Good Reading for SEA

Apr 19th, 2013, 03:23 PM
Original Poster
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Good Reading for SEA

Hello, Almost done with planning stage for SEA trip next fall and now interested in doing some reading.

I am looking for suggestions for books, historical or fictional, about Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. Have ordered Dawn Rooney's book already.

Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks all.
cindyjo is online now  
Apr 19th, 2013, 05:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Do a search of Fodors for books on SEA. There are various threads with a lot of good suggestions.
silverwool is offline  
Apr 20th, 2013, 07:15 PM
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Thanks silverwool, I did a search (google, always find Fodors search cumbersome).

Was surprised to find our library has only 1 of 12 books I requested and that Amazon wants $99 for a paperback of Stalking the Elephant Kings!!!

Hopefully, I will find a copy through an inter library search.
cindyjo is online now  
Apr 20th, 2013, 07:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 441
You can buy plenty of 'pirated' books on Cambodia in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. A few landmine victims sell them around the old market in SR. I particularly recommend 'When the War was Over' by Elizabeth Becker. Also I enjoyed 'Mad About the Mekong' by John Keay and 'Mekong' by Milton Osborne.

Another idea when you get to SR is to look at Blue Apsara books near the old market. They have a lot of second hand as well as photocopied books on the region. Not much good for pre trip research though.

Enjoy your trip, they are all great destinations in their own way. I've got my 8th trip to Cambodia coming up this year. (My daughter works there.)
silverwool is offline  
Apr 20th, 2013, 09:25 PM
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IMO you should not support the illegal pirated goods trade, beggers etc.
Hanuman is offline  
Apr 20th, 2013, 11:14 PM
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One Foot in Laos by Dervla Murphy is worth a look.
crellston is offline  
Apr 21st, 2013, 09:06 PM
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First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung
jgg is offline  
Apr 21st, 2013, 11:27 PM
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Tragedy in Paradise. C. Weldon
The ravens C. Robbins
The Dr Siri series by Colin Cotteril
Vientianeboy is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 05:07 AM
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Please do not support illegal purchase of books. Like so many the printed book business is having its share of problems struggling to stay alive.
yestravel is offline  
May 1st, 2013, 10:09 AM
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Anything by Colin Cotterill for reading about Laos. Although he is a crime writer, his books are set in Laos and he uses them as a vehicle to take a look at Laotian history and politics. They are entertaining and immensely informative.
He has had quite a struggle with the Laos government to have them published or translated in Laos language too.

A great book on vernacular Thai culture is "Very Thai'-Philip Cornwel-Smith, John Goss cultural analyst and photographer respectively. Takes a fairly academic format but retains eminently readable prose. Prints a bit tiny but I understand a new edition with larger format is in the offing.
khunwilko is online now  
May 1st, 2013, 06:39 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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The Secret Agent by Francine Mathews is a novel based on the life of Jim Thompson. I really enjoyed reading it after our SE Asia trip this past January.
wkwb42a is offline  
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