When I landed myself in Chiang Rai without any prior research, I almost instinctively started searching for local bookshop. There turns out to be information scattered around the internet about this little shop called Orn’s; the irony thing is there is almost nothing solid enough for me to locate it even in a small town like Chiang Rai.
On my second day in Chiang Rai, I moved from a scammy-looking hotel to Mercy Hostel, which is a pretty good deal if you are looking for affordable dorm with less than USD 10. Anyway, after I checked in at Mercy Hostel and was just stepping out into the sun with my map, a local house opposite Mercy Hostel caught my attention with an Ultraman standboard.
(Are you kidding me that you dunno who Ultraman is???)
I took a second look and to my greatest surprise, it is that ORN’s BOOKSHOP I have been looking up and down for. What a surprising coincidence!
Orn’s Bookshop located in a local house within a peaceful residential area. There were some foreigners (presumably travellers) stepping out as I arrived. Having kittens lazing around the entrance definitely adds a little local charm to this place.
Stepping inside the house, it is a relatively packed space given how much collection they have. Most of the books are in English, and it seems like a big portion are fictions. I had a quick chat with Peter, the owner – hoping to pick up a book or two related to Thailand’s culture and history. Peter definitely knows his collection well enough that he immediately recommends “Enticing Siam” by Joel J. Barlow to me.
Enticing Siam tells the historical and social story of Thailand through the lens of Joel J Barlow, who has been as closed to a Thai as any foreigner can be. The book definitely adds a layer of perspective as I went through the rest of my journey, especially during my two days cruise along Mekong River.
Visit: Orn’s Bookshop, Chiang Rai
Tambon Wiang, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Rai, Chang Wat Chiang Rai, Thailand
(Opposite Mercy Hostel)