Entertainment in Thailand doesn't lack variety. Travelling to major cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai will give you the opportunity to enjoy some amazing shows performed by skillful artists. One of these is the Siam Nirami Show, an impressive stage production with more than 100 performers, stunning costumes, and amazing visual effects that display Thai art and culture.
And if you like to get in touch with another aspect of Thai culture, in Chiang Mai you can take part in a Lan Na culture experience and learn more about the hill tribes and their dances. Many places also offer dinner shows, that mix art and food, and give you for example the chance to assist to a khon show and learn the story of the Ramakien, an old Thai epic tale.
Last but not least, you can give yourself a pleasant night cruise on the Chao Phraya river and admire Bangkok at night; or head to Jazz Bamboo Bar at Mandarin Oriental for good cocktails and excellent live music.
- Seize the opportunity to watch one of the largest stage productions of Asia, the Siam Nirami Show
- Head to Old Chiang Mai to experience the wonderful Lan Na culture
- Choose one of the many dinner shows and delight your taste buds while enjoying traditional dances
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1. Traditional Dance and Theater
Dances and stage performances are an important part of Thai culture, and we strongly recommend not to miss them.
For example, if you are in Bangkok, you can spend a wonderful night, watching the Siam Nirami Show, a huge stage performance with hundreds of performers, beautiful costumes, and stunning visual effects that depict the complex and rich Thai culture.
In Chiang Mai, you can attend a Hill Tribe Show performed by people from many different tribes. Enjoy the fascinating traditional dances and the traditional costumes.
A dinner show is a good opportunity to mix art and food. All the major cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai offer dinner shows. You can watch a khon play in Bangkok while eating elaborated Thai food; or sit on the ground around a small table and admire the dances of the Lan Na people.
Option 1: Siam Nirami Show in Bangkok
There are not many shows that can stand up to this complex and rich show. With more than 150 performers and 500 different costumes, the Siam Nirami Show is one of the largest stage productions of Asia.
You will start the evening with a sumptuous buffet with delicious Thai and Western food. Then, after eating, take a walk inside the authentic replica of a Thai village and immerse yourself in the rural atmosphere. After that, at 8 p.m., it is time for the show to begin.
The show is divided into three acts. During the first act, you will learn more about Thai art and culture, with the performers depicting cultural history and traditions from the various regions of the country. The three performances of the second act aim to explain the law of Karma, one of the most important concepts in Hinduism and Buddhism. The last act is a joyful and colorful celebration of Buddhism, with plenty of marvelous special effects that will amaze you.
After the end of the show, you will be taken back to your accommodation.
Location: 19 Tiamruammit Road, Bangkok 10320
Option 2: Lan Na Thai Culture Experience
Old Chiang Mai, a culture center just a couple of minutes from the Old City, offers you the opportunity to take a glance at the Lan Na culture. Every night, tribal people, dressed in their traditional dress, will enact a hill tribe show, performing many different dances, many of which are part of spiritual and religious ceremonies.
The Yao Dance is a religious trance-induced dance that is used to pay respect to the ancestors, at a priest ordination or to pray for rain. The Hmong Dance, which is thousands of years old, stems from the Meo, an ancient population who moved from Siberia to China and then to Thailand.
The Lisu Dance is performed by dancers wearing colorful clothes, with heavy silver decorations. The Fire Sword Dance used to be a dance performed before a battle (only after sunset); and the Rice Winnowing Dance, a northern Thai folk dance, demonstrates the art of separating the husk from the rice grains, and it celebrates the joy of an abundant harvest.
Location: 185/3 Wualai Rd, T. Hai Ya a. Muang, Chiang Mai
Option 3: Dinner Shows
All the major cities offer dinner shows. If you are in Chiang Mai, we recommend to go to a khantoke dinner at the Khantoke Palace or the Khum Kaew Khantoke Palace.
The khantoke show is named after the traditional dining table used by the Lan Na. Sitting around the khantoke, you will taste dishes like Burmese pork, green curry, sweet crispy noodles, etc., with performers dancing around the tables. The Fingernail Dance, a signature dance of the northern regions; or the Sword Dance, developed from ancient martial arts, are just two of the many dances performed.
The Silom Village Restaurant in Bangkok presents authentic khon shows. Khon is the traditional Thai theatre, where dancers wear colorful masks and are accompanied by a narrator and a small ensemble called piphat. It tells the story of the Ramakien, the Thai version of the Hindu epic tale, the Ramayana.
While watching the play, you will get the chance to taste delicious Thai dishes like shrimps in spicy and sour soup, deep fried chicken wrapped in pandanus leaf, green curry chicken, and much more. You can also choose a vegetarian or a seafood set menu.
