how can you tell by looking at the streets which are often in perfect condition easy while the houses and private plots are slowly losing height the road level is regularly raised with a new layer of asphalt or concrete this road here was recently resurfaced even in heavy rain visitors hardly get wet feet in the covered food stalls of this side street of the Sawan clue unfortunately this only moves the problem because the water finds its own way on to other roads and properties as well as into the now lower lying ground floors of nearby houses my shop 27 years ago that time the foot part was lower than the much lower than my shop and the road was even lower than the footpath and now they have raised the road by nearly 70 centimeters so the road is higher than the footpath by nearly 35 to 40 centimeters wild mountainous landscapes and untamed nature this cannot be Bangkok one might think but it is admittedly the rocks are all miniature and the natural setting is styled rather than untamed even the fog that wafts mysteriously over the grounds is not real but everything’s real in the turtle pond including the powerful jaws that’s why it’s important to bring the correct tools to a private wild beast feeding session towering in the middle of the lake there’s a rock that looks like it’s been cast out of wax the many small buildings are dedicated to the spirits of the Dead their memorials not temples the small haven of green is located on the grounds of the Wat Arun it’s bell shaped building is a JD the Thai version of a Buddhist stupa buildings of this type originally housed a relic of Buddha but since the number of relics is limited JD’s are primarily a religious memorial symbolizing the founder of Buddhism and his teachings their places of quiet prayer the bell-shaped building style originated in Sri Lanka like a walled burial mound it isn’t suited to be a self-supporting dome and charities are therefore usually solid that’s different in the white crayon its JD is hollow and can be entered to pray meditate or leave devotional offerings such as the gold leaf on the walls or religious objects visitors can also marvel at the simple trick the builders used to give their dome the necessary stability at the end of our film we return to the beginning the naming of the capital 250 years ago there was just a small fishing village here with a relatively unimaginative name plum Grove on the river bangkok king rama the first decided to build his new residence here bigger and more beautiful than anything seen before its glory was to be summed up in its name many suggestions were made and in the end almost all of them were adopted pick up a karaoke microphone and sing the whole name with us [Music] a hundred and sixty nine letters without spaces in tie a superstar among city names City of Angels and of the Emerald Buddha impregnable city of God great capital of the world rich in palaces that resemble the heavenly home of the reborn God and that were gifted by the god Indra that’s the very free quick translation of this mouthful to learn the name by heart there’s help in the form of this 1989 hit by the group asani wasan many people in Thailand use it as a memory aid [Music] the best time to practice this musical brain training is probably a trip in the child prior Express boat it’s the breezy astray of crossing Bangkok from north to south [Music] and feature spectacular views of the capital which holds the record for the longest place name in the world [Music] you you

100 thoughts on “Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand | DW Documentary”

  1. Been living in Bangkok for almost 2 years and I totally love it! ผมรักกรุงเทพมากๆ <3

  2. Just been there for a week! Very nice experience! After seeing this documentary, I think I need to revisit.! 😉🤗

  3. Broomberg said Thailand got 57000 million dollars from tourism and still number 1 in Asia and 4 in the World. If you don't believe please check out.

  4. I'm in 'Krung Thep' average 3 times a year. It's again and again a new and very positiv exerience. The Thais are such an lovly and welcoming people. Even if the english language isn't very present, they try their best to help you. I prefer the north of Thailand, becaus it's a more natural erperienc as the tourist strongholds in the south 😉

  5. From Bangkok but live in Netherlands but believe me lots of places are better than bkk . Country side are precious

  6. Bangkok is now the 10th most polluted cities in the world.what do expect for this jerk city full of cars , motobikes, old buses and welcoming herds of tourists…a city is perdition

  7. Hard to forget my first disastrous week in Bangkok 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

    but returning nearly a month later, and more used to how things go in Thailand, I was still lost but at least much more relaxed and no dumb first timer tourist stupidities anymore 🤣

  8. I thought they had a bit more sex trafficing and crime than shown in this tourism commerc… I mean, documentary.
    interesting show, though. just a little one-sided, with bright side only

  9. This place creeps me out, too many idol-demons statue around, so freaky! actually, this reminds me of the future “Colony” in Total Recall movie. If this is NWO plan, I hope Jesus raptures me than live in this hell on earth. scary!

