Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

Attraction 57B Dinh Tien Hoang, Hanoi, Vietnam Published on: 19-12-2017

1 hour
04:00 PM - 09:00 PM
07:00 PM
08:00 PM
First-time visit
Must see
4.48 USD

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is where you will be amazed by one of the popular traditional performance in Viet Nam, especially in northen areas.

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Why Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is special ?

The world-famous Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi has its roots in an art form that dates back to the 11th century. The tradition of water puppet theatre stems from a time when rice paddy fields were flooded and villagers would make entertainment by standing in the waist-deep water with the puppets performing over the water.

Using large rods to support the puppets it appeared as if they were moving across the water with the puppeteers hidden behind a screen.

This tradition is unique to North Vietnam but has recently found fame on stages all over the world; so it’s a rare treat to see the puppets perform in their original location at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. Performances are accompanied by a Vietnamese orchestra playing traditional music using drums, wooden bells, horns, bamboo flutes and cymbals. There are also authentic Vietnamese operatic songs telling the story that is being acted out by the puppets. Most of the shows recount Vietnamese folk tales and legends with topics including the celebration of the rice harvest depicted in a humorous fashion.

What to explore at Thang Long Water Puppet Theater?

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.

Selling points

  • Great for kids and adults alike
  • Surprisingly entertaining and fun!
  • Spectacular show
  • Fun and colorful
  • Great experience
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9.0 days
238.81 USD
Total travel distance
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57B Dinh Tien Hoang, Hanoi, Vietnam

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Tips for you

  • The seat is not really comfortable. It's advisable for you to take tickets at front rows.
  • The show is in Vietnamese only so it's best if you read some information about this show before visiting.
  • You need to book tickets at front rows in advance for clearer view.
  • Showtimes are available at the side of the counter. Be patient while queuing, there are bound to be people who will cut past the queue.


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A nice, attractive show :-)

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Các bạn nước ngoài tới Hà Nội la rất thích thú chỗ này.

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Dont pay the camera ticket.

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If you want to watch water puppet show in vietnam, this is the place. Unique and entertaining. Many showtimes a day but come early to buy tickets as many are pre-booked by tour groups.

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Zero leg room. Beware if you're tall

TripAdvisor View more

This was a show I really enjoyed! It wasn't dull even for a moment. We had excellent seats in the second row. Kept wondering how they managed the puppets so well in water! Really worth a visit

TripAdvisor View more

We went for the puppet show. It was interesting how the puppeteers made the puppets come alive but as the whole show was in local language, as a tourist, I have no idea what the story is about. Only able to make out some of it from the brochure taken from outside the theater.Overall, it is a good experience. Recommend to get VIP seats at USD$10 per person. You will get better view since you will be seated in front and you just need to arrive 10mins before any of the 5 showtimes to purchase your tickets from the ticket booth. You can also find lots of eateries and the night market near the theater. Have fun!

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The whole family enjoyed the puppet show, although there was the obvious language barrier as the majority of the show was in Vietnamese.Well worth the experience.Recommend a visit.

TripAdvisor View more

Really enjoyed the water puppet performance in Hanoi. Puppeteers are fantastic in what they do and puppets are colourful and tell their story well. I would like to take my nieces and nephews as I think they would also love it. I also enjoyed learning how water puppet theatre came about. The singers and music accompanying the puppets was also fantastic.

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It is way too long, especially since the puppets don't move around very much, but you definitely should go while you're in Hanoi as it goes by pretty quickly. Book early for a better seat.

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Itineraries include Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

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