Bangkok, Thailand





Chalerm Krung Royal Theatre
66 Charoen Krung Rd (near Old Siam Plaza). Opens: daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Opened in 1933, the theatre places heavy emphasis on Thai dramas known as "khon" - traditional Thai dances based on Thai history and legends. The performances take about two hours and mostly performed during the winter months, while other performing arts (including cinema) are staged throughout the year. It is best to call first to find about the performance presented at the period. 

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Khon performance by Kinkku Ananas 
Chinese New Year
A great time to visit Yaowarat is during the Chinese New Year (around January or February), when Bangkok's Chinatown goes on steroids. Yaowarat Road is closed to traffic during the period as street festivities, lion dances and food fairs take place. Generally, a member of the Thai royal family comes here to celebrate with the Chinese community. Temples are packed more than ever with Thai-Chinese coming to pray and burn incense. The best temples to visit during the Chinese New Year are Wat Mangkon Kamalawat and the Thien Fa Foundation.

Chinese New Year celebration in Bangkok by feserc 

Vegetarian Festival 
Another festival you might want to attend is the 10-day Vegetarian Festival, which generally takes place around September or October. Many Thai-Chinese and increasingly ethnic Thais come over to Yaowarat during festival to buy vegetarian products including vegetables, fruits and cooking ingredients. Most of the action happens around Wat Mangkon Kamalawat (which is also more lively) and in the area around Talat Noi. Look out for the yellow flags on the carts, indicating their meat-free status. Restaurants also adapt to the tradition, substituting meat products with soy-based products including traditional Thai dishes like tom yam. The most interesting festival dish are the yellow Hokkien-style noodles that are usually served with vegetables and mushrooms.

Mooncake Festival 

Every year around late September or early October, the Mooncake Festival (also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival or Lantern Festival) is held in Yaowarat. Chinese families and friends gather under the full moon to pay respect to the Goddess of the Moon. The celebratation includes the eating of mooncakes and pomelos (type of citrus fruit) under the light of the bright moon. Many stores in Yaowarat sell mooncakes during this festival, so you might want to try one of these sweet cakes that come in many varieties. 

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