Southeast Asia is the perfect place to be a travelphile. It’s a dazzling mosaic of cultures, languages, and cuisines, all thriving and clashing together in a small corner of Asia. This ease of travel within a small space is one of the reasons that SE Asia is such an interesting and compelling part of the world, and consequently, one that people travel to frequently.
Unfortunately, if you’re like us, you can get sucked into a cycle of working and sleeping. What’s your excuse? Can’t get away from work to travel around Southeast Asia? Still saving up?
Well we’ve got the perfect thing to tide you over until you can: Coconuts TV on iflix series takes you around Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia without having to book any flights! You might as well put teleportation on your resume as a skill, because you’re going to feel like you’re experiencing live in each country while watching these stories.
Coconuts TV on iflix: Episode 1, “Sexy Time”
Coconuts TV enlisted Pan Pan Narkprasert, perhaps better known as Thailand’s very own premier drag queen, Pangina Heals, to lead our episode about the most prestigious trans beauty pageant in Thailand, Miss Tiffany’s Universe, which is more than just a beauty contest for some of the hopeful contenders. The pageant represents a path to acceptance in a society that still doesn’t always completely acknowledge trans women. Watch the segment here to follow the story of one trans woman on her journey from childhood, to coming out, to competing in Miss Tiffany’s Universe.
Accepting and loving people for who they are is one way to be kind and increase your karma — but not the only way. Coconuts TV explores another heartening and inspiring story that reveals itself from Northern Thailand, where one kind-hearted monk is saving horses and people alike. Phra Kru Ba is a soldier-turned-monk who has become a local and national legend through promoting his initiatives to save horses from the slaughterhouse and people from potential and current drug addictions.
Coconuts TV on iflix: Episode 2, “Marginalized”
The stories that we uncovered in the Philippines are nothing short of spicy, limit-pushing, and breathtaking. Batangas is home to the famous balisong knife, or butterfly knife. There is an entire lifestyle built around knife fighting with handcrafted balisong blades, of which there are hundreds of designs. Although the actual knife fights stopped in the 1990s, we still found a thriving culture around owning the blades and learning self-defense techniques, evidenced by the plethora of martial arts centers that teach the art of the blade. Watch Coconuts TV on iflix Episode 3: “Needles N’ Knives” to learn more.
On other other side of the spectrum of thrills vs. relaxation, Coconuts TV also visited The Hobbit House in Manila, a decades-old bar that’s famous for its staff, who are all little people. The Hobbit House is a place for people to do the opposite of fighting: it’s somewhere to sit back, relax, and spend some quality time. It’s praised by the staff as a safe haven for little people, where they can find decent work, in a country that makes it difficult for them to do so. Watch “The Short Circuit” to find out how little people in Manila are making their way through the world.
Coconuts TV on iflix: Episode 4, “Animals and Us”
We couldn’t make an episode about Indonesia without talking about dangdut. The iconic music genre of the country takes influences from Malay, Hindi, Arabic, and Western influences. It’s life for many Indonesians, and due to this serious attachment to the music, when there’s controversy within the genre, it rocks the Indonesian music world. The clash comes from a new subgenre of dangdut, named dangdut koplo, which integrates modern sensuality as part of the appeal. Check out the full segment to find out exactly what that means for the future of dangdut.
There’s another thing that humans love just as much as music: dogs! Some selfless humans set out to save the beloved mountain dogs that live in Bali, right underneath a near-bursting volcano. The humans of the town had been evacuated, but as the dogs of the town roam freely, without a single specified owner, the dogs were left behind, vulnerable to starvation and to the bubbling volcano. Since these mountain dogs are the oldest breed of purebred dogs left in the world, according to this study, they’re quite precious to the animal activists. Watch Coconuts TV on iflix Episode 4: “Animals And Us” to learn more.
Coconuts TV on iflix: Episode 1, “Sexy Time”
Southeast Asia is known for delicious seafood dishes, fresh from the sea. But who is it that’s out there working for weeks on end to make sure that that fish is as fresh as possible? Some of those people are the fishermen in Tanjung Lumpur, in Kuantan. They go out on the water for weeks at a time, gathering enough fish to make a profit on the market, which puts a lot of free time on their hands while out on the open sea. It’s all too easy to turn to drugs to fill the time, and fishermen have no trouble admitting to it, but there’s still a dangerous stigma around discussing the HIV that may result from needle-sharing. Watch what Coconuts TV unveiled about the issue!
As for the fishermen, it can be difficult for city-dwellers to navigate taboos in society. Our trusty correspondent in Kuala Lumpur dove deep into the hush-hush world of the sugar daddies and sugar babies of the metropolitan city. The sugar-seekers and sugar-providers can meet each other on a relatively new platform called The SugarBook, where “romance meets finance,” as the website reads. The platform is not shy about its motives and the founder and CEO, Darren C, defends its existence, saying that this sort of matchmaking is already happening anyways. He’s just doing everyone a favor by making it a little more accessible. Watch Episode 1 below hear what our correspondent uncovers about how successful these sugar relationships are!
So there you have it, your solution to wanting to travel but not being able to leave your office or home. Travel with us! The Coconuts TV on iflix documentary series is available now on iflix for anyone, subscribers and non-subscribers for free. Click here to watch, or watch the first episode below.