What Is Thai TV Like?

August 8, 2019

Ever wondered what Thai people enjoy watching on TV? Whether they enjoy watching sports, soap dramas or live entertainment shows, Thai TV is similar to what you will find worldwide. There are a lot of shows produced in Thailand, and others that are just dubbed over. As you would expect, the variety of shows is quite big. There are a large number of channels available.

It is no secret that watching TV shows from abroad is a great and interesting way to learn the language. This is why tuning in can be a great help. Continuing our look into the media of Thailand and its cultural significance, we are looking at Thai TV and vocabulary related to it.

So, What Is Thai TV Like?

In Thailand, you will find that the variety that is available on TV is very similar to what you likely have at home. Some of the more popular options may include Thai soap operas, live competitions, and sports. Thailand has now mostly moved to digital television, with cable TV also being available with a much wider selection of channels.

When it comes to sports, the most popular being shown usually consists of Muay Thai, football, and volleyball. Since these are the most popular sports in Thailand, it makes sense that many people enjoy watching them too. 

Also available to watch are many shows from around the world dubbed over with Thai. Popular American sitcoms are a prime example of this. However, you can also watch Chinese shows, as well as Indian and South Korean. Some are available in their original language if you know where to look in your TV’s settings menu.

How Common Are TVs In Thailand

Very much like elsewhere, you will find the majority of houses and residences have a TV. Similarly, pretty much any hotel room you stay in throughout Thailand will have a TV available to watch. In the bigger cities, you will be able to watch news channels from around the world, including Russia, UK, and France. For anyone who is homesick, it can be reassuring to watch these and remember home.

It is not uncommon for smaller family owned restaurants to have a TV. They usually show popular programs for people that are eating. Bars often show a variety of sports depending on what is popular at the time and any big events going on. You may even find that motorbike taxi stands have a TV for the times they are waiting for customers.

The Growing Popularity Of Internet Over Television

What to watch in Thailand
Thankfully, you won't find an elephant in every home...

As seen around the world, the internet is growing in popularity, taking view time away from TV. This is especially true amongst the younger age groups who grow up with online alternatives such as YouTube, Twitch, and Netflix. You can find many Thai content creators on these channels and interesting new shows.

There is also a market in Thailand for people looking for little TV boxes that they can plug in and access hundreds of TV series and movies. I am not sure about the legality of these, but you can find them on offer in markets around the country.

TV in Thailand is burdened by the same long ad breaks and sponsorships as you are familiar with. For what it is worth, Thai advertisements can be some of the most interesting you will see. There is something about the over the top acting that makes them quite funny.

Some Thai Vocabulary For Television

If you want to talk with your friends or locals about the recent episode of your favorite show, you will need to know some Thai phrases. Here are some words that you should know:

EnglishTransliterationThai
Television Thoh ra thatโทรทัศน์
TV RemoteRimoth tiwiรีโมททีวี
TV showRaigarn tiwiรายการทีวี
Watching TVDu thoh ra thatดูโทรทัศน์
What is your favorite TV show?Khun chob du raigarn tiwi arai mak tee sudคุณชอบดูรายการทีวีอะไรมากที่สุด
Soap operaLakhon thoh ra thatละครโทรทัศน์

Interested About Television in Thailand?

While TV may be losing popularity, there is still plenty of enjoyment to be had from watching what locals from each country like to watch in their free time. TVs give a real sense of being at home, which is why many local restaurants have one on show. For those days when you are eating alone, it makes things a bit more interesting and less awkward. Of course, you will likely not understand what is going on due to the language barrier. When it comes to Thai soaps and dramas, the overacting will help you to get a gist of what is going on and get some enjoyment from watching.

Want to know what they are saying on the popular Thai TV shows? Start using the Ling Thai app to start learning Thai at your own pace. Over time, you will be able to understand more vocabulary and put it to good use watching your new favorite Thai shows.

If you prefer to watch movies at cinemas in Thailand, remember to prepare yourself as it will be a very interesting cultural experience. 

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