The updated and revamped 15th edition of the long-running Thailand Handbuch published by Reise Know How Verlag in Germany is out now. For all German readers and Thailand travelers out there, the new edition offers 900 pages of up to date info on the kingdom, with extended coverage of the islands, new travel tips in Issan and the North, new maps (130 in all) and more than 200 photos in color.
Co-author Rainer Krack and I were scouring the country earlier this year to check what´s new and what has changed. Personal highlights were the magnificent tea plantations in Mae Salong, north of Chiang Rai on the Burmese border, an exquisite performance by Northern Thai singing star Soontaree Wechanon at her club cum restaurant in Chiang Mai, and a new and spectacular discovery, the fantastic sandstone formations of Sampanbok near Ubon Ratchathani.
I traveled for more than two months around Northern Thailand and down Thailand´s east coast to Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Ko Tao, by plane, rental car, motorbike, tuk-tuk, bus, taxi, ferry, longtail-boat and on foot. No helicopters were involved in the research for this book.
Photographer and collaborator Aroon Thaewchatturat contributed many images and countless suggestions to this new edition.
Despite Thailand´s political problems, the kingdom of smiles is still a great place to visit – the beaches are countless and while tourism is one of the country´s largest industries, it only takes a few steps off the beaten path to discover a very different but equally mesmerizing place to the one described in travel brochures. Thailand Handbook is very much the product of its authors and aims to inform independent tourists and travelers about the great highlights as well as the smaller attractions of this fascinating country.