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An Evening at the Vietnamese Water Puppet Theatre
After our full day city tour in Hanoi we went to the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre to purchase tickets for the Vietnamese Water Puppet show at 8pm. which is the last full show. Each ticket costs VND 40,000.
We spent an hour at the hotel to rest our tired feet and get a quick shower before watching the show. Around 7:30 p.m. we left the hotel and walked a couple of blocks to the Thanh Long Water Puppet Theatre just within the vicinity of Hoan Kiem Lake. A huge crowd of audiences was waiting at the lobby and outside the theatre. The ticket counter was still selling tickets. Around fifteen minutes before the scheduled showtime people started walking through the stairways that lead to the theatre hall.
The seats were pre-assigned on the ticket. Our assigned seats were located halfway from the front row to the back row, enough to get a good view of the stage which consists of a rectangular pool. The Water Puppet show originated in Northern Vietnam and is the only one of its kind in the world. There was a group of musicians and
a lead singer. Although the narration was in Vietnamese, there was a narration in Vietnamese with corresponding translation in French. The language did not turn out to be a barrier since by merely watching what was going on the stage, the audience will be able to follow the story.
The show lasted for fifty minutes. At curtain call all the people manipulating the puppets from behind the curtain went on the stage and got a big round of applause from the audience. This is a truly rare and enriching experience, truly worthy of anyone's time while in Hanoi. It should be on top on any itinerary even if you only have one day to spend in Hanoi.
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