The whole day jaunt to Thailand’s famous Phang Nga Bay still lingered on our minds as the Tigerair Philippines group headed back to Phuket’s Patong City. Our tummies were already craving for dinner but we wanted something that’s uniquely Thai.
It was just our luck that the peeps at Bamboo Travel, the outfit that Tigerair chose to steer us around Thailand, has just the right thing planned for the night; were going to one of Phuket’s most famous cultural show, Siam Niramit, and have our sumptuous dinner there too.
I haven’t one iota what Siam Niramit is. All I know is that it’s a cultural show and I’m actually having doubts if I’ll enjoy it. Our bus pulled into the massive lighted gates of the complex and Thai girls, garbed in sparkling costumes, greeted us with gracious bows and warm smiles.
I was surprised as I entered the Siam Niramit complex. I thought we were gonna go to a traditional theater to watch the show, but instead we were herded into a sprawling open grounds filled with stores, a traditional Thai village, Muay Thai ring, restaurants and even game booths similar to those inside festive carnivals.
But most surprising of all were the elephants which were walking around the complex ground freely with their trainers. Guests are allowed to ride the beasts for a fee, but since we’re gonna have a more exciting ride with these gentle giants the next day through the mountains of Phang Nga, I contented myself on watching them lumber through the brightly lit plaza.
The Siam Niramit show was slated to start at 8:30 PM, that left us with a few hours to wander and explore the place. I checked the grounds, starting with the enormous curled water dragon near the plaza, watching lasers play through its fountains.
The Thai Village of Four Regions was set off at the west side of the complex where the country’s customs are showcased by locals enacting traditional village life. The quaint hamlet even has penned carabaos and a lagoon where tourists can ride a traditional wooden boat used used by tradesmen to sell wares along Thailand’s many rivers and canals.
The Siam Niramit complex, dotted by traditional Thai architecture, is a popular destination for tourists visiting Phuket. The show originally started at Bangkok, before being adapted by the popular island destination of Phuket. Dubbed as Thailand’s must see show, it’s an excellent introduction for those unfamiliar with the country’s very rich history and tradition.
Exhausting every inch of the Siam Niramit complex, the group proceeded to the second floor of one of the modern structures surrounding the area. Thai dinner awaited us.
I wandered away from the group taking some last few photos before following my companions. That is until the dragon inside my tummy roared with hunger.
A spread of Thai and international cuisine welcomed me as I entered Siam Niramit’s dining hall. With the gang already digging in, I hurriedly went to the buffet area, overwhelmed where to start first. There was just too many choices!
To simplify things, I started with the most familiar; Thailand’s Pad Thai.
With appetizer done, I quickly went back to the more unfamiliar Thai dishes available like the spicy Som Tam salad, the Gairng Kieow Waan curry and hot bowls of soups that burned my tongue with spiciness.
I love spicy food, and I now officially adore Thai cuisine.
Interestingly, one of my favorites among the dishes served that night was curiously, their desserts. Normally shying away from sweets, I was surprised by how good their coconut balls were. Called Ka Nom Tom by the locals, it’s made from sticky rice rolled into coconut shavings. Its outer layer has a slightly salty taste but has a surprisingly sweet core. Extremely delightful.
With our tummies satiated, the group proceeded to the theatre for the evening’s main event, the much praised, must-see show of Thailand, Siam Niramit. A Tony Award-winning Broadway producer has this to say about the show; World-class staging, heart-stopping colors and pulsating performances all to the beat of hummable music and energetic dancing. Siam Niramit is a must see!
Really heavy raves for the show eh. Let’s see if I can stay awake for more than five minutes of it.
Unfortunately, any kind of cameras are prohibited inside the theatre. Everyone has to deposit their gear at the lobby before being allowed to enter. I was initially miffed by the procedure but as the show progressed, I was actually convinced that they were right about it.
Siam Niramit, which roughly translates to The Kingdom of Magic, is absolutely fantastic. It features a hundred performers garbed in half a thousand epic costumes. It depicts the Thai culture from different regions in a very colourful and interesting way.
The show is divided into three acts; Journey Back Into History, Journey Beyond Imagination and Journey Through Joyous Festivals. It lasts for about an hour and a half but it didn’t feel like it, I was enthralled throughout.
Siam Niramit’s production and its execution were simply stunning. My mouth was agape the whole time and massive applause rang through the theatre as darkness ends each acts. My fear of sleeping through the whole show was unfounded, full stomach and all. Siam Niramit is indeed the show to watch while in Thailand. Hands down, it is the best stage show I’ve ever seen.
Address: 55/81 Moo 5, Chalermprakiet Rd., Rassada, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Contact Number: (+66) 7633-5000 | (+66) 7633-5001-2
GPS Coordinates: +7° 55' 52.37", +98° 22' 30.82"
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