Reading these popular books written by outsiders about Thailand should give you an impression of the country and its citizens through the foreign eye.
The Damage Done, by Warren Fellows
Caught for drugs trafficking, the Australian author got locked up in Thailand's infamous "Ban Kwang" jail. Even though he deserved his punishment, life in Thai prison is so bad that you wouldn't want to send your dog over there. After he was released he went back to Australia and wrote this book. He vowed never to return to Thailand. [autobiography]