Books

Knowledge is power and this is the best books about Bangkok and Thailand. It’s important to learn about a different culture and especially for men that want to get to know us Thai girls. Clicking on the book cover will bring you to Amazon.

A geek in Thailand by Jody Houton:

A Geek in Thailand is a light-hearted but perceptive look at one of the world’s most visited countries from the viewpoint of a young foreign resident. More than just a Thai travel guide, it offers a concise but insightful take on Thailand for tourists, expats, would-be expats, and others – anyone, in fact, with interest in visiting or learning about the Land of Smiles. Packed with short articles accompanied by sidebar stories and interviews and evocative color photographs, the author paints a vivid and revealing picture of a country built on a deep reverence for nation, religion and monarchy, yet with its own distinct, individualistic perspective. Subjects range from the touchstones of Thai culture and history, such as its politics and economy, Buddhism and folklore, to chapters on traditional Thai design and craftsmanship, including its highly acclaimed architecture and fine silk textiles. There are also chapters on the globally popular Thai food and entertainment like kickboxing and cabaret. Chapters on the Thai character and cultural do’s and don’ts will allow the reader to go beyond the Thai smile. For visitors to the country, the author includes his top ten things to see and do in the main tourist destinations as well as an account of the main festivals and tips on getting around.

Bangkok beat by Kevin Cummings:

Bangkok Beat is a compilation of short stories, interviews, literature reviews and author profiles, plus the previously unpublished history and pictures of the iconic Bangkok cabaret nightclub, Checkinn99 located on Sukhumvit Road. In reading Bangkok Beat you will get up close with many well-known and not well-known expats and characters staying in Thailand and Southeast Asia. You’ll also find a section of noir poems by John Gartland, in which the author depicts life in the city’s dark zone. Between the covers of Bangkok Beat you will get to know: champion male and female Muay Thai boxers, a surfing historian, a legendary mamasan, Chris Coles – an expressionist artist of the Bangkok night, and a gold chain snatching ladyboy. You’ll also encounter the inside of Baccara Bar on Soi Cowboy, an Australian front man for a Khmer band, a smiling waitress named Mook, a spirit house for a Hollywood screenwriter and producer and the biographer for Jim Morrison and Elvis Presley. Plus world class musicians including Jason Mraz and his band mates. In addition you’ll find interviews and profiles of many well known novelists living in and writing about Thailand and Southeast Asia, including John Burdett, Cara Black, Jim Algie, Colin Cotterill, Timothy Hallinan, Matt Carrell and Dean Barrett.

Bangkok days by Lawrence Osborne:

A passionate, affectionate record of adventures and misadventures in the world’s hottest metropolis. Tourists come to Bangkok for many reasons – a sex change operation, a night with two prostitutes dressed as nuns, a stay in a luxury hotel. Lawrence Osborne comes for the cheap dentistry. Broke (but no longer in pain), he finds that he can live in Bangkok on a few dollars a day. And so the restless exile stays. Osborne’s is a visceral experience of Bangkok, whether he’s wandering the canals that fill the old city; dining at the No Hands Restaurant, where his waitress feeds him like a baby; or launching his own notably unsuccessful career as a gigolo. A guide without inhibitions, Osborne takes us to a feverish place where a strange blend of ancient Buddhist practice and new sexual mores has created a version of modernity only superficially indebted to the West. Bangkok Days is a love letter to the city that revived Osborne’s faith in adventure and the world.

