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The following list of books, DVDs, CDs, videos, newspapers, etc., are media that we can recommend to you if you are contemplating a visit to this country. We have tried to identify three books, including at least one guidebook, that we would most strongly recommend you read or at least browse before you go. If you have more time and interest you can get as deeply involved as you like. You may find some of these materials more relevant when you come back and want to get answers to questions that developed in-country. We also like to recommend various DVDs with films or documentaries that you should find educational. They will also give you a glimpse of the country before you actually arrive. Most of these items have a link to Amazon where you can purchase them if you like, but some materials are not available at Amazon (is that really possible?) and have links to other sites. We hope you find this list helpful.

General History/Background
Travel Guides

General History/Background
Along the Royal Roads to Angkor
By Yoshiaki Ishizawa
Weatherhill, Inc., New York, NY, 1999

From the 9th to the 15th century, the Angkor Empire was the greatest civilization in Southeast Asia, reaching from the coast of Vietnam to Myanmar, from southern Laos down to the Malay Peninsula. At the heart of this great kingdom ruled by god-kings rose the magnificent towers of Angkor Wat and the nearby capital city of Angkor Thom. The rulers of Angkor were great builders and engineers. They fed their people with a sophisticated irrigation system that made the Cambodian plains green year-round, and they built a network of roads connecting the capital to all the major outlying cities. Along the Royal Roads to Angkor is a photographic journey following those royal roads, featuring 165 stunning images of the many beautiful Angkor-period temples and monuments in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. Many scenes along the road record the contemporary lives of the descendants of the Khmers, Chams, Thais, and Mon and Qoi peoples of ancient Angkor. An informative text discusses the rise and fall of the empire and the achievements of its rulers, while detailing important temples and other buildings. Top
 


Travel Guides
A Traveller's History of Southeast Asia
By J. M. Barwise and N. J. White
Interlink Books, New York, NY, 2002

From the early Christian era in Europe, Southeast Asia was known as the "Land of Gold." It is a region blessed with a rich diversity of cultures, peoples, and scenery. A Traveller's History of Southeast Asia is a lucid and concise introduction to the histories of the modern states of Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, and East Timor, providing an essential guide for tourists and general readers alike.
The book spans the history of the region from "Java Man" some one million years ago to the development of the high-tech, skyscraper cities of the new millennium. It journeys through the classical kingdoms that produced such architectural marvels as Borobudur in Java and Angkor Wat in Cambodia, then explores Southeast Asia's growing trade with the outside world from 1500 to its colonization in the 19th and 20th centuries by European imperial powers. Next, the region's struggles for independence in the last century are discussed in detail, as are the dramatic and tragic events of the post-independence era such as the Vietnam War and the Cambodia genocide. The book's final chapter highlights the remarkable successes and failings of the region due to recent economic development. A Traveller's History of Southeast Asia shows how the region's soul has been preserved despite tremendous external pressures. Top
 

Footprint Thailand
By Andrew Spooner, et al.
Footprint, 2006

A country where Buddhism meets hedonism, Thailand is one of Southeast Asia’s busiest tourist destinations. While Full Moon partygoers dance all night in the south, serene Buddhas watch over high-powered shoppers in Bangkok, and the hill tribes of the north continue their age-old traditions. The guide offers a complete rundown of the many activities available to free-spirited travelers, including diving, rafting, riding, and therapies. Lively reviews detail Thailand’s bustling food, drink, and party scene. This essential guide includes maps and extensive transportation information to help navigate this sometimes formidable region. --Amazon.com Top
 

Frommer's Thailand
By Charles Agar
Wiley Publishing, Inc., Hoboken , NJ, 2006

Author Charles Agar lived in Thailand while writing this guidebook and came to know the country intimately--its spectacular beaches, waterfalls, floating markets, majestic temples, ancient ruins, national parks, palaces, and traditional villages. While there, he discovered amazing restaurants, hidden treasures, and adventures like elephant trekking in the Northern Hills. Frommer's Thailand guides you through the confusing, bustling, but intriguing city of Bangkok, and also includes a full post-tsunami update; advice on the best beaches, temples, towns, and resorts; outspoken opinions on what's worthwhile and what's not; exact prices so that you can plan the perfect trip for your budget; off-the-beaten-path experiences and undiscovered gems; plus new takes on top attractions. Top
 

Independent Travellers Thailand, Malaysia & Singapore
By Sean Sheehan, Pat Levy
Thomas Cook Publishing, 2005

"This Independent Travellers guide concentrates on the most relevant and useful facts and tips on budget travel, accommodation and eating. As well as practical advice, the wealth of background information helps you to experience Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, not just visit it. The guide sets out a series of routes that make the best use of all the transport options--trains, buses, car hire, flights--with detailed information on distances and timings. Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore are the most accessible countries in South-East Asia, with an excellent infrastructure for visitors and a long tradition of welcoming travelers on a budget. Yet alongside the bustling cities and sophisticated beach resorts they still offer many discoveries for the independent explorer, and the suggested routes in Independent Travellers Thailand, Malaysia & Singapore will help you experience to the full the cultural diversity of this fascinating region and enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, from trekking on Mt. Kinabalu to scuba diving off the coast of Thailand." --Globepequot.com Top
 

