Travel author Roy Hudson passes

CHIANG MAI, 22 March 2019: Major Roy Hudson, author of one of the first guide books on Chiang Mai, a prolific contributor to the Bangkok Post and long-time resident of Thailand died 19 March at the age of 99.

A British national and resident in Thailand since 1945, Hudson served in Burma (Myanmar) during World Wr II as a captain in the British Army Royal Engineers. He settled in Chiang Mai in 1959 after retiring from the army and quickly made a name for himself for his insightful comments and features published in the Bangkok Post’s ‘Post Bag” and lifestyle sections.

Establishing Hudson Enterprises in a street front shop on Tha Pae Road the city’s main commercial street, his commercial ventures included selling handicrafts, insurance, airline tickets mostly on British Airways, books and of course the daily read Bangkok Post.

Roy Hudson (Credit: The Pub Chiang Mai).

The shop became the first stop for media and travellers keen to gain the inside track on what was happening in the otherwise sleepy far north town.

As a rookie travel writer working at the Bangkok Post one of my first excursions north was to seek him out and take a crash course in what made Chiang Mai’s tourism tick.  That was in the 1970s when his guidebook served as the bible for travellers with Lonely Planet taking second place.

His first of a series of must-read guide books on Chiang Mai was published in 1965 just four years before the Pacific Asia Travel Association held its annual conference in Bangkok in 1969 that highlighted a task force study on how to develop and promote Chiang Mai.

He published five editions of his popular guide to Chiang Mai from 1965 to 1973 and added two other titles; The Magic Guide to Burma 1977 and Hudson’s Guide to Mae Hong Son in 1987.

Hudson an affable British gentleman who loved a good yarn and a natter over a glass of ale in the local was “walking encyclopaedia” on the life and times of Chiang Mai. He introduced the city’s culture and attractions to thousands of travellers while encouraging them through his guidebooks to explore and seek out an authentic experience.

The cremation ceremony will be held at Wat Suan Dok on Suthep Road in Chiang Mai on the afternoon of 22 March.

He is survived by his two children.

(Source: Reinhard Hohler, Pim Kemasingki, https://www.chiangmaicitylife.com/citylife-articles/major-roy-hudson-50-years-in-chiang-mai/)