We were a little sceptical about going to Siam Niramit, for we feared a tourist trap in the name of Thai culture extravaganza. But thankfully, our fears were ill-founded.
A short drive from the city-center in Bangkok, gets you to the venue. They have made it like a small Thai village with bridges, ponds and thatched houses. Women dressed in traditional Thai attire sit outside these make-believe houses, cooking some delightful little snacks and savouries in their traditional utensils and stoves. As you get busy clicking all these, they offer you the ‘straight from the stove’ Khanom Khroks and Khanom Takos to you. You will forget photography for a while. Guaranteed!!
A group of local dancers soon run into the foyer in traditional costumes and dance to accompanying local music for about 20-30 minutes. Stories of how village belles keep their men in control draw applause from the audience. So what you don’t understand the language? Their dance steps and acts make it very easy to understand. And then, finally a few elephants (but of course) join in towards the end sending the crowd, especially the kids in a frenzy. Excellent way to orient you to Thai living and culture. A lovely experience even before the show began. Recommend you go to Siam Niramit about an hour before the show so that you can see the place at your own pace and take your share of pictures.
The actual show starts around 8 pm with entry 30 mins before – WITHOUT cameras. The show is simply spectacular and kept our 4 year old on the edge of the seat, jumping with excitement. Excellent production and in a massive scale with flying gods and fairies, fantastic lighting, beautiful dances, the stage suddenly transforming into a river with boats rowing gaily, a colorful extravaganza replete with the history of Siam and Thai life. Time just flies there and before long, the shows ends with thunderous applause from all.
Would highly recommend Siam Niramit to families with children, compared to a walk at Sukhamvit or the mindless shopping elsewhere. The arrangements are absolutely professional — there are cabs waiting in queue right outside the venue. You may opt for the show and dinner together but we decided not to take the buffet dinner option as we don’t like large buffets with thousands of people jumping on the food and the mess that follows. However, note that there are no food options nearby. We stayed at Rajdambri and had to struggle to find a decent restaurant as the food courts had also shut down by the time the show ended.
A wonderful experience!!!