2. Chao Phraya Cruise Bangkok
This cruise on the Chao Phraya river is perfect for a romantic evening or to enjoy a different side of the capital city. While enjoying the beautiful night scenery of the city, you can help yourself from an exquisite Thai and international buffet, with plenty of cocktails and beverages. All this with the harmonious accompaniment of professional singers and a traditional Thai Greeting Dance.
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3. Watch Muay Thai Live
When it comes to Muay Thai (Thai boxing), Thais can be very passionate. It is the one sport in the Land of Smiles that you can see Thais lose their cool and all self-control over!
Now before you go, we should tell you that watching Muay Thai is not for the fainthearted. If you get front row seats, then expect to be splattered with sweat from the fighters and be prepared for a little blood. Your best bet is to pay for the more expensive seats offered to foreigners and sit somewhere between the back of the stadium and ringside.
Bangkok is the best place to catch a glimpse of this sport in action but you will also find professional boxing stadiums around the country.
- Rajadamnern Boxing Stadium (Bangkok)
- Lumpinee Boxing Stadium (Bangkok)
- Channel 7 Boxing Stadium (Bangkok)
- Imperial World Stadium (Bangkok)
- Pattaya Boxing World (Pattaya)
- Bangla Boxing Stadium (Phuket)
- SuWit Muay Thai (Phuket)
- Phetchbuncha Samui Stadium (Koh Samui)
All professional fights are held on the weekend, so you will need to plan to be in one of these locations on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Prices for entry are between 500 and 1,500 baht.
4. The National Theatre in Bangkok
A trip to Bangkok in which you are seeking entertainment is not complete without a visit to the National Theatre in Banglamphu, which is also where Khao San Road is situated.
If you like theater, then you will not be disappointed with the Thai version of arts and performance. The Thai style of theater is known as k?hn and consists of dance-drama acts in which the actors wear masks and act out stories from the Ramakien.
There is one catch, however. The theater is closed from October to December. It reopens again in January and shows are available on the first two Sundays of each month thereafter until September. You will need to keep your afternoon free because the shows begin at 2pm and you should plan to get there at least 2 hours beforehand because tickets cannot be prebooked.
Location: Banglamphu. You can get a river taxi there or book a taxi to take you to the theater as there is no other public transport available to the area.
5. Tawangdang German Brewery and Entertainment
If you are looking for somewhere to unwind, drink quality beer, and eat to your heart's content, then Tawangdang in Naradhiwat Rajanagarindra Road in Bangkok is the perfect spot. Inside the huge circular thatched building is a bar and it is also a brewery.
You can get the in-house brewed beer in towers or on tap in a small or large glass. The pipes run through the bar and you can see the beer being brewed in huge brewing tanks right before your eyes. There is also a large drinks and wine menu with both Western pub food and Thai food.
And this is just the beginning! While you eat and enjoy your beer, there is a stage with entertainment consisting of musicians, comedy acts, dance shows, and more.
If you sit inside the venue, it gets very loud, and if you happen to be there on a weekend, it literally erupts as the entertainment and sound of people enjoying themselves lifts the roof off. Our suggestion would be to get a seat outside where there are TV screens that you can watch the entertainment on or, if you are lucky enough, to get a seat outside where the window looks onto the stage, then you will have a great spot.
The majority of the crowd is Thai with a few Westerners, so you will really get a feel for how Thais like to enjoy themselves and let their hair down.
Location:Naradhiwat Rajanagarindra Road opposite Nararam III BRT stop. You can get the BTS to Chong Nonsi, then take the BRT from there to Tawangdang.
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6. Central Major Cineplex and Bowling
Almost everywhere you visit in Thailand from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, or Phuket, there is a Central Festival or Central Complex shopping mall. Every one of these shopping malls coexists with a partnership with Major Cineplex. There is also a games arcade in most of these places as well as a bowling alley.
The cinemas are modern, high-tech, and some have 3D and 4D theaters. Some of them also have a children's playground built into the theater so kids can play and watch the movie at the time. You also have the choice of VIP cinema theaters where you are treated to extra-large seats. Most of the Major Cineplex cinemas put some movie theaters in the US and Europe back into the dark ages!
If you do happen to want to try out the modern Thai movie theater entertainment option, then make sure you check that the movie you want to watch is in English. Every cinema has at least half the movies showing in Thai and the other half in English, plus the movies showing will be the latest releases from back home, except you will be able to enjoy them with twice the comfort at half the price!
The Asia Highlights Experience
At night, after a day of sightseeing, every traveler wants to relax and enjoy the local entertainment. Thailand has much to offer, and you surely don't want to miss any of those spectacular shows. Book with Asia Highlights and let our staff help you plan every detail of your trip. We will tailor the perfect trip around your requests, ensuring a hassle-free vacation for you and your loved ones.