Be Wowed by Yesteryear’s Theatrical Traditions Today for agency tour

Now visitors to the capital can time travel back to 15th century Siam through performances of khon (Thai Classical Masked Dance) at the Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre (for reservations call 0 2224 4499, or visit www.thaiticketmaster.com), agency tour the art-deco venue that was the first air-conditioned cinema in all of Southeast Asia, and hun lakhon lek (Traditional Thai Puppet) at the Joe Louis Puppet Theatre (Tel. 0 2252 9683-4, www.thaipuppet.com) in the Suan Lum Night Bazaar. These exciting shows are packed with traditional Thai music, bedazzling costumes and dancing mermaids. Once performed exclusively for the Royal Court, now visitors can enjoy these regal forms of entertainment.

These extravaganzas are based on the mythical Ramayana. At agency tour the nucleus of the story is how Hanuman, the white monkey warrior, came to serve the good King Rama, in his quest to defeat the demoniac overlord Thotsakan and his green-masked minions. During performances of Khon at the Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre, English subtitles are flashed across a screen above the stage. And before the show even starts, there’s a film explaining the significance of certain movements the dancers perform and details about their elaborate masks.

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