Non-fiction beach reads for lazy Bali days

Whether you’re on holiday or live here, there’s nothing better than a day on a sun lounger with a good book. Leave the chicklit at home, here are some recommendations for non-fiction (mostly) travel writing that will take you on a literary poolside adventure.

 Snowing in Bali: The Incredible Inside Account of Bali’s Hidden Drug World – Kathryn Bonella

It’s hard to believe, as you sit in paradise, what has gone on behind the scenes. Read the tales of bravery, stupidity and far too much money that ran the island’s drug scene in years gone by.

Many of the places mentioned in the book are still around so you could even go a literary field trip afterwards.

Undress me in the Temple of Heaven – Susan Jane Gilman

The true story of two girls who go backpacking in (a still very communist) China in the 80s. It’s hard to say much without spoiling the plot, just know, things get…weird.

Lonely Planet Badlands – Tony Wheeler

Indulge in literary escapism to some of the most oppressive regimes in the world (think Afghanistan, Cuba, North Korea etc.), then revel in your Balinese comfort and order another coconut daiquiri.

Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures: A True Story From Hell On Earth – Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait, Andrew Thomson

A fascinating book written by three friends working as peacekeepers in the UN in the 90s. Covers everything from wild Cambodian parties to Somalian hell on earth. It might make you appreciate your desk job.

Light at the Edge of the World: A Journey Through the Realm of Vanishing Cultures – Wade Davis

Wade Davis travels to places which, let’s face it, most of us won’t. At least we can learn about their cultures through worthwhile books like this.