It will be a long flight to Thailand and you've found just the place for recommended reading for your trip! Let your mouse cursor ‘hover’ over
the underlined links for more information on these items.
The most comprehensive printed travel guide for Thailand is Joe Cumming's
Lonely Planet Thailand
now in its 11th edition. Joe's credentials are too numerous to mention here, but his book is by far the most accurate and detailed
travel guide for Thailand. Unfortunately, Lonely Planet's Lonely Planet Thailand Travel Atlas
is not of comparable quality. I found several errors when trying to use these maps to drive around Northeastern Thailand. You might have better
luck with the
Michelin Atlas Thailand
Thailand Atlas by Roadway
As for other guidebooks, The Rough Guide to Thailand
now in 6th edition, is also very good, although budget travelers may find this book
lacking in a selection of lower-priced accomodations. However, interesting historical sidebars and unequivocal (opinionated)
advice about, well, everything, is refreshing in this book.
Thailand Insight Guide (Insight Guides)
is a beautiful, if impractical book. All the practical information
is in the back of the book, after a few pages of advertisements! The book is extremely heavy yet has relatively little
printed information. This is because there are hundreds of beautiful photographs which make this a great selection for
an armchair, rather than a backpack, traveler.
You might want to try to pick up a bit of the Thai language before you arrive. I find the
Berlitz Thai Phrase Book & Dictionary
to be pretty good. If you're short on time, try
from the "Learn Before You Land" series.
The visitor to Thailand might also wish to become familiar with Buddhism, the religion practiced by 95% of the Thais.
Since this topic is so vast, it would be presumptive for me to suggest too many specific reading materials in this
brief overview. However, a useful place to start any survey is with fundamentals, and for this I can recommend
The Teaching of Buddha
published and distributed by the Buddhist Promoting Foundation, Japan. This text is placed in
many hotel rooms in Thailand. Nancy Wilson Ross offers an expansive yet dry overview of Buddhism in
Buddhism: Way of Life & Thought
There are many more reading suggestions in the thai-language.com online store
, particularly if
you're interested in a more in-depth study of the language. I hope you have a great trip to the ‘land of
smiles’ and come to love the country as much as I do!