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Koh Yao Noi, shot from a quadcopter

Koh Yao Noi Island [Vimeo], near Phuket, Thailand, shot using GoPro from a Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter.
posted by MoonOrb on Jun 13, 2014 - 15 comments

Supermarket slave trail

A six-month investigation has established that large numbers of men bought and sold like animals and held against their will on fishing boats off Thailand are integral to the production of prawns (commonly called shrimp in the US) sold in leading supermarkets around the world, including the top four global retailers: Walmart, Carrefour, Costco and Tesco.
So it turns out many of the prawns on sale at your local supermarket are produced by slave labour.
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 10, 2014 - 64 comments

'Hunger Games' salute banned in Thailand

"We know it comes from the movie... If it is an obvious form of resistance, then we have to control it."
posted by colie on Jun 3, 2014 - 60 comments

"If you cannot finish your talks, you can't go home,"

Thailand 2014 Coup: Expect for the Worst [more inside]
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed on May 22, 2014 - 50 comments

Thai Government Bureaucrat By Day, Mexican Gangster By Night

There's a new trend in Bangkok where males have embraced what they believe to be Mexican gangster culture, by emulating what they see on television and YouTube.
posted by gman on Mar 24, 2014 - 39 comments

Hey, let's go see that movie soon as we get off the plane!

Swinging Sixties Film Posters from Japan - Bootleg Film Posters from Ghana - Retro Film Posters from Thailand
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 2, 2013 - 8 comments

The Bob Ross of advanced knife fighting

Paul Vunak doesn't want you to be irresponsible while fighting with knives. Here he is, busting common knife fighting myths in his dulcet tones. Bonus: best video transition in history around the 4:39 mark.
posted by lattiboy on Aug 27, 2013 - 103 comments

Good night, sweethearts.

What happened to Jim Thompson?
posted by seemoreglass on Jun 14, 2013 - 10 comments

Your Office Vending Machine Will Never Be This Awesome.

What makes a sweet street treat even better? Awesome artists. From Southern China, Sugar Painting makes elaborate, edible toffee masterpieces by carefully draping hot sugar onto cool marble. In Chongqing they make super floral sugar floss in a rainbow of colours. This artist from Xian blows hot sugar as if it were glass. From Istanbul, Tarihi Osmanlı Macunu (aka Traditional Ottoman Candy) is made with five different flavors of thick taffy spiraled deftly around a stick, creating a delicious lollipop. Dragon Beard Candy from Thailand is not only tasty but a great way to learn about geometric progression. And while a Thai banana pancake may seem pretty straightforward, there are always ways to jazz it up. [more inside]
posted by Jilder on Apr 16, 2013 - 13 comments

Happiness is Moms and a Mud Puddle.

Baby elephant Navann plays in the mud pit and takes a dip in the river with his mother and nanny at Elephant Nature Park in Mae Tang, Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. [slyt]
posted by quin on Mar 8, 2013 - 23 comments

the true history of Pad Thai

"In between surviving multiple point-blank-range assassination attempts and a failed kidnapping in which he emerged alive from the burning wreckage of a battleship his own air force had just bombed, Pibulsongkram decided that Thailand needed noodles that would advance the country’s industry and economy."
posted by moonmilk on Feb 23, 2013 - 35 comments

Water for Elefonts

A baby elephant goes for a swim. Pretty much what it says on the tin. Happy Sunday.
posted by MarvinTheCat on Feb 17, 2013 - 33 comments

A Huge Pile of Gorgeous Old Thai Movie Posters

A huge pile of gorgeous old Thai movie posters from the great blog Asia Obscura. (Previously.)
posted by MegoSteve on Jan 25, 2013 - 5 comments

Are Western tourists being poisoned in Asia?

