• Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Duration: 4 hours (approx.)
From USD $ 59.00 View price calendar

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Experience the magic of a water puppet show at a traditional theater in Hanoi on this exciting 4-hour cultural excursion. Catch a glimpse of Vietnam’s colorful past as you marvel at expertly wielded puppets performing on the water’s surface. Pleasure your palate with an array of delectable dishes during a traditional buffet dinner and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of a bustling market during a brief stop prior to the puppet show. Enjoy an intimate atmosphere on this enriching small-group tour, on which numbers are limited to eight people. 


  • 4-hour Hanoi evening including water puppet show and dinner
  • Hear traditional legends as your guide helps you follow the storyline at a water puppet theater
  • Enjoy a selection of Vietnamese dishes at Sen Tay Ho restaurant’s dinner buffet
  • Round-trip hotel transport by minivan included
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of eight people ensures a personalized experience

What You Can Expect

Water Puppet Show with Buffet Dinner from Hanoi

Water Puppet Show with Buffet Dinner from Hanoi

Depart from your Hanoi hotel in a comfortable, air-conditioned minivan and venture to a local market to immerse yourself in the vibrant Vietnamese culture. Browse stalls bursting with exotic ingredients and listen as your knowledgeable guide directs your attention to objects of interest, then travel to either the Long Water Puppet Theatre of Bong Sen Theatre depending on availability. 

Gain fascinating insight into the origin of water puppetry from your guide then take a seat to witness a 50-minute performance that offers a unique glimpse into traditional Vietnamese culture. Be mesmerized by historical tales and folkloric legends as masterful puppeteers control wooden puppets with long bamboo rods. Understand the complex storylines with help from your guide and enjoy melodious musical accompaniments from a talented Vietnamese orchestra. 

After the captivating show concludes, heads to West Lake to satisfy your appetite with an exquisite array of traditional Vietnamese dishes. Absorb the elegant decoration and charming ambience as you feast on dishes such as spring rolls, tender pork belly and fresh seafood followed by a sweet treat. 

Sated, return to your spacious vehicle and relax during the journey back to your Hanoi hotel.

Customer Reviews

Susan S. W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

the puppet show was well done, the puppeteers expert, the length perfect for a western audienc

Natalia L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Really enjoyed it. The tour guide was very helpful and the buffet dinner was fantastic famous vitamise street food, sea food, Japanese cousin. It is one of the best memory of Hanoi


5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

Love it, totally worth our extra money we paid for private, it was truly exclusive for me and my family of 3, got the whole medium size boat by ourselves, impressed by the tour guide "Toan" whose English was very good. We were taken care of by Toan in the most friendly and professional way, big thanks.

Patricia P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2014

Totally recommend this show - we went not sure what to expect but it was one of the highlights of our stay in Hanoi. Though we could not understand the whole story (told in Vietnamese), the puppets and the whole play were so lively that you know (or guess!) what is happening quite well. This is a small theater, very intimate and we were lucky to sit up close. We were happily surprised to hear live music and singing, which really made the whole evening memorable.

Mary A

4 star rating: Recommended October 2016

Show was not bad, but not as big a production as I was expecting thought there would be more puppets. The guide was friendly. Buffet dinner was better than I expected and one of the best meals I had in Hanoi, with a huge variety of food available. Overall a good night out.


4 star rating: Recommended August 2015

As a cultural activity this was excellent, but not to my taste and this was NOT their fault. The meal was a surprise and a very pleasant one. It was superb!

Susan M

4 star rating: Recommended October 2014

A great evening out in Hanoi. The traditional water puppet show was entertaining and the international buffet dinner was sensational and quite unexpected. The guide was very happy to show us around parts of Hanoi that we may not of seen and took his lead from us.

Julia C

3 star rating: Worth doing May 2017

The show is ok if you have not seen a water puppet show. Can do without the dinner though. Have to travel about half an hour to a restaurant in the outskirts. Place is big with many buffet stations but so are the number of people rushing for the food.Standard of food - average.


1 star rating: I do not recommend this January 2018


The Tour Itself: We were picked up at 4:30 by our guide who immediately hurried us into a van for a 5pm showing of the Water Puppet theatre. Upon getting into the van we were told in broken English 'You're going to the the Water Puppet Theatre now', the guide then proceeded to talk to the driver in Vietnamese for the next twenty minutes. We were then dropped at the theatre without any explanation whatsoever of the show and told to come and find the driver and guide when the show was over. The guide was unable to answer any questions whatsoever relating to Water Puppets or their history at one point my partner asked 'How long has the theatre been in Hanoi?' to which the guide stated 'I don't know'. We also asked how old Water Puppet shows were to which he said '900 years I think?'. Other than that there was no conversation from the guide.

Following the show the guide escorted us back to the van and we were deposited at a buffet dinner that was not at Westlake but around the corner from the show which had almost no Vietnamese dishes but entirely French cuisine which was appallingly low quality and honestly the only bad food we had throughout our entire trip in Vietnam before immediately being taken back to the van and dumped back at our hotel at 7pm whilst our 'guide' and the van driver talked the entire time without saying a word to us. The '4 hour' tour lasted less than 2 hours with no historical context given and no interaction from our guide, including skipping the trip promised in the description to the market. When our complaints were expressed to the tour provider we were told that the guide had given us 'lots' of context with less than two sentences said and that as it was a weekend and certain streets were closed in the Old Quarter they had to skip two hours of the tour Keep in mind we could've gone on foot with the guide and the Old Quarter has these streets closed literally every weekend and no refunds would be provided. This is the only bad experience we've had in over a month in Vietnam and I feel genuinely bad for having to write it.


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