  10. I really liked all the different music in this! Fits so well! So nice to hear real music and not the royalty free music everyone always uses! 👍👍👍💕💕💕

  11. Some of your info. concerning the King is incorrect. Most of Royal Wealth was seized by a coup government many many years ago, and is being managed by the government til' present.

  12. As someone who lives and works in Bangkok, I had to stop watching at the 5 minute mark's absurd gushing about BKK's Skytrain. If the makers can get such a simple thing so wrong, I can't trust what they have to say about anything else.

  13. I'm from Thailand I'm hate Cambodia that stupid country always COPY Thailand Cambodia🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕

  14. we are not the rich country but we are not the poor country also. We in the medium class but we Ok with that. that why we can live in our country with happiness all the time and enjoy every festival all the year.

  15. I lived there for 7 years before coming to Phuket. Bangkok has a feeling like no other place I've been and needs to be experienced!

  16. im four min in and im already like ok but the traffic is better than LA and the population density is still better than san francisco 😂

  17. #Thailand #Bangkok #ChiangMai #Phitsanulok
    #ChiangRai #Phetchabun
    #Phuket #Pattaya 🇹🇭🇹🇭 #KhonKaen #Ayutthaya
    #Andaman #Phangnga
    #KohChang #SamuiIsland
    #Sukhothai #UdonThani
    #HatYai #Chaam #Surin #Kanchanaburi #NongKhai
    #BuriRam #NakhonPathom
    #Chanthaburi ❤❤❤❤❤

  18. I love your documentary. It simply presents Bangkok, but it shows all aspects of common lives of citizens and where and what visitors can see, not a just fancy night life corners.

    I was surprised that at the end of the video, you presented the song of Bangkok name. I sang along the karaoke with joy and a good memory of the song when I was young.

    Thank you for a nice documentary ❤

  19. I'm from Manila Philippines & Bangkok is absolutely beautiful city.I'm jealous because they have good transportation & has a couple of choice whether its land or water. We don't have that kind of transportation here in Manila.

  20. the long formal name and the ridiculous worship of their king only underscores the infantile psychology of the average thai.

  21. that stupid western pop music totally ruins the start of the vid. next time use traditional music that corresponds with the subject.

  22. Many pickpocket gangs from Vietnam and Cambodia in Bangkok, the officials say that they try to destroy thai tourism.

  23. When the song of Bangkok's name plays, I can't stop singing, haha. Btw, this documentary seemed to be made years ago, Bangkok is changing everyday, the new buildings are being built everywhere.

  24. Add titles when you mention a place such as a temple, since Thai is not a language most tourists understand. A title helps viewers read and remember the name of the place. Same goes for the name of Bangkok in Thai. This is basic stuff in Adobe Premiere.

  25. very good documentary, so much bad ones out there. i love to walk the footpaths of the small and bigger kanals. Bangkok is like a sweet multi layer cake, you can't take to much of her at one time. I am fortuned so i can walk and bycykle explore here many times a year. And yes the best and most fun is the kanal biats/busses

  26. i guess there are a couple more couple more countries in that “exclusive” club of countries that never where european colonies.. russia, turkey, china, egypt, iran, irak, saudi arabia,…

  27. the shameful Hong Kong SAR leader carrie lam rejected the foreign affairs interrupting and fighting for human rights protection, safety and freedom purposes, I am not curious to any such bad people (anyone related or not the shitingzens) by my experience with them of their smelly wicked bad personalities SHAMEFUL to me and their rationales for getting their wanted wicked selfish advantages in carrying out any harmful or hurtful jealous hateful bullying matters for their own greedy and bad inhuman personality purposes! Globalization matter human protection and safety rights for cooperative peacefulness not for any cruel bad greedy people unfairly prevailed or prevailing!

  28. Not a place for retirees, under the new immigration laws in Thailand you have to deposit $25,000.00 dollars in order to get a permanent visa.

  29. Don't do it. It's the THAITANIC a sinking ship. High exchange rate. Stupid immigration rules. And no love towards foreigners. Lies behind a fake smile.. Thailand was amazing but it's had it's day now.

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