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Have you ever wondered why most Thai people prefer to watch Korean dramas (K-drama) instead of Thai lakorn, even watching Thai Lakorn is one of the easiest ways to support their own nation and they do not even have to read the subtitles to understand or find the Thai dubbing.

The difference between Korean dramas and Thai Lakorn

Before knowing why most of the Thai people prefer to watch Korean dramas instead of Thai Lakorn, what we have to know first is the difference between these two. The difference can clearly be seen from the strength and weakness of Korean dramas and Thai lakorn that are different.


The biggest difference between Korean dramas and Thai Lakorn in the production and the Budget is the main thing that is used to determine the quality of the production. So the reason why Korean dramas have an advantage over Thai Lakorn is they have budget in entertainment industry. Compared to Thailand, the budget that the Korean government gives to the cultural/creative industry is totally different.

Health budget

Why Korea gives a lot Budget to the entertainment industry

It started when the Asian financial crisis happened in 1997. Kim Dae Jung, Korean president in 1998, aimed to use the soft power to restore the financial situation at that time. So he changed the policy to increase the budget for the entertainment industry and also used the cooperation between the ministry of culture and the private company to expand the target for the Movies, the Dramas and the Songs they produced, not just in their country but also the foreign.

After a few years, in 2002 Korea succeeded with a drama named ‘Winter Sonata’. The drama became popular in many countries around the world, especially in Japan.

The series is widely considered to be the Korean drama that launched the Korean wave throughout Asia and worldwide. This makes Korea even aim for this industry, exempt the tax and  increase more budget for the entertainment industry to produce more work.

In Thailand, soft power such as entertainment is not the main industry of the country, so the budget that the government supports the entertainment industry cannot be compared to Korea fairly.


The other strength of Korean dramas that can clearly be seen is the realistic in the dramas. Most of the netizens said that realism is the main thing that makes them choose Korean dramas instead of Thai Lakorn. This can also link to Thai Lakorn weakness which is the unrealistic.

Most of the Korean dramas will focus on the naturalness of the characters and the dialogue, while most Thai Lakorn will focus on the emotion of the characters, the dialogue will focus on the satisfaction of the audience instead of the realistic, which might be the reason why Korean dramas are easier for the audience to reach than in Thai lakorn. For example the makeup of the character when they are sick or when the female lead have to disguised as a man.


Acting skills

Dramabeans Korean drama recaps

Not only the realistic or the production but also the ability of the actor/actress. Most Thai Lakorn producers focus on the looks of the characters too much or choose the one who is famous to grab the audience’s attention which makes them sometimes overlook the suitability of the characters and the acting skills that are the most important thing in the actor. While in Korea, people who are going to role in the drama or movie will have to be trained in the company until they pass the company’s standard first.

To sum up, it does not mean that Korean Dramas are better than Thai Lakorn there are many factors that makes each country’s entertainment industry different and many reasons people use to choose what they gonna watch and one of them is the personal preference, so this blog can only explain the overview of the differences in Thai and Korean dramas.


  • Kullaket says:

    This article is fantastic; I love it because, while I am a huge lover of Korean dramas, I also enjoy watching Thai dramas in the past when I was very young, which I haven’t done in a long time since I believe some of the stories in Thai lakorn aren’t very logical or realistic. In addition to the symbolism in the series or lakorn, Thai lakorn does not truly have the symbolism in the drama where the storyline is easy to guess what is going next, therefore it does not appeal to me. The contrasts between k-drama and Thai drama are wide since we do not receive much help in this area. I believe we also need greater support in this area because certain Thai drama is also well-known internationally. By the way, this article is quite useful. Thank you so much, na ka.

  • I agree with this article un many perspectives, starting from the production budget that Korea spends on their Korean drama series to expand the target further to worldwide which nowadays a numerous number of people know that Korea is famous for their entertainment industry. With also the realism of the story and acting skill of the actors, it is able to grab attention from the audience easily. Thai Lakorn is lacking at this point where the actor still care about their look instead of the realistic of the plot.

