Visiting Thailand as a short-term tourist, you might get the impression that foreign and local pop artists dominate popular music, and that hip-hop, house and EDM rule nightlife. Stepping out of the farang bubble, you soon find out this is not the case. The most popular genres are actually Luk Thung (Thai country music) and Mor Lam (Thai folk music). To experience this scene in person, you need to visit one of the dedicated music halls. A popular chain of clubs in this genre, is Tawan Daeng (‘Red Sun‘) not to be confused with the breweries with the same name). Last Saturday, we spent our night at the Maha Sarakham location. Heaps of fun! Continue for video, pictures and more details.
The typical layout includes a large stage in front and tables across the rest of the available surface. Customers usually visit in group, have dinner at their table and enjoy beer and whiskey throughout the night. Every table has a dedicated host which keeps the glasses full and makes sure every whim is catered to. With these clubs operating at full capacity, owning one of these venues must be like having a license to print money.
On stage, performers perform one after another, each singing one or two songs, backed by the large live house band. Each singer wears a different and colorful outfit, and brings his/her own dancers along.
The crowd is extremely enthusiastic, and sings and dances along with dedication. If you are set on experiencing the real Thailand, a trip to one of these venues should definitely be on your list, preferably with a group of friends . Don’t be intimidated by the security at the entrance or the fact that you are quite possibly the only farangs there, you are most welcome to join in the festivities.
Next is a small video compilation of the performances we saw. Sorry to say that the audio has been cut, as my smartphone just picked op static, due to the volume of the music. It was more bearable though, no beeping ears the next morning.
A video by a fellow poster of one of the most popular songs, just to give you an idea.