If you have a genuine interest in Thailand and its culture there’s a good choice of fascinating books on the Kingdom to pick up to immerse yourself in a little extra Thai magic whilst on holiday.
If you’re jetting off to Thailand to relax and unwind in a private villas, then there’s every chance that you’re going to have some time to catch up on your reading as you laze away the days by the private pool.
Rather than picking up the latest thriller when you arrive at the airport, consider immersing yourself further in the Kingdom’s incredible culture by downloading a book about Thailand to your kindle or tablet.
While Alex Garland’s The Beach
may be the go-to novel when it comes to Thai beach fantasy, you can also find an eclectic selection of alternatives that delve a little deeper into Thailand’s culture and appeal.
Below is a list of great reads with a Thai focus that will leave you keen to know even more about this intriguing and beautiful country.
On Buddhist Culture
Many visitors who make their way to the Land of Smiles do so in order to discover the nation’s deeply spiritual, Buddhist culture. In fact, 93 percent of the population are practicing Buddhists, and with a range of stunning Buddhist wats and monuments highlighted on your holiday itinerary, we recommend learning a little more about this religion while you’re there. Steve Hagen’s Buddhism Plain and Simple
is a fascinating read in which the reader can learn about the Buddha’s teachings and the religion’s traditions through Hagen’s engaging, accessible presentation.
Thailand for Chicks
If you’re lucky enough to have seen the latest Bridget Jones movie already, then it might have tickled your fancy to go back to Helen Fielding’s original novels and have a little more fun reminiscing about Miss Jones’ most memorable adventures. Of course, anyone who has ever read the second novel in Fielding’s franchise, The Edge of Reason,
will know that Bridget heads to Thailand for the ultimate girly holiday. In classic Bridget Jones style, things don’t end up going according to plan, but it’s still a hilarious read and perfect for giggles by the pool at your private villa.
Stepping back to the 1960s, we’ve decided to put this wonderful classic on your must-read list for Thailand. Letters to Thailand: A Novel
by Botan was the winner of the SEATO Prize for Thai Literature back in 1969, and comprises a selection of letters written by Tan Suang U, a Chinese immigrant in Thailand, to his mother. The book is packed with vivid recollections of Bangkok’s Thailand, and provides a colourful picture of Tan Suang U’s life as he and his young family embrace Thai culture. This book will add extra colour if you were planning to visit Bangkok’s Chinatown on your way back through the city.
Tastes of the Kingdom
A list of books to read in Thailand wouldn’t be complete without some literature dedicated to Thailand’s world-class culinary culture. Rather than simply presenting you with a book that lists recipes for your villa’s resident chef to cook up, we’ve selected a tome that is overflowing with unique anecdotes and stories from the writer about his own travel experiences in the Land of Smiles. Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand
by Andy Ricker is not one you will want to miss, and is a treasure trove for those looking to learn more about how Thailand’s culture and tradition is reflected in its food.
Short but Sweet
Last but not least is Sightseeing
by Rattawut Lapsharoensap. Set in modern-day Thailand, this book is a selection of stories perfect for dipping in and out of between sunbathing sessions and naps in your villa’s hammock. Each heart-warming tale unravels the essence of Thailand’s true culture, dispelling the stereotypes and offering a taste of true Thailand. Its characters are intriguing and its stories intoxicating – this is a certainly a book that ranks highly on our list.