Recommendations for Thai books / books set in Thailand?

Thai Tuk Tuk

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In two weeks, I’m off to Thailand for a holiday (Bangkok and Koh Samui). It’s a beautiful place which I find fascinating because it has a liberal culture and a fantastically modern capital, and yet it’s still very traditional in many ways!

Yet, despite visiting three times previously I have oddly never read a novel set there, or written by a Thai author – something that I would like to change.

I quite fancy one novel that’s a little bit epic that I can read on the beach and maybe something shorter. I’d like to learn something but not feel lectured.

Can anyone recommend anything?

13 responses to “Recommendations for Thai books / books set in Thailand?

  1. Thailand?? I’m so jealous! I lived there for 7 years when I was a child – LOVE the food:) I’ve only read a couple of vampire/werewolf novels by S.P. Somtow which were quite good and terrifying (but I read it in school so I’m not sure how they’ll compare to stuff I’ve read since.) But they aren’t the vampire romance stuff that’s in vogue now.

    • 🙂 I can’t wait, and yes food is a seriously good reason to be excited. I shall investigate the vamp novels!

  2. I did some travelling in Thailand and sadly I didn’t read anything written by a Thai writer however I did read Phra Farang; An English Monk in Thailand and really enjoyed it. I wanted to learn something about Buddhism but didn’t want anything too formal so I found the book amazing. It’s about an American businessman giving up all of his possessions to be a Buddhist monk. It really helped me learn something about Thai culture.

    It’s a little clichĂ©d but I also read The Beach by Alex Garland when there and really enjoyed reading the descriptions of Thailand whilst being there and being able to compare it first hand.

    P.s. very jealous of your trip!

  3. Pingback: Recommendations for Thai books / books set in Thailand? | Novel … | Thailand Travel

  4. Try searching for books using the Man Asian’s past shortlists? Not very helpful, I’m sorry. But at least all the books on the lists are already available in English. (Considering that I live in a neighboring Southeast Asian country, I don’t really know much about Southeast Asian literature. Hmm)

  5. My husband and father are both big fans of the John Burdett series set in Bangkok (starting with Bangkok 8), which are as much insight into life in Bangkok as they are mysteries. Happy travels!

  6. I didnt have any and then as we realised when you were up I had given you one with Thailand in… I had only read it a few weeks before, shame on me for being so story forgetful… or does that say more on my thoughts about that book???

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