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  • Water Puppet Theatre Highlights


  • Shows at this modern theatre are performed in a pool of water as the stage for the puppets. The puppets are controlled by no more than eight puppeteers hiding behind a bamboo screen. The renowned Thang Long Water Puppet show is considered to be one of the cultural highlights of Northern Vietnam dating back to a tradition that first started in the Red River Delta.

    Today’s performances usually include a number of short sketches rather than one long story, taking the audience on a journey of ancient village life, agricultural harvests and dances of mythical creatures. Most shows also feature the famous Legend of the Restored Sword of King Le which tells the tale of Hoan Kiem Lake and the giant tortoise. The live music plays an integral part of the show with singers often shouting words of encouragement to the puppets.

    Water Puppet Theatre

    Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hanoi with tickets selling out well in advance so it’s worth booking yours as soon as you arrive in town. It is also advisable to pay more to get closer to the action as the theatre seats a few hundred people and the puppets are not that big. The theatre is modern and usually shows 17 short sketches over a one-hour performance.

    · Opening Hours: Shows during the day and evening at 14:00 and 20:00
    · Location: North east of Hoan Kiem Lake at 57b Dinh Tien Hoang Street
    · Remarks: There is an additional camera or video fee if you wish to photograph or film the show

    Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi offers an insight into the 54 different ethnic groups of Vietnam in an effort to preserve cultural heritage and promote socio-cultural diversity within the country. Visitors are welcome to browse some of the vast research on offer at this public museum which is also a centre for ethnographic research. The museum is packed full of information detailing traditional Vietnamese ways of life, from religious events to the symbolic rituals of all the Vietnamese ethnic groups, providing a rich tapestry of the culture melting pot existing in Vietnam. The exhibition hall features everyday objects representing each group, a research centre, library and auditorium.  

    The outdoor display area exhibits a variety of Vietnamese homes as full-scale replicas, with great attention paid to the varying architectural styles set within the authentic and tranquil gardens. In addition, there are also leisure pursuits on display including traditional water puppet theatre and calligraphy. The future aim of the museum is to also showcase the many cultural practices and civilisations across Southeast Asia.
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