Documentary - Discovery HD Secrets Of Bangkok
Blood, sweat, and fear, the, toughest, martial, art in the world. Scalpel. Tourism, cut, price cosmetic. Surgery with, a vacation, on the side. Artistic. Elephants, painting. For survival. These. Are the secrets, of an exotic Asian metropolis. The. Secrets. Of Bangkok. In. This hour we'll visit majestic. Temples, and, the, cement, Buddha that, turned to solid, gold. The, best room in town a glimpse, into the private, life of money and power at, Asia's, most luxurious hotel. One. Night in Bangkok, showgirls. And sparkles, in the exotic, capital. Of the world. And. We're, just going to the supermarket is an aquatic, adventure. This, is, I. Mean it's being invented, into a completely different culture that I'm used to. They. Sustain a lot more blows and costs with the likes and everything we're, talking not just punches. Dealing. With bagels. Kickboxing. Form white eye is a national. Obsession. This. Is Bangkok's, equivalent, of Madison, Square Garden. Wretched. Damnoen Stadium. Blood. And sweat. Where, victory, is noisy, and sweet while, defeat, is to be dashed on an unforgiving. Canvas. Poor, families, in rural areas, send their most promising, sons to full-time, Thai kickboxing. Schools in, the hope that one day he, might make it to the big time. To. Win a fight here would, mean the winner and his family, are set, for life. This. Is a spectacle. That many Western, visitors come to experience. For. $35. You get ringside, seats at. A, bloodsport, unmatched. In western boxing rings the. Noise and crowd. It's, exotic, and alien. Immersed. In bizarre, pre-match. Prayer, and tradition. This. Young champion, is centering, himself for. The contest, to come. Before. Each fight the boxes perform, a dance to pay homage to their trainers and to, the guardian, spirit of, Thai boxing, the, garlands and woven head and arm bands are worn during the pre-fight, dance to bestow blessings and, divine, protection. Each, fighter, wants Buddha to be on his side only. The, armbands, are kept on during the bout. The. Cultural presence, in the fighting it's not just you know spoke it out. But slug, it out they do, to. Western is used to the Marquis of Queensbury, style boxing, it's anarchy. In the ring. The, sheer brutality has, earned deep respect, from rival martial arts. In, a famous contest. In the 1970s. Hong Kong's top 5 kung-fu, masters. Went head-to-head with Thailand's, best kickboxers, all. Five kung-fu, masters, were knocked, out in, less than two minutes. To witness about it ratchet damnoen stadium, is to, see the best example, of hand-to-hand, combat, in the world.
Bangkok. Has many, secrets just, when you feel like you're getting to know her she changes, form and another unexpected, secret, is revealed. Thousands. Of international visitors come and go from here every day but. This is not a hotel and. It's. Not a shopping, mall this. Is bum regret Hospital a world-class. Private. Medical facility, cashing. In on a bangkok secret, the brave, new world of scalpel. Tourism. The. Whole concept behind medical, treatment for scalpel tourism is that you can come here for medical treatment, and have a vacation on the side if. I take the example of a tummy tuck tummy, tuck in the u.s. is around 20,000. U.s. here. The cost of the procedure total, package is three thousand five hundred now. An individual, can fly your first class have. The procedure done stay, at a five-star, hotel seven, or ten days and still, go back home with ten thousand dollars in their pocket, that's, medical tourism. A. Quarter. Of a million patients, every year come from 140. Different countries, it's. A slick, operation, with its eyes firmly, fixed, on the international. Market. We. Have Vietnamese, coming for neurosurgery, Bengalis. Coming for cardiology. Omani. Is coming for check-ups Americans. Coming for plastic surgery. Over. 20,000. Americans, a year fly. Across, the Pacific, and save big bucks on, cosmetic. Surgery. Dr.. Ayman, heads up the plastic, surgery clinic, he's a Thai citizen, but spent 15, years perfecting. His skills in California. How. We do everything here from head to toes we, do. Implants. Breast. Implants. Liposuction. Tummy tuck abrasive. Duction, we, do them all. Right. Mm-hmm, you. Have any problem, with that yeah, 18. Year