Chapters on central and northern Thailand along with creation of a page plan for the first of the successful AA Explorer guides.
This was the very first AA Explorer Guide. I was asked to create a page plan (I'd recently spent a couple of months in the country). This I duly did. Then I went to meet the AA, and they offered me the job of writing it. It was in pre-internet days, and I preferred not to bite off more than I could chew - so I said I'd do the Central and Northern chapters. Dick Wilson wrote the insightful essays in the intro, and Richard Clutterbuck (based in Thailand) contributed the other bits.
It was a nice, leisurely three months avoiding the British winter - I actually finished the research early, then revisited the places I'd liked most. It was the last time I used my typewriter (laptops cost a bomb then, and I would have been nervous of getting it broken or stolen) - so I carried my machine around with me on buses and share-taxis, and it worked perfectly. My only regret was not leaving the darned thing in Thailand when I left. It's been gathering dust in the attic ever since.
I typed away in guesthouses in Phitsanulock and Chiang Mai, feeling like a character in Evelyn Waugh's Scoop. After producing my first page, a large, hitherto unseen cat jumped onto it from a great height. I hoped it was a good omen of something.
Those were the days when the AA paid £2000 expenses in addition to the fee. I couldn't find a way of spending it all - guesthouses were dirt cheap, and food cost practically nothing.
Nobody ripped me off, the food was great, the people chatty, I managed to avoid getting run over in Bangkok and I only got bitten by a mosquito once.
- Introduction to book
- Central Thailand: Ayutthaya, Kanchana Buri Province, The Death Railway, Khao Yai National Park, Lop Buri
- Northern Thailand: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Don Inthanon National Park, Khampaeng Phet, Lampang, Mae Hong Son, Mae Sai, Mae Sot and Umphang, Nan and Doi Phuka Natinoal Park, Phitsanulok, Phrae, Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park, Si Satchanalai Historical Park, Sukothai
- Travel facts
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