Water Puppet show Hanoi is a long-standing art form, demonstrating the Vietnamese cultural identity. Coming to Hanoi, visitors should not miss these programs!

Table Contents
  • I – Hanoi water puppet show overview
  • 1 - History 
  • 2 – The significance of Hanoi water puppets
  • 3 – Puppets and manipulating puppets 
  • 4 - Music used in a water puppets hanoi show
  • 5 - Stage
  • 6 – Familiar images in a water puppet show
  • 7 – Some water puppetry villages in Vietnam
  • II - Places to see the best water puppet show in Hanoi
  • 1 - Thang Long Water Puppet Theater Hanoi
  • 2 – Vietnamese Cultural Atmosphere – Lotus Water Puppet Theatre Hanoi
  • 3 - Vietnam Puppet Theater
Jan 16
Hanoi water puppet
Source: Gary Friedman

I – Hanoi water puppet show overview

1 - History 

Water puppetry is a unique form of folk theater in Vietnam, which existed about 1000 years ago and flourished during the Tran Dynasty (1010 - 1225). The first evidence of Vietnamese water puppetry was discovered on the steel tower of Sung Thien Dien Linh (erected in 1121) of the Ly Nhan Tong period, saying that water puppetry was for celebrating the king's life. Today, water puppetry has become a unique type of culture, attracting many international visitors.

Hanoi water puppet show
Source: Incensetravel

2 – The significance of Hanoi water puppets

Water puppetry is a unique art form, associated with the culture of most villages around the city of Thang Long. The water puppet shows in hanoi often replicate life in Vietnamese villages. People here treat water puppetry as an indispensable form of entertainment in the holidays.

3 – Puppets and manipulating puppets 

Water puppet is made from fig wood-a light wood floating on the water- with stylized sculptures to create the shape of the puppet. The puppets are usually carved in bonny and funny shapes, sympathetic to the audience and highly symbolic.

Water pupetry hanoi
Source: Vnexpress
Puppeteers can manipulate puppets in two systems: rods or strings. The puppeteer stands behind the stage, using wires, poles, taking advantage of the water to make the puppet work. Whether water puppets can move vividly or not depends on the dexterity of the puppeteers.

4 - Music used in a water puppets hanoi show

Music plays an important role in a puppet show. The music enables the audience to visualize the scene more clearly, warming up the show. Moreover, music in a water puppet show in Hanoi is also a factor that governs speed and the gestures. Stage music played is often the folk songs of the Northern Delta or traditional operetta songs.

5 - Stage

Unlike other art forms, water puppetry Hanoi has a special stage, which is the water surface, also known as the water court. The water surface is as calm as a mirror reflecting the sky, making the water puppets more flexible and smooth and the play more lively and attractive.

6 – Familiar images in a water puppet show

It can be said that the water puppet stage shows the creativity of Vietnamese people, reflecting the daily life and the labor process of Vietnamese farmers from past generations to the present. Water puppeteers may see familiar images of Vietnamese villages such as plays about rice farming, chicken raising, and buffalo raising activities; folk entertainment such as wrestling, swinging or stories praising national heroes Thanh Giong, Ba Trung, Ba Trieu, etc.

7 – Some water puppetry villages in Vietnam

Dao Thuc water puppet
Dao Thuc water puppet originated from Dao Thuc Village, Thuy Lam Commune, Dong Anh District, Hanoi. The distinctive feature of Dao Thuc water puppet compared to other water puppet villages is that the symbolized image is the character Teacher Ba Khia, not just the traditional buffoon of the Vietnamese village.

Best water puppet show in Hanoi
Source: Vnexpress
Dong Ngu water puppet
Dong Ngu water puppet originated from Ngu Thai Commune, Thuan Thanh District, Bac Ninh Province. During a century of formation and development, Dong Ngu water puppet has become an indispensable spiritual dish of Kinh Bac people, in festivals like village festivals. Like the water puppets show Hanoi,  Dong Ngu water puppet attracts viewers not only by the plays representing cherished traditional folks, but also by its  association with the folk songs of Bac Ninh family.

II - Places to see the best water puppet show in Hanoi

1 - Thang Long Water Puppet Theater Hanoi

- Address: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hang Bac Ward, Hoan Kiem District
- The daily schedule is fixed at the following time frames: 15:00, 16:00, 1720, 18:30, 20:00
- Contact: 024 38249494 - 024 38255450
- Ticket price: From 60,000 to 200,000 VND/ticket (~ 3 - 9USD). To book tickets, visit the website http://thanglongwaterpuppet.com/
- Nearby places to visit: This Water Puppet Theater is within 1 km from the famous tourist attractions in Hanoi such as Hoan Kiem Lake, Old Quarter, Ngoc Son Temple,...

Lotus water puppet show Hanoi
A show in Lotus Water Puppet Theatre Hanoi (Source: Tripadvisor)

2 – Vietnamese Cultural Atmosphere – Lotus Water Puppet Theatre Hanoi

- Address: 16 Le Thai To Street, Hang Trong Ward, Hoan Kiem District
- Ticket price: from 80,000 - 200,000 VND/ticket (4 - 9 USD)
- The schedule is at the hours of 14:45 - 16:00 - 17:00 - 18:30
- Contact: 097 203 04 20
- Nearby places to visit: Only about 1 km from Thang Long Water Puppet Theater, Lotus theater is also really close to Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple and Old Quarter. In addition, visitors can go shopping at the most luxurious commercial center in Hanoi: Trang Tien Plaza - a few minutes walk from Bong Sen Water Puppet Theater.

3 - Vietnam Puppet Theater

- Address: 361 Truong Chinh Street, Thanh Xuan District
- Ticket price: from 80,000 - 300,000 VND/ticket (~ 4USD - 13 USD)
- Vietnam Puppet Theater Show includes plays with flexible time frames and performs under a contract with a third party. See more water puppet show schedule at 
-Contact: (024) 3853.4545 - (024) 3853.1333
-Nearby places to visit: From the Vietnam Puppet Theater, visitors can also visit the Air Force Defense Museum at 173 C Truong Chinh, Thanh Xuan or go shopping at Big C Artemis Shopping Mall at 3 Le Trong Tan, Khuong Mai, Thanh Xuan, Hanoi.
Related keyword: Lotus water puppet show hanoi tickets; Hanoi puppet theatre; Hanoi water puppet show time; Thang long puppet theatre; Thang Long water puppet theatre Hanoi
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Experience from travelers after a trip to Vietnam

Vietnam is a beautiful country which has a diverse nature, many beautiful landscapes stretching along the direction of the country, and is known to international tourists through the "heroic" stories of the two resistance wars against France and the America. However, that is not all about this country. It can not be missed without mentioning a long-standing culture that will make you impressed by a lot of interesting things. In addition, coming to Vietnam visitors will surely be mesmerized by the rich variety of insanely delicious foods with many globally famous dishes such as Pho soup or Vietnamese bread.  Let's see how impressed international tourists were when having a trip to Vietnam with many unforgettable memories.


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