Our first part of our conversation with Joe Cummings. We talk about the Lonely Planet guidebooks and researching these travel bibles. Living in Bangkok, what he loves about it and why he’s there and also his first visits to Koh Phangan!
Joe Cummings was born in New Orleans and grew up in California, France and Washington, DC. An interest in Buddhism drew him to Thailand, where he taught at King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology before returning to the USA to write for The Asia Record while earning a master’s degree in Thai language and Southeast Asian art history at the University of California at Berkeley. As an East-West Center grantee, he completed a second master’s degree in applied linguistics.
Joe was one of Lonely Planet’s first authors, creating the seminal Lonely Planet Thailand guide, followed by five other new titles as well as updates for other countries in the region. He has also worked for Insight Guides, Moon Handbooks and other guide publishers and contributed to magazines and newspapers around the world.
He has contributed to over 50 reference books on destinations in Asia and North America, including Buddhist Stupas in Asia; World Food Thailand; Buddhist Temples of Thailand; Burmese Art, Design & Architecture; Muay Thai; Chiang Mai Style. Lanna Renaissance and Sacred Tattoos of Thailand. Joe says he resides in Bangkok because “it’s the least boring city in the world.