old Laura had cosmetic surgery on, her nose, today, she's, come back for a follow up consultation. We. Looked at all the different options having. It done in the States or in Europe or here. In Asia and, we. Decided that it would be best have it done here because of the cost and. Because. We. Already had known people that had it done here and they. Had they, had good experiences. The, US Association, of Plastic Surgeons has had no complaints, regarding cheap, Thai surgery, but, warrens do your homework before, you arrive and check, your surgeons, credentials, you have no recourse if anything, goes wrong, but. The benefits, aren't always financial. We. Actually, turned her surgery, into a family, vacation, Laura. Had to wear a splint on her nose for about a week afterwards, and. We went out to, a couple stores and people. Were really staring, at her but she, really didn't care because, there. Were just strangers she knew she'd never see them again, and. That's one of the advantages. They. Just take a couple weeks vacation. Take. The time off from work and from friends and family absolutely done and by the time they kept back home they already look good no, one know what they have done. They. Know they look a little bit better but. They, don't have to tell them anything. And. The savings aren't just restricted, to cosmetic, surgery, in. The u.s. coronary. Bypass can, cost anything, from thirty to fifty thousand, dollars at. Bummer at grad surgery, you'll, pay. $7,000. We. Do bypass, surgery, we. Do Beverley replacement, and repair and. Finally. We do the heart transplantation, just, like what has, been done in Europe or in the United States. The. Quality of our work is quite comparable to those countries only, that it, is cheaper definitely. Cheaper and. The. First-class facilities, don't stop at the surgeons door. This. Is a hospital, ward more. Like a hotel suite. The. Public, areas are more like shopping, malls than hospitals, there's. Fast food there's coffee there's, every, convenience of home. Where, else can you walk, in see, a US board-certified specialists, within 10 or 15 minutes pay. $15. For the consult, and walk. Out with the Starbucks cappuccino, there's. No place else that I know of that you can do that. Welcome. To Bangkok's world of privilege and class.
Forget. The traffic, on the streets below because in this rarefied air of wealth and influence the, only, way to travel is the most direct route, straight. To the peninsula hotel one, of the newest establishments. In Thailand, it's already, a status, symbol. Voted. The best hotel, in Asia and number, two in the world by, travelling Leisure magazine. Stay. Here, and you're saying to the world look at me money. Is no, object. Guests. Arrive at the peninsula's, exclusive. Lofty, Perry Batra lounge. 37. Floors above the hubbub of the hotel's, Lobby. It. Honors the first aircraft built in Old Siam, and is, dedicated, to the spirit, and history. Of aviation. This. Original, 1927. Bristol jupiter engine now an elegant wall, feature then. You're escorted. To your room the best in the whole of Asia we. Have our Presidential, Suite the Peninsula Suite which, takes up one complete, floor of the building is, fully. Specht for a presidential. Visit so, you can, just imagine the facilities, it features this. Is opulence. With all the trappings we're, talking, at Jacuzzi with a view a private. Gymnasium, and. Your own personal, butler's quarters. Bangkok. Is one of the economic Tigers, of Asia you, can smell, the money in this suite and you'll be in the right frame of mind to strike that next, million-dollar. Deal a very. Strong, feature in the suite is its, ability. To operate, as a large, office, for, a traveling. Dignitary, or head of state it. Also allows, many. Business. Moguls, to stay here and completely function, from the suite we. Have had situations in, the past where, people, have actually arrived, in the building, and never, have gone to the lobby they've, come into the helicopter landing pad and they've gone straight to their suite and left, the same way. So. What do you pay for the best room in Asia, that, depends. People. Who stay here tend to have plenty of hangers on a. Personal. Chef to, prepare some of the best food in Asia. Your. Personal, trainer your. Personal, masseuse, your.
