Reading list inspiration for travel
City and region specific
Books & eBooks
- A Guide to the Temples of ThailandView on ApproachGuides.com* Our travel guide explores the top temples in Thailand's three historical capitals: Sukhothai, Ayutthaya and Bangkok.
- A History of ThailandView on Amazon An accessible review of Thailand's political, economic, social and cultural history by a former Cambridge professor and local political economist. By Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit.
- A Kingdom in Crisis: Thailand’s Struggle for DemocracyView on Amazon A profile of the unstable political situation in Thailand and the issue of royal succession. By Andrew MacGregor Marshall.
- Ghosts of the New City: Spirits, Urbanity, and the Ruins of Progress in Chiang MaiView on Amazon Looking at the ways in which various actors seek to revitalize the flagging economy and infrastructure of Chiang Mai, the author finds a Buddhist-animist discourse about urban ghosts, deadly construction sites and the lurking anxiety of another possible crash. By Andrew Alan Johnson.
- SightseeingView on Amazon A collection of seven short stories set in contemporary Thailand that present a nation far removed from its exoticized stereotypes. By Rattawut Lapcharoensap.
- Thailand: The CookbookView on Amazon The author brings together 500 authentic recipes from every region, from street vendor snacks to home_cooked meals. By Jean-Pierre Gabriel.
- The King Never SmilesView on Amazon The first independent biography of Thailand's monarch, Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has ruled the country since 1946. By Paul M Handley.
- What the Buddha TaughtView on Amazon An excellent introductory text on the Buddha's teachings and one of the standard texts used in colleges and universities around the world. By Walpola Rahula.
Articles & Academic Papers
- “Explaining Thailand’s Volatile Politics”View on Economist.com A graphics-filled article attempts to explain why the armed forces have been the most powerful force in Thai political life.
- “How to Survive 10 Coups: Lessons from the King of Thailand”View on TheAtlantic.com Bhumibol Adulyadej has managed to stay at the top of one of the most coup-prone countries. How? By Kathy Gilsinan.
- “Thai Official Rank Robes: Admiral du Plessis de Richelieu’s 19th C Robe”View on caringfortextiles.com A scholarly article written by a leading textile conservator that looks at the history, use, manufacture and conservation of sua khrui, Thai ceremonial garments. By Julia M Brennan.
- “Thailand: Beautiful and Bitterly Divided”View on NY Review of Books Thailand has been in the grip of an extraordinary political crisis, pitting two intransigent mass movements, known as Red Shirts and Yellow Shirts, against one another. By Richard Bernstein.
- “The Indian Monsoon”View on researchgate.net The author, a professor at the Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science, explains the nature of South Asia's most impactful weather system. By Sulochana Gadgil.
- “The Quest for the Perfect pad Thai”View on bbc.com A fan of Thailand’s national dish scours Bangkok to find the greatest version – and to learn about the dish’s intriguing past. By David Farley.
- “The Red Bull Heir and Inequality in Thailand”View on NewYorker.com A look at Thailand's "Boss." By Newley Purnell.
- “Trafficked into Slavery on Thai Trawlers to Catch Food for Prawns”View on TheGuardian.com The Thai fishing industry is built on slavery -- all to catch 'trash fish' to feed the cheap farmed prawns sold in the West. By Kate Hodal and Chris Kelly.
Online Sources & Blogs
- Festival CalendarVisit TourismThailand.org An up-to-date calendar of all holidays and religious events.
- Reef Base | ThailandVisit reefbase.org An excellent resource for detailed information on the country's coral reefs and reef fish.
- Travelers’ Health | ThailandVisit CDC.gov Get the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations for vaccines and medicines.
- What are Japa Malas?Visit ApproachGuides.com* The use of prayer beads (aka japa malas).
- World Bank | ThailandVisit worldbank.org A great resource for the country's quality of living indicators, economy and climate change data.
- Joseph Campbell on AUMListen on Spotify.com The great mythologist explains the deep symbolism of AUM (Om).
- The Problematics of Buddhism, Society, and the State in ThailandView on soundcloud.com In this Harvard Divinity School panel, two experts provide background on Thailand's most influential monk of the twentieth century, Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, the major influence on progressive, reformist Buddhism in that country.
Just for Kids
- Buddha in Your Backpack: Everyday Buddhism for TeensView on Amazon For teens looking to learn more about Buddhism, this book introduces Buddha's teachings with advice for navigating everyday situations. By Franz Metcalf.
- Hush! A Thai LullabyView on Amazon In an endearing lullaby, a mother asks a lizard, a monkey, and a water buffalo to be quiet and not disturb her sleeping baby. By Minfong Ho and Holly Meade.
Who to Follow
- Twitter: Andrew RC MarshallFollow @Journotopia Southeast Asia Special Correspondent for Reuters • Pulitzer Prize Winner 2014 • Author of The Trouser People: Burma in the Shadow of the Empire.
- Twitter: Jonathan HeadFollow @pakhead BBC SE Asia Correspondent, Bangkok, but all tweets are my own observations and opinions. Retweets are not necessarily endorsements.
- Twitter: Richard BarrowFollow @RichardBarrow Travel blogger in Thailand.
- Twitter: Tan Hui YeeFollow @Tan_Hui_Yee Thailand correspondent for The Straits Times. Based in Bangkok but often lives out of suitcase