Anyone who is considering taking a holiday in the tropical paradise of Vietnam simply must take the time to watch a really unique cultural activity of a water puppet performance. Nowhere else in the world can you see this creative way to tell a story that has been enjoyed in the paddy fields of Vietnam for hundreds of years.
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Some Background Knowledge
The puppets are handcrafted from wood and lacquered to make them waterproof. They stand waist deep in water, and are controlled using string and bamboo poles by the puppeteers who are also standing waist deep in water behind a screen. There are a group of singers who tell the story using song, and this is called Cheo, an old Vietnamese art form. The themes of the stories typically involve rice field activities like kite flying, children playing and buffalo fighting.
Where To Watch A Water Puppet Show
Hanoi is the best place to catch a water puppet performance, and if you search online and book one of the luxury tours to Vietnam, you can incorporate a trip to the water puppet show. A luxury guided tour of Vietnam empowers you to really know the background of this amazing country, and with an English-speaking local guide, you get to know all about their interesting culture and customs. The great thing about planning a tour is that you can include venues that really interest you, and as Vietnam is such a large country, you are advised to do some online research, which will help you to choose the best regions.
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Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre (Hanoi)
One of the most popular water puppet venues, there are 5 shows per day, each lasting 45 minutes, starting at 3:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m. You’ll be happy to learn that the spectators are not waist deep in water. Try to get there early, in order to get waterside tickets. You can find websites offering information about the performances, which will give you an insight into the history of this national art form that can be found only in Vietnam.
The Vietnam National Puppetry Theatre (Hanoi)
There are two performances daily, at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., but make sure you get there early, as this venue is very popular with tourists and locals alike. Of course, you can avoid queuing and buying tickets by booking a guided tour of Vietnam, which can be tailored to suit the client. English is rarely spoken, and having a local guide will prove invaluable in more ways than one. The local guide will know the best place to eat, which shows you should see, plus a few local attractions that are not on the tourist trail.
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Lotus Water Puppet (Hanoi)
Located in the Hoan Kiem District of Hanoi, this show lasts for 50 minutes, and with 4 shows a day, you can choose a suitable time. The first performance is at 3:30 p.m. and the last showing is 8:00 p.m. The puppeteers are very gifted, making you feel that the puppets really do have a life of their own.
In order to get the most out of your time in Vietnam, search online for a luxury tour operator and they can help you plan an unforgettable holiday in this unique tropical nation.