Planning for Thailand? Listen to these
Since I'm in the business of making sure you arrive an expert, below you’ll find audiobooks and podcasts to enjoy as you plan your Thailand travels.
Favourite Audiobooks and Podcasts
1. Private Dancer (Audiobook)
Audiobook Description: "Thailand 1996. The Year of The Rat. Pete, a young travel writer, wanders into a Bangkok go-go bar and meets the love of his life. Joy is the girl of his dreams, young, stunningly pretty, and one of the Zombie Bar's top-earning pole dancers. What follows is a roller-coaster ride of sex, drugs, and deception, as Pete discovers that his very own private dancer is not all she claims to be. And that far from being the girl of his dreams, Joy is his own personal nightmare."
2. The Beach (Audiobook)
Audiobook Description: "The Khao San Road, Bangkok - the first stop for the hordes of rootless young Westerners travelling in Southeast Asia. On Richard's first night there, a fellow traveller slashes his wrists, bequeathing to Richard a meticulously drawn map to "the Beach"."
3. Selected Shorts: Draft Day (Audiobook)
Audiobook Description: "On the day of the draft lottery, a Thai man keeps a secret from his best friend." An audiobook excerpt from the collection of short stories about various lives in modern-day Thailand, Sightseeing.
4. The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Audiobook)
Audiobook Description: "From the winner of Australia's National Fiction Prize, author of the hugely acclaimed Gould's Book of Fish, comes a magisterial, Rashomon-like novel of love and war that traces the life of one man from World War II to the present. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thailand - Burma Death Railway in 1943, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. His life is a daily struggle to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from pitiless beatings - until he receives a letter that will change him forever."
5. Bangkok 8 (Audiobook)
Audiobook Description: "A thriller with attitude to spare, Bangkok 8 is a sexy, razor-edged, often darkly hilarious novel set in one of the world's most exotic cities. Witnessed by a throng of gaping spectators, a charismatic Marine sergeant is murdered under a Bangkok bridge inside a bolted-shut Mercedes Benz. Among the witnesses are the only two cops in the city not on the take, but within moments one is murdered and his partner, Sonchai Jitpleecheep - a devout Buddhist and the son of a Thai bar girl and a long-gone Vietnam War G.I. - is hell-bent on wreaking revenge."
Tip! You get a free book when you sign up for an Audible trial with Amazon. This book lasts over 12 hours in audiobook format so it will last you ages – it's long enough for pretty much any long-haul flight to Thailand. A great use for your freebie. Highly recommend this book in any format – it's fast-paced and juicy.
Episode Description: "Elephants are pretty much the best. Why? Josh and Chuck will let you know in great detail in today's episode."
Episode Description: "Dr Sara Ruane is a herpetologist & assistant professor at Rutgers University-Newark who joins Jonathan to break down all things snakes! She covers their environmental benefits, the differences between constrictors & venomous snakes, and more."
Episode Description: "In our ongoing series about living in Bangkok with a disability, Greg interviews Sai Techawongtham, a Thai citizen who is blind, and who has something very rare in Thailand - a guide dog (his name is Luther and he’s a very good boy)."
Episode Description: "Now it's easy to master all aspects of the Thai language within a few months. Learn to speak, read, write and understand Thai quickly and easily with over 800 videos, audio and text lessons. The LTP Premium Course focuses on real street Thai the way it is spoken today. In our conversation lessons, you hear and see native Thai speakers talking like they would talk with you. You learn to speak and understand modern Thai instead of outdated dictionary Thai."
Episode Description: "Jellyfish are among the most adaptable, competitive organisms on the planet. They can grow back into their juvenile stage when resources are scarce, reproduce in massive groups and kill an adult human, among lots of other neat stuff. Learn all about them in this classic episode!"
Episode Description: "[W]e discover some of the most sustainable and ethical travel businesses in the market, encouraging travellers to experience the world without harming natural and cultural environments and ask, how happy are you?" Highlights include "becoming carbon positive" and "shifting the way we look at wild animals".
Episode Description: "Palm oil is now such a dirty word for household products and processed food, that it often hides behind a list of dozens of pseudonyms (from the ubiquitous sodium laureth sulphate to the slightly more obvious palm kernel oil, to the totally opaque vegetable oil). It’s becoming a major global concern, and there is an ongoing debate between enforcing a ban or shifting to more sustainable production. It’s always complicated, but..."
Episode Description: "Coral reefs are the largest organic structures on Earth, yet they're created through a symbiotic relationship between creatures about 3 millimetres long. Learn more about the world's coral reefs (and how to protect them) in this episode."
Episode Description: "[E]verything you need to know about transport, scams, and rip-offs so you can have a safe and fun time in the ‘land of smiles'." This can't miss podcast episode cover changes to boating laws in Thailand, riding motorbikes in Thailand, how to avoid having your drink spiked, females and monks, and more.
Travel Tip: Podcasts and Planes
Tip! If you’re travelling as a couple and share the same taste in podcasts, I recommend packing a headphone splitter so that you can listen to them together. As you'll likely have to wait until after take-off to use your in-flight entertainment, a shared podcast kills that boring "hurry up and wait" time. At the very least it will prevent Party A from annoying Party B with constant “guess whats” and “wanna know something interesting?”
Favourite Thailand books and resources
Love learning? Delight your inner Bill Bryson with my top recommendations for novels set in Thailand, plus Thai travel guides and even more audiobooks. (Also – for the greedy amongst us – don't miss my favourite Thai cookbooks).
- Cookbooks: The 33 best Thai cookbooks
- My favourites: The best books to read before Thailand
- Audiobooks: 33 Thailand audiobooks (to Bangkok and beyond)
P.S. You can find every tip for Thailand packing and prep in the archive, or subscribe by email and get all the details straight to your inbox. Enjoy!