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TripFiction armchair travel by book – THAILAND

24th April 2020

TripFiction armchair book travel – Thailand.

We may all be confined to quarters for a while, but TripFiction is here to help you travel vicariously through books with a strong sense of place. The TripFiction team have been trawling through their database of thousands of books – novels, memoirs and travelogues – and hope you’ll enjoy what we’ve dug up.

THAILAND

We have more than 100 books set in Thailand. Check out our Great Books Map for some top 5 or 10 literary wanderlust suggestions around the world, but here are a few ideas to get you exploring Thailand with a book…

Koh Phi Phi – The Beach by Alex Garland

In our ever-shrinking world, where popular Western culture seems to have infected every nation on the planet, it is hard to find even a small niche of unspoiled land–forget searching for pristine islands or continents. This is the situation in Alex Garland’s debut novel, The Beach.

Human progress has reduced Eden to a secret little beach near Thailand. In the tradition of grand adventure novels, Richard, a rootless traveller rambling around Thailand on his way somewhere else, is given a hand-drawn map by a madman who calls himself Daffy Duck. He and two French travellers set out on a journey to find this paradise.

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Bangkok – Bangkok Wakes to Rain by Pitchaya Sudbanthad

In the restless city of Bangkok, there is a house.

Over the last two centuries, it has played host to longings and losses past, present, and future, and has witnessed lives shaped by upheaval, memory and the lure of home.

A nineteenth-century missionary pines for the comforts of New England, even as he finds the vibrant foreign chaos of Siam increasingly difficult to resist. A jazz pianist is summoned in the 1970s to conjure music that will pacify resident spirits, even as he’s haunted by ghosts of his former life. A young woman in a time much like our own gives swimming lessons in the luxury condos that have eclipsed the old house, trying to outpace the long shadow of her political past. And in the submerged Bangkok of the future, a band of savvy teenagers guides tourists and former residents past waterlogged landmarks, selling them tissues to wipe their tears for places they themselves do not remember.

Time collapses as their stories collide and converge, linked by blood, memory, yearning, chance, and the forces voraciously making and remaking the amphibian, ever-morphing city itself.

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Krabi – The Dying Beach by Angela Savage

As Jayne and Rajiv holiday in Krabi, Jayne can’t stop her mind straying to thoughts of the future: a successful business, perhaps even a honeymoon. Who would have thought she could be so content?

But then their tour guide’s body is found floating in the shallows and no one can explain the marks around her neck. Jayne and Rajiv are pulled into a case that the police have already decided isn’t one: a case that will pull at the seams of their fledgling relationships and lead Jayne into grave danger.

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Phuket – Killing Plato by Jake Needham

Welcome to Phuket. It’s a paradise, for the rich, the beautiful and the heavily armed. When Jack Shepherd runs into international racketeer and fugitive Plato Karsarkis in a Phuket beach bar one night, little can he imagine the series of events the chance encounter sets in motion.

Jack finds himself swiftly embroiled in a world of arms deals, extortion and blackmail. At stake is five million dollars, a presidential pardon, and he must fight for his life if he is to successfully bring off what Plato asks of him.

The third in the best-selling Jack Shepherd series, this volume combines a crackling fast pace with evocative descriptions of Phuket, and biting observations of the country s customs and mores. In this most colourful of tropical paradises, a dark and explosive tale unfolds.

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Koh Chang & Koh Samet – Thai Girl by Andrew Hicks

When travellers Ben and Emma come to blows on the idyllic Thai island of Koh Samet, it s not long before Ben falls for Fon, a flirtatious but enigmatic beach masseuse, and is forced to come to terms with the darker side of tourism in Thailand. As Ben parties on the beaches with travellers from around the world and experiences the raunchy nightlife of Bangkok, he is drawn deeper into the harsh reality of his island paradise. The closer he is to Fon, the sparkling Thai girl of his dreams, the more he realizes what it means to be truly poor and what drives farmer s daughters away from their homes to sell their bodies in the bars of Bangkok.

On the surface Thai Girl is an endearing romantic adventure novel: at another level it explores some of the disturbing issues affecting a fast-developing country and its people as well as the problems associated with cross-cultural relationships. Hicks weaves a gripping and thought-provoking narrative that reaches its climax in the sultry heat of Thailand’s exotic traveller beaches

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We hope these books set in Thailand help you escape for a little while. Let us know what other places you’ve heard of – or visited – in Thailand, and check out our database for any books set there.

The TripFiction Team

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Hurry, hurry! Our 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition entries close on 15th November...

750 - 3000 words with strong 'sense of place' theme

Short story, travelogue, or memoir

Top judges to decide the winners

Cash prizes totalling £500 / $600 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 15th November 2020