Western tourists (mostly female) visiting Southeast Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, and Bali) are ending up dead, likely poisoned. Local officials have blamed the use of the insecticide DEET as an exotic ingredient in so-called "Bucket Drinks", or the use of Chlorpyrifos in hotel rooms. But Deborah Blum, an author and poison expert, doesn't buy into the insecticide theories offered by local officials. She thinks this looks like targeted murders. Since writing about the poisonings, she says she's been contacted by people who claim poisoning foreigners is common in 5-star hotels, and the police and owners cover it up.. A Facebook group was formed not only so that world travelers could share safe travel tips, but also so that notice of the unexplained, and often uninvestigated, deaths could be made public.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jan 9, 2013 - 75 comments

Honey, I Shrunk the Tariff

"Honey laundering is a complex exercise that involves several players in the honey chain from apiary to wholesaler to retailer. In the case against ALW, evidence was presented to show the use of fake country-of-origin documents for shipments, replacement of labels on Chinese containers with fraudulent ones, switching of honey containers in a third country, and even the blending of Chinese honey with glucose syrup or honey from another country."
posted by vidur on Dec 6, 2012 - 37 comments

Gentle giant

Teddy Bear(trailer) is a movie about a Danish bodybuilder in search of love. Kim Kold, actual bodybuilder, stars. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 13, 2012 - 7 comments

the Thai jakae

I just stumbled upon some Thai music performed on an instrument I hadn't heard of until just now. But the curious machine-gun rhythm patterns are kinda rocking my world. It was uploaded to YT yesterday, and at the moment has a big FIVE views. And I think two of those are mine. Anyway, here it is: เดี่ยวจะเข้ [ Jakae solo ] : ครูทองดี สุจริตกุล [ Khru Thong-dee Sucharitkul ]. Now, here's another, apparently by the same lady. She's got a seriously percussive, take-no-prisoners approach to the instrument. But in neither of those clips do we see the instrument being played. So I looked around some more, and found this one, and though this guy's style is not quite as, um, *punk*, it's still pretty badass, and you get the visual idea of what the instrument is all about, not to mention the all-important twin-percussion backing. Hope you enjoy this little glimpse into the world of the Thai jakae.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 17, 2012 - 26 comments

Red and Yellow: Thailand's Future in Check and Balance

Red and Yellow: Thailand's Future in Check and Balance
posted by Cloud King on Jul 1, 2012 - 6 comments

He’s documenting history, one Asian movie theater at a time

Three years ago, Phil Jablon (aka The Projectionist) started a concerted effort to start documenting the rapidly-vanishing stand-alone movie theaters and former theaters in Southeast Asia. Today his website, The Southeast Asia Movie Theater Project is a historian and movie-theater lover's dream. Jablon has captured the faded, the lost, the torched, the almost lost, the repurposed, the reborn, and the unbounded. [more inside]
posted by blueberry on Jul 1, 2012 - 6 comments

River. Of. Ducks.

[SLYT] Two thousand ducks cross the road to get to the field on the other side.
posted by not_on_display on Jun 22, 2012 - 81 comments

78 78s

78 78s - In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
posted by carter on Jan 29, 2012 - 15 comments

Thai Flood Hacks

The Thais, resourceful as ever, have come up with numerous ways to overcome the recent flood waters that have killed over 500 people.
posted by gman on Nov 15, 2011 - 29 comments

Bangkok Floods

Bangkok is facing the worst floods it has seen in over 50 years. This nice little animated video helps you make sense of the overall situation and the possible impact (Thai audio, English subtitles)
posted by awfurby on Oct 25, 2011 - 21 comments

Silence of Love

Silence of Love from Thai Life Insurance. An advertisement designed to break your heart. And it does. (Possible triggers, via The Browser) [more inside]
posted by Ahab on Aug 17, 2011 - 65 comments

Thailand’s Moment of Truth

Thailand’s Moment of Truth: A Secret History of 21st Century Siam, a massive, multipart, Wikileaks-fueled exposé of the royal family and government of Thailand. Brief overview here. [more inside]
posted by StrikeTheViol on Aug 6, 2011 - 9 comments

Kung Fu, Soccer and Volleyball combo: Sepak Takraw

When you combine Kung Fu, Soccer and Volleyball you get an awesome sport called Sepak Takraw | the film version, Libas | 'Just Give Me The Damn Sepak Takraw Ball'. A few more examples: grass court | women's match . About the Sepak Takraw ball. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jul 31, 2011 - 20 comments

"We will kill, burn, and destroy all Buddhists"

For 100 years, Buddhists and Muslims lived side by side in southern Thailand. In 2004, a small fraction of the Muslims started killing the Buddhists indiscriminately. This conflict is now the most violent in Asia, with murders of Thai civilians, including children, monks, and Muslims who refuse to cooperate, occurring on a daily basis. [more inside]
posted by shii on Jul 27, 2011 - 54 comments

Anchalee Saengtai aka Yumi Modal's Transformations

Anchalee Saengtai is a Thai sculptor who makes incredible Transformer statues out of recycled scrap parts. | Her Predator creations | Alien | Megatron Tank | furniture | and more. Bonus link: Transformer art in Mexico.
posted by nickyskye on Jun 15, 2011 - 17 comments

You'll never make it, kids. Here, I got you jerseys.

