Bizarre Thailand

Tales of Crime, Sex, Black Magic, and Weird Wildlife, etc.

A celebration of the country’s weirdest wonders, strangest museums, wackiest celebrities, sexiest ghosts, and nastiest serial killers, this non-fiction collection ventures off the well-trodden tourist trails and into the darkest and sexiest hinterlands. Welcome to a twilight zone where travellers become soldiers and cowboys, a black magician courts politicians and film stars, sacred tortoises mate on the streets of a small town, and Fertility Goddesses are wooed with massive phalluses. In this strange land, nothing is what it seems: a prison becomes a tourist attraction, a 20-storey robot is a building, a man becomes a beauty queen, a Buddhist temple turns into hell on earth, a loving wife is immortalized as the most famous and ferocious of all phantoms, and a serial killer’s corpse is reincarnated as a museum exhibit. Bizarre Thailand takes an irreverent look at how the profound, profane and frankly quite odd intertwine with the rhythms and flows of everyday Thai life, paying homage to the quintessential culture of one of Southeast Asia’s most captivating destinations.

The book also covers the famous NGO on Patpong Road, EMPOWER, which is dedicated to fighting for the rights of sex workers. The group’s co-founder Chumpon Apisuk said, “All women in EMPOWER, especially in Patpong as well as singing trainers, appreciate your writing and they are very glad to learn that at lease someone has got it right about what empower is doing. Thanks, and I enjoy reading your writing.”

For a book excerpt, the Big Chili ran the story about the original Siamese twins, whose life story took them from a floating house on the Mae Khlong River to stardom in America in travelling circuses and freak shows run by PT Barnum, to a family life in North Carolina, married to sisters and siring many children.

TTO magazine also published an excerpt entitled “The Black Sex Magician of the Body Politic.” 

The story deals with Nen Aer, a novice monk who gained notoriety in 1995 for indulging in occult practices which included roasting the corpses of dead babies to create a powerful magic charm. But it also takes a closer look at how the darker side of mysticism permeates all echelons of Thai society, and how he duped countless Thai women into having sex with him by promising to increase their powers of seduction and attraction through his occult powers.


“Strong prose and a good eye for detail make this a rollicking read.”
– Joe Cummings, author of the original Lonely Planet Thailand

“Algie takes the reader along for a memorable, authentic, and exciting journey into the heart and soul of Thailand.”
– Christopher G. Moore, author of the prize-winning Vincent Calvino PI series

“Smart and funny… covers well-known ground in thoughtful new ways.”
– The Nation

“It could have been a tabloid-style hatchet job that paints the country as a grotesque freak show, but it isn’t. Whether he’s hanging out with sex workers, cowboys or sacred tortoises, Algie is never anything but the model feature writer, bringing empathy, balance, wit and no small amount of research to his subjects.”
– Bangkok 101

“Algie is one of the most trailblazing travel writers in Asia today.”
– The Japan Times

“There’s much enjoyment and sensationalism to be found here, and the author has left loads of room to continue his explorations of the country’s wonderfully twisted side in Bizarre Thailand 2.0.”
– Beyond

“Dazzling prose welded to profound stories and rich characterizations.”
– Southeast Asian Travel Club Newswire

“The old adage about never judging a book by its cover certainly applies to this carefully researched and well-written account of some of Thailand’s more esoteric tourist attractions.”
– The Age (Australia)

“Lively and fascinating.”
– BK Magazine


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