Award-winning writer and musician Joe Cummings was born in New Orleans and grew up in California, France and Washington, DC. An interest in Buddhism drew him to Thailand, where he taught at King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology while studying meditation with Phra Ariyavongsagatanana, Thailand's Supreme Patriarch.
Joe earned an MA in South Asian Civilization, with concentrations in Thai language and Southeast Asian art history at the University of California at Berkeley. Joe became one of Lonely Planet's first guidebook authors, creating the seminal Lonely Planet Thailand guide, followed by five other titles as well as updates for other countries in the region.
Joe spent three years as deputy editor of Bangkok Post's The Magazine, and is now Editor-at-Large for Talisman Media Group, which publishes Bangkok 101 magazine, Bangkok Art Map, and other publications.
Illustrated reference books Joe has written include Buddhist Stupas in Asia; World Food Thailand; Buddhist Temples of Thailand; Sacred Tattoos of Thailand, Burmese Art, Design & Architecture; Muay Thai; Chiang Mai Style. Lanna Renaissance. Travel anthologies to which he has contributed to include I Should Have Stayed Home and Lights, Camera, Travel.
Joe has consulted on tourism for UNESCO and Thailand's Ministry of Tourism, and carries out location scouting for numerous TV and film productions. His private, customized tours attract such luminous clients as Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler, and Disney Studios.
Joe is also a musician and composer who is active in the regional music scene and has recorded albums and scored films.