Monday, July 10, 2017

Water Puppet Show at the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre in Ho Chi Minh City

While in Saigon, the family went to see a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show one evening.

Water Puppet Show at the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre in Ho Chi Minh City
Water Puppet Show at the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre in Ho Chi Minh City

The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre is located in District 1, at the Tao Dan Park along Nguyen Thi Minh Khai road.

I was more keen on watching a theatre dance, perhaps a ballet but I was also open to a concert or an opera show, however, there were no shows on the evening we planned on going out in Saigon. The only event I found playing in the city was the traditional Vietnamese water puppet show. Well, why not?

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Water Puppet Show at the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre in Ho Chi Minh City
Tickets Water Puppet Show Saigon

Everyone was eager on watching it so I arranged the tickets through the reception of our hotel (Avanti Hotel) who offered to take care of our booking at the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre located in Tao Dan Park. It’s very near our hotel in Ben Thanh. Because we booked through the hotel we were able to get some sort of discount as well.

The lady at the hotel reception informed us that compared to the demand the theatre is relatively small with limited seats so the show can sometimes get quickly fully booked so we made sure to book a day before.

True enough, the show was quite full and we were lucky to arrive early and grab seats in the middle. We were not too far away from the stage so we are able to see the puppets clearly from a good distance. Except that when the show started many of the audience were flashing their mobile phones up in the air videoing the scenes. Welcome world of mobile technology.

Well, I managed to video 1 scene only as a keepsake.


The show was divided into different thematic scenes and this is one of them.

Location of the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre:



The water puppet performance depicts the rudimentary Vietnamese daily life, its cultures and its traditions in the River (Mekong) Delta. They presented this in various thematic scenes, such as from the planting and sowing of rice on the paddies to a romantic courtship and honouring a specific important religious belief. The theatre stage is literally a pool of (light brown) murky waters. It did not smell though but it made me curious where the light brown colour came from. Maybe they want to showcase the play as close to reality.

Although the show is performed in Vietnamese, one can easily understand what it is all about. The musicians taking care of the voice dubbing, sound effects and music are seated on both sides of the theatre. They make use of their voices and traditional instruments such as strings, drums, horns and cymbals. Very entertaining!

My parents, in particular, enjoyed the show very much as it gave them the opportunity to peek into the world of Vietnamese life and culture. They realised that the Vietnamese in general are way superstitious than Filipinos. I am not sure though if they felt better knowing this fact.

Shows here at the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre (HCMC) are performed twice daily in the evening and run for 50 minutes.

To learn more, go here: Vietnamese Water Puppetry

TIP: It is best to book in advance via a tour/travel operator or through your hotel. You get a discount, as well as a proper reservation.

Water Puppet Show Stage at the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre in Ho Chi Minh City
Musicians Water Puppet Show at the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre in Ho Chi Minh City

The musicians who take care of the voice dubbing, sound effects and music for the entire show, in the Vietnamese language.

Water Puppet Show at the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre in Ho Chi Minh City
Water Puppet Show at the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre in Ho Chi Minh City

The water puppets on the water stage in action.

Water Puppet Actors/Players

These are the water puppet actors/players presenting themselves at the end of the show.

Water Puppet Players Actors

The final goodbye wave from the water puppet actors/players. Thanks!

Travel Period: November 2016
Destination: Ho Chi Minh City (Southeast), Vietnam

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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