Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre

Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre

Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre
4.5
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles79 reviews
Excellent
52
Very good
22
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5
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DeeFry
Seattle, WA485 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022 • Couples
The show is a must see and is free with your ticket purchased from the Grand Palace. There is also a free shuttle from the Palace to the theater. The theater is Air conditioned, too.

The costumes are gorgeous and dancing beautiful. You learn about the various legends and cultures of the different areas of Thailand. We had a wonderful time.
Written September 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael Z
Seattle, WA29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2013 • Couples
While at the Grand Palace, we noticed a poster for the Khon dance performance and so bought tickets at the Grand Palace Information Office (a few doors down from the ticket windows where one buys a ticket to enter the Grand Palace). Ask at the entry, they seem very happy to assist people interested in the dance program. We were told when buying tickets at the Grand Palace that the price is reduced from walk-up prices at the theatre, and also the seats are in the priority seating section very close to the stage. We were quite happy with our seating arrangements when we were shown to our seats. At the time of our visit, performances were nightly at 7:30pm.

This was our first Thai traditional dance experience, and we weren’t sure what to expect or if we would understand what was happening in the story. These concerns were alleviated when the performance was previewed by a short video with a very brief history and the significance of the movements and other various elements of the production. As in Western opera performances, a captioned LED display is hung high above the curtain for English translations.

The performance itself was thoroughly enjoyable and very well done. The sets/scenery are simple and enhanced by lighting effects, while the traditional Thai costumes and masks are lavishly decorated and the tunics appear to be made of traditional Thai silk with great artistry. The impression was an interesting mix of austerity in the set with opulence in the characterizations. The movements in this classical Thai dance were fascinating to watch, a contradiction of restraint and stillness in faces and poses against powerful voices, pounding music, and incredibly flexible movements. The choreography did a good job of conveying the story, and we found ourselves fully engaged and understanding of what was happening on stage.

Upon booking this performance, we wondered if it is merely for tourists. Happily, this show is a true depiction of Thai performance art, developed for the King at his Diamond Jubilee. The lovely native Thai woman next to us, who remembered the theatre in its early days as a movie theatre and also spoke with great appreciation of native Thai dance, was clearly delighted with the performance! Overall, it was a thrilling program and one which we would be happy to see again on a future visit.
Written January 31, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DavidWGrant
Dallas, TX136 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Business
The latest of several visits to the Sala Chalermkrung Theatre, this time with a teacher of Thai classical dance, prompts this review. Visitors to Bangkok have few (perhaps six) places to see the Khon dance, Thailand’s quintessential art form. No other venue gives this high operatic art its due nearly as well. From hand carved masks to lavish silk costumes, to the nearly overwhelming music, no to mention a complete performance of the Ramakein, the SCRT does not disappoint! This is the performance from which all the costumed “Amazing Thailand!” brochures draw their inspiration. It is a penultimate experience!

Like opera, Thailand’s Khon Dance takes some interpretation, and like opera it is a high art form of spectacular scope and emotional impact. Still, the SCRT performances are so superior and so complete that you needn’t speak a word of Thai to understand intimately the plot. The dancers’ amazing expressions of hand and body are intrinsically understood, and should your mind fail you, there is the LED captioning over the stage.

While there should be a long line outside every performance, shamefully, tickets are easy to come by. Find them either at the Grand Palace (800 – 1000baht) on your obligatory stop there, or at the box office for up to 1200baht. This latest visit was a late-April Friday-night performance that did not fill up until the very last minute. I was one of perhaps two-dozen Farang in the audience of hundreds, and happy to be absorbing Thailand’s wonderful culture away from the crush of my Western brethren that so often characterizes my other stops in Bangkok.

If you appreciate dance, opera, live theatre, or just jaw-dropping cultural overload, the SCRT is for you! Your Bangkok experience – no, you entire Thai experience – is woefully incomplete without an evening at this theatre! Dress up a bit and don’t miss it!
Written August 31, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

James M
40 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
This show is free for those who purchase a Royal Palace ticket or 400BHT separately/for those who lose their ticket. It lasts about 30mins and is certainly worth going to. For my money it was better than the palace. However, the audience ruined it. Please ban phones in this production.

You don't need to register in advance, however you should.

There are many buses to this area and there is a free shuttle bus from the Royal Palace.

The show tells a subplot of the Ramakien - a Thai epic story based on an Indian classic. It's a traditional story and part of Thai heritage. It's told in Thai, with English subtitles. Music is provided by a small 10 piece orchestra. The story is fun and easy to follow. The production quality is very good, costumes and scenery are excellent given that its a 'free' show. Acting is also very entertaining and they have a surprisingly large cast. Afterwards you can take pictures with the cast.

