The Best of Books, Cookbooks and Movies about Thailand

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The Best of Books, Cookbooks and Movies about Thailand To get you in the mood for Thailand and Thai food this month, we are kicking it off by highlighting our hand-picked selection of the best of books, cookbooks and movies about Thailand You may recall we started Peru with the same type of list. We will endeavor to kick off most months in this fashion.

You can find previous months in the Compass & Fork Shop, and you can check out the list of the Best of Books, Cookbooks and Movies about Peru from last month. All books and movies from Thailand have also been added to the shop. It is worth mentioning specialty food products we mention in the recipes are also in the shop as well as any specialized cooking implements. This is true from every destination since we started Compass & Fork. We also try to link the ingredient within the recipe or in the notes so you can identify the ingredient if you are unfamiliar with it or need to purchase it.

Okay, back to books and movies and Thailand . . .

We share these lists with you as as we tend to read a bit about a destination before, during or after our travels. It helps to set the scene, immerse us in the country and in some cases put into perspective those things we saw. Books also make great souvenirs. Unfortunately some books are hard to find after you depart so keep your eyes open while you’re there. This seems to be especially true of fiction and cookbooks.

So without further ado . . .

Disclosure: These links are to Amazon. I have selected the main link, but you can order it in different formats from the link. They are affiliate links. This means the price you pay is the same but we do receive a small commission from your purchase. Thank you for your support, affiliate income is one way we earn an income and offset the costs of running Compass & Fork.

Best of Books, Cookbooks and Movies about Thailand


A Woman of Bangkok– Jack Reynolds  Set in 1950’s Thailand, an Englishman falls for a Thai working girl.

Fieldwork- Mischa Berlinski- Mystery novel set in the Northern Hills of Thailand.

Cross Currents– by John Shors  Novel set on Thailand’s beautiful island of Ko Phi Phi Don, before the Boxing Day Tsunami 2004

Sightseeing- Rattawut Lapcharoensap – 7 short stories set in contemporary Thailand.

Four Reigns–  by Kirrit Pramoj-  Set in 1890’s-WWII, one woman’s life inside and outside the Royal Palace

Monsoon Country– Pira Sudham (autobiographic novel) Thai man who goes to live in the West and returns. Different views of Thai culture.


Anna and the King of Siam Margaret Landon   English governess that came to live at the Royal Palace.

Patpong Sisters: An American Woman’s View of the Bangkok Sex World by Cleo Odzer  

Buddhism Plain and Simple  by Steve Hagen

Phra Farang–  An English Monk in Thailand by Phra Peter Pannapadipo  The biography of a London businessman becoming a novice monk.

A History of Thailand– Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichi  Easy read of the history of Thailand.

The King Never Smiles by Paul M. Handley (read before or after you go- this book was banned in Thailand)- an independent biography of the world’s longest-serving monarch.

Thai Cookbooks and Guides to Thai Food

Thai Food by David Thompson (2002)- Widely considered to be “the” Thai cookbook. Beautiful book and pictures.

Thai Street Food by David Thompson by same author as Thai Food

The Encyclopedia of Asian Food, Charmaine Solomon  This book is more than just Thai food. It is a beautiful book and if you like Asian, a great addition to your collection.

Thailand’s Best Street Food: The Complete Guide to Streetside Dining in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Other Areas Chawadee Nualkhair   – Guide book to Thai street food.

Thailand: The Beautiful Cookbook Panurat Poladitmontr

Spirit House Thai Cooking Helen Brierty and Annette Fear  Recipes from the renowned Thai restaurant in Queensland, Australia

Real Thai Nancie McDermott  A well-rated cookbook featuring regional recipes.


The Beach

Anna & The King starring Jodie Foster is a remake of the original Anna & the King of Siam

The King & I (a musical based on the story Anna & the King)

Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason

Do you have favorites we missed or should add to this list of the best of books, cookbooks and movies about Thailand? I feel like there should be more movies in or about Thailand but I struggled to find any. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment. (You do not need to leave a URL to comment.)


The Best of Books, Cookbooks and Movies about Thailand Hand-picked collection of the best of Thailand

2 Responses

  1. Elaine Schoch
    | Reply

    This is a great round-up of books and movies!

    • Editor

      Thank you, we enjoyed putting it together for such a fabulous destination.

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