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'Very Bangkok' becomes face of Thailand

Popular ode to the Thai capital fronts pavilion at global cities festival

Philip Cornwel-Smith says his latest book "is not a guide to places and things. It's more of a guide to why Bangkok is the way it is, and how it became like that."  (Nikkei montage/Cover design by Xavier Comas of Cover Kitchen; portrait photo by Cedric Arnold)

BANGKOK -- The British author and cultural chronicler Philip Cornwel-Smith has called Bangkok his home for a quarter century, and his book "Very Thai," published in 2005, has become the standard go-to work for inquiries on all aspects of popular Thai culture. Now, his follow-up "Very Bangkok," a 350-page ode of love to the city published just before COVID-19 made international travel impossible, has become the face of Thailand in a just-opened international exhibition devoted to global cities.

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