The Real Bangkok Hilton

60 minutes 8.5/10 based on 16 votes

Dubbed the “Bangkok Hilton” by the West, Thailand’s Bangkwang jail is one of the most notorious prisons in the world.

Until now, the reality of life in Bangkwang has remained a secret. But after two years of negotiations between the BBC and Thai officials – and for the first time ever – television cameras were allowed inside. The film tells the human stories of prisoners struggling to stay sane in the jail’s cramped conditions, and the Thai staff struggling to cope with the ever-increasing number of inmates.

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  • Suzanne

    This documentary was really painful. The conditions are horrendous, and the penalties even harsher. You cannot help but feel for these prisoners. Most of them were in drugs to get money and keep their families alive, so what to choose -selling drugs for the sake of staying alive risking imprisonment, or die? What I hated was how tourists can visit and talk to them, although some of these prisoners do enjoy those visits and tourists provide stuff, it only serves as a painful reminder of what these prisoners are missing. My heart goes to most of these Thai prisoners, but mostly to the 2 brits. The British gov. should really do something.

    • Gerry

      You dont see the contradiction here? The brits knew the penalties and obviously werent in Thailand for a holiday . Youre right…the british government should do something…they should stop people going to Thailand to run drugs.

      • Jonathan Tuttle

        Actually, I DO see a huge contradiction there. The British Government proclaims their own humanity and has zero compunction when it comes to criticizing the actions of other European countries and the United States with regard to their Foreign Office/Prisoner Exchange practices, yet they lack the fundamental understanding and humanity those other countries have put into action with regard to their respective citizenry. The British Embassy’s ‘care packages’ don’t make up for willfully ignoring (through their extravagant incarceration requirements) a percentage of the populace imprisoned abroad. Hell, do the math: 2,000 THB Per Month (from a CHARITY organization) calculates out to just over 38 GBP ($62 USD) … That’s an nice evening’s dinner and a show, people… FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH. I’m not at all surprised that these men feel abandoned by their country, and rightfully so.

  • st3ve

    Cant really feel too bad for these people, especially the brits. They knew the penalties and chose to play the game and got over. While I think all drug laws are barbaric and outdated, you cant complain about the consequences if caught.

    • you’ll be caught st3ve, if not in this life then the next : ) have a nice day y’hear…

      • Tim Leigh

        What an odd thing to say.

  • Doug Renton Australia

    I m currently reading a book about this prison, from what I’ve seen and read it is not right. People should not be treated like this no matter what they have done. I have been to prison (in Australia, I am aussie) the punishment is losing your freedom that’s the price you pay for the crime you commit, your still a person with feelings, family and basic human rights. I really feel blessed to be Australian. Prison time is tough enough here. I can only imagine how tough it must be in a place like that. The punishment doesn’t fit the crime. I will concede that the biggest crime a farang commits when trying to smuggle drugs in these countries is stupidity.

  • BlogZilla

    Thai scum

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