Feature by Katy Colins
Thailand is one of those countries that has long enticed travellers thanks to the frenzy of Bangkok, the stunning spiritual temples in the north and the lure of paradise promised from the jewel coloured islands in the south.
Many people travel to Thailand not just to follow the tourist trail but to find themselves, something I know all too well when I was jilted and looking to escape.
My journey spurred me on to write my debut novel, Destination Thailand, the first of the Lonely Hearts Travel Club series that sees Georgia Green aka the ‘backpacking Bridget Jones’ swapping weddings for wanderlust as she tries to find herself when all feels lost.
You don’t need to book a long-haul flight to discover who you really are, instead you can get lost in one of these novels guaranteed to give you a dose of sunshine and make you’ll feel like you’ve ticked off Thailand without leaving your home:
The Atlas Of Us by Tracy Buchanan
Following the Boxing Day tsunami, Louise Fenton flies to Thailand to track down her missing mother but ends up finding more than she realised. Thanks to a beautiful atlas found in her mothers handbag belonging to a lady called Claire, Louise’s search has only just begun and it’s not just the country that is desperate to recover and rebuild itself. A remarkable journey through the debris of a broken country as secrets come to light in this heart wrenching tale.
Run Away by Laura Salters
Less sun drenched paradise island and more tense rollercoaster ride in this gritty page-turning thriller. The first chapter see’s Kayla, covered in blood in a sweltering interview room at a police station in Phuket, but it’s not the first time she has blood on her hands and it seems too much of a coincidence to be happening again. A real twist and turn of a story that will make you feel like you’ve walked the smoggy streets of Bangkok with her, trying to figure out exactly what has gone on.
Catching The Sun by Tony Parsons
Thanks to the author’s extensive knowledge of Thailand, after travelling there for more than 20 years, this tale brings the sounds, smells and senses of Thailand to life. Showing a side to Phuket that many tourists fail to see, from the playful gibbons, elephants splashing in the turquoise Andaman Sea and the picturesque villages of island life. Many of us yearn to find paradise but for Tom Finn and his family events back home gave them the push they needed to make it a reality. However, is it possible to truly escape your past?
Deep Blue Sea by Tasmina Perry
The queen of glamour, mystery and passion, Ms Perry delivers yet again with this page-turner of a beach read set between UK and exotic Thailand. Rachel appears to be living the dream working as a dive instructor on the picturesque island of Ko Toa. When her estranged sister Diana’s husband is discovered dead she soon becomes involved in the search of the truth.
The Beach by Alex Garland
No list about novels set in Thailand would be complete without this iconic read that put the travelling dream on the map. Young backpacker Richard’s search for the tranquil idyll of a remote Thai island leads him to discover a dark side to the lengths that people will go to keep paradise truly hidden.
Which of these have you read? Any others to add to the list?