Providing a unique insight into the rich heritage of Northern Vietnam, the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi features fascinating storytelling that will have you captivated!
Planning Your Visit
The theatre can be found at 57b, Dinh Tien Hoang Street in the district of Hoan Kiem. It’s located close to Hoan Kiem Lake and is within a 10-minute drive from Pan Pacific Hanoi. The one-hour show takes place daily at 03:00pm, 04:10pm, 05:20pm, 06:30pm and 08:00pm. Tip; book ahead!
A Bit of History
Before planning a visit from your Hanoi hotel, it’s always good to get some background information. This performance art goes all the way back to the 11th century in the Red River Delta. Its origins can be traced to when villagers would stand in flooded paddy fields and perform puppetry on the water for entertainment!
The Modern Show
The Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre still utilises this concept and the stage features a pool of water where the puppets act out their stories; all the while they are controlled by around eight puppeteers behind a screen made of bamboo. The show is made up of different sketches depicting everything from village life to legends and folktales of Vietnam.
Music and Song
A key element of this kind of puppet theatre is the traditional music of a Vietnamese orchestra consisting of instruments like bamboo flutes, drums and wooden bells. Traditional operatic songs also accompany the performance and sometimes you will find singers shouting encouraging words to the puppets too!