Personal, Security, and. Advisors. And they, all need accommodating. In adjacent rooms on, the same floor. The. Price of the suite frankly, goes from. 2,600, us and night and for, all the additional rooms there after the price goes up. But. If you're coming on your own there's, always the Thai suite it'll. Set you back 980. Dollars a night. There's. 370. Rooms in total and they all have one thing in common, river views. The. Secret, is in the design a unique. W, shape with all the elevators and service facilities, on one side and the rooms on the river side. The. Peninsula defiantly. Glares across, at its more established, rivals, on the city side of the river, they've. Suggested the, peninsula, is on the wrong side. It. Depends, on who you talk to and we. Actually consider, ourselves pioneers. For this side of the river we, feature panoramic. Views of the river and the city and. We. Have a wonderful sense of separation, from the craziness of Bangkok. Back, on street level and away, from the opulence, of the peninsula. Asia's. Hustle and bustle begins. To take over. This. Is khao san road. Where. East meets west in bangkok. You feel a little bit more at home there's. Not so much of a culture shock as. Being, in different areas of the city and. You. Can also explore, from here very easily. Colorful. Street stalls and cheap shopping, are the highlight of this area of Bangkok, and the biggest secret for the budget-conscious, tourists, enjoying. A stopover, here doesn't, cost you an arm and a leg. Around. Here you can anything. At. First was frightening coming, here now, it's busy, it's. A very hectic city pollution. Overcrowded. You. Kind of gotta learn to hold your breath once in a while. Excitement. West. Versus, East traffic. Noise. Too. Many cars. It's. A bit overbearing, and and powerful. But. Yes there are a lot of people yes, there's a lot of activity, yes there's a lot of traffic but let's. Bangkok that's what so I think so fantastic, about it. Valerie Mackenzie, is a Bangkok, celebrity. She, hosts a daily English speaking. Good morning Thailand, style show, she. Fell in love with this hub of Asia when she moved here from Australia 11, years ago, supposedly. To retire, and travel, instead. She was asked to host the show. And, now she's a media, personality, passionate. About the city that has embraced her, I think. You are the love Bangkok or you hate Bangkok, I don't know that there's any in-between, I'd. Lived in Europe I'd lived in Australia, you, know if you're in, Australia it's a long way to go to anywhere else as, much as I love Australia interview, in the USA it's a long way to go to anywhere, else this is like the center of the world so it's easy to get from, here to anywhere. This. Is a city that's in-your-face, and, impossible. To ignore. Seven. Million people cramming, the streets. It's original name was chrome threat or, City, of Angels but. Foreign, traders preferred, the name of the Old Capitol so. Bangkok. Stock. And. Locals. Will have you believe once. You've got the Bangkok, bug love, is blind. But, being the center of the world has its problems on the streets chronic, gridlock, has created, one of the most polluted, cities in the world, visitors. Soon discover, that traffic, is assigned to the city they, need to come to terms with. Renting. A car and driving yourself. Is not, a realistic, idea unless, you, have nerves of steel and, the patience, of a saint, but. There are options. Tow. Hooks they're everywhere, and their drivers, are always on the lookout for Westerners, so, they'll find you well, before you need to look for them.
When. You step into a tuk-tuk, be, prepared, to deal with the driver. They're, shrewd, businessmen and will try to sell you any number, of added, extras offering. Anything from girls and gogo bars to, jewelry, stores and restaurants but, the, good side is they can duck and weave through the wild, Bangkok traffic, it's. A kamikaze, ride so, the best thing to do is sit, back and marvel, at the Masters at work. The. SkyTrain, is a much more civilized way to get around the city. Since. Opening in 1999. It's taken about 40,000. Cars off the road, each day but. Sadly, that's not enough. The locals, accused the SkyTrain of, being elitist, and it's running at a huge, loss the. Problem, is the cost at. About 10 times the price of a bus fare it makes an unrealistic, option, if you're on an average Bangkok, wage. For. The Western visitor, it's ideal, one. U.s. dollar will get you anywhere in the city. Gliding. Above the chaos in air-conditioned. Comfort. But. The secret, to getting around Bangkok is its River. Car. Engines, are stripped from wrecks and live again powering. Longtail, boats along, the myriad, of waterways. The. Religious culture is the most amazing thing because we're in the middle of the canal and, there's just statues. And Buddha and temples everywhere and. It's just unbelievable how different it is from the American culture. There are no traffic jams the air is fresher though, the jury is still out on the quality of the water. Bangkok, was known as the venice of asia turning. Off the main river you head into the equivalent, of rivers suburbs. This, is Thornbury, the old part of the city a slice, of life that is a far cry from the modern metropolis just. Ten minutes away. It's. A great way to get perspective, on the city and experience. Real Bangkok. Labeled that for $10, an hour is our first trip and we're backing the canals back into the real life of people it's, completely different from the city. Which is great so. Far our first few hours. Though, furs some a cultural. River trip just gets in the way of alternative. Site scene. When. Day finishes. And night, rolls around Bangkok. Becomes. Asia's, party, city. There. Are enough showgirls, here to rival Las Vegas, but, be warned looks, can, be deceptive, because. These girls have, a secret. This. Is Calypso, cabaret, one of Bangkok's, top international, acts. It's, all feathers, and fun but here's, the secret. These, showgirls. Are in fact boys. Marylyn, look-alikes, Tina Turner even, Britney Spears, get the Calypso treatment. Don't. Bother coming, unless, you've booked because, this act is one of Bangkok's, top attractions. Cabaret. Has been running for over 10 years and, a, highlight, of the show is, to sneak backstage after. The final curtain and get, your picture taken with the cast complete. With full evening dress. Well. A boy, does have to look his best. Bangkok's. Nightlife, is an exotic mix of upmarket, entertainment. And downmarket, razzamatazz. On. Any, given night the locals, come out to play and use, any means they can to attract, tourists, into the bars and clubs. This. Is Steve cook an. American, has been living in Bangkok for seven, months with fellow American, Kevin silky. Pudding. Kevin come, on Kevin, Ben Kevin they've, got to know Bangkok's, night scene pretty well.
