Lessons from “The Embassy”

Almost a million Australians a year travel to Thailand. Many get into trouble and some of them are now captured for eternity in a fascinating new TV series “The Embassy“, set at the Australian Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. It is compelling viewing. Trailer:

The hour long episodes deal with everything that can go wrong on holidays in Thailand: ladyboys, love, lust, lost passports,  lunatic drinking and lame behaviour. My favourite line comes from one of the Thai staff at the embassy: “low cost airfares meant the end of ‘the calm’ for consular offices.

The “observational documentary series” took over  five years to plan and film and is is a first for  the Australian and Thai governments. The show details the lengths that staff go to rescue Australians, some of whom exemplify the worst Aussie behaviours. In Episode One for example, we have a guy in prison for overstaying his visa, a group of party animals that end up in fights with locals and the police, a couple wanting to adopt surrogate twins, a destroyed passport and more:



From the absolutely stupid behavours have seen in the show, I recommend the following commandments for all travllers. These, should be engrained on every backpacker’s passport, travel itenaries and at every border crossing:

  1. Take your brain on holidays (a line from Consular official Trudy in the show)
  2. Have travel insurance
  3. Obey the law
  4. Guard your passport…”is a lifeline back home”
  5. Do not carry all of your money with you
  6. Do not overstay your visa- ever
  7. Watch alcohol intake
  8. Treat people with kindness
  9. Have spare cash or access to it
  10. Read my blog!!

Or just get people to watch this show!

NB I have family and friends who work at the Australian embassy in Bangkok.


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