Bangkok noir:

Bangkok is one of the great cities in the world, but unlike other great metropolises it has no noir tales to its name. Bangkok Noir puts that to right. In this first ever noir anthology of Bangkok, twelve seasoned and internationally known Thai and Western writers have come together to make a powerful collection of crime fiction short stories that portray the dark side of this Asian metropolis where the lives of most citizens seem as far away from heaven as its Thai name Krungthep is distant from its meaning – City of Angels. In Bangkok Noir, the twelve short stories of various shades of black involve gangsters and hitmen, love and betrayal, the supernatural, the possessed and the dispossessed, and the far distant future. Titles in this collection include: John Burdett’s Gone East, Stephen Leather’s Inspector Zhang and the Dead Thai Gangster, Tew Bunnag’s The Mistress Wants Her Freedom, Colin Cotterill’s Halfhead, Pico Iyer’s Thousand and One Nights, Vasit Dejkunjorn’s The Sword, Alex Kerr’s Daylight, Timothy Hallinan’s Hansum Man, Eric Stone’s The Lunch That Got Away, Dean Barrett’s Death of a Legend, Collin Piprell’s Hot Enough to Kill, and Christopher G. Moore’s Dolphin Inc. The authors and publisher will donate half of their earnings from this book to selected charity organizations which provide education to needy children in Thailand.

Vincent Calvino’s world by Chad A Evans:

Chad Evans shows Christopher G. Moore to be a writer of great precision, imagination, conviction and above all, knowledge. It is a timely tribute to an important writer and to his most memorable character, a political and social history spanning 25 years of Southeast Asia. Vincent Calvino’s World will become an indispensable resource for Moore’s fans and for anyone who wants a deeper insight into Calvino’s world in Southeast Asia in a time of vast change. Through the prism of a crime fiction, the Calvino novels explore the dimensions of knowledge, law, culture, philosophy and history. In Evan’s journey through the Vincent Calvino series, he has provided a vision of the future role of literary crime fiction – to decode a time, place and people.

Culture shock Thailand by Robert Cooper:

CultureShock! Thailand is the complete guide for those who wish to make sense of the fascinating, manifold and often contradictory aspects of this ancient kingdom. Can you tell your tom yum goong from your tom kha kai? Do Buddhist monks eat meat? Why do Thais all seem to call each other “Khun”? When introduced to someone, do you shake hands, wai or do both? What is Buddhist Lent? What is a farang to make of the famous Thai Smile? Whether you’re in Bangkok for business, Hua Hin to soak up the sun, or on a retreat at a forest wat to find inner peace, get the most out of your stay with this essential guide written by an old hand to the intriguing mass of contradictions that is Thailand – the country with so much that is often both calming yet infuriating, passionate yet passive, and chaotic yet beautiful.

Fear and loathing in Bangkok by Christopher G Moore:

TV images and news reports of demonstrations, deaths, demands and chaos in Thailand make Moore’s essays in Fear and Loathing in Bangkok a timely book. These are essays to read at this vital crossroads in Thai political development. The essays will deepen your understanding of what makes Thailand a special and unique country.
Politics can’t be judged in isolation. Moore provides a context ranging from the petty local and foreign criminals and to the workings of the often quixotic law enforcement system. Murder, organized crime, greed and shadowy corporations reveal the half-hidden world of Thailand. In an age of anger and fear, the culture of non-confrontation and smiles is going through a rocky ride. These essays take you along the bumpy road of ghosts, criminals, illegal migrants, and false prophets. The essays on crime fiction and on writing explore noir, chance, muses, and ideas – the ingredients of Moore’s successful Vincent Calvino crime novel series.

Ladyboys by Susan Aldous:

This extraordinary book is an intimate portrait of Thailand’s ladyboys: the men who have chosen to become women. Funny, passionate, angry and provocative, Ladyboys is a no-holds-barred look at the secret lives of Thailand’s transsexual men. The book offers intimate details of the lives that the kathoeys have never publicly revealed. They talk about the choices they’ve made, their relationships, families, frustrations and hopes. The stories include those of an exotic ladyboy cabaret performer, a ladyboy sex worker and even a ladyboy Muay Thai boxing champion. Ladyboys will leave you amused, saddened, and entertained.

