Thai people enjoy western music but there is also a long tradition of popular music in Thailand.

One of the most popular styles is Luk Thung. The style originated in the rural regions and recallls the hardships of everyday life in the rural communities.

Luk Thung refers to the “song of a child of the fields”. There are many influences on the development of Luk Thung, including music from Latin America, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Luk Thung music is generally slow and soulful.

It’s sounds are similar in style to the heart break sounds of American country and western music, but with an Asian influence. Tempos tend to be slow, and singers use an expressive singing style with a lot of vibrato.

The central province of Suphan Buri, (city of gold) about 200 km north of Bangkok is the home of many of the Luk Thung stars. Luk Thung singers have increasingly been promoted like pop singers, with an emphasis on youth and good looks.

Tai Oratai is one of the most popular Luk Thung singers. Her song repertoire is full of meditative ballads and reminiscences of her life in Isaan. Think of a wistful style like Enya with pipes, strings and guitar added and lots of vibrato.