Top Books on Thailand and Thai Culture

A Cultural Xmas

This article was originally posted on WomenLearnThai.com.

Booking a cultural Christmas…

With exactly one week to go before Xmas, there is just enough time to shop for the Thai language learner in your life.

And while these books are not about learning Thai, they are about Thailand. Equally important.

About the list… I asked friends and forums for their favourite books on Thailand and Thai culture. I received 50 over. Out of those, I chose what I believe are the top of the lot.

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About the books… after procuring my list, I contacted Danny at DCO books to fill in the holes. From personal experience, it’s cheaper to have DCO send via motorcycle taxi, then waste time and taxi money fighting BKK traffic (sometimes for days at a time).

About the photo… In a Mon (มอญ) settlement in Bangkok, children still wear their hair in the old-fashioned topknot (จุก – jòok) from centuries ago.

Thai language. Thai history. Thai culture. There is so much to learn.

Understanding Thailand and Thai culture…

Bangkok Inside Out
By Daniel Ziv and Guy Sharett

Do’s and Don’ts in Thailand
By Kenny Yee and Catherine Gordon

Inside Thai Society
By Niels Mulder

Spiritual Abodes of Thailand
By Barry Broman and William Warren

Thai Fever
By Chris Pirazzi and Vitida Vasant

Thailand, a Short History
By David Wyatt

Thai Ways
By Denis Segaller

The Spirit Houses of Thailand
By Peter Reichart and Pathawee Khongkhunthian

Very Thai, Everyday Popular Culture
By Philip Corawel-Smith (verythai.com)

Working with the Thais
By Henry Holmes

More Living Thai Ways (out of print)
By Michael KellerClaxton and Alison Woo (Living Thai Ways is also good)

Agree? Disagree?

4 comments
  1. Michel, I do have both and you are right, they are decent reads. I need to redo this post so I’ll be editing it soon … but first, back to revamping WLT’s design… brb.

  2. HEY!…Don’t punish yourself by not being aware of the excellent, thoughtful”WONDERING INTO THAI CULTURE”,from MONT REDMONT,published by no other than…Mont Redmont himself!(I found my volume at Suriwong Bookstore in Chiang Mai)
    Then apart from “Inside Thai Society”from the sociologist Niels Mulder,some others of his insightful essays on comparative S-E-Asian societies also from DK:”INSIDE SOUTHEAST ASIA:Thai,Javanese and Filipino interpretations of everyday life”…

  3. Spiritual Abodes fed my interest on Spirit Houses. Most were found around Bangkok, but not all. I grabbed a taxi driver who didn’t mind waiting as I got out to see each one. He just kept the meter on whether stopped or not.

  4. We have read the “Spiritual Abodes of Thailand” and there some fascinating places to travel to if you are into that sort of thing, like we are. You could easily combine a luxurious spa package with some day trips to some enchanted place described in the book. Get a trip like that and you will be in Heaven or Nirvana!

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