Water puppet show to watch in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi

Water puppet show Vietnam is an amazing old-style art that started in the rice fields of the Red River Delta a long time ago. This cool performance mixes detailed puppetry, music, and stories. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are popular for their water puppet theaters. There, you can see puppets moving gracefully on the water, with live music and interesting stories. In this article, we will suggest some ideal places to watch water puppet show Hanoi and water puppet show Ho Chi Minh.

hanoi hoan kiem puppet show

Introduction to Water Puppetry in Vietnam

Water puppet show vietnam is a traditional stage art form that originated in the 11th century, during the Ly dynasty, showcasing the vivid imagery of the Northern region. It is a blend of puppetry, music, and storytelling. What makes water puppetry unique is its stage, which is a water surface, with the main characters crafted from wood hidden behind a bamboo screen. Skilled artisans manipulate the puppets using strings and poles.

vietnam water puppet show

Over time, water puppetry has expanded beyond the rural areas of the Northern Delta to reach closer to many cities, particularly Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, where tourism and cultural promotion activities are frequent.

vietnam water puppet show

Some places to watch water puppet show Hanoi

Although places like Hoi An and Hue are known for frequently hosting water puppet performances, there are still some popular venues where you can enjoy water puppet shows. Below are some locations for you to consider when looking for water puppet show Hanoi.

1. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

vietnam water puppet show

When wanting to watch water puppet show Hanoi, visitors definitely cannot miss Thang Long Water Puppet Theater. Established in 1969, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre stands as one of the most renowned water puppet theatres in Vietnam, showcasing a unique puppetry art that traces its roots back to the 11th century along the Red River.

water puppet show hanoi thang long

Performances take place on a lake, where the stage itself is the water surface, and puppeteers immerse themselves in the water to manipulate the puppets from behind the screen. The puppets are controlled by underwater rods or special wire systems. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre offers a lively musical accompaniment during the show, featuring a comedic repertoire that guarantees laughter. Post-show, enjoy the ambiance around Hoan Kiem Lake with a cup of coffee at the theater’s cafe.

Each show lasts less than an hour, and due to the theatre’s popularity, it’s advisable to book tickets in advance. Located in the Old Quarter area, the theatre operates throughout the week, hosting up to six performances per day. Some shows include English subtitles for international audiences, and the theatre accommodates performances upon request.

More information: 

Address: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hang Bac Ward, Hoan Kiem District.

Showtimes:

  • From Monday to Saturday, the performances are scheduled at: 13:45, 15:00, 16:10, 17:20, 18:30, 20:00, and 21:15.
  • On Sundays, the shows are scheduled at: 09:30, 13:45, 15:00, 16:10, 17:20, 18:30, 20:00, and 21:15.

However, please note that the screening schedule may change. Therefore, when you arrive in Hanoi and wish to attend, it is advisable to check in advance on the official website of the dance theater. Also, remember to collect your tickets and enter the venue 30 minutes before the program starts.

Ticket Price: 

  • Standard tickets: 150,000 VND (~6.14 USD)
  • VIP tickets: 200,000 VND (~8.72 USD)

2. Vietnam Water Puppet Theater

The Vietnam Water Puppet Theater, situated on Truong Chinh Street, is a familiar destination for Hanoi residents seeking to enjoy this traditional art form. Additionally, tourists visiting the capital for leisure or business often make a point to stop by. With an expansive area of over 7,000m2, the theater has established a distinct space for its unique form of art.

hanoi water puppet show

This Hanoi water puppet venue is designed with East Asian architecture, creating a space infused with pure Vietnamese cultural essence. The arrangement and layout of the bas-reliefs depict lively and novel scenes of ancient Vietnamese activities and labor. Inside, there are three stages:

  • The outdoor Thuy Mieu area (with nearly 400 seats) is dedicated to traditional water puppet performances.
  • The Water Temple is built on a lake amidst vast surroundings featuring wind, trees, and the sounds of nature.
  • Adjacent to it is a serene and beautifully landscaped lake highlighted by vibrant flowers. This picturesque area is perfect for peaceful and stunning photographs under the gracefully arched roof in sparkling light.

One of Hanoi’s favorite water puppet show venues, this theater has invested in modern equipment, including sound and lighting, as well as the surrounding area. The two stages within the theater are: Stage 1 for traditional water puppet performances and Stage 2 for various other art forms (traditional water puppetry, combined with contemporary art, variety shows, etc.). Some notable acts include the fire-spouting dragon, duck catching, children’s games, regional dances, fairy dances, buffalo fights, boat racing, phoenix performances, fishing, and more.

Next to the theater is a museum showcasing the origin of Vietnamese Water Puppetry (especially Water Puppetry) and exhibits various puppetry artifacts from different regions across the country. Visitors are encouraged to explore souvenir shops and entertainment areas in addition to the performances.