Nightlife. In Bangkok where can we start well people have you. Know a preconceived, notion about, you. Know the nightlife. In Bangkok but there's two different worlds part. Of it is just like New York City or London or LA, but, then there's also the. Bangkok. Aspect, of it which. It's pretty unique well, there's a lot of different things that you can get in Bangkok it's not just what you see here the circus before, us. Legitimate. Nightclubs, restaurants and. Bars do exist in Bangkok the. Problem, is knowing where to find them, the, illegitimate, sex. Industry has merged with every, aspect of nightlife, and has many faces. Every. Large city in the world has a red-light district, Bangkok, has several, but, the most well-known is Patpong Road this. Area came to fame during the Vietnam, War as a favorite. Our in our spot for American, GIs. Today. It's a bizarre mix, of night markets, running down the middle of the street with, strip clubs and gogo bars down, either side. Families. Browse, through the market avoiding, the edges, where the overzealous, sex, industry hawkers, are ready to pounce if. You know the rules here it's a safe and colorful night out. Bangkok's. Other red-light, areas are less frequented, but, they're all part of a multi-million. Dollar industry, with an annual turnover nearly, double, that of the Thai government's, annual, budget I mean. They rip your arms off it's it's, it going, to a sales market. And seriously, it's like going to buy a used car there, it's, great because I mean they're Ripa they're pulling you this way they pull you that way and here it's a bit more laid-back. And. You're not accosted, by people. But. Bangkok's, nightlife, is being cleaned up the, Thai government, has been working with international, agencies. To, purge the city of its infamous, dark, underbelly, of child, pornography, and prostitution. No. Matter what moral, judgment you place on Bangkok's, red-light, areas there's, no denying it's a spectacle, a place, Steve and Kevin have found you can come and have innocent, fun you, can just hang out like we are stop. Somewhere have a drink, have. Something to eat talk, to some people enjoy. The energy because, the energy here is incredible. You also can't, deny the fact that Thailand, has some of the most beautiful women in the entire world, and. You can definitely appreciate that, really. If. You have control, you can absolutely have fun here without getting, involved with any, anything. Crazy. You. Can get as crazy as you want or as relaxed, as you want and pretty much everything in between. It's. Not a boring place. And. This is a you know a weeknight, a. Safari. Adventure another. Unexpected. Secret. Of Bangkok. It's, the equivalent of an Asian art displaying. Animals, from around the world giving. Thais a chance, to see some of the animals, that used to live in the forests, of Asia as, well as exotics. From far away. It's. Also popular with the tourists, especially. When you can get up close and personal with, some of the more playful critters. Rangu. Tans are a crowd favorite, although their dress sense is quite questionable, but. It's hard not to fall in love with these affection today I. Want. To take these home I think, the thing that has been different than from, America, is they, bring the baby animals, out and you actually get to hold them that ring a Tang the, baby tiger, and, you actually get to hold him and feed him and. So. Far e-world includes, one of the biggest, open-air, zoos on the planet. 35. Acres of African, and Asian wildlife. Living, in conditions that, are as close to their natural habitat, as tropical. Asia can, be lions. Prowl in an African savanna giraffes. Behave, just like they would on a safari. Guests. Can take a bus or self-drive. Through the park on their own personal, tour and the rules simple. No, leaving, the car and use, discretion, if opening the windows. Along. The way you'll see endangered, species, like the Asian Sun bear and the. Iranian horned, scimitar. Deforestation. Now means for many of these beasts, captive. Breeding is their only chance of survival. But. Animals, aren't the only draw card the humans, put on just as good a display. Davi, stunt, shows on a man-made, lake combine. High action with explosive. Entertainment, there's. An elaborate, sci-fi, spy, wars set up complete, with a tie James, Bond style hero and is, can do Bond beauties, the, British Secret Service, never looked like this.
