I just got back from really pleasant two week vacation in Thailand where I got to meet up with my girlfriend (she lives in the States).

Here are some of my favorite sounds from the trip. I only brought my Zoom H4n and didn’t record much as it’s never fun to be on holiday with someone who runs around screaming shussh!

I also had the treat to meet up with a Bangkok based sound designer, and {sound + design} and Social Sound Design reader, Wit Suksilpchai. Thanks for taking the time to meet!

chiang mai

This ambience is of a Wat in Chiang Mai. A monk was ringing a bell (I think to call others for prayer), and the dogs where going mad.


Nothing fancy, just some beautiful sounding bells with some human activity.


This was a private celebration of some sort, either a funeral, wedding or praying for the people. Not sure, but I love the rhythm. I was hesitant to go closer, but it sounds good enough for the 60ft distance I recorded from.


These are monks praying inside a wat.


Kids doing traditional stick dancing, it works by banging bamboo sticks together while other kids jump between the sticks. The photo below is of the same dance but not from the actual recording.


This marching band was incredible! They where practicing for an event, and I was lucky enough to get a listen.


Listen to the decay of the hit. It’s amazing how it travels through the city and the tail then morphs into traffic. Love it!


I got a tailor-made suit, and while getting measured up I had the joy of listening to some superb traditional Indian music by the tailor’s family. It was the Indian Thanksgiving equivalent (can’t remember the name) and they where celebrating. They where super kind and let me hang out there for a bit to record and gave me some food and tea. The acoustics from that room where pretty good with all the fabric hanging around. Just the right mount of acoustic treatment 😉

koh lanta

Considering that these toads sound like cows, I can only imagine how big they must be. It was pitch black so I could only hear. It was so incredibly loud that I had to block my ears while recording.


The sheer power of this ambience is insane. Between all the insects and the waterfalls it’s amazing that this ecosystem is so soothing to listen to. I love the unison between the groups of cicadas high up on the trees. You’ll even hear them alternate from tree to tree.


.. and as a treat, to finish off, my favorite piece of media from the trip:

12 Responses to “Soundscapes of Thailand {+ recording}”  

  1. 1 Tyler

    Terrific stuff! Despite not setting out to record much, you’ve captured some gems here. The bells and music are great, and I recognize one of those cicada varieties from Malaysia. Now you’ve got me wanting to go back…

  2. 2 Andrew Spitz

    Thanks Tyler. I gotta say, Malaysia is one of my favorite countries to travel to. I used to go there quite often. The mix of culture, food, and environment make it a perfect place to travel to.

  3. 3 laurence zankowski

    Andrew, thanks for the sound work and for the links to other sound software. I just signed up at social sound design…

    Just want to keep learning.

    be well


  4. 4 laurence zankowski

    the insects and the unison call back and forth…. wild.

  5. 5 Andrew Spitz

    @laurence, thanks for the comment. And welcome to Social Sound Design! I’m sure you’ll find lots of good info there. How are your projects coming along? I see you have new photos up, nice ones too. You also have a new blog right? Great.

  6. 6 brendon bussy

    Great recordings – love those temple dogs!

    The ‘cow’ toads didn’t load here for some reason, but I’ll try later – would be interesting to hear if they’re similar to the toads back home in Durban which are also very loud and deep…

  7. 7 Andrew Spitz

    @Brendon They probably are the same… similar climate in summer. Wonder why it didn’t load. Is your connection slow? Mine is terribly slow and it says error sometimes, then I refresh and it works. Maybe try directly from soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/soundplusdesign/thai-frogs-and-toads/s-Zt5Sr

  8. 8 Colin Hunter

    Great recordings Andrew! I traveled for six months around South East Asia and took a lot of field recordings, including in Thailand. Your selection is a great snapshot of the sounds of Thailand. The intensity of the cicadas in the jungle is something quite special! +1 on Malaysia…great food, awesome people!

  9. 9 Andrew Spitz

    @Colin Thanks for the comment. BTW, love you website. It’s awesome! Tried to send you an email but it said error, thought I’d let you know.

  10. 10 Colin Hunter

    @Andrew. Thanks for the feedback on the site. It’s a PHP issue that I am aware of but haven’t found a fix yet. My email address is also written at the bottom of the website if you need to contact me.

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