Theater Information:

  • Address: 361 Truong Chinh, Thanh Xuan District, Hanoi.
  • Performance Time: 17:00 – 18:30 daily.
  • Ticket Prices:
    Type 1: 50,000 VND/ticket.
    Type 2: 40,000 VND/ticket.

3. Lotus Water Puppet Theater

In addition to the two famous locations mentioned above, visitors can also explore the Hoa Sen Water Puppet Theater, a venue near Hoan Kiem Lake. At this prominent destination, guests can immerse themselves not only in the lively and bustling atmosphere, enjoying the beautiful scenery of the city but also in the vibrant ambiance of water puppetry, filled with fascinating stories. Through the performances of skilled artists, visitors can get closer to the folk culture and life of ancient Vietnam.

Under the umbrella of the Vietnam Contemporary Theater and established in 2008, this is another prominent venue in Hanoi where you can witness outstanding water puppet performances. The theater’s water puppet shows are presented by experienced artists and musicians hailing from traditional craft villages. Each performance introduces a fresh perspective, leaving a distinctive mark that seamlessly blends traditional and contemporary styles, earning praise from many visitors.

Theater Information:

  • Address: 16 Le Thai To, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
  • Performance Schedule: 14:45, 16:00, 17:15, 18:30.
  • Ticket Prices:
    Standard: 80,000 VND/ticket.
    VIP: 100,000 VND/ticket.

4 . Canh Dieu Water Puppet Theater

Situated on the charming Ngoc Ha Street, in close proximity to many famous attractions in Hanoi such as Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Thang Long Imperial Citadel, and the Temple of Literature, Canh Dieu Water Puppet Theater is a familiar destination for enjoying Hanoi’s water puppetry. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in the rustic atmosphere of the Northern countryside while witnessing skillful puppet artists perform.

Theater Information:

  • Address: 19B Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh, Hanoi.
  • Performance Schedule: 9:00, 10:10, 11:15, 15:30, 16:45, 18:00, 19:30.
  • Ticket Prices:
    • 100,000 VND/adult.
    • 70,000 VND/child.

Some places to watch water puppet shows in Ho Chi Minh City

1. Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater

The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater is one of the water puppet show Ho Chi Minh. Established in 2007, the theater has established its brand over the past 10 years. It boasts a team of professional and experienced puppet artists, as well as talented musicians, singers, and storytellers.rong vang water puppet show

The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater presents puppetry performances deeply rooted in Vietnamese culture, such as Tấm Cám, Thánh Gióng, and the adventures of Teu and Ly. These performances are meticulously crafted and creatively staged, combining sound, light, effects, and vibrant puppetry.

rong vang water puppet show ho chi minh city

The puppets come in various sizes and shapes, ranging from animals like fish, turtles, and snakes to characters like Teu, Thanh Giong, and Chua Ly. Puppet artists must possess high skills and dexterity to make the puppets move naturally and harmoniously with the music and singing.

Theater Information:

  • Performance time: The performances are held twice daily at 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM, The duration of each performance is 30 minutes per session.
  • Address: 55B Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Ticket Price: 250,000 VND for adults and 150,000 VND for children

2. Phuong Nam Arts Theatre

Another venue for visitors to watch water puppet shows in Ho Chi Minh City is the Phuong Nam Arts Theatre located inside the History Museum. Visitors can travel to the theater at 374 Tran Phu, Ward 7, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.

Theater Information:

  • Ticket Price: 50,000 VND.
  • Address: 374 Tran Phu, Ward 7, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Water puppet shows at the History Museum are scheduled from Tuesday to Sunday every week. The performance times are as follows:

 

  • Morning Sessions: 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
  • Afternoon Sessions: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

3. Thao Dien tourist village, Ho Chi Minh City

Thao Dien Village is a place where visitors can watch water puppet show Ho Chi Minh. In addition to offering delicious dishes, every Saturday, the restaurant organizes water puppet performances. Visitors can enjoy these spectacular performances without purchasing tickets, adding an extra element to their dining experience.

Theater Information:

  • Performance Schedule: Every Saturday, from 7:30 PM to 8:00 PM.
  • Address: 195 Nguyen Van Huong, Thao Dien, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Phone: 08 3744 6457.

Conclusion

Above are the suggested places to watch water puppet show Hanoi and water puppet show Ho Chi Minh that Jackfruit Adventure would like to introduce to visitors. We hope that these locations will help visitors have enjoyable experiences while appreciating and learning about the traditional folk art of water puppetry in Vietnam.

Want to see more what offer of Ho Chi Minh city? Why not try our Ho Chi Minh city cycling tour to explore more the unique culture over here

 

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