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Traditional Thai icons; Buddha statues, folk art, Thai Policeman, on cover of 'Very Thai', by River Books.

Very Thai

Everyday Popular Culture

By (author) Philip Cornwel-Smith
Photographs by John Goss


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  • Fully revised and updated; 64 more pages, 4 new chapters and 209 new photographs
  • Original edition was widely reviewed, including a full page piece by Andrew Marshall in Time magazine
  • Pioneering insight into contemporary Thai culture
  • Packed with colour illustrations and insightful observations
  • Respected author writes for many publications including Time Out Bangkok
Full Description

This pioneering insight into contemporary Thai folk culture delves beyond the traditional Thai icons to reveal the casual, everyday expressions of Thainess that so delight and puzzle. From floral truck bolts and taxi altars to buffalo cart furniture and drinks in a bag, the same exquisite care, craft and improvisation resounds through home and street, bar and wardrobe. Never colonised, Thai culture retains nuanced ancient meaning in the most mundane things. The days are colour coded, lucky numbers dictate prices, window grilles become guardian angels, tattoos entrance the wearer. Philip Cornwel-Smith scoured each region to show how indigenous wisdom both adapts to the present and customises imports, applying Roman architecture to shophouses, morphing rock into festive farm music, turning the Japanese motor-rickshaw into the tuk-tuk. Colour-saturated illustrations help you navigate various social traits, whether white-faced hi-so matrons or Red Bulls, willing workers wearing coins in their ear. This is Thai culture as it has never been shown before.

River Books
8th Jun 2022
World excluding Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
245 mm x 174 mm
256 Pages
492 color
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