You have probably heard it before; visit a Water Puppet Theater in Vietnam! And indeed, it is a wonderful experience. Tomi and Mimi were very impressed and laughed all the way at the Thang Long Water Puppet theater in Hanoi. Follow along and and see how we liked it and how you can see it too.

What is a Water Puppet Show?

First things first, what exactly is a water puppet show? As the name suggests it is a puppet theater performance on water! But there is more to that. Originally, puppeteers would perform for their community in the countryside. The puppeteers, standing waist deep in the water, brought to life legends and generation-old stories. Today, Water Puppet Theaters offer amazing family entertainment in theaters all over Vietnam. Have a look at our blog about other Water Puppet Theaters in Vietnam, here.

The crafty puppeteers use long bamboo rods and strings to act out hilarious situations from daily life in the Vietnamese countryside as well as historical events or old tales. Tomi and Mimi were excited to see that there was a big water basin on stage. On each side were the musicians of the Vietnamese orchestra who played and sang traditional music.

The puppeteers move the puppets in such a way that they float on water, splash in the water, dive into the water. Honestly, it is a vivid and lively spectacle. Remember, the puppeteers are behind a screen and cannot see what happens on stage, so all the moves are perfectly choreographed.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater - phoenix dance
Thang Long Water Puppet Theater – phoenix dance

Is a Water Puppet Show worth your time?

At first we thought a water puppet show in Vietnam would be too touristic and we almost didn’t go! Thank goodness we did, because we had such a delightful evening. The live music was such a cultural enrichment and watching the puppets on the water was such a lovely experience.

The Thang Long Water Puppet Theater was almost full and there were a lot of other foreigners enjoying the show. However, it did not make the experience less authentic. Although none of us foreigners understood a word of what was sang, the puppet show spoke largely for itself and there was loud laughter and giggles throughout. According to their website, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater offers an audio guide, but it is not necessary.

Visiting details for Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is located at the lake in Hanoi city center at 57B Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hang Bac Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam.

According to their website they have shows daily at 3pm, 4:10pm, 5:20pm, 6:30pm and 8pm. However, we advise you to check beforehand if these times are still accurate. When we were there in July 2022, there were only 2 shows (5:20 and 6:30) during the week and in the weekends the 8pm as well. You can go to their theater building and ask at the ticket counter (very easy, no need to go inside even) or ask your hotel to inquire for you.

Visit their website for more information:

Google Maps Thang Long Water Puppet Theater location
Thang Long Water Puppet Theater location on Google Maps


We definitely recommend you and your family visit a water puppet show in Vietnam and the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is a wonderful choice. A traditional Vietnamese performance with live music and entertaining puppetry is an experience that will be vividly remembered by all family members.

Share This