Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre
57b Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Hanoi, Vietnam
04 3936 4335
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Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre Hanoi Reviews
A tradition worth seeing Jul 06, 2013
Water puppet theater has been a long standing tradition in Hanoi. It's an art form that has been practiced in northern Vietnam since the 11th century. It originates from the villages in the Red River Delta. The villagers used to entertain each other with this puppetry when the rice fields would flood.
Since the late 60's, this tradition found its way to the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi.
The theater has an easy not to miss location on lively Đinh Tiên Hoàng, on the borders of the Hoan Kiem Lake.
Shows are held daily at various times and last a good 45 minutes. Ticket costs between 60.000 - 100.000 VND and can be purchased at the ticket booth.
We visited the show at 17h00 booked through our tour company, so it is likely the ticket price would have been even lower.
The theater in itself is very basic with very narrow wooden flip-out chairs. It’s not most comfortable but survivable for a 45 minutes' show.
The show is narrated in Vietnamese and English and depicts various scenes of daily countryside life in the Red River Delta. A few lady singers on a stage by the side and an orchestra provide the soundtrack to the play.
To my surprise, Vietnamese music is quite pleasant and upbeat. It does not become annoying to "Western" ears - unlike for example Chinese opera.
The puppets put on a cute little performance that stays entertaining throughout the show.
At the end of the performance, the puppeteers come out to greet the public and show how it is done.
I consider this show an indispensable part of North Vietnamese culture and surely recommend it.
Part of the Visions of Vietnam July 2013 travel blog
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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