Private dancer by Stephen Leather:

‘I don’t know if it was love at first sight, but it was pretty close. She had the longest hair I’d ever seen, jet black and almost down to her waist. She had soft brown eyes that made my heart melt, long legs that just wouldn’t quit and a figure to die for. She was naked except for a pair of black leather ankle boots with small chrome chains on the side. I think it was the boots that did it for me.’ Thailand 1996. The Year Of The Rat. Pete, a young travel writer, wanders into a Bangkok go-go bar and meets the love of his life. Joy is the girl of his dreams, young, stunningly pretty, and one of the Zombie Bar’s top earning pole dancers. What follows is a roller-coaster ride of sex, drugs and deception, as Pete discovers that his very own private dancer is not all that she claims to be. And that far from being the girl of his dreams, Joy is his own personal nightmare.

Confessions of a Bangkok private eye:

Two-timing bargirls, suspicious spouses and lesbian lovers – it was all in a day’s work for Bangkok Private Eye Warren Olson. For more than a decade, Olson walked the mean streets of the Big Mango. Fluent in Thai and Khmer, he was able to go where other private eyes feared to tread. His clients included Westerners who had lost their hearts and life savings to money-hungry bargirls. But he had more than his fair share of Thai clients, too, including a sweet old lady who was ripped off by a Christian conman and a Thai girl blackmailed by a former lover. The stories are based on Olson’s case files, disguised to protect the innocent and the guilty by bestselling author Stephen Leather. Olson has now relocated to his native New Zealand with his Thai wife and daughter, but the agency that he founded is still open for business.

Succesful living in Thailand by Roger Welty:

Capture the essence of how to adjust, understand and get the most out of living in Thailand. This guide to the practicalities of living and working in Thailand will help transform readers from being ‘outsiders’ to being and ‘insider’ by providing a unique resource on how to make a success of your day to day life in Thailand not only for first time expats and visitors but also for long term foreign residents of the country.

Thai culture and society by Roger Welty:

Feel at in Thailand, at Ease with the Thais, and at Peace with Yourself in Unfamiliar Surroundings. This insight into the historical and social development of Thailand will help transform readers from ‘outsiders’ to ‘insiders’ to ‘insiders’. In his own inimitable style, Roger Welty explains the relevance of these cultural dynamics in contemporary Thai society, providing a unique perspective not only for first-time expats and visitors, but also for long-term foreign residents of the country.

Thailand confidential by Jerry Hopkins:

Wanna stand in the face of a charging elephant, get hit by a motorcycle, eat giant water bugs, blowtorch your mouth on some of the hottest chili peppers on earth, then go watch a sex change operation? Of course you don’t, but, happily, Jerry Hopkins has done all that and more – lots more – in this darkly humorous, deeply affectionate, clear-eyed but never patronizing portrait of Thailand, his adopted home. After over a decade in the country, Hopkins knows and loves his subject dearly – that much is obvious – and his vivid portrait projects that love from every page. A loving expose of everything that’s wonderful about Thailand, and much that isn’t. Should be required reading for all newcomers. Writer Jerry Hopkins came to Thailand for a visit in the 1980s, and ended up a permanent resident with a temporary visa – a big, white farang haunting the bars and back alleys of Bangkok. His essays explore the mystery and mayhem of “The Land of Smiles” to hilarious – and sometimes disturbing – effect. Travel with him to a place where whisky is rum, water buffaloes are gay, insects are dinner, dildos are lucky charms, and your wildest adolescent fantasies can come true (for a nominal fee).

Thailand fever by Chris Pirazzi and Vitida Vasant:

You’ve met the perfect Thai woman. You’re dizzy with joy as her exotic world swirls around you. You’ve heard so many horror stories, but your heart tells you that she’s for real. You want to understand her mysterious ways, and you wish she could understand yours. Now, there’s help. Thailand Fever is an astonishing, one-of-a-kind, bilingual expose of the cultural secrets that are the key to a smooth Thai-Western relationship. Whether you met in a bar, in a university, or at work, and whether you met last night or decades ago, Thailand Fever covers your issues. Thailand Fever is the must-have relationship guidebook which lets each of you finally express complex issues by just pointing across the page! Everything in the book is in both Thai and English on facing pages. Thailand Fever teaches each of you about your loved one’s values and culture.

