Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Farang: Thailand through the eyes of an ex-pat

Rate this book
Dr. Iain Corness is medical practitioner, racing car driver, restaurateur, photographer, freelance journalist and fi rst rate raconteur. The Uk born ex-pat, who fell in love with Thailand, both it's people and way of life, while on a holiday, and fi nally managed to move there permanently 20 years later. As a settled `farang' (the Thai term for a westerner) he enjoys a unique perspective on Thai life and all its eccentricities; looking in from the outside while also getting to see the things most foreigners don't. His stories and anecdotes are full of the joys of life, and celebrate this exotic and exciting land in all its glory with painfully funny observations. From a date with a fortune teller to tales of a reincarnated squid, Corness revels in the chaos and charm of `the only country where you can be run over by a shop.' This is a book to be enjoyed by anyone interested in Asian culture.

336 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2007

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Iain Corness

3 books3 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
6 (6%)
4 stars
17 (18%)
3 stars
30 (33%)
2 stars
30 (33%)
1 star
7 (7%)
Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews
Profile Image for Petra on hiatus, really unwell.
2,457 reviews34.4k followers
November 11, 2016
A common sighte in Thailand is a middle-aged or older white guy with a much younger Thai wife and occasionally a few really rather pretty mixed-race children. The men often strode on ahead. If they didn't but walked equally with the man, they were usually lady-boys (easy to detect, beautiful faces, broad shoulders, narrow hips and big breasts. No one has big breasts in Bangkok except the lady-boys who pay for them). These girls are from the country, grew up poor, and see a comfortable future with these rich older men. For Bangkok women it's different, this is a modern, booming city with plenty of opportunities for careers.

In late middle age without a partner and with a couple of careers as a racing driver and doctor behind him, in Australia the author moved to the holiday resort of Pattaya in Thailand got married to a very superstitious Thai woman more than thirty years younger who insisted on altars and idols all, priests and sacrifices all over the place. He is a doctor there and a blogger and a second time father of very young children.

The book is supposed to give insights into the lives of expats in Thailand. I don't think it does its not a very insightful book but obviously a collection of republished blogs. Some of the chapters are amusing some are interesting. but mostly they are just blogs you would read over coffee and not think about after that.

What I took away was that the author was a very self-satisfied fellow, his money having bought him the illusion of youth with his very young wife and real respect for his sills as a doctor. He's probably a better doctor than author. I think probably a lot of people told him he should write a book, so he did. I' won't be reading the sequel. I wonder if all those people who told him what a great writer he was and should publish a book will be reading the second one?
Profile Image for Daren.
1,328 reviews4,398 followers
February 13, 2017
I read this book concurrently with Bangkok Daysby Lawrence Osborne, as I felt I needed something more gritty to get me through this read.

The author is a 55 year old Brit (who lived a lot of his life in Australia), who lives, retired in Bangkok with his 30 year younger Thai wife and two young children.

This book is best described as a series of harmless newspaper columns from a foreigners-eye-view of living in Bangkok. It comes across as very grandfatherly, very sanitised, and generally quite amusing - mostly because the author is not shy about pointing out all of his own mistakes and misfortunes. He is, in fact, the butt of most of the stories.

Two and a half stars, rounded up, but only just.
Profile Image for Tengku Zahasman.
34 reviews2 followers
June 8, 2013
Took this book out at the airport on my way back from Bangkok after a short work trip there. Learned a thing or two about how it feels like living as an expat in Thailand (by the way a very interesting country indeed). The book does not follow a chronological order, and has no real storyline, but it is very easy to read with very short chapters (like four or five pages each) - suits my busy lifestyle! And of course, written by a British, his sense of humour is visible all over the book. It's nothing intelligent tho, so it's really just for a laid-back, read-when-its-around-nearby kinda reading ...
Profile Image for Eden.
1,868 reviews
July 22, 2020
2020 bk 242 A series of newspaper columns put together into a book format, with some pictures added. I'm not quite sure how or why the author put the columns in this particular order. It's not quite chronological, not quite thematic. I did find his insights into living in Thailand interesting. Not one that I would pick up and read again, but added some ideas I had not had about the country. I did find it interesting that he is also a fan of the 'traveling/racing' prince of the early part of the 20th century.
Profile Image for Meg.
1 review8 followers
August 17, 2012
This was the book a friend gave me while traveling Southeast Asia. If you've been to Thailand for any length of time, you will find these short, personal stories amusing and often relatable. If you have never been to Thailand, you will still be amused by the mishaps that always occurs when trying to fit into a very different culture.
Profile Image for Jen .
2,662 reviews27 followers
June 30, 2013
I'm enjoying it, but I really wish it was in chronological order. It is written well though and it is very interesting. Good book. I highly recommend it to those interested in Thailand or those who have been and want to relive a bit of it.
249 reviews1 follower
July 26, 2017
most irritating book I've ever read. took me ages to read it to the end... shouldn't have bothered.
Profile Image for Jacqueline Williams.
290 reviews9 followers
July 24, 2018
I enjoyed this book alot. There is something lovely in marvelling at the quirky oddness of a place without criticising. I'll be reading the next book too.
Profile Image for Jeremy.
582 reviews7 followers
April 30, 2022
A ex-pat's take on Thailand that is irreverent and very funny. Having myself experienced much of what he writes, I really enjoyed this in a relatable kind of way!
2 reviews
October 28, 2012

Returning after 12 years to the birthplace of my son, I was again delighted by Thailand and the Thais. Picking up "Farang" during my stay, I couldn't help but laugh at all the memories it revived. Simply written in anecdotal form, it's an easy and amusing read.
Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.