Let's Go: Southeast Asia
By Let's Go Publications
Let's Go Publications, Cambridge, MA , 2004

Completely revised and updated, Let's Go: Southeast Asia puts forty-five years of travel savvy at your fingertips, with helpful commentary and plenty of listings to get you where you need to be. From cosmopolitan Singapore to the most remote villages of Laos, the new edition delivers expanded cultural information, plus more study and volunteering opportunities--the tools that will help you hit the road like a seasoned traveler, not just a tourist. Whether you'd rather tempt Lady Luck at a five-star casino on the Thai-Cambodian border or watch fireflies flit off into the night in Malaysia, Let's Go's intrepid researchers ensure that you're in tune with this quickly changing region. Top
 

Lonely Planet Thailand
By Joe Cummings, Sandra Bao, et al.
Lonely Planet Publications, Ltd., Oakland, CA, 2003

Thailand has it all: pulse-pounding nightclubs, stupa-studded mountainsides, idyllic beaches and islands, and the most renowned hospitality and cuisine in Southeast Asia. Discover all this and much more with this bestselling guide, including favorite accomodation picks, from beach bungalow picks to luxury resorts; a spicy guide to the flavors of Thai cuisine; special features on hill-tribe cultures and performing arts; where to learn Thai massage and master meditation; a handy language guide and glossary; and 150 detailed maps of towns, islands, and regions.

"Hotter than a 'rat-shit pepper', this best-selling guide gives you the goods on surviving crazy Bangkok, exploring exotic landscapes and discovering what lies behind that famous Thai smile." --Amazon.com Top
 

Moon Handbooks: Thailand
By Carl Parkes
Avalon Travel Publishing, Emeryville, CA, 2000

Winner of the Lowell Thomas Gold Medal for Best Travel Guidebook, Thailand Handbook covers the region like no other. Whether you plan to trek to Golden Triangle hillside villages, or disco-hop across Bangkok, acclaimed Southeast Asia writer Carl Parkes provides all the information you'll need, including: advice on exploring archelogical sites, navigating the bustling cities, and interacting with the gracious people; comprehensive coverage of Thailand's major cultural festivals, arts, dances, symbols, and religions; alternative travel opportunities, including homestays and specialized adventure-travel options; and insightful articles on such topics as monsters of the Mekong, the truth behind The King and I, and Thailand's famous orchids. An indispensable guidebook for those who want to dive into Thailand's unique culture. Top
 

Southeast Asia--Insight Guides
By Heidi Sopinka, Editor, et al.
APA Publications, Singapore, 2003

This 430-page book includes a section detailing Southeast Asia's history and covers aspects of Southeast Asian life and culture, ranging from Malaysia's ancient rainforests to delicious Thai cuisine. It also contains a country-by-country visitor's guide to the sights; a comprehensive "Travel Tips" section packed with essential contact addresses and numbers; plus many amazing photographs and 23 maps. --Amazon.com

Thailand, Burma, Laos & Cambodia, Viertnam, Malasia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines are all illuminated through the guide's evocative photography, insightful text, and incisive evaluations. Top
 

Southeast Asia--Insight Guides
By Heidi Sopinka, Editor, et al.
APA Publications, Singapore, 2003

This 430-page book includes a section detailing Southeast Asia's history and covers aspects of Southeast Asian life and culture, ranging from Malaysia's ancient rainforests to delicious Thai cuisine. It also contains a country-by-country visitor's guide to the sights; a comprehensive "Travel Tips" section packed with essential contact addresses and numbers; plus many amazing photographs and 23 maps. --Amazon.com

Thailand, Burma, Laos & Cambodia, Viertnam, Malasia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines are all illuminated through the guide's evocative photography, insightful text, and incisive evaluations. Top
 

Thailand--Eyewitness Travel Guides
By DK Publishing
Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc., New York, NY, 2002

"This colorful and thoughtfully arranged guide provides easy access to Thai history and culture, religion, politics, music, sports, and festivals. From Chiang Mai to Bangkok, Phuket to Ko Samui, the many pleasures, diversions, sites, and activities are detailed in a conveniently usable format. Orchid parks and elephant training centers, wats and Buddhas, beaches, treks, museums, and rainforests--it's all there to peruse and choose. With lists of hotels and restaurants, information on shopping, whitewater rafting, golf, diving, Thai massage, and lots of maps and pictures, DK Publishing has put together a guide that's both practical and beautiful." --Amazon.com Top
 

Thailand--Insight Guides
By Scott Rutherford, Editor
Langenscheidt Publishers, Inc., Maspeth, NY, 2002

This guidebook includes a section detailing Thailand's history, culture, arts, politics, and people--ranging from its dwindling numbers of hill-tribes to its tasty and aesthetically pleasing cuisine; a region-by-region visitor's guide to the sights; a comprehensive "Travel Tips" section packed with essential contact addresses and numbers; and many superb photographs and maps. --Amazon.com

From the Grand Palace to Ko Samui, from Chiang Mai to the ancient ruins of the Khorat Plateau, you can find it in Thailand--Insight Guides. Top
 

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