22 walks in Bangkok by Kenneth Barret:

Take a series of unforgettable strolls down the back lanes of historic Bangkok! Bangkok, Thailand is one of the world’s greatest cities and a leading tourist destination, visited by millions each year. But it can also be a bewildering place. First-time visitors, not knowing what to expect, encounter endless boulevards connected by a vast maze of tiny side streets. A stroll down any of these lanes can reveal fascinating surprises – beautiful palaces and mansions, shophouses and shrines, restaurants and markets. This user-friendly Thailand travel guide helps you discover hidden gems found throughout the city by presenting each neighborhood as a distinct village – explaining how it evolved, and describing its historical landmarks in detail. Travel book author Ken Barrett is a long-time Bangkok resident and experienced journalist, and he introduces the important temples, churches, shrines and mosques in loving detail, sketching their history and distinctive features. The reader is skillfully guided through the old neighborhoods of Bangkok from the center to the periphery, along narrow lanes and byways rarely seen by foreigners. 22 Walks in Bangkok leads the visitor on a unique journey of discovery and enables you to appreciate this fascinating city in new and exciting ways.

Ask me anything by Scott Mallon:

What happens when lonely, horny, desperate, culturally inexperienced men from all parts of the globe travel to the world’s largest adult playground? In a perfect world, the men get laid, the women get paid and everyone goes home happy. In Thailand though, where women are willing to provide the girlfriend experience and copious sex for the price of a cheap shirt, it pays to tread carefully. A man quickly can lose touch with reality, forgetting these pseudo-relationships are business arrangements lasting only as long as there is money or until their woman believes her cash cow is milked dry. In late 2012, Scott Mallon lost his job working with a boxing promoter in Thailand. To pass the time, he started the YouTube channel An American in Bangkok, a chronicle of his life as an expat in Thailand. Viewers began asking questions, the majority having to do with relationships between farang, or foreigners, and Thai women, and he responded with his usual straightforward, unadulterated assessment of their situations. Ask Me Anything is composed of letters, e-mails, and personal messages from over three years of correspondence between Mallon and his viewers. The stories are real; only the names have been changed to protect the clueless. Ranging from absurd to comical to tragic, the letters illustrate with brutal honesty the length some men will go in their quest to find true love.

The call me farang by Scott Mallon:

Weary from running his printing business in Southern California, Scott Mallon hops on a jet bound for Thailand with three bags and $10,000 to his name. Originally planned as a one year sabbatical, his journey ends up as a twenty year stay. In They Call Me Farang, Mallon delivers a timeless collection of insightful, compelling short stories in the only way he knows, with dry humor and a straightforward, no holds barred voice. Learn what life is really like as an expatriate in Thailand; there is action, advice, comedy, love and of course, plenty of commentary on Thailand’s beautiful women. Get all the gritty details in this semi-autobiographical account of his two decades in the country.

B is for Bangkok by Janet Brown:

A day in the life of one of the world’s most magical places unfolds in paintings drenched in the color and nonstop motion of Thailand’s capital city. From a monk’s morning blessing to the scurry of geckos at night, from splendid temples to traditional canal houses, from glittering royal barges that bring history to life to trains speeding through the sky past soaring high-rise buildings, B is for Bangkok reveals the kaleidoscopic beauty of a city that makes every day an adventure for the children who live there – or dream of living there. With bilingual English-Thai text.

Bangkok Babylon by Jerry Hopkins:

In the colorful tradition of Orwell and Hemingway, Maugham and Theroux, Jerry Hopkins recalls his first decade as a Bangkok expatriate by profiling twenty-five of the city’s most unforgettable characters. Among them are the man thought to be the model for Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, an advertising executive who photographs Thai bargirls for Playboy, an Oscar-winning screenwriter who moved there to die, a Catholic priest who has lived and worked in the Bangkok slums for 35 years, a circus dwarf turned computer programmer turned restaurateur, three Vietnam war helicopter pilots who opened a go-go bar, a pianist at one of the world’s best hotels who ended up on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list, a gem dealer who smuggles antiquities from Burma and Cambodia, a detective who tracks runaways who fake their deaths, and a documentary filmmaker who lives with elephants. All of them “escaped” to Thailand to re-invent themselves and live out their fantasies in one of the world’s most notorious cities.