Right, Next door evidence, the Wild, West didn't, stop in California, it's spread, all the way across the Pacific to Southeast, Asia this is a cowboy, shoot-'em-up, Bangkok, style. Slap stick proof you can say yeehaw. In any, language. A crowd. Favorite, is the safari world dolphin show. It's, an Asian belief, that, dolphins are reincarnated, people, perhaps. These dolphins, were showgirls. In a past life. The. National, sport in Thailand, is kickboxing and the, ties are so crazy about it they'll, watch it in any form even. An orangutan. Bow. This. Entertainment, may not be to everyone's taste. But that's. Bangkok, in this, city anything. Goes, boxing. Orangutan, zan doll. One. Two, three, four, five, six, seven. On the weekend, in Bangkok there's a 35-acre. Institution. Shadowjack, the. World's, largest outdoor market. Among. The t-shirts, and souvenirs, are exotic, animals, for sale. Anyone. For a snake. For, a South American iguana, known as the chicken of the trees. Or, just any old chicken for that matter. In. The back lanes of Jetta Jack market vendors, walk a fine, line between, what, is and, isn't legal, to sell. If. You know the right people, rumor, has it you, can buy anything. The. Insidious, trade in animals thrives, here. So. There's a secret, to take heat off in these markets, be careful, where you point your camera not, everyone, is happy to have their picture taken. You. Can legally buy a prizefighting. Car, of. Course. Before you buy you, need to take it for a test drive. In. A real fight the talks where spikes, on their legs and duel, to the death. Jadoo jack is also known for its exotic, and bizarre, food. But, be warned pigs. Heads and sea, slugs are, an acquired taste. But, to really sample, traditional, Thai. Head. For the floating markets, of Des Moines said wit. That's. Wonderful, it, wouldn't be a trip, to Thailand without seeing the floating market you've, seen it in the bond pictures and things like that and it's a lot different when you get down here and really see it it's. Just fabulous, everything. In Thailand is here everything, you want to buy in Thailand is here. The. Secret here is to make the two-hour journey from, central Bangkok, the, night before. Next. Morning, your reward is an open window into, the Bangkok of 200, years ago. This. Is old Bangkok, a. Labyrinth. Of narrow waterways, thick with paddle, boats and produce. Today. Souvenir. Shopping is the most significant. Commerce of the markets sadly. Most Thais prefer, to patronize, modern, supermarkets. Rather, than these waterways. By, mid-morning, the tourist invasion, has begun. Cameras. At the ready no, image is safe. This. Colorful, world is a photographer's. Delight the. Buying begins, goods, are exchanged. Your, tastes, are tempted. You. Can even cuddle a snake it, bombards every. Sense. The, culture, the, the taste the, smells the. Fruit. Spicy. Food it's well it's gorgeous, wonderful. Experience, and also try not to drink. I'm. A chef so this is means this stick. A dream come true seeing all these vegetables and all these different spices. And. The Thai food is is wonderful everything. Smells good and it tastes even better. But. I don't know and it's all pretty scary they're fixing the food on the boat and you. Know in the, United States the health standards I don't know but hey if the food looks good, nobody's. Gonna poison you. Bad. For business if they poison you so go. Ahead and try the food. If. You just can't summon, the courage to try the food, you can gorge on the visual, feast. Where else would you see this, scene it's, just totally unique it's it's a fantastic, Terrace I made, Michael get another fuel thirty-six. DILG of us and I know under sup she did to. Leave. The credit card at home it's, cash, only here. The, exchange rate is phenomenal. You're, getting you know 40 baht to the US dollar a little, more actually so. You. Have to do a lot of math in your head when you're bargaining to convert it back to your prices, but, everything. Is just a bargain and sometimes, it's sometimes it's not even worth arguing. With the person over you know what ends up being 60, cents. Even. If you're not at the market, to buy just, being here is rich, enough. In Thailand, is a religious, country. Ninety-five. Percent of Thai people are, Buddhists. Incense, is burned daily, as an offering to the gods it's. A calming, influence in, this city of chaos, even. In the hustle and bustle of central, Bangkok a small, shrine, commands, respect from passing, motorists.
