Water puppet show in Hanoi is a form of traditional theater visitors should not miss when traveling to Vietnam in general and especially in Hanoi. It's born from the wet rice civilization, has been recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage. So, when is it open? How much does this cost for a ticket? Where is the best theater in Hanoi? How long is the show duration? etc. Let's Go Viet Trip answer all of these questions.
Water puppet was born more than the 10th century ago in the Red River Delta. It is a unique form of traditional theater art, born from wet-rice culture. It's become a traditional art, a unique creation of Vietnamese people. Especially at traditional festivals, Happy New Year days, etc. Water puppetry is considered a unique intangible culture of the Vietnamese nation.
The performance will show famous legends with wooden puppets and colorful dragons on the water surface. The performance will show famous legends with wooden puppets and colorful dragons on the water surface. Mostly content of the performance shows the daily life of Vietnamese farmers (cultivating, catching fishes), communal entertainment (swimming contest, dragon dancing), or historical legends (Le Loi returns precious sword) combine with the effect of light, music, people, and puppets. The modest performance way has appealed to audiences for centuries. The modest performance way has appealed to audiences for centuries.
Visitors enjoy the show
There are two famous theaters in Hanoi old quarter, right in front of Hoan Kiem Lake. That's why the time table also different.
It is located at 57B, Dinh Tien Hoang street, nearby Hoan Kiem Lake.
The show is every day, mostly the time for the show is from 15:00 to 20:00 – Show about 50 minutes.
Time table: 15:30 – 16:10 -17:00 - 18:30 - 20:00
Thang Long Water Puppet Theater
Location: Vietnamese Cultural Space Building - 16 Le Thai To (79 Hang Trong) - Hoan Kiem - Hanoi.
Time table: 15:00 – 16:10 -17:30 – 19:00
Lotus water puppet theatre
Most puppets are making from fig wood – a light wood that floats on the water easier. Craftsmen will spend a week to carved, make shapes, and painting for each puppet.
Each puppet has its own character and represents for funny, humorous, and highly symbolic.
The puppet's body is the part that floats to the surface to represent the character, and the base is the part that sinks under the water to keep the puppet afloat and the controller installed for the puppet to move.
The control machine and control techniques in water puppetry create the action of water puppets on stage, also the key for this performance.
How are water puppets made (Photo Nhandan. vn)
Water puppetry machines can be divided into two basic types: pole machines and string machines, which are responsible for moving puppets and creating actions for characters. The controller is hidden in the water, taking advantage of the power of the water, creating remote control, offering viewers many strange and unexpected things.
Which one is better? In my opinion, I had to watch both theaters. I think it's pretty similar. However, Thang Long Theater has a long time history, and they have an outstanding reputation. That is why their prices are higher a bit.
Thang Long theater is more expensive a little: Prices: 100.000 VND 150.000 VND 200.000 VND.
Lotus theater price from: 60.000 VND 80.000 VND 100.000 VND
Besides, when you visit the Ho Chi Minh complex of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, you can enjoy water puppet shows inside their places.
You might want to visit some attractions nearby:
>>> Dong Xuan market - The biggest market in the old quarter
>>> Top 5 Best Banh mi in Hanoi
>>> Read more Hanoi tours with the best prices, services, and itinerary
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Author Hoan Nguyen
He has over 10 years of experience working in the tourism sector and operator. He has traveled to many places in Vietnam and around the world.