Nick's recommended Laos Books 

I've browsed many books on Laos and countries in South East Asia. Some I've read avidly from cover to cover.

They're usually Laos based, but I'm also including books based on life in neighbouring Thailand and Cambodia.

Each title is complete with kick-back links to the US and UK Amazon web sites. Money I receive goes to Big Brother Mouse, who promote literacy in Laos PDR by publishing and distributing  educational books that are fun.

Language

   

Lonely planet - Lao phrasebook

Great to have to with you when talking to the saffron robed novices. I can say "hello" in Lao as well as count to ten, and say colours.

A good introduction for tourists.

Guidebooks

   

Insight Guides - Laos & Cambodia

Good maps, excellent photos. This books describes the ethnic mix of peoples.
 

Footprint Laos

This guide book covers Laos by region, with sections on history and customs. Includes maps locating hotels and guesthouses.

Culture Shock! Laos: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette 

The book provides a sympathetic and fun-filled crash course on the do's and don'ts in Laos.

 

Successful Living in Thailand (The Thai & I) by Roger Welty

This guide to the practicalities of living and working in Thailand will help transform readers from being 'outsiders' to being 'insiders'.

Amazon UK don't carry the paperback - I picked up a copy at Bangkok airport.

 

Factual

   

The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade

ISBN 978-1556521256

Laos: The (former) Land of the Poppy. Several chapters focus on Laos' recent history.

Here's a link to an old edition

A History of Laos

by Martin Stuart-Fox

The book covers ancient, French colonial, independence, the Secret War, revolution, and the PDR.

Biographies

   
   

My Thai Girl and I

ISBN 978-974-9898-90-1

How the author met his young wife and set up home in the rice fields of North Eastern Thailand.

http://www.thaigirl2004.com/ 

Farang: Thailand Through the Eyes of an Ex-pat

Thailand experiences presented in a very humorous way.

Golden Bones

An Extraordinary Journey from Hell in Cambodia to a New Life in America by Sichan Siv

"Never give up hope!"

Sichan Siv autobiography. 1970's Cambodia, Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge and the "killing fields". He escapes to Thailand. In the U.S. a cabbie, eventually rising to become a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World

by John Wood

In 1998 John Wood was a rising executive at Microsoft . Then a trip to Nepal inspired him to set up schools and libraries in the developing world. In 1999, he founded Room to Read, a charity that promotes literacy throughout the developing world.


Monks and Motorcycles

From Laos to London by the Seat of My Pants 1956-1958

by Franklin E Huffman

The author shares his experiences and emotions during two years as a French interpreter for a community development team on the Plain of Jars in Laos. Leaving Laos, he buys a motorcycle and sets out for Europe, with only a National Geographic map of Asia and the optimism of youth as his guide.

Huffman's self-deprecating humour and his mastery of English language makes this book a good read.
     
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