Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre – an iconic Hanoi Attraction

Strongly standing at 57B, Dinh Tien Hoang street, nearby Sword Lake, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is a common address for both domestic tourists and foreign ones, who want to enjoy water puppet shows and discovery the beauty of unique Vietnam traditional art.


The well- known Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi has its base in an art form that dates back to the 11th century. The main purpose of water puppet theater stems from an idea  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.

As mention below, in Water Puppet performance, traveler can clearly recognize  its content is daily life of Vietnamese farmers (cultivating, tending buffalo, catching fishes, ), communal entertainment (swimming contest, dragon dancing…), or historical legends (Le Loi returns precious sword), with modest performance way, have appealed audiences for centuries.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is one of the most remarkable tourist attractions in Hanoi with tickets selling out well in advance so it’s worth booking yours as soon as you arrive in town. It is also advisable to pay more to get closer to the action as the theater seats a few hundred people and the puppets are not that big. The theater is modern and usually shows 17 short sketches over a one-hour performance. The Water Puppet Theater show is one of the highlights of ancient Hanoi Tour. Thang Long water puppetry is a traditional art form with distinctive culture identity of Vietnam. It came to existence, developed and diversified over a thousand years ago in the Red River Delta. Thanks to unique performances in waist high water, Thang Long water puppetry art is famous and highly appreciated all over the world. The puppeteers at Thang Long Water Puppet Theater have attracted such many audiences all over the world.

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Today, the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is one of the traditional puppet theater also operate and lacquered wooden puppet theater has become famous around the world. Since 1990 the theater regularly organizes international touring and have attended many art festivals worldwide. The art of water puppetry is unique to the areas surrounding the Red River (Song Hong) and not to be missed when you are in Hanoi. Particular,  Water Puppet performances are accompanied by traditional Vietnamese folk music played on drums, cymbals, wooden bells, horns, bamboo flutes, and a single stringed guitar. The music is a compulsory part of the show, with the instrumentalists often shouting words of encouragement to the puppets.  For each single show, the audience should waste from VND60.000 for children to 100.000 for the adult  to buy the ticket for enjoying this Vietnam famous pieces of ancient art.