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Very Thai: Everyday Popular Culture
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Very Thai: Everyday Popular Culture

4.37 of 5 stars 4.37  ·  rating details  ·  63 ratings  ·  13 reviews
This pioneering insight into contemporary Thai folk culture delves beyond the traditional Thai icons to reveal the casual, everyday expressions of Thainess that sodelight and puzzle. From floral truck bolts and taxi altars to buffalo cart furniture and drinks in a bags, the same exquisite care, craft and improvisation resounds through home and street, bar and wardrobe. Nev ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published by River Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Quite simply the best book you'll ever read about Thailand. It clears up the mystery surrounding almost every quirk of Thai contemporary culture - why are the napkins always pink, the water pipes blue and why yellow is always worn on Mondays. And explains the main complicated superstitions and beliefs from spirit houses to amulets. There's also the quirks that ex-pats come to love - motorbike taxis and drinks in bags. All with lush brightly coloured photography. You can live in Thailand for year ...more
coffee table-ish book with informative stuff about Thai pop culture. I actually really liked this book and it made me sort of home-sick for Thailand.
A far cry from most travel books' "formal" culture debriefing, this book will show you what you will likely actually see and do in Thailand - through the pop and street culture. It had me ahh-ing in understanding at times and giggling madly at others (especially the section on those ridiculously flimsy tissue napkins that we Westerners seem to need 10 of to wipe the green curry off our faces...)

A great post-trip read, this one explains a number of interesting cultural things we observed.
Rebecca Saunders
When I first saw this book I knew I needed to have it. It is such a perfect portrait of the real culture of Thailand - beyond the temples and tourist traps. The little pink napkins, cha yen in plastic bags, and motorbike taxis - these are the things you'll experience on a day-to-day basis in Thailand that won't necessarily make it into travel guides. For me it is the perfect reminder of the time I had there.
A friend marched me over to Asia Books after eating lunch one day at SUDA on Sukhumvit 14. He told me I must read it. More than that he said, I must buy it. I did. I am glad I did. I now know what a Garuda is, among other things. And just like that yellow sports car I once owned, I see them everywhere. Great pop culture education for anyone visiting or living in Thailand. Perfect for the coffee table as you will want to re-read it from time to time. Philip Cornwel-Smith should be listed as a Tha ...more
We are planning a trip to Thailand and this book seemed like a good way to learn some useful things before we go. It is usually the popular culture in non-Western countries that is most puzzling when you visit, and this book seems to cover most aspects of Thai everyday life and ways. It is too bulky to take with us, but has beautiful full-color pictures, and I have the feeling will be a good reference source and souvenir when we return.
Best book on Thai pop culture ever. Ever.
Jason Sikora
Jun 04, 2008 Jason Sikora rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Thailand
A fantastic and original look into the real and current culture of a wonderful country. This is not your average look at traditional Thai culture, but rather a series of top-notch articles looking at the many curious aspects of Thailand one notices while there. It really answers the questions many visitors have.

It makes for a very enjoyable read.
Somporn Karam
It kind of Postmodern guide book that you should read before making your journey to Thailand! It's about everyday Thai pop and streetlife stories with the fresh perspective. This book is now fully updated and expanded into a new 2nd Edition.
Sarah Hughes
you absolutely must have this book if you're ever planning to visit Thailand
Absolutely amazing book about Thai street and pop culture. Worth every penny.
Johan De Herdt
Read it during my first months in Bangkok. It clarified a lot.
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