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Top Vietnamese Cultural Shows and Performances

1/ Traditional Vietnamese Water puppet

Legend has it that, from about 1000 years ago this performance was inspired by the common life of peasants in Northern Vietnam. The stage has a frugal appearance in the middle of a shallow pond formed from the waist-deep water level of cultivated paddies. The concept based on the heart of rural Vietnamese activities such as fishing, agriculture, and traditional tales and stories. When viewing one of these plays, you will not only be able to witness people’s lives but also appreciate the creative side of these farmers – puppeteers. Flawlessly moving, master-controlled puppets hiding behind the curtains, the arrangement of classical musical instruments, and incredible vocalists create what people call the classic Vietnam “symphony”. 

There are many water puppet theater in Vietnam, however, the most popular theaters are Thang Long theater in Hanoi and Golden Dragon in Ho Chi Minh City 

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater
Address: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang street, Hang Bac Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Time: Usually 4 daily shows in late afternoon and evening.
Price: Around $6

Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater
Address: 55B Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh. 
Time: Usually 2 daily shows in late afternoon and evening.
Price: Around $6

2/ Quintessence Tonkin

Defined by stunning water stage, 3D visual effects, authentic costumes, live music, coordinated choreography, this show has been able to reconstruct and recapture the most compelling elements of Vietnamese village life, from folklore, music, poetry to water puppetry, Buddhism. Among more than 200 artists, of which more than half are local village residents. They have been undergoing instruction for over 2 years, now taking their spirit to the show stage from their own conventional entertainment. . Who else can tell Tonkin’s story better than the villagers themselves? It is really a performance that you should not miss when travel on your best tour to Vietnam.

Website: https://www.thequintessenceoftonkin.com/
Time: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 19:00-20:00
Place: Village of Da Phuc, commune of Sai Son, district of Quoc Oai, Hanoi
Price: $35-$52, depending on the seat type

3/ Hoi An Memories

Hoi An Memories is a large-scale outdoor show at Hoi An Impression Theme Park, a popular theme park nearby of Hoi An Town. The stage features both watery and rocky landscapes extending over one kilometer and featuring 500 actors & artists. The state-of-the-art audio and lighting technologies are used to produce a creative and entertaining display. This show has recently set two new records in Vietnam: Vietnam’s largest outdoor venue, and the largest number of performers in Vietnam. The infamous Reuter also praised that the show is a global phenomenon to the futuristic tourism industry and is a performance not to be missed in your Vietnam Holiday Package.

Website: https://hoianimpression.vn/discover/ky-uc-hoi-an-chuong-trinh-bieu-dien-nghe-thuat-thuc-canh-43.html
Time: 7:30 PM-8:45 PM (weekly except Tuesday)
Place: Hoi An Impression Park, Con Hen (200 Nguyen Tri Phuong turn left), Cam Nam, Hoi An, Quang Nam
Price: The ticket varies based on the seat type: From 600,000 VND (USD 26) (ECO) to 900,000 VND (USD 39) (VIP).

4/ A O Show by Lune Production

Being held at the iconic Saigon Opera House, A O Show by Lune Production features visual illusions and amazing performers, combined with contemporary music by a group of talented in-house artists. Missing only the colorful outfits, the crew is often regarded as the infamous Cirque du Soleil, who balances giant bamboo props. Not only that they will execute gravity-defying stunts, but they also make your hearts to sync with the tempo of the show. Afterward, local dancers and musicians are very friendly to meet and greet their guests.

Website: https://www.luneproduction.com/ao-show
Time: The show performs based on schedule at 18:00 and 20:00 on their website
Place: Ho Chi Minh City at the Saigon Opera House @ 07 Cong Truong Lam Son, Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh;

Price: The adult price varies from US$ 28 to US$ 57 per person, and from US$ 18 to US$ 42.75 for children (7 – 12 years old), depending on the seats.

5/ Ter Dah

Vietnamese Tribal Culture features a vibrant display of circus arts, aerial acrobatics, and tribal music within an hour-long performance. Held in the iconic Ho Chi Minh Opera House, this show highlights the lives of tribal families from the southwest highlands of Vietnam using UNESCO-listed percussion instruments such as Vietnamese gongs and buffalo horns. A good choice for traveling families expects vibrant costumes, authentic Vietnamese stories, and a stunning bamboo cirque depicting various landscapes and creatures from tribal folklores.

The idea behind ‘Teh Dar’ goes back to the early days of this country when Viet people were collective ethnic tribes living on different parts of this peninsula. Once tribal men and women came around the fire, hunted, danced, harvested…together, they formed the circles within which, cultural stories that inspired ‘Teh Dar’ began. 54 of those tribes remain today, mostly scattered over the highlands of Vietnam. In K’Ho, one tribal tongue from the South Western highland called Tây Nguyên, the world ‘Teh Dar’ means ‘going in circle’. It is what Teh Dar artists do: keeping the symbolic circles of tribal cultures going, giving them new life on stage, preserving beautiful aspects of their traditions from fading under the merciless wipe of modernization. As the people keep going, the circle remains, so will their culture.

Price: VND 630,000 for second-floor seats, VND 1,470,000 for first-floor seats, and VND 1,050,000 for ground floor seats.

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