"On our island we loved to watch football. But no one had actually ever played it." The story of a football team on the floating village of Ko Panyi. [more inside]
posted by Taft on Mar 20, 2011 - 16 comments

"I want to tell my dad that I love you, and I finally made it now."

Thailand's Got Talent: Boy or Girl? (SYTL) Maybe this reinforces some cliches, and maybe it's overwrought and scripted reality tv, but I still found this pretty sweet.
posted by the thing about it on Mar 15, 2011 - 60 comments

The Air Chief Marshall wants to shake hands

The former head of the US Embassy in Bangkok describes an extraordinary dinner at which Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn's poodle dressed in formal evening attire complete with paw mitts ... jumped up on to the head table and began lapping from the guests’ water glasses. Apparently the poodle, Foo Foo, holds the rank of Air Chief Marshall. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Feb 6, 2011 - 39 comments

"The nurses are on roller skates."

Boobs in Bangkok: "Wayward Betty" tells the story of her Thai plastic surgery vacation. (Via The Hairpin, whose excerpt is eye-friendlier.)
posted by hermitosis on Feb 1, 2011 - 61 comments

That was a long time ago

Ron Fanelli was a poker player. Victoria Coren liked him. Then she learned that he had confessed to brutally killing 'bar girl' Wanphen Pienjai in Thailand. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Sep 20, 2010 - 86 comments

No Baggage Challenge

Rolf Potts will travel through 12 countries in 42 days, with his current location updated here. He intends to do all this with no luggage, no backpack, no man purse -- not even a fanny pack. [via mefi projects]
posted by gman on Sep 15, 2010 - 51 comments

You Burn Ma Mall

In May of this year political protests in Thailand turned violent. Somewhere around 100 people were killed, the streets burned, and the political stability of Thailand came into question. Additionally, Thailand's largest mall burned down. Thai teenagers, who may not care about politics, are not happy. [more inside]
posted by treeshar on Jun 17, 2010 - 20 comments

Surrender Is Out of the Question

For Us Surrender Is Out of the Question. "Living with the crazy, fearless young men who risk life and limb to document Burma's genocide."
posted by homunculus on May 23, 2010 - 20 comments

Bangkok burns

Bangkok is on fire. A good collection of links on the conflict with many on-the-ground reports (may not work well in Firefox). Video of the assault on the red shirt encampment. Now the violence is spreading beyond the capital into the northern and northeastern provinces. Is Thailand heading for civil war?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on May 19, 2010 - 50 comments

Ordination of women causes controversy in Buddhism

In 2009, four Buddhist nuns (Bhikkunis) were secretly ordained in Australia - the first ever ordination of Bhikkunis in Australia, and a first for the Thai Forest tradition anywhere. London-born Ajahn Brahm, a long-time supporter of women's equality in Buddhism, facilitated the ordination. For this he was expelled from his community, the Wat Pa Phong Sangha, and his monastery's status was revoked. This video summarizes the conflict, and is possibly the first use of the Downfall meme related to Buddhism. This March, more nuns were ordained in the UK for the first time since the Australia controversy, but they're still not equal to male monks. This blog post discusses sexism, fundamentalism, and the conflict between East and West. The modern opposition to bhikkhuni ordination is no ancient Buddhist tradition. It can be traced no earlier, so far as I am aware, than the abhorrent 1928 ruling against bhikkhuni in Thailand, made by monks who thought it reasonable to arrest nuns and throw them in jail for ordaining. [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Apr 14, 2010 - 72 comments

Red vs. Yellow

Is Thailand Falling Apart?
The Battle for Thailand is ongoing and pragmatism has given way to dogmatic intransigence. In february talk of the next coup was raising political temperature; with rural Thailand simmering with anti-government rage.; and so Thailand’s Red shirted protesters went ahead with a Blood protest rally.
posted by adamvasco on Mar 29, 2010 - 27 comments

We will miss you when you are gone.

