Located at 57B Dinh Tien Hoang Street near Hoan Kiem Lake, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is one of the most impressive attractions in Hanoi travel on traditional art. In addition, situated right in the Hanoi Old Quarter, this is the ideal place for tourist who would like to explore an exciting dynamic Hanoi but no less charming. Established in October 1969 under the name of Kim Dong Puppet Union, Thang Long Puppet Theater today attracts numerous tourists to Hanoi thanks to its wonderful performances.
Water puppetry is the indigenous cultural quintessence of Red River Delta. It is also a unique art form of Vietnam people. The performances taking place in the aquatic environment in the harmonious combination of color, theatrical scenery, and water reflection... make characters shimmering and magical; simultaneously, increase expression of profound content and rich humanity. This is one of traditional theater forms tourists should not miss in Vietnam in general and Hanoi in particular. Though narrated entirely in Vietnamese language along with music and outside gestures, the wooden puppets can still transmit full content of the story to audiences. The theater is thus always crowded by both domestic and foreign tourists.
These colorful puppets which perform flexible motions on the water combined with excellent sound elements create a unique puppetry of the North Delta. It has become a cultural activity which is indispensable for the locals in the festival from generations to generations. The content of the puppet shows usually revolves the themes of daily life as dragon dances, processions, wrestling, bullfighting... or excerpts from some fairy tales, Thach Sanh, Tam Cam... In the collection of Vietnam water puppet, there are more than 30 traditional repertoires and hundreds of modern ones with the content of the folklore and the daily life of Vietnamese people. This art has not only been the unique spiritual product of the Vietnamese so far, but also become an attractive tourist product alluring international tourists. Tourists have a chance to comfortably immerse themselves in ancient tales, fascinating legends and cheers of the crowd when the dragons or characters suddenly appeared from underwater.
Thang Long Water Puppet Theater has brought the artistic quintessence of Vietnam culture to many parts of the world such as USA, Japan, and Switzerland... The theater implemented hundreds of foreign concert tours and participated in the international theater festival in all continents. Most foreign audiences have expressed their interest and been amazed at artistic essence of Vietnam water puppetry. The theater thus significantly contributes to promote water puppet arts as well as the image of Vietnam country to international friends. In particular, all creativity in the theater derives in principle of inheriting and promoting aesthetic values of traditional puppetry arts. Water puppet works presented in the theater not only bring contemporary rhythm breath and human values but also are imbued with national cultural identity in order to become a fascinating tourism product. Currently, water puppetry is on the nominee list of the world's cultural heritage.
Thang Long Water Puppet Theater plays an important role in promoting the distinctive art when combining with Hanoi travel. Most Hanoi tours consist of a water puppet show in their schedule. In particular, the theater offers 4 to 5 performing programs daily for the tourists’ choice. Through water puppetry repertoires, foreign audiences will certainly understand more about the life and culture in Vietnam; simultaneously, Thang LongWater Puppet Theater contributes to enhance the prestige of the culture and art in Hanoi, and image of friendly Hanoi tourism over the world.