UNESCO-inscribed Khon performance added to Grand Palace ticket
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.
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 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.