Thailand’s best street food by Chawadee Nualkhair:

For many visitors, traveling to Thailand means one thing: enjoying the delicious street food. In Thailand’s Best Street Food, freelance writer and food blogger Chawadee Nualkhair details everything that visitors need to know to track down the most delectable dishes – no matter where they are hidden. Most people think Bangkok is the only place to find great Thai street food, but Nualkhair ate her way across the country and found incredible food stalls everywhere, from Phuket in the south to Chiang Mai in the north. Even seasoned travelers may find it difficult to identify the best venues – never mind figuring out how and what to order. Fortunately for anyone bound for Thailand, Nualkhair draws on her vast experience to provide essential tips on locating food stalls in cities across the country. As an added bonus, Nualkhair includes recipes for the 12 most popular Thai street food dishes adapted for the Western kitchen. Thai street food is one of today’s hottest food trends, and Thailand’s Best Street Food makes it easy for foodies to savor incredible Thai food – wherever their travels take them.

Bangkok guide to nice girls… Not hookers: Good Thai girl by Linda Chomatree:

You can find love in Thailand with girls who are marriage material, look like billboard fashion models, work in office jobs, speak fluent English, and don’t see you as just a meal ticket. But it’s not easy or automatic. In Thailand, you can’t just approach strangers in public, even at a club or bar. And many of the women who you might think are “good Thai girls” are actually prostitutes in disguise. This book is the complete Thai insider’s guide to meet good Thai girls, online or offline, understand typical Thai girls and red flags to watch for, go on a first date, proceed to sex, and pursue a long-term relationship. Learn Thai cultural points, such as spotting ladyboys, negotiating a family’s requests for a marriage dowry, and even dressing for a date in Bangkok. It’s not hard. You don’t have to speak Thai. Even if you’ve never been to Thailand before, you can manage it. Linda Chomatree was born in Bangkok, studied in the US and the UK, and now travels between the US and Bangkok, working in her family’s real estate business. She’s seen foreigners in Thailand fall flat on their faces dating prostitutes or embarrassing themselves trying to chat up random women on the street. This book is her project to try to help foreign men find love with Thai women who aren’t prostitutes and who don’t tarnish Thai women’s image. Your good Thai girl is waiting for you here in Bangkok. This book is for finding her.

Red-light nights, Bangkok daze – Chronicles of sexuality across Asia by William Sparrow:

Sexy, entertaining, and thoroughly informative, this collection of reports offers a glimpse into what is enticing, insightful, and unknown about sex in Asia. It looks at the sex scenes and unseens in the ‘usual suspects’ of Thailand, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Japan as well as in less obvious countries such as Pakistan, China, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Covering the gamut of love, lust, passion, and pleasure across Asia, these articles offer unique insights into the sometimes shadowy world of the carnal pleasures on offer and the hypocrisies surrounding them. Gathered from the views of unrepentant ‘sexpats’, wayward tourists, and the locals themselves, in Red-light Nights, Bangkok Daze, you’ll find revelations about the varied experiences this huge cast of characters participates in. Succumb to the lights, and weather the daze; you’ll find yourself exhilarated and waking to a newfound awareness of the complex, interesting and yet confusing world of sex in Asia.

Welcome to the Bangkok slaughterhouse by Father Joe Mullen:

For twenty-five years, Father Joe Maier, a Catholic priest, has lived and worked in Bangkok’s bleakest slums, establishing more than thirty schools, five shelters for street kids, and several projects for women and children with AIDS, working with and against authority, earning enmity and praise in equal measure. In this book, he tells the heartbreaking and heartwarming stories of the poorest of Thailand’s poor, each a gem guaranteed to bring anger, tears, and joy. 100 percent of all proceeds will be donated to the Human Development Fund in Bangkok, Thailand.

