On one of my last evenings in Chiang Mai I learned that the Thai-Chinese community were staging a Chinese opera, and it was free. In fact, I believe there may have been performances over three or four nights. The opera was staged at an outdoor venue next to the Ping River. I happily sat down in the front row and snapped away for two hours. The colorful costumes and energy of the cast more than made up for the fact that (of course) the performance was in Chinese. I finally left after about two hours, although the performance was still going strong. “Numb Bum Syndrome” had sat in.
Quality, free Chinese opera was a fantastic opportunity to experience Thai-Chinese culture, while keeping the budget intact.