Geek out: Brit writer releases book on Thailand

A Geek In Thailand looks at the Thai fascination with ghost stories.
A Geek In Thailand looks at the Thai fascination with ghost stories.

Love living in Thailand and want to learn more about it?

Then “A Geek in Thailand” is the book for you, by British author Jody Houton.

It’s packed with pictures and details of Thailand’s culture, history and art. The book also touches on politics, architecture, folklore and Buddhism, with chapters on food, design and craftmanship, and Thai pastimes, among others.

The book touches on traditional pastimes like cock-fighting
The book touches on traditional pastimes like cock-fighting

Jody, from Leigh in the UK, told Coconuts he spent three years researching and writing the book.

“From the moment I began, I became more actively involved in engaging in and attempting to understand Thailand. I was constantly making little notes of what I thought was interesting, or weird.”

Jody’s been living in Thailand for over six years, where “the tropical lifestyle appealed most to a sun-starved Mancunian like myself.”

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“The best thing about living in Bangkok is the ease of living very well – taking taxis everywhere, employing maids and gardeners, enjoying some of the finest food on the planet, socializing, having massages on a whim, going to the cinema – basically anything that costs a relative fortune in England, I can do here without having to check my wallet first,” he told Coconuts.

“There are many more interesting things to do for free or at a low cost in the city; parks; interesting little nooks and crannies in Chinatown; peaceful restaurants along the river from a bygone era.”

Jody, who spent 4.5 years in Phuket before moving to Bangkok, said he loved the stunning temples and palaces of the city but admitted there were some downsides to living in the capital too.

The author at his book launch. Photo: Jody Houton
The author at his book launch. Photo: Jody Houton

“Without doubt it is the incessant noises and the subsequent mindless sounds deemed necessary to mask them. Barks and beeps, whistles, construction, loudspeakers, music, microphone-clutching Pretties – it’s competitive, it’s shouting to be heard, over the person who’s speaking too loudly anyway,” he said.

However his book focuses on the joy and fun chaos of exploring Thailand, with tips for tourists on the main tourist destinations and festivals, an overview of the unique Thai character, and a look at traditional Thai pastimes including bullfighting, bird-singing, gambling, and more modern cultural attractions like karaoke, massages, ladybody cabaret and Muay Thai.

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“Like many expats who choose Thailand as their adopted home, I came for a holiday and stayed for the laid-back lifestyle,” Jody writes.

“As with most other expats in Thailand, there have been times when I’ve wanted to tear my hair out with the ‘Thai’ way of doing things, but the anger and incredulity always pass and I remain, with a smile on my face and a Christmas tree and water pistol for Songkran in my cupboard.”

You can pick up “A Geek In Thailand” in Asia Books or Kinokuniya, or order online at