The Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is the best place to witness the eponymous art form integral to the country. The Vietnamese tradition of water puppetry dates back to the 11th century when the rice fields got flooded and the villagers made entertainment by standing in water with puppets.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is one of the most popular 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 theatre seats a few hundred people and the puppets are not that big. The theatre is modern and usually shows 17 short sketches within a one-hour performance. Aside from the general admission fee of VND 100,000, there's an additional camera or video fee if you wish to photograph or film the show.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater offers the most authentic experience with a Vietnamese orchestra playing traditional songs about agricultural harvests and mythical legends that are acted out by puppets in a pool of water. A famous ancient Vietnamese tradition, water puppetry has been in practice for thousands of years. And when in Vietnam, there is no better place to experience it than at The Thang Long Water Theater in Hanoi. A popular tourist spot, it stays open all days of the week. In a unique performance like no other, historical stories are told through puppets on water.


The practice of water puppetry began a 1000 years ago in the water-filled rice paddies of Northern Vietnam. Dating back to 11th century, the tradition started as a form of entertainment. After the rice paddies would be flooded by the Red River, puppeteers would appear with wooden puppets to perform and amuse the rural people. Numerous stories - of the daily lives of farmers and fishermen, legends of dragons and other historical tales - were told.

Show Timings

Five shows are held every day of the week at Thang Long Water Puppet Theater, with an extra show on Sunday mornings. Don't worry about missing out as the show runs 365 days a year.

The timings may vary but they are usually at 03:00 PM, 04:10 PM, 05:20 PM, 06:30 PM and 08:00 PM.

What to Expect?

Today, in modern Vietnam, talented puppeteers tell similar tales in cosy auditoriums. Established in 1969, The Thang Long Water Puppet Theater uses a stage filled with water as the setting of the performance. Puppeteers stand hidden behind a screen in waist-high water as they manoeuvre exquisite handcrafted wooden puppets, narrating historical legends and the stories of the daily lives of the Vietnamese fishermen and farmers. Teamed with changing mood lights and authentic Vietnamese orchestra music, the complete scene looks magical.

Opening Hours: Daily 15:00, 16:10, 17:20, 18:30 & 20:00
Address: 57B, Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Tel: +84 43 824 9494
Price Range: VND 100,000
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