Entertainment in Thailand
Thai cities have a broad spectrum of entertainment, but the names can sometimes be deceiving.
While it may be easy to realize that a go-go bar is a place for men to see girls scantily clothed, beware that certain "member clubs" and "coffee houses" operate with the same intent. These places are not dangerous, and if you find that you've walked into the wrong kind of place, feel free to get up and leave. Traditional coffee shops (ráan kaa-fae) are a nice place to sip thick coffee and read a newspaper. Discotheques are popular in the large cities and are considered respectable hangouts for couples. Bars that try to create a cowboy atmosphere are increasingly common, and are comfortable hangouts for both singles and couples. Karaoke bars, where you can sing in front of friends and/or strangers, are as popular in Thailand as in any other East Asian country. Finally, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Hat Yai are the best places to find English language movies that haven't been dubbed over in Thai - check the English-language Yellow Pages for theater locations.
Performance entertainment is also varied and colorful in Thailand. Thai boxing is the national sport, and matches include wild music and a lot of ceremony. Khon and lákhon are both forms of dance-dramas for which you don't need a knowledge of Thai to enjoy. Li-khe and manohra are also dance drama styles, but are typically performed in smaller villages by traveling troupes. They involve a lot of folk music, outlandish costumes, and slapstick comedy.
Diving off the coasts of Pattaya and Phuket is an unforgettable experience for sports fans. And festivals, such as the Chiang Mai Flower Festival, the Chinese New Year Festival in Nakhon Sawan, and the Candle Festival in Ubon will add a lot of variety to your otherwise sedentary teacher lifestyle, if you can take time off to attend.
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