Thailand Traditional Dances

Thailand – the land of golden temples – is more than just a country with religious sites. Thailand culture is rich with many interesting things waiting to be explored including traditional convention, costumes, music, and dance. Traditional Thai dance is both graceful and elegant which consists of many different forms revealing the Thai culture from the old to modern time. With, take a brief tour exploring the different types of Thailand dances.

The dance of Thai people is a beautiful combination of flexible body movements inside colorful and sparkling costumes on the flow of traditional music. The dance is divided into six types with the name of Kohn, Li-khe, Ram wong, Shadow puppetry, Lakhon lek, and Lakhon.


Kohn is the special Thailand dance with dancers wearing a mask. It was called as the Royal dance due to in the old time, only the Royal family can taste this Kohn. Nowadays, although it is allowed to perform for civil, not in royal court, it is still considered to be one of a few arts performing for the highest classes in Thailand.

Hindu people have the Hindu Ramayana, and Thailand has the Ramakien which is the inspiration for the Kohn dancing. Most of the dancers are men but playing different characters for both men, women, monkeys, and demons. Beside mask, Kohn is accompanied by narrators and a Thai piphat orchestra consisting of percussion and wind instruments.


The most popular dance that you can meet in many Thailand tours is Li-khe. This type of dance is an interesting bowl of various elements, from costumes with detailed and complicated design to slapstick humor and sexual implication combine into one performance. That Li-khe is funny, engaging, and really popular in the rural areas of Thailand.

Ram Wong

Ram wong is also a popular type of dance in Thailand. With the name meaning to dance in a circle, Ram wong is performed with men and women pairing together, then dancing to create a large circle. This Thai folk dance is usually caught with a large number of people joining, usually over six people with slow and graceful movements.

Shadow Puppetry

Shadow Puppetry is not a popular one but is exactly the most interesting. Being one of the most ancient art in Thailand, this type brings the old breath and clearly reveals the traditional culture of this country. The performance is shown behind a white sheet where the artists use colorful puppets to tell a story.

Lakhon Lek

Lakhon lek also uses the puppets, but the puppet props. This type is rarely performed due to the difficulties when doing. Different from the shadow puppetry, Lakhon Lek is the performance of people wearing the clothes of puppets to sing, dance, and so on.


Lakhon is mostly performed by women without any individual roles and rule. The dancers skillfully work together and create as a group to tell interesting stories through singing, dancing, and acting. The costumes and stage are particular and have more features of Thai culture than any other forms of Thai dance. The movements are mostly made with hands and head rather than the lower half of the body.