“I think you’d like this” my friend said Katie (who you may remember from Tioman Island or Bali Adventures) handing me a beaten up old book. “It’s about a guy living in Thailand.” It was obvious to everyone I met while living in Singapore that I was in love with Thailand, so she had a good basis for this assumption. I looked over the book. It seemed interesting enough and I was looking for something to do while basking on Southeast Asian beaches now that I had finished all my exams.
The book was title “Farang – Thailand through the eyes of an ex-pat”. It was one of those books that was passed around from person to person and found its way to my hands. For some reason, fairly obscure books that get passed around always turn out to be the best ones… and this was no different.
Farang is more like a series of short stories rather than a novel – stories of Dr. Ian life in Thailand. He retells the things you’d expect from a foreigner in Thailand like his first thai meal and surviving Songkran. His stories also capture the details of life in Thailand like finding a cobra in the kitchen to health care (he is a doctor after all, and don’t worry, the cobra and health care stories are not related). My favourite part about the book is that every few chapters he includes photos of Thai life and his family making everything see very personal and relatable.
It’s an easy read and with the stories being short and complete. It’s the kind of book you can put down for a while and then pick right back up (aka the perfect travel companion book). I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Thailand or knows the struggles of being an expat. I loved this book because both of those qualities apply to me. And like I predicted, it really was the perfect beach book too. I still remember the looks I got from locals walking the beach on Koh Samui while I lay there with a book called Farang.
I’m thinking about turning this “Travel Lit” into a series talking about my favourite travel books. I love reading (even though I’m incredibly slow at it) and I’m always looking for new adventure/travel books to pick up. It’s great source of travel inspiration! Do you have any travel lit recommendations?