I feel like the water puppet theatre is just one of those things you can’t miss when you’re in Hanoi – it’d be like skipping the Eiffel Tower when you visit Paris. And with a relatively cheap price (60,000 – 100,000 VND), for forty minutes of a somewhat confusing, yet entertaining performance, why not see it?
So that’s exactly what I did.
I even went for the expensive ticket, which got me a seat close to the middle in the second row from the front!
The show itself follows a set routine running through various parts of the culture and history of Vietnam. Performances ranged from a dragons dance, agricultural work and even the return of the sword (you’ll need to understand a little history of Hoan Kiem Lake for that one). I only know this because there were (fortunately) some English show guides inside which list the different performances. Without that, the whole thing would have just been a range of puppets splashing about in water for me.
Water puppetry has been around in Vietnam for many centuries now, and I believe this is the reason why I enjoyed seeing the show so much. It’s a part of the history of the country, and it’s always nice to get involved in that.
While it’s not something I would return to see again myself (although this is my second time), I believe it’s something everyone should take a look at when going through Hanoi.
Here’s some shots I took during the show:
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