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Puppet On A String

Hanoi Travel Blog

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Uncle Ho's mausoleum

As far as I can remember I've never ever seen a normal puppet show, so didn't know quite what to expect when we arrive to see the Hanoi Water Puppets.  You can see these shows in a few places in Vietnam but they are originally from the north of the country, so we have saved seeing the performance until we reached Hanoi.  It is also extremely popular, so we needed to buy our tickets for the evening performance a day ahead.  We go for the expensive seats ($4) and I joke that these will be at the back so that you don't get wet.  I really recommend attending as it is quite different and very entertaining.  The performance itself consists of about 12 short scenes and the programme makes it easy to follow the stories.

Temple of Literature
  

The previous day we had risen early go to to see Uncle Ho. The mausoleum is just outside the old town and is only open mornings (up to about 10:30).  We arrive about 9am and there is a huge queue, but the line moves quickly and we have only about 40 minutes before it is our turn to enter the mausoleum.  It is surprisingly moving; the room is dimly lit and no-one speaks. Uncle Ho lies bathed in a dim yellow light, surrounded by 6 guards dressed in white uniforms. 

On our way back to town we go via the Temple of Literature which is a much grander affair than the one we visited in Hue.  At the temple we are accosted by a guy who asks us to complete a survey for the Vietnamese tourism association and he thanks us by presenting us with 2 tickets for tonights performance of the Tuang theatre, a government funded traditional Vietnamese theatre.

Temple of literature
  In a rush of cultural enthusiasm we decide to go and not be put off by the fact they are giving the tickets away.   Again it's good and the "Lion Giving Birth" scene particularly memorable.  The theatre company could improve their marketing effort though, as there are only about 30 people in the audience and the performers almost outnumber the audience.

This is our last stop before the bus to Nanning in China.  I have really enjoyed our time in Vietnam and slowly Hanoi has grown on me.  I am sure I will be back before long, in fact we are considering heading back here after China but we probably won't as the draw of a new country will be greater.  

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Uncle Hos mausoleum
Uncle Ho's mausoleum
Temple of Literature
Temple of Literature
Temple of literature
Temple of literature
Statue at ToL
Statue at ToL
Hanoi
photo by: mario26