Click to see the Thai Proverb of the Day!
Click here for books about Thailand you can order on-line.
In the first place there are two books by Dennis Segaller, called "Thai Ways" and "More Thai Ways". These books give you a very good impression of "The Thai Way of Life" as seen by an Englishman who went to Thailand for a holiday, and decided to stay there forever! They are a bit old in the meantime, but if you still can get them, read them!
The only way I know to order these books outside Thailand is to go to the Website of Post Publishing, the Publishing Company of the Bangkok Post Newspaper.
Dennis Segaller also wrote a third book, called "Second Thoughts on Thai Ways", but I sadly have never seen it. It seems to be out of print for ages! This third book is about his experiences to have a house built in Thailand by him -a foreigner- and how he succeeded in the end. It would be interesting. Hopefully it will ever be reprinted!.
A very good book, also published by Post Publishing and, at the time when this page was first written, available by their mail order service, is
"Thailands Guiding Light", about HM The King. This book is an absolute must for everybody with a warm heart towards Thailand. There also is a companion CD-ROM. Don't miss it!
Click the book or this link for more details!
HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej wrote a novel, after an old "Jataka" story, called "The Story of Mahajanaka". It is extremely beautifully illustrated by a team of Thai artists. Even if you would not like the story (which I hardly can believe) the illustrations are more than worth the modest price. You can probably still buy it in any bookshop in Thailand. Do not buy the "comic strip" version, but the original version (paperback or hardcover).
A very good novel about a Chinese family in Thailand, that tells you about Thai as well as Chinese customs is Letters from Thailand. The book is written by Botan as a compilation of letters. I could not put it down after I started it. It seems to be out of print, but maybe it will be reprinted. Try Asia Books. They are all around Bangkok. They still might have a few copies.
Another very famous novel by a Thai author is A Child of the Northeast. It was written by Kampoon Boontawee and describes daily life in the very poor Northeastern part of Thailand. The film that has been made of this book (somewhere in the seventies) is probably the only Thai film that went around the World. Try to buy this book at Asia Books too.
If you are interested in Thai Buddhism, you can get The Buddha's Teachings almost free of charge. They ask 100 Baht for it at Wat Borvaranives Vihara in Banglampoo (Bangkok). Consider this as a small donation and buy a few extra copies for friends. One of the entrances of the Temple grounds is right opposite the Post Office in Banglampoo. Another one is at Phra Sumen Road. The book is in Thai and English. (The second half is in English). Maybe you will find this book in your hotel room too. It is given to hotels to draw people's attention to Buddhism. Don't take it away there!!, but go to the Temple to buy it honestly. You have to ask once or twice where you can buy it, while in the Temple grounds. It is a bit difficult to find.
More books about Buddhism are for sale in a large Buddhist book shop, almost opposite the same Temple, on the Phra Sumen Road side. Walk to the back of the shop for books in the English language. The outside of the Buddhist book shop on Phra Sumen Road looks as shown on the picture below:
Two examples of books I have bought there are Handbook for Mankind, which is an explanation of what Buddhism is and Mindfulness with Breathing, a "manuals for serious beginners" for the techniques of Meditation. Both books were written by Buddhadasa Bhikku, a very well-known Monk, who lived in a Forest Temple in the North of Thailand. He died a few years ago.
For the moment this category contains just one book. But it is the best there is. It seems to be out of pint, but I have met several surprises in Thai book shops, so it is worthwhile to try to find it anyway. If you succeed, you obtain the best book there is to learn the Thai language.
Some of the books mentioned on this page might be available at one of the branches of Asiabooks.
On the Internet you can find them here.