"Khantoke" is a Thai Lanna tradition, it means the act of serving small dishes in a tray to be sampled by diners seated on the floor at dinner time. Traditional Lanna Khantoke dinner is the combination of classical Thai dance and excellent food. For just around 500 baht you will enjoy a night of good Thai food and great entertainment!
At present as you will see from the picture above, the guests are given a choice to be seated Lanna style (traditional floor seating) or be seated in a western style in regular chairs at a table as they dine.
|The Khantoke is the red circular wooden tray set on pedestal that serves as a table.|
Even at present day, Khantoke is still being served to guests at various ceremonies like celebrations (birthdays, wedding, housewarming, etc) or even funerals.
|Lower right side is my designated place and Khantoke! right in front of the stage.. yebahh!!|
During my one week business trip to Chiang Mai, though alone, I made sure to book one night for this cultural dinner and show to make my stay memorable. The rate was inclusive of round trip transportation service from the hotel to Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center. When you arrive at the venue, you will have to remove your shoes. The decorations and the hostesses in their traditional attire are already a feast for the eye! You will have your designated place, for me since I was alone, I was seated in the very front.. hehe
During the meal you’ll get a chance to sample several typical Northern Thai dishes, Chiang Mai Style : Banana Fritter, Clear Vegetable Soup, Sticky Rice or Steamed rice, Deep Fried Chicken, Fresh Fruit in Season, Crispy Pork Skin, Stir – Fried Mixed Vegetables, Crispy Rice Noodle, Pork Curry with Ginger and Tamarind Chiang Mai Style, Grilled Young Chili Paste with Steamed vegetables - Minced pork and Tomato Sauce and a choice of Coffee or Tea.
As you enjoy your meal, you will be entertained by a selection of northern cultural performances including the charming Fon Lep (Thai Finger Dance), Ram Dab (Thai Sword Dance), Fon Thiean (Thai Candle Dance), and Ram Wong (Group Dance).
Let me share some of my shots of the dancers:
|Fon Lep (Thai Finger Dance)|
|Ram Dab (Thai Sword Dance)|
To end the evening everyone will transfer to a different venue for a special hilltribe show performed by various members of Yao, Lahu, Meo, Lisu, and Karen hilltribe.