The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre

Attraction 55B Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam Published on: 13-11-2015

1 hour
06:30 PM - 08:00 PM
06:30 PM
07:00 PM
First-time visit Second-time visit
Must see
8.00 USD

The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre 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.
Water puppet show upholds the culture, the traditions of this country and is acted like normal human beings by the well-trained artists.

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Why The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre is special ?

Traditional Vietnamese Water Puppet Shows remain one of the cultural draws for most travellers to Ho Chi Minh City. Originating in the sodden rice paddies of the Red River Delta in North Vietnam, the two most popular places to see a water puppet show in Ho Chi Minh are at The Golden Dragon Water Puppetry Theatre and at the Villa Song Saigon (formerly Thao Dien Village). Depicting the culture, traditions and folklore of Vietnamese life, visitors are entertained by puppets acting on a ‘stage’ of water accompanied by live old-fashioned music played on authentic instruments.

Shows are performed entirely in Vietnamese which is not a problem for the visiting tourist as the puppet gestures are obvious enough to keep the audience enthralled. The musicians are often positioned to one side of the stage adding in sound effects and songs as the people-styled puppets, dragons, fairies and other ornamental figures dance across the stage.


What to explore at The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre?

The 1,000-year-old folk art form of water puppetry spins the traditional stories and folk melodies of Vietnam into a lavish, over-the-top spectacle: multi-colored phoenixes and copper turtles, fantastical jumping fish, pirouetting dragons spouting water.

The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre of Saigon perform alongside the 7-member orchestra Rup Tung Cack–the Vietnamese description of drums beating–whose distinct blend of rural and contemporary Vietnam showcases the country’s colorful heritage. Featuring more than 15 different instruments, including gongs, kettle drums, bamboo flutes, zithers, and two-stringed violins, Rup Tung Cack’s arrangements help the puppets come vividly to life in this truly magical show, a rare treat for North American audiences (last seen in Seattle in 2002). This performance is appropriate for adults, and for children ages 3 and up/grades Pre-K and up.


How to get to The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre?

Golden Water Puppet Theatre is located on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, just a short distance from the Reunification Palace in the Labour Cultural House. You can get there form this area on foot or catch a taxi to this place

Selling points

  • What a whimsical and fun experience
  • Excellent insight into traditional Vietnamese culture
  • Just wonderful and very different
  • Unique Vietnamese Entertainment
  • Legends and mysteries acted out very professionally
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5.0 days
186.98 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
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55B Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

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Tips for you

  • Language is in Vietnamese and thus we were not able to understand the tales being depicted. There are however brochures to explain the stories.
  • In the first row, you might get a bit wet, and from about the 7th row, you are a bit far for all the details. So, I recommend a seat in rows B-F, and if you are tall, an aisle seat.
  • Beware of pickpockets roaming around outside the theatre.
  • It is located at 55B Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
  • Parking lot is available.
  • There are three shows a day (5, 6.30 and 7.45 pm), and costing only160,000 dong (about £8)
    Ticket and Pricing
  • Tickets for performances at The Golden Dragon should be bought in advance from a tour operator to avoid disappointment as the theatre is small with limited seats.
    Ticket and Pricing


FourSquare View more

A very interesting and fun show, i enjoyed it very much. Beautiful traditional music arrangement, love it!

TripAdvisor View more

Understand that this is a very humble, and old, traditional, cultural activity. It is purposefully low-tech, which is what makes it charming. It involves the use of handmade puppets on sticks by puppeteers who are in the water (behind screens until the very end, when they come out to take a bow and for the audience to see them). The stories are very traditionally themed, based on Vietnamese culture and stories. The dialogue and music is all done live and with traditional instruments (which is so charming and cute). It is a wonderful thing to experience, and is great for kids, groups, couples, etc. I have seen the ones in Hanoi, NhaTrang, and in Ho Chi Minh city and enjoyed them all. You can even buy copies of the puppets for very fair prices and keep three of them on display at home. I think this is a worthwhile activity on a trip to Saigon. I am an American living full-time in Saigon and I like to take my friends and family there when they visit me in Ho Chi Minh City. Tickets can sell out (often) due to groups buying them in bulk, so make sure to plan ahead. Have fun. ^_^ Don't be disappointed when they tell you no photography, as I can imagine it would really interfere with all the flashes and people holding up their gear in front of other people's views.

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