Bangkok, 21 March, 2019 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to inform all tourists to Thailand that the 500 Baht entrance ticket to the Grand Palace in Bangkok now includes a Khon performance at the Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre.
Purchased onsite at the Grand Palace, the ticket has until now covered entry to the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha), Wat Phra Kaew Museum.
The Bureau of the Royal Household, thus, has added the opportunity to see the Khon performance into the 500 Baht ticket.
A Khon performance at the Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre, Bangkok
There are five performances daily of the 25-minute masked dance drama from Monday to Friday, at 10.30 Hrs., 13.00 Hrs., 14.30 Hrs., 16.00 Hrs., and 17.30 Hrs. A shuttle bus is available to take one-way trip from the Phiman Deves Gate at the Grand Palace to Sala Chalermkrung, leaving 30 minutes before the start of each performance.
Thailand’s Khon performance, which depicts the glory of Rama the hero and incarnation of the god Vishnu, is inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (link), where it is described as “a performing art that combines musical, vocal, literary, dance, ritual and handicraft elements.”
“On one level, Khon represents high art cultivated by the Siamese/Thai courts over centuries, while at another level, as a dramatic performance, it can be interpreted and enjoyed by spectators from different social backgrounds.”
The Ministry of Culture’s Department of Cultural Promotion has declared a year of activities in 2019 to celebrate Thailand’s Khon masked dance drama.
Khon Perfomance Episode of Hanuman Becoming Phra Chakri’s Devotee at Sala Chaleamkrung Royal Theatre, Bangkok
Khon is among Thailand’s most significant performing arts, and the performance at Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre follows in the efforts of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s to preserve and carry forward the masked dance drama. The theatre itself, symbolically, is an institute to present the nation’s arts and culture and true identity.
Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre’s Khon performance embraces the grace and beauty of the Khon masked dance drama, with accompanying live traditional music and narrators’ singing. English and Chinese subtitles are provided throughout the performance.
Bangkok, 30 January, 2019 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) was proud to be one of the co-sponsors of a major international conference organised at the Siam Society between 25-26 January, 2019, on the theme “Heritage Protection: The Asian Experience”.
The conference brought together thinkers, professionals and practitioners in the field of cultural heritage protection from Thailand and 12 Asian nations for two days of thought provoking discussions on how best to preserve and conserve cultural heritage within the context of the sweeping economic, technological, and social changes occurring across Asia and the world.
The organiser was the Siam Society, set up in 1904 under Royal Patronage to promote knowledge of the culture, history, arts and natural sciences of Thailand as well as those of neighbouring countries. The Society’s activities are guided by its motto: “Knowledge Gives Rise to Friendship”.
TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn said: “TAT was proud to join the Thai Ministry of Culture and PTT Global Chemical PCL as a sponsor of what clearly turned out to be a ground-breaking event in considering issues of cultural heritage protection in Asia.
“We were glad to see that the linkage between tourism and cultural heritage came up repeatedly during the discussion. This is exactly in line with our marketing concept of “Open to the New Shades”, which is based entirely on Thailand’s ability to welcome people of all cultures.
“We will be taking careful note of the conclusions and recommendations in formulating our future tourism development and marketing strategies, especially in promoting the new generation of emerging destinations around Thailand,” he added.
According to the Siam Society, the conference was designed to provide a platform for Asian speakers to describe cultural heritage from an Asian perspective, recognising the diversity of cultures and cultural heritage protection experiences across the Asian continent.
The speakers looked at various aspects of the Asian experience of cultural heritage protection within diverse Asian settings to determine what are the main obstacles to successful heritage protection; what works and what does not; what lessons can be drawn for Asian people from Asian experiences.
They also suggested cultural heritage protection strategies most likely to be effective within the Asian socio-cultural and political contexts, focusing on community involvement, the role of law, and entrepreneurs’ contributions.
A book compiling the conference papers will come out by the second quarter of 2019 for widespread distribution throughout the Asian region.
Mrs. Pikulkeaw Krairiksh, President of the Siam Society, said: “Thailand faces many challenges in conserving its cultural heritage, particularly vernacular, community, and intangible heritage, which have been the focus of the Siam Society’s cultural heritage conservation efforts in recent years. We were very pleased with the strong level of attention it attracted both within Thailand and the ASEAN region.”