Tom Vater

Writer & Editor

Tom Vater is a writer and editor working mostly in Asia.

He has published five crime novels and was co-owner of Crime Wave Press, a Hong Kong based crime fiction imprint which published 36 novels between 2012 and 2021.

Tom has published some twenty non-fiction books, including the bestsellers Sacred Skin with Aroon Thaewchatturat, and Cambodia: A Journey through the Land of the Khmer with Kraig Lieb.

Tom's work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Times, The Guardian, Nikkei Asia, CNN, Marie Claire, Geographical, and The Mekong Review. He is the Thailand Daily Telegraph destination expert and has authored several guidebooks on Thailand and Cambodia.

He is the co-author of three documentary screenplays, including the highly praised The Most Secret Place On Earth, a feature on the CIA’s secret war in Laos.

Tom is represented by London-based literary agency Marjacq.


Feature Stories

Nikkei Asia
Books: For creative protest, in Thailand the writing is on the wall

TOM VATER, Contributing writer "In 2013, a friend took me down the railway tracks behind Klong Prem prison. I saw this forest of cement columns covered in artwork and I was instantly attracted," says photographer Rupert Mann, author of "Bangkok Street Art and Graffiti."

Nikkei Asia
Headwinds buffet Thailand's 'sea nomads'

TOM VATER, Contributing writer PHANG NGA, Thailand -- "I get a lot of motivation from the life I chose," says Lena Bumiller-Klathale, a 34-year-old German who has traded her European past for a life on the ocean in Asia.

Nikkei Asia
'Very Bangkok' becomes face of Thailand

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.

Nikkei Asia
Singapore startup seeks to preserve Papua New Guinea biodiversity

BANGKOK -- A Singapore-based startup is working with people in Papua New Guinea to help them preserve and profit from the country's unique biodiversity. The country that occupies the eastern half of New Guinea island boasts some of the world's largest tropical rainforests and is home to countless unidentified plants.

The Telegraph
My chilling encounter with serial killer Charles Sobhraj

As The Serpent draws to a close, one writer recalls interviewing the serial killer in prison - and his shocking lack of remorse In December 2003, Central Jail in the Nepali capital Kathmandu was everything one might expect from a prison in a developing country.

(Crime) Fiction

Next Chapter
Detective Maier Mysteries

Detective Maier and his Russian sidekick Mikhail solve heinous crimes in Southeast Asia's underbelly in The Cambodian Book of the Dead, The Man with the Golden Mind and The Monsoon Ghost Image.

Next Chapter
The Devil's Road To Kathmandu

In 1976, four friends - Dan, Fred, Tim and Thierry - are on a bus along the hippie trail from London to Kathmandu. But everything is not going according to plan. After a drug deal goes wrong, the boys barely escape with their lives. Thousands of kilometers, numerous acid trips, accidents, nightclubs and a pair of beautiful Siamese twins later, they finally reach the counter-culture capital of the world, Kathmandu, and Fred disappears with the drug money. A quarter-century later, mysterious...

Next Chapter
Kolkata Noir

Becker is a British traveler in trouble. Madhurima is a rising star police officer. In these three explosive tales, the two join forces to investigate the city’s crooked high society. On the way, they take on deluded would-be messiahs in search of Mother Teresa’s stolen millions, encounter fanatics, circus freaks and cannibals, fall in and out of love and pay homage to one of the world’s most beautiful and toughest cities. Amidst passion, murder and mayhem, is there room for two lovers...

Illustrated Books

Visionary World Publishing
Sacred Skin | Thailand's Spirit Tattoos

A beautifully illustrated book introducing the mysterious world of sak yant, spirit tattoos said to bestow protective powers upon their bearers.

Travel Guides

The Daily Telegraph
Bangkok destination expert

Bangkok City Break Guide. Songkran celebrations, restaurants, hotels, nightlife, shopping, unspoilt islands, festivals and events.

Moon Travel Guides
Moon Angkor Wat: Including Siem Reap & Phnom Penh

With Siem Reap & Phnom Penh The ancient temples at Angkor Wat are unlike anything else on earth. Step back in time and take the trip of a lifetime with Moon Angkor Wat.

Reise Know-How Verlag
Southeast Asia Guidebooks

Current titles: Thailand Handbuch - Best-selling German language Thailand Guidebook. Inseltrip - Bestselling guide to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan & Koh Tao. Citytrip - Guide to the Angkor temples in Cambodia. Kulturschock Thailand - Introduction to ethnic minorities in Thailand.


Kumbh Mela - The Greatest Show on Earth

In the footsteps of Alok Sharma, the top policeman in charge of the Maha Kumbh Mela in India, the largest gathering of people on planet earth, ever!