Hello new friends! Sawatdii Ka!
I have been reading websites and travel sites until my eyes bleed, as well as an Insight Guide to Southeast Asia that I have, but am not finding any that have indepth information while at least making an attempt to be balanced. I have also read a couple of books from farang who have either taught or spent time in Thailand. (make that every book that I have found by anyone who has taught there! LOL)
I am not interested particularly in tourist type information, but what various cities and areas are like -- personality and so forth. For example one could say that New York, Boston and DC are all large busy metropolitan areas on the US east coast with similar climates. That is the kind of information that I am finding on Thailand. And it's pretty useless. What I'm looking for is what makes these places different -- what makes them tick and how do they tick? Is there any city near a beach that actually has ESL teaching jobs? A metro vibe rather than a "Spring Break" vibe? That kind of information.
When I went on my last trip, to Morocco, I ended up spending the money for five different books which ranged from quite good to a waste of time. I'd rather not do that again. FWIW, the local library has nothing less than 20 years old, and now, with Borders gone, the closest bookstore is 15 or so miles away and, worse, doesn't carry much in stock -- but offers to order it... sigh... And yes, I have also downloaded sample chapters from Kindle. But I need the help of people who have lived there to separate the fictitious from the helpful. Please!!
So if some of you would be kind enough to recommend your favorite books I would truly appreciate it -- especially if you can tell me what is good about them!
I've been hoping to make a trip in August, but from what I've been reading it seems like a wrenched time. But even the weather sites are confusing! And my attempts to use the search engine here brought up just too many threads...
(Older than time and younger than Spring)
I hope you are a woman, ka is the feminine, as you may already know. If not, it doesn't matter.
The classic is Culture Shock! But after a cursory search; you may not be able to find it. It's the closest to the reality of living here.
I read Lonely Planet and found it crap. Way behind the reality.
I'm 10 years in.
This is an enigmatic culture; don't push the river...
Cheers and good luck...
Last edited by THX 1133; 7th September 2012 at 18:46.
Frederick Douglass: Find out just what any people will quietly submit to
and you have found out the exact measure of injustice
and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these
will continue till they are resisted with either
words or blows, or with both.
ďDonít believe them, donít fear them, donít ask
anything of them.Ē
How about writing your own? I'm not being sarcastic. When I first went to Thaialnd, I did very little research as I wanted to find out on my own what it was like. Looking back now, I have no regrets. I read Slutheast Asia On a Shoestring long after I moved to Thailand and, like THX, I found it disappointing and inaccurate.
Has anyone read "Travelers Tales Thailand"? Or "Thailand Tales (the Land of Smiles)? Or the "Outsider's Guide to Thailand"?
Has anyone read any of the other travel books? Moon, Frommers, Insight, Footprint? Eyewitness? Which Lonely Planet did you find crap please?
What about Let's Go?
For Morocco the Rough Guide was the closest to a good book I found, has anyone read the Rough Guide for Thailand?
Does Culture Shock deal with the different areas of the country?
I have read Anchan -- but gosh she was "rich" -- teaching in University and so forth lol. Any comments on that book? Still, as a woman (yup, "ka") I'm really not interested in all the chapters on finding sex, or even on getting drunk, etc. (Tho I am interested in the cultural aspects of some of it, such as Ladyboys (sp?)
On the other hand I really want to go places that are "ALIVE" with something OTHER than that kind of nightlife lol.
As for writing my own -- I'm barely past the first chapter on Morocco lol... (which, FWIW I LOVED)
Again, any thoughts greatly appreciated!
bye-bye (hmmm, does one use bye-bye in formal conversation? Does one say bye-bye ka?
We could all sit outside on banana lounges discussing the best way to rebuild a 4WD transmission and agree, through shared stories of conquests supporting our assertions, that there is no basis to the proposition that those least assured of their persuasions are the first to condemn others for theirs.
I would still by the LP and use it as a guide to visit places, then make your own judgment about those place. The mistake many make is not to understand the very nature of travel guides - they are guides, not bibles...
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I'm with Nat; once you're here you'll figure out where to go; unless, of course, you have a limited time.
I had a car from day one and drove roads less traveled. "Tourist" areas are anathema to my idea of discovering a country. The best spots I know here aren't on anybodies tourist radar; this would include mountains, beaches, and ancient ruins and historic sites. Unfortunately, the latter some times overlaps with tourist spots. True adventure isn't safe, secure, or even comfy;but safe enough if one is aware of ones surroundings.
TWICE in a row my replies have frozen when I hit post. Will wait till later to try again. But meanwhile please DO keep the useful answers coming. Khop Kun maak ka!
From your use of "ka" as in Sawadee ka and Khop Kun ka, I'm assuming you're female (or identify as female). But if you're a dude, use kaP (think of it as needing to end in P for penis).
Anyway, if you're still looking for a guidebook then I quite liked this one Living Abroad in Thailand by Suzanne Nam (published by Moon). It gives a lot of advice if you're going to work here, and it's not just for teachers. It specifically focuses on Bangkok, Chang Mai, and Phuket but it was still useful to me. And I don't live in any of those cities!
And if you indeed correctly use "ka" because you're a woman, this guidebook by Suzanne Nam gives some useful tidbits of information from a female perspective. But don't get me wrong dudes, you guys will dig it too.