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Thang Long Water Puppet Theater: Explore the wonders of traditional art

10/01/2024 20.924

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is a renowned old theater in the capital city of Hanoi, representing the artistry of Vietnamese culture. The site has amazed many visitors with sparkling performances of controlling puppets and enchanting tales.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

Hanoi is an alluring city with more than 1,000 years of history, rich culture, delectable cuisine, and countless attractions. Tourists who are fond of Vietnamese classical art should not miss out on Thang Long Water Puppet Theater on their Hanoi travel. The theater has captivated thousands of visitors every year coming to admire world-famous water puppet shows.

1. Where is Thang Long Water Puppet Theater? How to get there?

  • Address: No. 57B, Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is located in the heart of Hanoi Old Quarter, near Hoan Kiem Lake, which is easily accessible from most parts of Hanoi.

There are several ways to get to the theater depending on your starting point:

  • By walking: If you are staying in the Old Quarter, you can easily walk to the theater.
  • By taxi or motorcycle taxi: You can catch a taxi or motorcycle taxi on the street, or book them on ride-hailing platforms such as Grab or Gojek.
  • By bus: You can take buses number 04, 146, 18, or 42 and get off at the Hoan Kiem Lake bus stop, which is about a 5-minute walk away from the theater.

It is recommended to arrive at the theater at least 30 minutes before the show starts to ensure you have enough time to get your ticket and find your seat.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

2. The development of Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is a famous cultural attraction in Hanoi, offering more than 500 traditional Vietnamese water puppet shows. The performances often depict scenes from Vietnamese folklore, history, and daily life, accompanied by live music.

The history of the theater dates back to the 11th century, during the Ly Dynasty when water puppetry was first introduced in the Red River Delta region of Vietnam. Influenced by the rice cultivation culture, water puppetry was initially performed in rice paddies and ponds of rural villages during festivals and special occasions. The art was eventually brought to the imperial court in Hanoi and became a popular form of entertainment.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

In 1969, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater Hanoi was established to preserve and showcase the traditional art to a wider audience. Today, the theater brings performances that are both entertaining and educational. Every year, more than 150,000 visitors from all over the world flock to the theater and marvel at its wonderful Hanoi water puppet shows.

Today, water puppetry has become a significant cultural symbol of Vietnam. In 2010, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater was recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

3. How to book Thang Long Water Puppet Theater tickets?

You can book e-tickets on the official website of Thang Long Water Puppet Theater or any reputable ticketing website that offers bookings for the theater. Alternatively, you can also purchase tickets in person at the theater's ticket booth.

It is recommended to book tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, as the shows can get fully booked quickly. The prices of Thang Long Water Puppet Theater tickets vary, depending on the type of ticket and the time of the show. 

  • Standard tickets: 150,000 VND (~6.14 USD)
  • VIP tickets: 200,000 VND (~8.72 USD)

Note that ticket prices may change over time. It is best to check the official website for the latest information.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

4. What to expect in a show at Thang Long Water Puppet Theater?

Coming to Thang Long Water Puppet Theater in Hanoi, visitors can expect a sparkling water puppet show Vietnam. The theater has also expanded its repertoire to include other forms of Vietnamese traditional art, such as folk music and dances.

  • Water puppetry: The show is performed by skilled puppeteers standing in waist-deep water behind a bamboo screen and manipulating puppets. The puppets are made of wood and lacquered to make them waterproof. The puppets themselves are beautifully crafted and designed to look like various animals, mythical creatures, and human figures.
  • Live music: The show is accompanied by live traditional Vietnamese music played on instruments such as bamboo flutes and drums.
  • Storytelling: The show features a variety of stories from Vietnamese folklore, mythology, and daily life. Some stories depict typical scenes of the countryside, such as rice cultivation and fishing, while others tell tales of dragons, fairies, and other mythical creatures.
  • Visual effects: Over the years, the theater has been expanded and modernized, with new technologies being incorporated into the performances. Today, the show includes various visual effects, such as fireworks, smoke, laser lighting, and water splashes, to enhance the performances.
  • Audience participation: Some shows at Thang Long Water Puppet Theater also involve audience participation, with some of the audience invited to come up on stage and interact with the puppets.
Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

Some of the best puppet shows in Hanoi that no visitors to Thang Long Water Puppet Theater should miss out on are:

  • The Legend of the Returned Sword: Telling the story of King Le Thai To, who received a magical sword that helped him defeat invaders and restore peace to the kingdom.
  • Rice Harvest: Depicting the process of rice cultivation using traditional farming techniques.
  • Dragon Dance: Showing the traditional dragon dance, a popular performance in Vietnamese culture.

Each show typically lasts around 50 minutes. Hanoi water puppet shows start at 3:30 pm - 5 pm - 6:30 pm - 8 pm - 9:15 pm daily and Sunday at 9:30 am.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

In addition to Thang Long Water Puppet Theater, Hanoi boasts a plethora of other incredible attractions which clearly reflect Vietnamese history and culture, such as Hoan Kiem Lake, Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi Opera House, Presidential Palace, Tran Quoc Pagoda, etc. 

Located just a short distance away from Thang Long Water Puppet Theater and other famous tourist sites in Hanoi, Vinpearl Aquarium and VinKE Times City is also worth adding to your bucket list. 

As one of the largest aquariums in Vietnam, Vinpearl Aquarium Hanoi covers a space of approximately 4,000 square meters with more than 30,000 colorful sea creatures from several continents, offering immersive experiences in the wonders of the ocean. Meanwhile, VinKE Times City offers a play-and-learn environment that helps kids absorb essential knowledge and nurture their career aspirations. 

Vinpearl Aquarium and VinKE Times City is easily accessible by public transportation, making it a convenient and enjoyable destination for families with children, couples, and anyone passionate about marine life and interactive entertainment.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

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Vietnam is a charming country in Southeast Asia that offers tourists an array of attractions and experiences, from vibrant urban centers, stunning natural scenery to ancient sites. Besides the capital of Hanoi, there are numerous charming cities for travelers to explore in Vietnam, such as Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An.

As for accommodation, Vinpearl is a top-rated brand in Vietnam with luxurious amenities and high-class services, located in the most famous tourist destinations in the country. Vinpearl has a system of hotels and resorts with spacious rooms/villas, world-class dining options, rejuvenating spa services, outdoor swimming pools, golf courses, and other exciting activities for guests of all ages. A stay here guarantees a memorable vacation in Vietnam and an immersive experience of the local culture and natural beauty.

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Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

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Thang Long Water Puppet Theater in Hanoi offers a unique blend of traditional Vietnamese music, storytelling, and puppetry that is sure to delight and amaze visitors of all ages. It is a fantastic way to learn about Vietnamese culture and history in a fun and engaging way. Whether you are traveling solo or with family and friends, the Hanoi water puppet show is an amazing cultural experience you won't forget. 

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