  • Artitaya says:

    This statement is very interesting! I have to say that when I was a child I usually enjoyed watching Thai Lakorn because their looks are so perfect and lovely, but when I grow up more and start to realize that looks are not enough for making the drama, but the ability to act plus the play that can reach the audience are the most important for being one drama. I just started watching Korean drama 5 years ago, one of the Korean dramas that affected me a lot is ‘Crash Landing On You’ which make me smile and cry a lot, but what’s interesting is that the story plus the acting of the actors make me want to keep watching to the end because it’s so addictive and we can’t predict what is gonna happen next. However, I believe that we still have a good director, productor, and editor which can create Thai dramas or Lakorn in a new and interesting way. And I am sure I will follow it if Thai developed dramas happened.

  • Helenna Sa-ngaunsattaya says:

    I totally agree with every single comparison in this article! I used to watch Thai Lakorn when I was a lot younger. The different you can see is also that Thai Lakorn is stuck in the same plot of movies while Korean dramas is able to give different interesting types of the movies. However, it is still about how Thai government didn’t support entertainment industry as mush as they should. In my opinion, the soft power korean dramas influence to the world is consider to be accomplished. Hopefully Thai entertainment industry would develop in the future as soft power in Thai is also interesting not less than Korea.

  • Piraya Punyataweroj says:

    I do agree with all of the points mentioned above and also believe that Thai dramas are far from becoming as successful as Korean dramas. This is because Thai dramas/ lakorns tend to only capture similar stories and only have a few storylines whilst Korean dramas on the other hand are so versatile and contain so much more excitement (which is something the audience wants).

  • Pantari Sirisachadecha says:

    As a fan of korean dramas, I could say it has been very successful throughout many regions with its exciting and interesting context, however, Thai dramas has made its way to create interest and be successful, it’s just that lesser people has been encouraging it. With more support Thai dramas will make its way through.

  • Panthapin Miteja says:

    This is an interesting article! I agree with all of the point made. I believe Thai Lakorns has a long way to improve especially when it’s being viewed negatively by people of my generation, because of the plots productions or even the actor/actress. Even though the time has past and Thai entertainment industry has grow, Lakorn still has the same cliché storyline , so I think it still has a long way to go.

  • Natthanicha Pongarporn says:

    This is totally true and undeniable ,I agree with all of points that you mentioned above.In terms of money,it’s very important factor to run the filming and developing props.I think we need a big support from government to make Thai Lakorn go viral and be accepted.Firstly,Thai lakorn isn’t base on true story but when I was young I enjoyed it since I didn’t know reality well.The script need to be developed and useful for every age.Nowadays , I saw a lot of weird script in Thai Lakorn which is not suppose to be on TV ,I don’t know what happened in this industry. There are good Thai Lakorn, but most of the famous channels that are found not interesting.

  • Krittaporn says:

    This is really interesting article. I do agree with many points on these article, we can’t compare Korean drama and Thai Lakorn, due to there are several factors of any industry. It’s a fact that having a lot of budget will get a good quality product, so Thai Lakorn may not compare with K-drama because of this point. However, in terms of realistic I think some part like make up isn’t required a lots of budget, but for Thai Lakorn is like they just focus on beauty and character, so it’s kinda be weakness of Thai Lakorn. Moreover, the plot also important, we can see that Thai Lakorn always have the same plot over the time. That’s why many people prefer K-drama to Thai Lakorn

  • Nanyathorn Khiansanthia says:

    Wonderful article! I rarely watch Korean dramas but I strongly agree with all the points that you had mentioned above because firstly, we have to accept that budget to support the entertainment industry in Korea is a lot to produce. In addition, realism is another factor that attracts the audience to watch. From my experience of watching Thai lakorn throughout. Nowadays, it’s more realistic and has developed in the Thai entertainment industry. However, people still prefer Korean dramas, maybe with dialogue and acting skills. Thus, this also depends on the taste of each person.

  • Chavisa K. says:

    I do agree in every words in this article, especially the realistic, in Thai lakorn they always sleep with makeup and Disguise yourself by wearing a hat or glasses. Moreover the plot are always about fighting over male lead, kidnapping, villain will be bad because envy, one of the protagonist will very rich,which is very cliche.

  • Chonlekha says:

    Kdrama is also more serious about the details in each career by using the real work and problems they have to face during working in each career. Therefore, kdrama can convince people who are watching to want to do this career in drama especially teenagers or college students. For Thai drama, people get used to the third party and violence on female content which can convey the wrong message to children. Moreover, Thai drama can sell for only old audiences who have a good perspective on Thai drama content.

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