14 Podcasts to Last Your Entire Flight to Thailand

Sydney to Koh Samui? Twelve hours’ flying, minimum. Expect similar travel times from London and Melbourne to Samui (likely approaching the fifteen+ hour mark). As for Lima, the furthest city from Samui? Oh, just a cool 37 hours from take-off to touch-down.

Since we’re in the business of making sure you arrive an expert (if not a little smug), below you’ll find 14 podcasts and audiobooks to enjoy on your journey to Thailand. (They’re also a great idea to enjoy by the pool while you’re Olympic-Medal People-Watching, as well as when you’re awake at crazy hours with jetlag). Enjoy!

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Travel Tip: Podcasts and Planes

Belkin RockStar Headphone Splitter and Bose QuietComfort Headphones
Headphone Splitter and Noise Cancelling Headphones

*Tip – If you’re travelling as a couple and share the same taste in podcasts, I recommend packing a headphone splitter so that you can listen to them together. As you’ll likely have to wait until after take-off to use your in-flight entertainment, a shared podcast kills that boring “hurry up and wait” time. At the very least it will prevent Party A from annoying Party B with constant “guess whats” and “wanna know something interesting?”

14 podcasts (to last your entire flight)

1. Should I Be Terrified of Snakes…

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness
Run time: 57 minutes

Episode Description: “Dr Sara Ruane is a herpetologist & assistant professor at Rutgers University-Newark who joins Jonathan to breakdown all things snakes! She covers their environmental benefits, the differences between constrictors & venomous snakes, and more.”

2. Thailand Travel Safety Guide

The World Nomads Podcast
Run time: 28 minutes

Episode Description: “[E]verything you need to know about transport, scams, and rip-offs so you can have a safe and fun time in the ‘land of smiles’.” This can’t miss podcast episode cover changes to boating laws in Thailand, riding motorbikes in Thailand, how to avoid having your drink spiked, females and monks, and more.

3. Elephants: The Best Animals?

Stuff You Should Know
Run time: 64 minutes

Episode Description: “Elephants are pretty much the best. Why? Josh and Chuck will let you know in great detail in today’s episode.”

4. Bangkok 8 (Audiobook)

John Burdett
Run time: 12 hours

Audiobook Description: “A thriller with attitude to spare, Bangkok 8 is a sexy, razor-edged, often darkly hilarious novel set in one of the world’s most exotic cities. Witnessed by a throng of gaping spectators, a charismatic Marine sergeant is murdered under a Bangkok bridge inside a bolted-shut Mercedes Benz. Among the witnesses are the only two cops in the city not on the take, but within moments one is murdered and his partner, Sonchai Jitpleecheep – a devout Buddhist and the son of a Thai bar girl and a long-gone Vietnam War G.I. – is hell-bent on wreaking revenge.”

5. What’s it Like Being Blind in Bangkok?

The Bangkok Podcast
Run time: 38 minutes

Episode Description: “In our ongoing series about living in Bangkok with a disability, Greg interviews Sai Techawongtham, a Thai citizen who is blind, and who has something very rare in Thailand – a guide dog (his name is Luther and he’s a very good boy).”

6. Learn Thai Podcast

LTP Premium Course
Run time: 10-minute lessons with suggested curriculum

Episode Description: “Now it’s easy to master all aspects of the Thai language within a few months. Learn to speak, read, write and understand Thai quickly and easily with over 800 videos, audio and text lessons. The LTP Premium Course focuses on real street Thai the way it is spoken today. In our conversation lessons, you hear and see native Thai speakers talking like they would talk with you. You learn to speak and understand modern Thai instead of outdated dictionary Thai.”

7. The Beach (Audiobook)

Alex Garland
Run time: 11 hours

Audiobook Description: “The Khao San Road, Bangkok – first stop for the hordes of rootless young Westerners traveling in Southeast Asia. On Richard’s first night there, a fellow traveler slashes his wrists, bequeathing to Richard a meticulously drawn map to “the Beach”.”

8. Jellyfish – Even Cooler Than Octopi?

Stuff You Should Know
Run time: 56 minutes

Episode Description: “Jellyfish are among the most adaptable, competitive organisms on the planet. They can grow back into their juvenile stage when resources are scarce, reproduce in massive groups and kill an adult human, among lots of other neat stuff. Learn all about em in this classic episode!”

9. Sustainable and Ethical Travel

The World Nomads Podcast
Run time: 43 minutes

Episode Description: “[W]e discover some of the most sustainable and ethical travel businesses in the market, encouraging travelers to experience the world without harming natural and cultural environments and ask, how happy are you?” Highlights include “becoming carbon positive” and “shifting the way we look at wild animals”.

10. Private Dancer (Audiobook)

Stephen Leather
Run time: 11 hours

Audiobook Description: “Thailand 1996. The Year of The Rat. Pete, a young travel writer, wanders into a Bangkok go-go bar and meets the love of his life. Joy is the girl of his dreams, young, stunningly pretty, and one of the Zombie Bar’s top-earning pole dancers. What follows is a roller-coaster ride of sex, drugs, and deception, as Pete discovers that his very own private dancer is not all she claims to be. And that far from being the girl of his dreams, Joy is his own personal nightmare.”

11. What’s the Problem with Palm Oil?

BBC Inside Science
Run time: 30 minutes

Episode Description: “Palm oil is now such a dirty word for household products and processed food, that it often hides behind a list of dozens of pseudonyms (from the ubiquitous sodium laureth sulphate to the slightly more obvious palm kernel oil, to the totally opaque vegetable oil). It’s becoming a major global concern, and there is ongoing debate between enforcing a ban or shifting to more sustainable production. It’s always complicated, but…”

12. The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Audiobook)

Richard Flanagan
Run time: 15 hours

Audiobook Description: “From the winner of Australia’s National Fiction Prize, author of the hugely acclaimed Gould’s Book of Fish, comes a magisterial, Rashomon-like novel of love and war that traces the life of one man from World War II to the present. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thailand – Burma Death Railway in 1943, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. His life is a daily struggle to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from pitiless beatings – until he receives a letter that will change him forever.”

13. How Coral Reefs Work

Stuff You Should Know
Run time: 39 minutes

Episode Description: “Coral reefs are the largest organic structures on Earth, yet they’re created through a symbiotic relationship between creatures about 3 millimetres long. Learn more about the world’s coral reefs (and how to protect them) in this episode.”

14. Selected Shorts: Draft Day (Audiobook)

Rattawut Lapcharoensap
Run time: 28 minutes

Audiobook Description: “On the day of the draft lottery, a Thai man keeps a secret from his best friend.” An audiobook excerpt from the collection of short stories about various lives in modern-day Thailand, Sightseeing.