Unfortunately the public scrum, push and cut in line to get in, they talk during the show, take poor quality photos that already exist online, use flash in the middle of important scenes, check messages and email during the show, let their phone ring, film random segments that they will never watch again, leave the auditorium before the cast have taken their bow and show a high degree of creativity and imagination when it comes to being disrespectful.

Management: please ban phones during the show.
Public: Try in the name of all that is holy to show some manners.
Written September 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Krishnan U
Bengaluru, India363 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
This was something we had not planned for...
The Grand Palace ticket included the Khon dance at Sala Chalermkrung Royal theatre and it so happened that when we were coming out of the Grand Palace the shuttle that takes visitors to the theatre was right at the exit. It was a momentary decision to go and see the dance and it was worth it.

The performance is excellent, the settings, the way the story is explained in a board above the stage ( in English) are all good. Overall a very good experience.
Will stringly recommend to see this show.
Written December 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barbikyu
Cebu City, Philippines79 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2013 • Solo
Watching the Khon Masked Dance was at the top of my list, so I made sure to seek out this old yet charming theater upon touchdown at Bangkok, which was a Thursday. I didn't make prior reservations and I was worried I might not score tickets, especially since the show falls on Thursdays and Fridays only at 7:30 PM. I could have possibly booked a ticket online, but I was also keeping tabs on the Bangkok protests and decided at the last minute to go on with my trip. I asked the help of the hotel staff who gladly checked for availability. It was then that I realized that the show isn't very popular with tourists. Two hours before the gate opened, I was already at the beautiful theater lobby buying my ticket. I was asked to choose a seat. The woman at the ticket booth cannot speak good English. Good thing a local friend came with me.

I felt sad that the seats weren't filled, but at the same time, I was happy I didn't have to jostle with other tourists. Between this and Siam Niramit, I'd gladly watch the Khon Masked Dance anytime. It reminded me of Bali's Kecak minus the chanting.
Written January 20, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Henry S
Oakville, Canada86 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Family
We used the voucher included with the Grand Palace. The free shuttle is located at the exit of the Grand Palace, and it's a great ride to the theatre. The show was great and there were English subtitles to tell you the story. A great way to get out of the heat for 30 min.
Written November 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aethelred
Cambridge, MA1,337 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Solo
all genuine traditional Thai art performances deserve support and encouragement, and I love both the Ramakien and Khon. However, a more objective assessment of this specific performance would rather yield four stars, because this was a bit amateurish, or at least Morlam style; it was meant well, but the dancers, especially the non-stars (such as the Apsaras), while always nice to look at, just did not have the movements down as well and as coordinated as should be.

What makes no sense is to complain, as some commentators have done, about the Khon as Khon: That is the artform you get; it's not acrobatics; it's quite long. It is, thank God, for Thais and in Thai and 90%+ of the audience was Thai; we farangs get a leaflet and the supratitles and that is truly concession enough. (I absolutely loved that they did not try to translate the impromptu comedy part with the sage and Hanuman towards the end; it was still funny!) Actually the audience was only Thai and Western, which is noteworthy for Bangkok.

The traditional orchestra was excellent; the sala itself is a great 1930s, late art deco space which doesn't completely fit the Khon mood but is great anyway. Easily reachable with Grab; the famous bus #1 gets you here to the door and back for, what, 15 cents? land is an experience in its own right.

People here say it's amazing that it's so empty, and while I agree with the sadness about it, and while some of it is due to the really abysmal PR they do (old info on FB and the like), it is a cultural-touristy thing, plus for locals. I took a THB 1000 seat and am glad I did, because it was right at the center aisle in row 15, perfect for legspace, comfort and visibility (as has been said, the premium 1200 tickets are actually bad if you want to read the supratitles). It is a long show - more 2 hrs than 90 mins. in our case, and no intermission - and people are impatient.

Again, it was empty and one always gets tickets, so no need to prebook - but it was surely not that empty that it seemed embarrassing. In spite of the small issues I mentioned, an evening well spent and strongly recommended for, well, intellectually and aesthetically interested visitors.
Written September 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DCtoEverywhere
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Friends
As most have said, this is well worth your time and money! We thought the movie parts of the show added to it.

Advice about seating: don’t sit too close. Because the English is projected above the curtain and the musicians sit on the floor off to the right, it’s hard to take it all in if you’re too close. I recommend at least the fifth row, and maybe mid-way into the row in the left side (as you face the stage) instead of the end that’s close to center stage. A seat in any row that’s not under the balcony will be good.
Written April 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lany_mee
Jakarta, Indonesia60 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Solo
much smaller than siam niramit but the show really great. The story was interesting, the dancers were skillfull, the stage was great. Although they are using thai language, i still can understand and laugh together with other audience.

Written April 1, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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