A former Bangkok bargirl tells all – Thai girl naked by Noi Thawattana:

A Thai bargirl is more than a sex machine, a money extractor, or a ruthless scammer. Noi Thawattana was a Bangkok prostitute, working in hostess lounges, massage parlors, and go-go bars. After marrying an American man and moving to the United States, she wrote Thai Girl Naked to expose the life of a Thai bargirl through her own voice and from her own eyes. Thai Girl Naked is a rare look at the reality of Thai prostitution, and more generally at women in Thailand, without the beer goggles, cultural ignorance, and male bravado of tourists’ memoirs. Noi Thawattana knows the business and “the life,” and also knows foreigners’ misconceptions. As a former bargirl now studying journalism, Noi is uniquely qualified to tell a Thai woman’s story, in a readable and entertaining form.

Very Bangkok by Philip Cornwel-Smith:

Bangkok arrests the visitor with a bewildering juxtaposition of old and new, high-tech and impromptu, sacred and profane. While modernizing apace and a myriad outside influences, the Thai capital draws equal vigor from its historical communities, cultural diversity and contemporary urban tribes. Author of Very Thai and Time Out Bangkok, Philip Cornwel-Smith takes an alternative look at the subcultures of his adopted town in this practical thematic handbook. With the aid of maps, listings and references, the visitor can engage with Bangkok’s contradictory character according to their mood or interest. Explore the city’s contrasting environments, architectural fabric, ethnic patchwork and intertwined beliefs. Encounter distinct social scenes, where the hip or hi-so, local or bohemian and see how traditional roots infuse the current Thai flowering in arts and entertainments, fashion and food lifestyle and spas. Photography by Philip Cornwel-Smith and others enhances this insiders’ guide to a city like no other.

Very Thai 2nd Edition by Philip Cornwel-Smith:

This insight into contemporary Thai culture delves beyond the traditional Thai icons to reveal the casual, everyday expressions of what it is to be Thai that so delight and puzzle outsiders. Never colonised, Thai culture retains ancient meaning in the most mundane things over 200 colour images.

199 things to do in Bangkok Volume 10:

There have been songs, movies, books about Bangkok, but never before has there been a book like this, 199 Things to do in Bangkok the only book that reveals everything you can do in Bangkok. There are no red lights reviews or details in this book. Those are easy to find elsewhere and well covered in so many other books. This book is about 199 things you can see, visit, eat, touch and experience in Bangkok. Will you find time to explore them all?

Bangkok people by James Eckardt:

From boxers, business tycoons, bargirls and body-snatchers to street vendors, slum-dwellers, socialites and singers, Bangkok People takes the reader into the daily lives of city denizens, both Thai and expat, and from the filthy rich to the just plain filthy. Penned by one of Thailand’s best-known expat writers, this fascinating, funny, sometimes serious, and occasionally odd collection plunges right into the heart of the myriad masses who make this mad metropolis tick. The profiles, mostly written for the Manager Magazine, before the 1997 Asian Economic Crisis of which the magazine ended up a victim, was from the time of Bangkok booming. Will it ever get quite up to those good-time heights again? Dig in and enjoy these vignettes of the real people who populated this wonderful city.

Watching the Thais by Tom Tuohy:

If you are one of the fifteen million or so expected visitors to Thailand this coming year, or an expat interested in moving to the country, this book is a must for you. The book is divided into ten chapters, each one detailing some of the virtues as well as common misconceptions about living and working in Thailand. Common questions asked by visitors are also dealt with: why do Thais walk so slowly? Why do they like spicy food? Why are they always smiling? Why does nothing seem to upset them? Towards the end of the book, a series of blogs discuss deeper aspects of living and working in Thailand e.g. the state of Thai education, cross-cultural communication, the Thai floods, marriage to a Thai, and the way the Thai riots in 2010 were presented by the foreign media. If you are planning to spend any length of time in the country and really want to understand the Thai modus operandi, this book will give you a great insight into the uniquely Thai way of thinking and being.