Books on Isan & Thailand - Holiday Reading

Understanding Thailand beyond guidebooks

Numerous guide books on Thailand are readily available (such as the Lonely Planet Guide - the book that launched the series) but the following publications offer a particular insight into the Kingdom.

Isaan : Forgotten Provinces Of Thailand (published by Luna Publications and written by Ben Davies) is a photographic journey through the Northeast of Thailand in coffee table format, with detailed commentary by the author who is based in Thailand. Ben Davies stays at Gecko Villa when in the region, and is included in our Photography in Thailand page.

Living with Spirits (again written and photographed by Ben Davies) is a large format photo tour through Thailand's culture and its deeps roots in spiritualism. Rice spirits, tattoo masters and a floating nun illustrate the Thai psyche in a completely new way.

Pira Sudham is a native of Isaan who has written many books on the area, its traditions and history. Works include Monsoon Country, People of Esarn and The Force of Karma.

A Child of the Northeast (by Kampoon Boontawee) dates from the 1930s and describes life in Isaan's rural villages at the time of the Depression, when his family had to travel far and wide in search of food. The book is not easy to find. An English translation is published by Pouyzian Publisher.

The Thai House (published by Weatherhill and written by Ruethai Chaichongrak) explains the evolution of the Thai house across the kingdom's principal regions, demonstrating the practical features of their design and the beliefs attached to elements of their architecture.

Ant Egg Soup (published by Hodder Headlin and written by Natacha Du Pont De Bie) describes the cuisine of Laos and is full of stories of her journeys through the country. Northeastern cuisine is rooted in Lao traditions, so this book gives a good background to the specialities of the region.

The Insider Guide to the Online Travel Market - Our 20 page summary of the online travel industry. We hope this will provide some useful insights and tips to both the holidaymaker looking to book  accommodation  and to the independent holiday let or hotel owner.