Undoubtedly one of my favourite books about the real Thailand is one by Philip Cornwel-Smith called Very Thai. I always recommend it to any of my friends who want to see the country with new eyes. I thought I already knew a lot about Thailand but Philip’s book certainly opened up a new chapter for me. Now he has a new book coming out called Very Bangkok: Neighbourhoods, Networks, Tribes which is published by River Books. I just ordered an advance copy from amazon.com where they say it will be published on16 July 2012.
The following information on the book comes from the publisher:
Bangkok arrests the visitor with its bewildering juxtaposition of old and new, hi-tech and impromptu, sacred and profane. While modernizing at great pace under myriad outside influences, the Thai capital draws equal vigour from its historic communities, cultural diversity and contemporary urban tribes.
The author of Very Thai and Time Out Bangkok, Philip Cornwel-Smith takes an alternative look at the subcultures of his adopted town in this practical thematic handbook. With the aid of maps, listings and references, the visitor can engage with Bangkok’s contradictory character according to their mood or interest.
Explore the city’s contrasting environments, architectural fabric, ethnic patchwork and intertwined beliefs. Encounter distinct social scenes, whether hip or hi-so, local or bohemian and see how traditional roots infuse the current Thai flowering in arts and entertainments, fashion and food lifestyle and spas. Photography by Dow Wasiksiri – selected for the prestigious 9 Days in the Kingdom project – enhances this insider’s guide to a city like no other.
UPDATE: I’ve had the follow update from the author who talks about the delay in publishing this book:-
Thanks for your interest. I really appreciate it. The Bangkok book is taking much longer than expected to write. It keeps expanding and having to be cut back. Much research I’ve done will have to go into later works. Meanwhile, I’ve needed to update Very Thai into a full 2nd edition with more pages, some new concluding chapters – and a bigger typefont! Yay! Most chapters have changes big and small, while some have been heavily rewritten to deal with Thailand’s dramatic transformations of recent years. The 2nd edition of Very thai will come out in about 3 months, along with an updated German version and a new Japanese translation, ‘Tottemo Thai’. The Bangkok book will then follow. Thanks for your patience.