Water Puppets Theatre
An excellent idea if you are in Saigon or Hanoi is to see the Water Puppets. It is something original and a beautiful view of the Vietnamese traditions. I have seen the performance in both cities and I find it really amazing. The public is always full of foreigners.
Well, it is not about classic puppets or something like that. It seems something coming out of old Vietnamese rural traditions, since all stories illustrate the rural life, specially of rice fields and fishery at the Mekong Delta. The puppets perform all the time on water, a pond which background is a pagoda-like with flags and parasols and the characteristic Vietnamese colors and designs. Instead of ropes holding the puppets, it seems a mechanism of poles and robes underwater. It is impossible to contemplate all the mechanism and sometimes you can see a kind of pole holding the puppet. The artist are behind the curtain or pagoda-like, then, at side and side, we have six musicians: women and men, performing with traditional instruments and singing what the puppets are doing, with effects such as drum beats, fire crackers and chorus.
It is about the rural daily life and festivals. The show starts with the dragon dancing and it is amazing to see the effect of fire coming out from them in the middle of water.
You can find it in Saigon at the 55B Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, District 1 at 17:00, 18:30 and 19:45 for 160,000 Dong for adults. Call to (+84) 8 3930 2196.
In Hanoi it is at 57b Ding Tien Hoang, just in front to the Ho Hoan Kiem Lake, same schedule. You can call to (+84) 4 3936 4335.