Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is an ideal cultural spot for you; with a “unique” water puppet show; is an extremely attractive spiritual “specialty”, always ready to serve.

Over the years, the brand of Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre has been known as a miracle; especially with a “strange” charm; has become a favorite destination for many domestic and international friends.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre Entrance


From the theatre, just a few dozen minutes walk, you can visit, and explore many famous landmarks of Hanoi Capital; such as Ngoc Son Temple, Opera House, Temple of Literature, Hanoi Old Quarter, Vietnam National History Museum, Hoa Lo Prison

What is water puppetry?

Water puppetry is an art form born around the 11th century in the Red River Delta, Vietnam. This is an art form that is often performed on festivals, village festivals, happy days, and New Year’s Day.

Modern water puppetry takes place in a 4 square meter lake with the water as the stage. The performances take place in the same setting as the traditional ponds in the Vietnamese countryside. The stage and puppets are filled with vivid colors; Colored lights and mist on the murky water add to the mystery.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre Main Stage

Main Stage

The wooden puppets used in Vietnamese water puppet shows are handmade and can weigh up to 13KG each. Up to 8 puppeteers stand behind a curtain of black strewn, decorated to resemble the facade of a temple and control puppets.

The puppet show

The puppet show

Because this is an art form imbued with folk elements, it has quickly become a traditional art with a high position in the national theater background. And to keep the tradition, Vietnam’s water puppet shows are often performed without using English.

The puppeteer greets the audience at the end of the show

The puppeteer greets the audience at the end of the show

The history of Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

The theatre was established in October 1969. Over nearly half a century of formation and development; from an art troupe only 9 actors graduated from Hanoi Art School.

Now the theatre has two cast members and functional departments; with a force of officially trained staff, artists, actors, technicians … creative, full of enthusiasm. They can assume many roles, many styles of performance, … on par with international puppeteers.

From a poor physical arts troupe, specializing in shallow puppet performances; The theatre now has a theatre specializing in water puppetry with modern equipment, meeting the needs of all audiences.

The theatre has nearly 300 seats, spacious, airy in summer, and warm in winter … The difference between Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is to create its own step.

The theatre always puts national and traditional elements on top; focuses on development under the motto of inheritance but not stereotyping.

Over the past 20 years, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre – Hanoi has always been the red address attracting audiences 365 / day/year; Regularly every day, continuously acting from 5-7 performances to meet the needs of the audience.

Asia Book of Records Certificate

Asia Book of Records Certificate

The theatre has become the leading brand of Vietnamese puppetry; is the only theatre in Vietnam, holding the Asian record “The only theatre in Asia to perform water puppetry 365 days a year“.

Where is Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is located on Dinh Tien Hoang Street; next to the ancient Hoan Kiem Lake, in the heart of Hanoi Capital.

The Weekly Thang Long Water Puppet show schedule

The traditional water puppet show will start at 15h:00, 16h:10, 17h:20, 18h:30, 20h:00

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre show introduce

The traditional water puppet show of Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is selected from more than 400 traditional folk water puppet shows. A traditional Vietnamese orchestra provides background music accompaniment. Singers of Cheo (a form of opera) with origin in North Vietnam sing the songs which tell the story being acted out by the puppets.

Tễu – The iconic character of Water Puppetry

Chú Tễu (“chú” means uncle, man, boy, or Mr. in Vietnamese) is a recurrent and the most notable character in water puppetry. Tễu means “laugh” in ancient Vietnamese.

Main Hall of Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

Chú Tễu

He is a jester who provides witty comments on political and social realities, especially officials’ corruption.

His appearance is of a smiling boy who often wears nothing but a simple loincloth, sometimes accompanied by a simple open vest.

Dragon dance, phoenix dance

The Dragon is considered the ancestor and also the mascot with an important position in the folk culture beliefs of Vietnamese people.

The Phoenix is the mascot of Vietnamese folk beliefs, often living in pairs, the male is Phuong and the female is Loan. The dance of the ‘Loan Phuong’ couple is a symbol of fidelity in married life.

Buffalo riding and playing the flute

Describing the peaceful life of the Vietnamese countryside, the flute’s sound reminded the love of expatriates of the country.

Agriculture, rice planting

The daily work of Vietnamese farmers: plowing, slapping the water, harvesting… That image of hardworking farmers in the field shows the spirit of ardent Vietnamese farmers.

Frog fishing

Telling a humorous story about a farmer’s fishing trip, fishing for frogs is both a livelihood and a pastime for farmers in their leisure time.

Chasing the Fox

This is the story of an old farmer couple who struggles to chase away a sly fox to protect their ducks.


A flock of fish swimming flexibly in the water; A couple of fishermen sitting on a small boat, a farmer shoveling shrimp; A mischievous guy who teases a girl is a vibrant picture of the daily life of Vietnamese farmers. …

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre show information

  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Audience: Recommended for all ages
  • Language: Vietnamese
  • Late Seating: Latecomers are seated at the discretion of management.


  • Some shows even have English subtitles on the screen for international audiences
  • The places right in the middle of the stage, in the front rows, are the best places to watch all the performances and watch the puppets; but you should keep in mind that this is also a very vulnerable location for water splashes.
  • If you want to use the camera, you have to pay an additional fee of 20,000 VND / camera and the video camera will be 60,000 VND / machine. Please inquire about this surcharge when you purchase your ticket.