The origins and cultural significance of water puppetry

The art of water puppetry has existed for a long time. However, the exact date of its birth is still controversial among cultural researchers. According to historical documents, water puppetry may have appeared since the Northern period around the 10th century. It has been developed and spread through generations, especially in the countryside and riverside. In the 1950s, water puppetry was officially recognized as a theatrical art form and became an integral part of the performing culture throughout Vietnam.

Water puppetry has been associated with the living spirit of Vietnamese people for a long time, bringing fundamental values. The art of water puppetry has always brought about a profound awareness of people and life. Those are realistic paintings that reflect the daily life of farmers, from which we see the relationship between people and people, people and nature. Water puppetry helps us understand Northern farmers' labors, activities, aspirations and dreams. It also allows us to feel the development of history through the prosperity and happiness in their lives. 

Water Puppet Theatre Hanoi

Tourists enjoy watching Vietnam's traditional water puppet show

What is the show about

Water puppets represent many aspects of Vietnamese culture and life. Original water puppet shows are held on rice paddies, making them an essential part of the daily life of Vietnamese farmers. With rice fields, buffaloes, and farm work, they represent the intimate connection between humans and the surrounding natural environment.

A special feature of the water puppet show is that it reflects the unique folklore of the North. The puppets are shaped to simulate everyday activities such as farm work, frogs, foxes and ducks, and traditional festivals such as dragon dance, lion dance, palanquin procession, wrestling and buffalo fighting, as well as legendary stories that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Water Puppet Theatre Hanoi

Each water puppet show contains an interesting story

Notably, the puppets dance in the background of  ethnic music - a typical musical genre of North Vietnam. Instruments such as vocals, drums, cymbals, horns, bamboo flutes and harps to make up the show's accompaniment. It creates a beautiful combination of different elements in the traditional culture of Vietnam.

Water Puppet Theatre Hanoi

Ethnic music is an indispensable factor in the success of a water puppet show

In short, water puppets represent many aspects of Vietnamese life and folklore, bringing a unique combination of farm work, traditional festivals and cheesy music. It is an excellent symbol of Vietnamese people's conventional culture and creativity.

Opening hours and ticket fee

If you are looking for a water puppet theatre Hanoi, you can come to Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. This unique traditional cultural site attracts many foreign tourists when coming to Vietnam. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre has become a popular place for visitors to learn about the classic art of puppetry.

Making advance ticket reservations for the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is advisable, as it is a popular tourist attraction in Hanoi. The theatre has a capacity of several hundred people and creates a space close to the audience by using manageable puppets. During a performance that lasts about an hour, you can enjoy a series of short performances through puppetry sketches.

Water Puppet Theatre Hanoi

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre usually sells out early

Besides the entrance ticket, if you want to take pictures or film the show, there will be an extra fee to use the camera or camcorder. The water puppet theatre Hanoi, including the Thang Long water puppet theatre, offers a unique artistic experience and an opportunity to explore and gain a deeper understanding of Vietnam's traditional culture.

Water Puppet Theatre Hanoi

A water puppet show at Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

If you want to enjoy water puppetry at Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, plan to ensure you have a seat. It is a great experience to discover the traditional and inspirational art of Vietnamese water puppetry.

  • Address:   No. 57b Dinh Tien Hoang, Ly Thai To, Hanoi City.

  • Time: From Monday to Saturday in the time frames: 13h45, 15h00, 16h10, 17h20, 18h30, 20h00, 21h15. Only on Sunday at the time frames: 09h30 a.m, 13h45p.m, 15h00p.m, 16h10p.m, 17h20p.m, 18h30p.m, 20h00p.m, 21h15p.m.

  • Phone number: +84 43 824 9494.

  • Average price: 100,000 VND (about 3$).

Note: You need to pick up your admission ticket at the vendor's office at least 30 minutes before the start of the show.

Water Puppet Theatre Hanoi

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre attracts many tourists to explore

Tip for the best experience at Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre

Most passionate visitors want to experience water puppetry, a unique art form. To help everyone enjoy the fun and meaningful water puppet show. Here are some tips to help you enjoy a great experience at the Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre:

  • The performance schedule at the Water Puppet Theatre Hanoi locations varies from place to place. Therefore, you should contact us in advance or check the website for the exact time of each performance.

  • Making advanced ticket reservations for the Water Puppet Theatre Hanoi, notably the renowned Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, is highly recommended. It is crucial due to the high demand and frequent overcrowding, especially during the peak tourist season.

  • Arrive about 30 minutes before the show to choose good seats and explore the theater before the show begins. It also keeps you from feeling rushed and takes advantage of pre-show activities.

  • It is advisable to learn about Vietnamese legends and folk tales in advance. It will help you better understand and appreciate the performances, as most water puppet shows are based on these cultural stories.

  • Choose a chair in the center of the stage to see the best performances and puppets. However, it should be noted that the front row seats may get wet due to water splashes from the scene.

  • The Water Puppet Theatre Hanoi brings a lot of laughter and joy. Each water puppet show lasts about 45 minutes, so you can still arrange a time to visit other famous attractions of Hanoi.

  • Comply with theater regulations, such as no use of phone flash during the performance. Ensures everyone can enjoy the performance without being disturbed.

  • Each Hanoi water puppet show venue has different reasonable prices. If you have time, you should spend a session to see. Guaranteed, you will be mesmerized by this genre.


The water puppet show in Hanoi promises to bring wonderful moments of relaxation to visitors and at the same time, help you understand more deeply about the traditional beauty of Vietnam. When traveling to the capital of Vietnam, do not miss the opportunity to visit the Water Puppet Theatre Hanoi to experience and enjoy an outstanding performance. And if you are looking for best Vietnam package tour, feel free to contact us for more details!