This Is the era wind shrine, it. Began life as a small, worshipping, area next. To the arrow in hotel but. Over the years. This. Shrine has become a religious, attraction. Bangkok's. Grand, palace, once, the ancient, home of the thai royal family, now a centerpiece. Of buddhist, inspired, tourism. Religious. Travel is big, business while, many Asian capitals, have let their cultural, and religious treasures go, Bangkok. Has embraced its keen. To display a wealth of culture unmatched. In Southeast, Asia and the grand palace is the greatest, treasure of them all. The. Royal family, moved from here many years ago, but. Over ten million tourists. A year now flock, here to see the outstanding. Craftsmanship. And artistry. The. Ashes, of Buddha himself are, held within these grounds, as are, the Tripitaka, the, ancient, buddhism scriptures. The. Secret, to visiting the 220. Year old grand palace is to take a guided tour and then return and spend some time taking, it all in on your own. Buddha's, devotees, flock, here like Catholics flock to the Vatican. Within. The grounds, of the Royal Palace, is the holiest, and most sacred site in the country, the. Home of the emerald buddha just. Two feet tall but what he lacks in height he makes up for in status. Wars, have been fought over him, his. Secret, is he's not really emerald. He's jadeite. His, garments, are changed each season by the king, this, is his cool season, solid, gold robe. There's. A Buddha in every, temple in Bangkok. The. Giant, Buddha standing. 105. Feet he, delivers, on his name. Visitors. Pay to release, birds to freedom. But. With freedom, come risks, that, law of nature is enforced, by the temples, resident, cats. There's. The Golden Buddha nine feet tall and made of over 12,000. Pounds of solid gold. In. Fact it's the largest solid. Gold icon, in the world. More. Than 700, years old, for most of its life the golden buddha held a secret, it. Was encased in cement to. Protect it from an invading enemy over. Generations, that secret, was lost until. 1957. While, moving him to his present, site a piece, of cement broke away revealing. The incredible. Golden, secret beneath. And then there's the reclining, budda. 150. Feet long and 48, feet high which makes the reclining, budda more of a giant than the giant, Buddha. He, looks relaxed. And so he should his, huge, feet are made of mother-of-pearl. And. His temple, has a unique, bangkok institution. That is a must for tired, and weary travelers. A thai, massage, school. Unusual. Combination, of pleasure and pain yeah, I think after this I'm gonna go for a beer it's assuming I can get up and walk feel that loose. The. Reclining, budda is patron, of the most respected. Massage, school in the country. For. Five US dollars you, get an hour long work over by a professional, massage, master. That's certainly recommend, it to anyone that gets the opportunity. Elephants. On the streets of Bangkok. They're. Mah hoots forced, to beg for money to feed these giant, beasts, it's a sad symptom, of a major problem, in modern Thailand. These, majestic animals, were once used for logging in Thailand's, teak forests, but, the government, been teak logging and overnight, the, elephant, became redundant. To. Be big slow, and have an elephant sized appetite, is, not, ideal in the 21st, century. 100. Years ago there, were, 100,000. Elephants in Thailand today. Just. Two and a half thousand. The. Challenge, for the elephant, is to once again become, economically. Viable. Survival. Is, to think laterally. And it doesn't get any more lateral, than this an 11. Piece elephant.
