I for one was (oddly) looking forward to seeing the Rose Garden as some of the plants and flowers we’d encountered so far on our trip were really beautiful. I can’t say I’m one for flowers generally but the colours were just so vibrant.
When we got there the first thing we were greeted with was an elephant show1. I’ve still got my reservations about these shows, I don’t think elephant riding is bad, or having them work is bad but these just make me feel sorry for the gentle giants. Admittedly I did smile at the elephants as they were made to dance but more because of how ridiculous it looked.
There was also a guy with an enormous Yellow Boa Constrictor which you could be photographed with for about 100Baht –not something Stacey was too interested in oddly!
As it turned out, we weren’t there for the gardens but instead the Thai culture show they put on. As interesting as it was Stacey and I just couldn’t help but laugh at some of the acts that were put on. The first was a man demonstrating one of the nations games called “Rattan”2. Basically it was an old guy (apparently one of Thailand’s greatest players) playing keepy-uppy with a loosely woven ball. It wasn’t until later we found out how this could possibly be a game but there you go. The grand finale featured the guy holding about 8 balls off the ground –Beckham watch out!
After he left you’re then taken through a story which depicts various aspects of Thai life:
- Thai percussion music
- Classic Thai lullaby
- Water dance (the Nagee Saran Dance)
- Harvest Dance
- Glong Sabutchai or drum practice
- Thai (kick) Boxing
- Sword and pole fighting
- Thai wedding
- Various dances including a Bamboo Dance –don’t laugh but that is actually pretty impressive
I have to admit though that we missed out on parts of the show because just after the water dance (and I kid not) the heavens opened to our first Thai rainstorm3. It was great –so much more entertaining than the show that when we had a power cut Stacey and I left to watch it. The rain was so heavy it was like a British summer, within seconds the courtyard was flooded with rain pouring out of every gutter4.
While wandering around in the rain we also saw some Thai fighting fish5 which were a really interesting shade of blue/purple when the light caught them. Each one was in its own jar with a divide between it and the next jar –I’m guessing if that’s removed they try to attack each other…