Khum Kantoke – Traditional Lanna style Dining and Entertainment –
For anyone visiting the city of Chiang Mai it would be criminal not to sample some traditional local or ‘Lanna’ style cuisine. ‘Khum Kantoke’ is the brainchild of local Lanna-Thai scholar and businessman Kraisri Nimrnanhaeminda who opened, on the edge of the city some 30 years ago, a restaurant which is now attracting people in large numbers and that can accommodate 600 guests inside and 1000 outdoors. The main restaurant is a teak-floored canteen style room in which the solid wooden tables are placed over large holes in the floor in which diners place their feet. Traditionally, Lanna meals are eaten on the floor on reed mats where diners would sit cross legged. Khum Kantoke is indeed taditional Lanna style dining and entertainment.
The name ‘Khum Khantoke’ is derived from the name of a large, round, rattan tray or ‘khantoke’ in which the various dishes of Lanna cuisine are placed. One of the trays is situated on the table and diners then spoon from the various dishes placed inside it – a fun, traditional variation on the communal Thai style of eating. The dishes include fried meats, vegetables, noodles, curries and salads and glutinous or ‘sticky’ rice but all are distinctly northern and quite different to cuisine from other regions of Thailand. Halal food is also served.
Apart from the exceptional food, the main draw card of Khum Kantoke are the nightly performances of Northern Thai or Lanna dancing. A large purpose-built stage provides a platform on which dances are performed, though these often take place on the restaurant floor around which the tables are situated.
The dances are traditional and originate from the North and North Eastern Thailand. One of the favourites is a dance from the Ramakien, the most famous Thai literary work based on the Indian Ramayana in which Hanuman, a soldier of Rama about to attack the city of Lanka, was hindered by Nang Suphunamucha who blocked his path with rocks. Hanuman intended to kill her but changed his mind after they met. This intriguing performance is highly stylised and a fascinating glimpse into traditional Thai dance.
Other dances include the Candle Dance, the Drum Dance, designed to support troops in battle with a mesmerising drum beat and the Tee Dance. The word ‘tee’ means umbrella in the northern Thai language and is a symbol of identity of northern Thai women. Villages like Bor Sang, near Chiang Mai have made the region famous for the production of beautiful handmade umbrellas and parasols.
Unlike many attractions purported to be traditional or genuine Khum Kantoke is no tourist carnival. The restaurant attracts as many locals as it does tourists who come to enjoy the high quality of the food and the entertainment. The costumes, choreography and accompanying music are of an extremely high standard. The Love and dedication of Khum Kantoke owners and the magnificent performances that depict Thai people’s Life are the key success of this operation, which is a must in your to-do list.
Khum Khuntoke is located in Chiang Mai Business Park project behind Bic-C Extra Hypermarket, Chiang Mai-Lampang Super Highway.
139 Moo 4, Nong Pakrung,Amphur Muang ,Chiang Mai 50000 Thailand
Tel : +66 (0)53 304 121-3
Fax : +66 (0)53 260 504
Official website: www.khumkhantoke.com
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org –