anticipation & preparation: singapore & thailand in 2008

At the time I went to Singapore and Thailand, I was studying for my Master’s degree in International Commerce & Policy full time, so I didn’t read many books before I went with the exception of one from an assigned reading list.  However, if I went back today, I would pick some books from the following lists:


    1. King Rat by James Clavell
    2. Saint Jack by Paul Theroux
    3. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
    4. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
    5. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
    6. Aunty Lee’s Delights by Ovidia Yu
    7. Following the Wrong God Home by Catherine Lim
    8. The Bondmaid by Catherine Lim
    9. The Song of Silver Frond by Catherine Lim
    10. Miss Seetoh in the World by Catherine Lim
    11. People of the Pear Tree by Rex Shelley
    12. Island in the Centre by Rex Shelley
    13. A River of Roses by Rex Shelley
    14. Sarong Party Girls: A Novel by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
    15. Foreign Bodies by Hwee Hwee Ton
    16. Soy Sauce for Beginners by Kirstin Chen
    17. Ministry of Moral Panic by Amanda Lee Koe
    18. The River’s Song by Suchen Christine Lim
    19. Fistful of Colours by Suchen Christine Lim
    20. Notes from an Even Smaller Island by Neil Humphreys
    21. Diary of an Expat in Singapore by Jennifer Gargiulo
    22. You’ll Die in Singapore by Charles McCormac
    23. Spider Boys by Ming Cher
    24. ‘Others’ Is Not a Race by Melissa de Silva
    25. The Last Lesson of Mrs. De Souza by Cyril Wong
    26. Tanamera by Noel Barber
    27. Singapore Grip by J.G. Farrell


    1. The King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej by Paul M. Handley ****
    2. Siam by Lily Tuck
    3. Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski
    4. Thailand’s Political History: From the Fall of Ayutthaya to Recent Times by B.J. Terwiel
    5. Bangkok Wakes to Rain by Pitchaya Sudbanthad
    6. Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap
    7. Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon
    8. The Beach by Alex Garland
    9. Jasmine Nights by S.P. Somtow
    10. Catching the Sun by Tony Parsons
    11. The Atlas of Us by Tracy Buchanan
    12. The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley
    13. A Woman of Bangkok by Jack Reynolds
    14. Thai Girl by Andrew Hicks
    15. Bangkok Babylon by Jerry Hopkins
    16. Bangkok Days by Lawrence Osborne
    17. Cross Currents by John Shors
    18. Selected Short Stories of Thailand by William Peskett
    19. The Bridge Over the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle
    20. Private Dancer by Stephen Leather
    21. Bangkok 8 by John Burdett

We had to prepare for our course by reading one book from a list of assigned books and writing a paper about it. I read The King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej by Paul M. Handley, and wrote the assigned paper.

For more international books, please see books | international a-z |.



I hadn’t seen many movies set in Singapore, but later, I watched the movie Crazy Rich Asians.  I had watched several movies that took place in Thailand, but they were movies I’d seen long before going.

  1. Singapore
    1. Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya (1997)
    2. Rogue Trader (1999)
    3. Krrish (2006)
    4. De Dana Dan (2009)
    5. Pyaar Impossible (2010)
    6. Dear Zindagi (2016)
    7. Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
    8. Crazy Rich Asians (2018) ***
  2. Thailand
    1. Anna and the King of Siam (1946)
    2. The King and I (1956) ****
    3. Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
    4. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) ****
    5. The Ugly American (1963)
    6. The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)
    7. Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)
    8. Kickboxer (1989)
    9. Brokedown Palace (1999) *****
    10. Anna and the King (1999)
    11. Bangkok Dangerous (2000)
    12. The Beach (2000)
    13. City of Ghosts (2002)
    14. Tropical Malady (2004)
    15. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) ****
    16. Stealth (2005)
    17. American Gangster (2007)
    18. Bangkok Dangerous (2008) (English remake)
    19. Rambo (2008)
    20. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010)
    21. The Hangover: Part II (2011)
    22. The Impossible (2012)
    23. The Railway Man (2013)
    24. Only God Forgives (2013)
    25. No Escape (2015)
    26. Till We Meet Again (2016)

For more international movies, please see movies | international a-z |.


boat cruise in Thailand

We also got a schedule that outlined our itinerary.

  • Sunday, January 6, 2008: Orientation and welcome dinner
  • Monday, January 7: Singapore Press Holdings – tour of newsroom and drive through Little India
  • Tuesday, January 8: Singapore Management University with lectures.
  • Wednesday, January 9: Lectures at the IMF-Singapore Training Institute Office; Night Safari and group dinner.
  • Thursday, January 10: Lectures at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) on environmental issues, economic regionalism in ASEAN and China-India bilateral relations: Implications for Southeast Asia.  Afternoon visit to Sentosa Island.  Reception at Meritus Mandarin Singapore.
  • Friday, January 11: Tiger Airways to Phuket.  Visit tsunami area in Phuket.
  • Saturday, January 12: Lecture on Foreign Direct Investment and the Impact on Southeast Asia’s Economic, Political, and Social Development. Evening and afternoon free.
  • Sunday, January 13: Free Day.
  • Monday, January 14: TG Airlines flight to Bangkok.  Evening: group buffet dinner with show at Siam Niramit Restaurant.
  • Tuesday, January 15: UN Visit and lunch at the UN. Briefings on poverty and development, free trade agreements, Asian Highway and Trans-Asian Railway.  Dinner on our own.
  • Wednesday, January 16: Visit to the Ministry of Finance.  Discussion of research and paper topics by Professor Rajan.
  • Thursday, January 17: Morning: Thonburi Klong Tour visiting Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha. Afternoon: City and Temples Tour.
  • Friday, January 18: Full day of classes at Chula Longkong University, Thailand’s first institution of higher learning: Thai economic situation, Thai politics.  Final session and wrap up.  Farewell Dinner Cruise.
  • Saturday, January 19: Check out and individual departures.

I planned to arrive in Singapore on January 4 so I would have a couple of days to explore Singapore on my own.


Grand Palace – Thailand

*January 4-19, 2008*


“ANTICIPATION & PREPARATION” INVITATION: I invite you to write a post on your own blog about anticipation & preparation for a particular destination (not journeys in general). If you don’t have a blog, I invite you to write in the comments. Include the link in the comments below by Thursday, January 23 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this challenge on Friday, January 24, I’ll include your links in that post.

This will be an ongoing invitation, on the 4th Friday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂  If you’d like to read more about the topic, see: journeys: anticipation & preparation.

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!