Orchestra, Not, surprisingly, unique. In the world. Richard. Land was a neuroscientist. Now, he swapped brains for, the baton. He. Rallied to the Asian elephants cause that. Has become somewhat, of a pachyderm, entrepreneur. Dreaming. Up creative, ways to make money to, save Thailand's, elephants. This. Many, clunked, orchestras, first CD, was described, by critics, as abstract. Classical. You, decide for yourself. Now. They're working on their second, album according. To Richard it will have more of a Thai American, pop feel Madonna, eat your heart out. Well. The, Thai elephant Orchestra, has gotten so famous, we'd. Really. Like to go on tour I've announced that we'll do anything weddings. Funerals bar, mitzvahs, free, it's. Just that that the, people have to supply the food and transportation, and to, this point that's that's. Proven, a drawback. Another. Of Richard's elephant, endeavors, is, art, New. York critics have deemed its abstract, nature as having a unique, slowness. And sensuality. But. It's, also art that's paying dividends, for the cause one. Elephant piece at a recent Christie's, charity, auction, fetched, a record. $2,100. That's. More money than Vincent, van Gogh got in his whole lifetime. We've. Been quite successful, just. Over the last two months I've sold, $50,000. Where, the paintings over a website. It's. Hard to argue with that. You. Also can't, argue with modern, economics. Elephant, jungle, tricks and shows, are another way this majestic, animal is pulling. Its weight. Unfortunately. Living out their lives in, the ever-decreasing jungle, is not an option so hats. Off to, elephant. Entrepreneurs. And. Then, there's, elephant. Polo. This. Is the King's Cup tournament, played every, year just, south of Bangkok. The. Best and fastest, version of the game is when the mahute splay alone, each. Mahute, is an elephant's, lifetime, human, companion, and carer. With. Their long poles the aim is to knock the ball into the goal not. Easy when you're perched ten feet off the ground. But. The sport has attracted, the eye of, wealthy, expats, living in Asia and that, has propelled, elephant, polo into, the world of influence, and big, sponsorship, it's an exotic carnival, where multinational. Money beats mahute well, it's very simple really it's, game of two halves three elephants, on each half we swap elephants, at halftime to take out the elephant factor, and, we just see you can get the most goals it's as simple as that the, English, team sponsored. By a well known scotch our reigning, champions, there, in the final again this year but their opponents, are from the German, national, polo team so it's going, to be tough. This. Is the biggest tournament yet it, began in 1982.
With. Teams competing, from Asia Europe, and, Australia. Americans. Have entered in previous, years but, their record to date has not been good they, sent an illustrious team, of players from Palm Springs Polo Club in California, but. They sadly, got well rather amusingly for some of us but sadly for them they, got beaten in the first round, by the ladies, so that, we haven't seen them back at elephant polo since then. Each. Half of the game is called a chucker and there's, two crucial factors, in elephant polo which. Elephants, you get at which, end of the ground you choose for the first chukker. You, want to be playing towards, the elephant camp end in the extra time period, because the elephants will definitely go quicker at the end of a tired day when, going back to their camp and that's on the northern end of this ground so you want to be basically targeting, Bangkok, for your second. Shotguns. Called heads. With. The Germans winning the tops, Peter misses, and choosing which elephants, his team have for the first chukker. But. He does get to choose the end he wants. We. Will attack. Okay. Pregame. Formalities, over the competitors, are surprisingly. Serious, for what appears to be a novelty, sport. Remember. I mean it might look like a bit of fun but for the mahute s-- and the elephants, in Thailand this is their Super Bowl and they, take it very very seriously and, it's, actually right that the players do so too and that's why when you get out there it's, it's a very very serious sport. Rain. Or shine the final, goes on. Mahute. Steer the elephants, the, Western jockeys, wheeled the sticks. The. German stick power has an inch on the Brits, first. Goal in the driving rain is a breakaway, the. Wives cheered, them on Germany. Won England. 0. England. Regather in the driving rain their, wives feeling, the pressure. Seeing. These huge animals break, into a run is a highlight, of a good game a gap. Is spotted, the, advantage, played the. English seize their chance and, run the ball all the way past the German, defense for, the goal of the day a win, one Germany. Won. Half. Time and naturally. Enough some on-the-spot, ground, keeping is always necessary. The. Game continues, the Germans are not going to sit back and settle for a time. They. Attack the gold in the fading light and the driving rain England, can't hold them back. Victory. To the Germans. Full-time is called and another, game and the conservation, of elephants, is over. Well. That was just a pleasure to play it I mean I think was definitely, the best game of elephant polo we've ever seen over 20 years very. Sad to lose but, just terribly happy to have been a part of it, everyone. Here acknowledges, the real winners are the elephants, and their mahute. Elephant. Polo is saving, them from redundancy. And providing. A world stage, to, promote the plight of the Asian, elephant. City. Of contradictions. Exotic. Hypnotic. Colorful. Powerful. I do, love Bangkok, I love it because it's alive I love, it because it's vibrant. I think, it's the people it's, the culture, it's. Very Asian but. It's got its own uniqueness about Asia and I think that that's its, main benefit. Bangkok. The Venice of Asia the. Tiger, without thousand. Tales to tell.