4.5.13

Chiang Mai - Khuntoke Dinner

It's the last night of our stay in Chiang Mai.  After a day of walking, we arrived at the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Centre for a sumptuous Khuntoke dinner and dance show.  It cost 520B per person for a meal, beautiful traditional and hill tribe dances.  Best to reserve earliest as possible to secure a table at the front.  We called in the morning and could get only the position of the second row.

It is called Khuntoke meal because it is served on a wooden pedestal tray.  Khuntoke dinner is a tradition for centuries, dating back to the establishment of the Lanna Dynasty. It is dinner or lunch served by a host to its guest at various ceremonies or parties.  Authentic northern Thai delicacies are served.  Our dinner menu:

Pork curry, fried chicken, fried pork skin, pork tomato chili paste, chicken soup, crispy rice noodles, fried pumpkin, fresh/boiled vegetables, sticky rice/steamed rice.  It ended with tea / coffee and fruits.  Then the show started.

First was candle dance.  A group of beautiful dancing girls entered with candles in their palms.  They were in red silk dress, moved elegantly and grasped attention of all audience.  A good start.


The second came fingernail dance. We were attracted to the splendid movement and superb costumes. 
 
Following this were silk reeling dance, magic fowls dance, sword dance and rumwong dance.  The sword dance was fabulous!  Skillful male dancers swift actions kept your eyeball moving on endlessly, didn't want to lose any seconds.
 
The last was rumwong dance, means dancing in a circle.  Dancers performed the first part and invited guests to join in two rounds.  All guest dancers seemed enjoying very much.
With a 10-minute break, guests could watch the hill tribe dances.  They were not exquisite and elegant performances but a side showing the tribes' entertainment and celebrations.  Most performers were not professional.  You could see children playing around instead of performing.  It's a fun part.  Of all, the most exciting one is the fire sword dance.  The dancer thank his God after finishing the risky task.