"Check Out the Water Puppets: Awesome!" Water Puppet Show Tip by AKtravelers

Water Puppet Show, Hanoi: 71 reviews and 120 photos

  Water puppet show in Hanoi
by AKtravelers
  • Water puppet show in Hanoi - Hanoi
      Water puppet show in Hanoi
    by AKtravelers
  • Puppets and musicians splash around - Hanoi
      Puppets and musicians splash around
    by AKtravelers
  • Water puppetry - Hanoi
      Water puppetry
    by AKtravelers
  • The waterpuppet players provide music - Hanoi
      The waterpuppet players provide music
    by AKtravelers

Today started out, as I mentioned yesterday, with water puppets!! Apparently, this is a traditional northern Vietnamese art form that's been around for centuries, highlighting peasant themes (which is probabaly why it survived communism) and some local legends (like the turtle and the sword). The puppeteers stand behind a decoratd curtain and use murky water to hide their submerged controls, moving the puppets with great skill accompanied by traditional music. The show is put on in the world's mustiest theater air conditioned by one small unit close to the stage. Luckily, we got fourth row seats so we got some relief from the heat -- the poor people in the top row must have swealtered. As it was, I could feel rivers of sweat run down my belly throughout much of the performance, especially given that I was seated between the two most overweight guys in the theater! In fact, Mike is over 300 pounds, and the little Vietnamese girl assigned the seat next to him looked less than pleased!
That being said, the performance was masterful. These guys are good, which shouldn't be surprising as they've performed around the world in venues like Lincoln Center in NYC. The jumping fish, the rice harvesting, the turtle legend were all done with great imagination. In one scene, two brightly decorated long-necked water birds, danced and rubbed and kissed and intertwined necks until, voila!, out popped an egg. Yes, there was a sex scene!! Avian waterpuppet porn! Eventually the egg hatched to become a small brightly colored bird, evoking applause from the crowd. It was very cool, in a puppet sort of way!
Beware: the water puppets are popular! The night before, we tried to buy tickets to a water puppet performance, but the theater was sold out so we left disappointed with tickets for Sunday morning (there's a sentence I never thought I'd write!).

Address: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang , Hanoi, Vietnam, 10000
Phone: 84 04 8249494
Website: http://www.thanglongwaterpuppet.org/?/en/Home/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Oct 7, 2008
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse



“My plan:1. See the world 2. Have a beer”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 2 1 9

Have you been to Hanoi?

  Share Your Travels