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We would like to watch a cultural performance in Bangkok, preferably one that is not too touristy.

Are there any interesting cultural programmes in April? We are three adults so something that lasts two to three hours is fine. Thanks in advance. Ohm



As you don't want anything too touristy, I probably shouldn't recommend the popular Siam Niramit, though it is a spectacular show with more than 100 performed in colourful costumes, plus you can have dinner while watching the show.

Another elegant one, though it is still quite touristy is Aksara Theatre, which offers gracious Thai puppetry as traditional entertainment. The Thai Village Cultural Show at Samphran Riverside runs every afternoon and caters to tourists who prefer a day trip outside Bangkok.

If you are really serious about seeing a Thai cultural performance, you need to plan to be in Bangkok on Friday or Sunday afternoon, as this is when the National Theatre schedules its classical performances. You will also need to check the calendar carefully, as the performances do not take place during the national holidays. I have checked for you and the schedule for April has traditional theatre performance on Sunday, April 7 at 2pm, and Friday traditional performance programmes including Thai masked dance on April 19 and 26 at 5pm. Another venue for traditional Thai performance of masked dance is Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre. The current show is entitled "Hanuman Becoming Phra Chakri's Devotee", which is an excerpt from the Ramayana, and is presented every Thursday and Friday at 7.30pm.



My girlfriend I will be in Thailand for six days during third week of April after our trip to Sipadan and Kota Kinabalu. We don't need to spend more time by the beach, but would like to do something different. We have been to Thailand a couple of times already, but have only spent a short time in Bangkok and Ayutthaya. Any suggestions? Tim T.

You will be arriving in Thailand just after Songkran, the water festival that celebrates the traditional Thai New Year. As it's in the middle of summer and very hot, people enjoy splashing water over each other so it's a fun-filled festival for both locals and visitors. The festival is celebrated all over Thailand, but the main venues in northern Thailand are in Chiang Mai and Sukhothai.

As you will arrive around the last day of the festival, you may stay in Bangkok and revel in the water splashing for a day. Then I would suggest heading north. Chiang Mai is a good option though the weather will be hot and you can expect daytime averages of 39-40 degrees Celsius. You can handle the heat by wearing light cotton clothes, a hat and putting on sunscreen. You can head to the surrounding mountains for trekking and to visit stunning waterfalls.

However, there may still be some haze in the air as Chiang Mai is infamous for smog caused by the traditional burning of fields surrounding the city in March and April. Early rains in mid April should help relieve the problem by the time you arrive. Check with local media and you can change your plan if necessary. Sukhothai is a good second choice. It's a famous ancient city and was the first capital of the kingdom some 800 years ago. The atmosphere is relaxing, you can rent a bike to explore the ruins of the historical park during the day and walk around the local market in the evening or early morning. Hope this helps!


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