The world is closing in on the Moken way of life. Sights and Sounds by the late Nicolas Reynard.
The Kabang serves both as home and transport. Here's how they are built.
The Moken have enhanced underwater eyesight.
However with probably fewer than 1000 people still pursuing the traditional lifesyle; It's sadly time to say goodbye.
( Further reading. Previously / related 1; 2; 3 )
posted by adamvasco on Jan 28, 2010 - 10 comments

Nice weather for protests.

June has been a good month for political upheaval and mass protest. Peru (update), China, and Iran were discussed here previously. But how many of the following were you aware of: Canada, Thailand, Honduras, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Kashmir, Pakistan, and India? The latter four reflect a quite serious electricity shortage throughout the Indian subcontinent, during a record-breaking heat wave that has caused over 100 deaths. But don't worry, not everyone is dealing with life-threatening problems. In Israel 30,000 turned out to protest a parking lot. Meanwhile, Indymedia continues to cover all the bourgeois first-world protests you've never really wanted to know about.
posted by shii on Jun 30, 2009 - 8 comments

Same Same, But Different.

The Tuk Tuk is coming to America.
posted by gman on Apr 16, 2009 - 51 comments

From a parallel universe full of everything bad for you

ASIAN DRILLPOP! Lurid junk culture artifacts from Japan, Korea, Thailand and India. Mostly not safe for work. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee on Mar 19, 2009 - 30 comments

The Forgotten People

What if you were one of the Rohingya people, and you faced death in trying to escape, or were expelled from your Homeland. Would you wait for others to help, or would you try and do it yourself...
posted by hadjiboy on Feb 28, 2009 - 6 comments

eerie imaginings from the East

Asian Horror Movies.com. 100's of free, streaming video, full movies, which have English subtitles. Index of titles updated regularly. Japanese, Korean, Thai. Includes a wide variety of films from an eccentric fantasy like 100% Wool to a psychological thriller like Angel Dust. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jan 25, 2009 - 52 comments

vegetarians on the cutting edge

[warning: not safe for anytime, extreme piercing] The Vegetarian Festival in Phuket, when hundreds of spirit mediums torture themselves by piercing sharp spears through their cheeks and other parts of the body. This is believed to avert evil spirits from the community. 28 September - 7 October 2008. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 8, 2008 - 20 comments

Elephants + Instruments = Thai Elephant Orchestra

The Thai Elephant Orchestra. Founded by Richard Lair and Dave Soldier [previously] at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang, Thailand, a former logging camp. • Listen to tracks from the Elephants' two releases: Thai Elephant Orchestra (2001) and Elephonic Rhapsodies (2004) [They're the 6th and 7th albums on the page] • A New York Times Article from Dec 16, 2000 • A National Geographic segment (audio) that accompanies a larger piece (video) about the changing lives of elephants in Thailand • A full-length documentary (.mov format) • Youtubery: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 [#4 is a beautiful animation which also incorporates paintings made by the elephants at the Center.] [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on Sep 16, 2008 - 16 comments

“I did this to douse the fire, not to cause a fire”

Bangkok is under a state of emergency this week as approximately 300,000 anti-government protestors have seized control of government buildings. Thai PM Samak Sundaravej declared a state of emergency last Tuesday and resists calls for his resignation, offering instead a referendum, as the street fighting continues. Many are worried these protests will hurt Thailand's tourist industry, which makes up 6.5% of its GDP. While some express concern about mob rule, the motivations behind the protests are many: "All we are getting in Thailand is the same vicious circle of corrupt, power-hungry leaders. This system is not working."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Sep 4, 2008 - 34 comments

Beautiful Strangers

If you've ever been to Bangkok you might've run into one of them and not even known it. They are a ubiquitous fixture on the bar scene and can be found in the Nana Plaza area. If you're asking yourself the same question that I was then this maybe your answer. Although they enjoy a certain amount of acceptance, they still have a long way to go to be recognized as full citizens with equal rights. Of course, this hasn't stopped them from staking their claim to the spotlight, and trying to become as much of the mainstream as they can. But, if you thought that they were pushovers, well then, think again. [previously mentioned here]
posted by hadjiboy on Apr 13, 2008 - 21 comments

Thailand life..,

A Thailand teen who has had an online presence for ten years... is now doing three yearsin a Thai prison...and with the help of his former teacher is able to tell us about it.
posted by konolia on Jan 12, 2008 - 49 comments

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