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Book Review

Book Review: by Lang Reid

Thailex - The Thailand Travel Dictionary

Have ‘books’ as we know them, seen the end of their era? For many readers this is the case, buying their e-books on CD/DVD, and it was a DVD book that is reviewed this week.
Thailex, Thailand Travel Dictionary, was compiled by Yves Masure and I believe this is the 5th upgrade to what was already a fine e-book. To put this DVD in the correct perspective, it is not a travel guide in the accepted genre. It will not tell you where to stay for $5 a night, or suggest you eat at any particular restaurant. It is not a simple dictionary or simply an illustrated guide to Thailand. It is a digital encyclopedic reference guide and as such deals with Thai history, culture, traditions, art, religion, architecture, ethnology, cuisine, language, flora and fauna, selected cities and places of interest - the subject matter is almost endless.
Being the 5th edition of this e-book has also meant that Masure has refined the concept, as well as adding further items for the reader to explore. Not only are the items described, but many have color photographs as well, to add to the complete coverage of the subjects, which is done in enormous detail.
The DVD is the result of much work by the author (editor?) Yves Masure, who has spent the last few years compiling the DVD and then refining it. Masure had previously spent ten years escorting international tour groups on travel adventures and treks throughout many areas of Thailand. On these tours he took his camera, and more than 1,000 selected high quality images are included on this DVD. His personal thirst for knowledge about Thailand was the impetus that pushed him into the production of the Thailex.
The wealth of detail includes the influences upon Thai society and culture brought upon the kingdom by the immigrations from India, China and the Far East.
The Thailex Thailand Travel Dictionary is arranged in electronic pages, with navigation as per the usual internet methods, complete with back and forward buttons and links to other parts of the DVD. It is also best viewed using Microsoft Internet Explorer.
The DVD is available at major bookstores, including Bookazine and the RRP is B. 990. Whilst this may look steep initially, it is not. There is the equivalent of several brilliantly illustrated reference books in this one DVD, and being in the three languages of English, Thai and Dutch, increases it worth again. Masure also suggests that being multilingual, this can assist the reader/viewer become more familiar with Thai, as well as his or her native tongue. Having studied Thai at university level, he may be correct.
As an all-encompassing reference book, this is difficult to beat, and in my mind, well worth the B. 990. Being a DVD it is also the easiest reference book to store, taking up next to no shelf room. A most enjoyable and absorbing read, and one that should be considered by anyone with relatives ‘back home’, with whom you would like to show your adopted country. Easily posted and a wonderful Xmas present.