INFOMuseum of Shadow Puppetry
110/18 Soi 3, Th Si Thammasok
Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand
Tel: 7534 6394
- See one of Suchart Subsin's plays on YouTube
Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand: Watch the Thai Jim Henson at work
Nakhon Si Thammarat, one of the most ancient towns in southern Thailand, is known for its tradition of shadow puppetry.
This is not your garden-variety now-it's-a-bunny-now-it's-a-duck stuff, and it's not just for kids, either—nang thalung, as it's called, involves puppets fashioned of intricately carved buffalo hide. These are then manipulated behind a screen in elaborate dramas.
And the grand poobah of puppetry in Thailand is Suchart Subsin. Now in his 70s, he's received every possible accolade from his country for his dedication to keeping this folk art alive.
Best part? Subsin has opened his house to visitors. This de facto museum is a trove of puppet paraphernalia from all over the world.
Be sure to give yourself time to take in all of the meticulously-preserved artifacts and also catch a show performed by Subsin himself. He usually does a couple of performances a day, and you'll get to see him working behind the scenes.