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

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  93 Ratings  ·  14 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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Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Patrick McCoy
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
Thailand is a country that is very dear to my heart, since it is the second Asian country that I visited (and have returned to many times) since adopting Japan as my second home (and has served as a contrasting mirror from which to understand Japanese culture). Phillip Cornwel-Smith's book Very Thai: Everyday Popular Culture (2005) is a great resource in which to understand Thai culture. The book also acts asa a coffee table book with lively colorful pictures from Cornwel-Smith and main photogra ...more
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...)
Oct 14, 2009 rated it liked it

A great post-trip read, this one explains a number of interesting cultural things we observed.
Alina Ramona
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
how life is in Thailand.. from food, party..people.. just have a taste
Rebecca Saunders
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jason Sikora
Jun 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Johan De Herdt
Sep 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Read it during my first months in Bangkok. It clarified a lot.
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