Jo Luis Puppet Theatre & Cultural Center in Pattaya

Jo Luis Puppet Theatre and Cultural Center
My last trip to Thailand I was in Pattaya for two weeks and as usual I find myself wandering around during the daylight hours exploring and taking pictures. On my way back to the hotel one day after such an excursion I found myself cutting through Pattaya City Walk, which is located next to Royal Garden Plaza,  to get from Beach road to Second road.

Pattaya City Walk Beach Road entrancePattaya City walk has a couple of upscale hotels and eateries as well as small kiosks lining the center of the walk with vendors selling all manner of trinkets. This occasion I noticed something that didn’t quite fit. A new building was being erected towards the Second road entrance and it looked like it was straight out of the Flintstones.

Jo Luis Puppeteers 1I just recently found out that this stone age looking building is the new home of the Jo Luis Puppet Theatre and Cultural Center in Pattaya. With a large stage and a dining area that boasts 60 tables they hope to cater to both Thai and foreign tourists. Aside from Thai cultural dance shows and special exhibitions the center of attention will be the puppet show. The puppet shows will be historical in nature following the traditions of classic Thai puppeteers. The shows will incorporate historically accurate music and dance as well as tell the ancient stories from Buddhist lore and legend.

Jo Luis Puppeteers 2The menu on offer apparently draws from Thai history also with dishes from the King Rama IV – King Rama V period of the 19th century.

The Jo Luis troupe of puppeteers, founded by  Sakon “Jo Louis” Kiewson, has traveled the world showcasing the traditions of his work and that of historical Thai puppeteers.

Pattaya City Walk executive Keerati Tanasriwanitchai has said:

Jo Luis Puppeteers 3Until now, the city has not offered many cultural attractions. “People ask why Pattaya doesn’t have much art and the answer has always been that Pattaya survives on entertainment, but I don’t agree. I think it’s simply because no artistic attractions have been built.
“Suppose foreigners stay three days in Pattaya. I don’t believe they will want to visit only entertainment establishments. I just believe they have no choice. They will most likely have no choice,” he said. “This is being done to bring culture into this area and it will be art that the next generation can enjoy.”

I for one hope he’s right but I think it will be an uphill battle hidden away inside the Pattaya City Walk area. Hopefully in time and with a lot of advertisement they can build up the excitement and must see level to that of Tiffany’s Ladyboy shows.

I plan on checking it out next trip and if you get a chance give it a go …at the very least it looks very interesting. Below is a Youtube clip about the grand opening.

Puppeteer pictures courtesy of Pattaya Mail

sig1 Jo Luis Puppet Theatre & Cultural Center in Pattaya

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1 Comment »

Comment by MartynNo Gravatar
2009-07-17 16:46:28

I walked past this place in May and assumed it was some kind of novel restaurant under construction. A puppet show sounds something that would be right up Wilai’s street and mine to. The Jo Luis Puppet Theatre will be a good addition to Pattaya which does need a little more culture about town. I will definitely pay it a visit next time.
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