Throughout the cultural show, we were treated to various traditional Thai dances from all over the country. Each dance is very specific to the region and important to the culture.
The first, the Thavaravadhi dance, is over 1,000 years old as Buddhism was entering Thailand. This dance and the Mon Dance are part of temple festivals when the practitioners are worshipping the giant pagoda or Phra Pathom Chedi.
Later in the performance, we got to see a special combination of dances from four different regions in Thailand: central, north, south and northeast. The northeastern dance in particular was fascinating as the dancers and percussionists manipulated large bamboo poles and demonstrated their fancy footwork.
Next, the dancers performed the Flag Dance where they displayed the flags of many countries. I imagine this one was just for the tourists.
The final dance was the Ranwong, which we are told is the most popular one in Thailand. Members of the audience were invited to join. I did not.
Between the rich costumes, lovely music and fascinating movements, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing more of traditional Thai culture outside of Bangkok.
Title quote: Lonely Planet Thailand, 3rd edition Sept 2014, p356