Great Asian Railway Journeys is a 20-part BBC travel and history documentary series produced by Boundless and presented by Michael Portillo, a former Conservative MP and Minister of State for Transport. Following the format of the highly successful Great British Railway Journeys and related series with Portillo as presenter, each episode features a railway journey in south-east Asia using Bradshaw’s Through Routes to the Chief Cities, and Bathing, and Health Resorts of the World (1913) as a historical reference, in order to consider how the places visited have changed over the preceding century. (Click here to read the section on Thailand)
During the course of the series, Portillo travels a total distance of 2,500 miles and passes through six countries, beginning with the Chinese territory of Hong Kong then moving on to Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia before reaching his final destination of Singapore. One of the main themes he explores is colonial history, examining the legacy of the British, French, Dutch and Portuguese Empires, and how the countries involved gained their independence. Filming for the series was carried out in two stages and took 7–8 weeks to complete.
EPISODE 3: “Chiang Mai to Lampang”
EPISODE 4: “Ayutthaya to River Kwai”
EPISODE 5: “Bangkok”
EPISODE 6: “Bangkok to HuaHin”