79-Year-Old Thai Man Defies Age, Continues Selling Traditional Isaan Musical Instruments on Jomtien Beach

Pattaya —

Despite being 79, an age when many live their retirement, Uncle Wichai, a familiar figure along Pattaya’s Jomtien Beach, continues to bring joy to others by selling music and traditional Isaan instruments.

Uncle Wichai or Mr. Wichai Kaewinthrathi originally came from the quiet town of Na Wa in Nakhon Phanom province, northeastern Thailand. Since his arrival in Pattaya, he has spent over 40 years selling traditional Isaan music and instruments, including khaen (mouth organs), pin (lutes), and vot.

Every day, Uncle Wichai sets out with his instruments, making his way along the long stretch of Jomtien Beach. His sweet tunes, played on the khaen, never fail to attract the attention of passersby. The beautiful melodies also often draw curious visitors, both Thai and foreign alike, to admire both the music and the craftsmanship of his creations. As the sun begins to set, Uncle Wichai heads to South Pattaya to continue his musical journey until late into the evening.

In an interview with local media, Uncle Wichai revealed that his instruments are each meticulously crafted from bamboo and not just normal souvenirs. They hold the rich cultural heritage of his home Isaan province. Some of the instruments are crafted by his wife, and he is best at playing the khaen. The instruments are for sale, ranging from a few hundred baht to a thousand baht.

For Uncle Wichai, selling these instruments is more than just a means of livelihood; it’s a way of sharing his passion with the world. Despite his advanced age, Uncle Wichit’s story serves as an inspiration, justifying that age is but a number.


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Aim Tanakorn
The local news translator at The Pattaya News. Aim is a twenty-four year old who currently lives in Bangkok. Interested in English translation, story-telling, and entrepreneurship, he believes that hard-working is an indispensable component of every success in this world.