Thang Long Water Puppet Theater Tours

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The art form of water puppetry originated at least 1,000 years ago in the rice fields of north Vietnam. Particularly if you’re traveling with kids, you’d be remiss to leave Hanoi without catching a show at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater. A Vietnamese orchestra accompanies the water puppets, with some modern special effects.

The Basics
Right next to Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Restored Sword) in the heart of the Old Quarter, the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater offers five shows a day complete with dry ice and fireworks. Shows are very popular, so book your water-puppet tickets ahead of time during high season; consider having tickets delivered to your hotel room to beat long lines upon arrival.

A few Hanoi city tours include Thang Long Water Puppet Theater tickets, sometimes combined with a walking tour or food tour of the Old Quarter, a street-food haven with plenty of historical alleys.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is a must for families.
  • The puppet performance lasts barely an hour, so neither adults nor children will have time to get bored.
  • Unlike some outdoor water-puppet shows, Thang Long is an enclosed theater, which means it’s pleasant even during winter.
  • There is a café on-site if you’d like to eat before or after your performance, as well as souvenir shops.

How to Get There
Right in the heart of the Old Quarter, close to Hoan Kiem Lake, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is an easy, pleasant walk from Old Quarter hotels, where most tourists stay. If you’re staying farther afield, buses 8, 9, 14, 31, and 36 run to Hoan Kiem Lake—or simply book tickets as a package with round-trip transfers.

When to Get There
Like most theaters, the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is busiest on weekends, so visit during the week for a quieter session. There are five shows per day, from mid-afternoon through late evening, with an additional morning show on Sundays. As with elsewhere in Vietnam, it can be packed over the Tet (Lunar New Year) period.

The History of the Water Puppets
Both China and Southeast Asia have a rich puppeteering tradition, but water puppets are a specifically Vietnamese creation. They originated in the flooded rice paddies of the Red River Delta and have been documented for over 1,000 years—since Hanoi was first established. During summer, outdoor performances feel more atmospheric and closer to the original rice fields.
Location
Address: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hanoi, Vietnam
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Admission: Varies
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Water Puppet Entrance Tickets with Hanoi Hotel Ticket Delivery

Skip the lines and the hassle with this book ahead service that includes Water Puppet entrance tickets and delivery to your Hanoi hotel. Choose from several showtimes to fit your travel schedule and wait for tickets to be delivered to you! Arrive at the theater 15 minutes before showtime and prepare to experience one of Vietnam's most memorable traditional art forms live on stage.
  • Duration: 50 minutes
From
$11.00 USD
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  • Duration: 50 minutes
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$11.00 USD

Water Puppet Show and Old Quarter Walking Tour of Hanoi

Admire the age-old art of Vietnamese puppetry at a water puppet show, followed by a 1-hour walking tour of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Skip the ticket lines with your pre-booked admission, then meet your professional guide after the show for a stroll through ‘36 Old Streets,’ aka the Old Quarter. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of local life with informative commentary about its traditional craft guilds.
  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$32.00 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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$32.00 USD

Private Full-Day Guided Tour of Hanoi Including Lunch

Take in some of Hanoi’s top monuments and traditional Vietnamese culture during this 12-hour private sightseeing trip. Explore famous Hanoi attractions like Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Hoan Kiem Lake, and much more. You’ll also get to mingle with locals in the city’s Old Quarter and enjoy a traditional water puppet show performance. Lunch, admission fees and transport are all included.
  • Duration: 12 hours
From
$37.00 USD
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  • Duration: 12 hours
From
$37.00 USD

Private Hanoi Street Food Tour and Water Puppet Show

Immerse yourself in Hanoi's bustling nightlife on this 4-hour private culinary tour. Stroll through the city's streets after dark and taste local street food, then attend a traditional water puppet show. Round-trip private transportation included.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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$41.25 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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$41.25 USD

3-Night Best of Hanoi: City Tour and Halong Bay Overnight Cruise

Explore Vietnam's capital city of Hanoi then soak in the tranquility of an overnight cruise on Halong Bay. Your 3-night tour includes guided sightseeing in Hanoi with visits to top sights including Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Old Quarter, One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature and Hoan Kiem Lake’s Ngoc Son Temple. Then experience Halong Bay's exquisite natural beauty during an overnight trip aboard a traditional junk boat. Immerse yourself in scenery of emerald waters punctuated by limestone caves and cliffs. Includes accommodations, most meals and transportation.
  • Duration: 4 days
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$313.00 USD
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  • Duration: 4 days
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$313.00 USD

Hanoi Cyclo City Tour Including Water Puppet Show and Hotel Pickup

Combine two popular activities in Hanoi: a cyclo tour of the Old Quarter followed by a water puppet show. You’re picked up from your hotel by cyclo and pedaled around the city at a relaxed pace. Enjoy unobstructed views of street scenes and capture the perfect photo op en route to Hoan Kiem Lake. Then take a seat at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre for a 1-hour show featuring the Vietnamese art of water puppetry.
  • Duration: 2 hours
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$39.00 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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$39.00 USD

Hanoi Cyclo Ride and Water Puppet Show

Explore Hanoi on a morning sightseeing tour and take a cyclo ride around the Old Quarter in the afternoon. A knowledgeable guide first accompanies you to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology and Tran Quoc Pagoda on West Lake. After lunch, walk to Ngoc Son Temple on Hoa Kiem Lake, followed by a water puppet show at the end of the day.
  • Duration: 1 day
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$59.00 USD
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  • Duration: 1 day
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$59.00 USD


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