Watch Water Puppetry in Saigon

Understanding and watching water puppet shows in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is one of the must-do activities when visiting the most bustling city in Vietnam.


Overview of Water puppetry in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

The Golden Dragon Water Puppetry Theatre and Villa Song Saigon are the two most popular attractions in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to view a water puppet play, which originated in the soggy rice paddies of North Vietnam's Red River Delta (formerly Thao Dien Village). Visitors are captivated by puppets playing on a "stage" of water, accompanied by real old-fashioned music played on actual instruments, which depicts the culture, customs, and folklore of Vietnamese life.

The shows are entirely in Vietnamese, which isn't an issue for tourists because the puppet gestures are clear enough to keep the audience captivated. As the people-styled puppets, dragons, fairies, and other ornamental characters dance across the stage, the musicians are frequently positioned to one side of the stage, adding sound effects and songs.


Highlights from Water Puppet Shows

An innovative weekly water puppet show is presented while you dine on Vietnamese food at Villa Song Saigon's Ngon Restaurant. There are tales of myth and magic interspersed with plenty of laughter, just as in other water puppet shows. Performances are normally held on a four-metre-square water stage with highly talented puppeteers disguised behind a painted bamboo screen. Long rods are used to manipulate the brilliantly colored and intricately carved wooden puppets.

The Golden Dragon Water Puppetry Theatre is located within Tao Dan Park and offers twice-daily shows. However, it is recommended that you book ahead of time because this is a popular attraction for both residents and tourists.

Both venues provide a fascinating peek into this old Vietnamese art form, which has received numerous accolades throughout the world. The secret of the puppets' seemingly effortless movements is still jealously guarded, as it has been for decades.


The Golden Dragon Water Puppetry Theatre is a theatre dedicated to water puppetry.

The Golden Dragon Water Puppetry Theatre is located at the City Labour Cultural House in Tao Dan Park, at 55B Nguyen Thi Ming Khai Street. Daily show timings are 18:30 and 20:30, with shows lasting 50 minutes.

Because the theatre is small and has limited seating, tickets for performances at The Golden Dragon should be purchased in advance via a tour operator to avoid disappointment.

Shows with water puppets

Every Saturday at the Ngon Vietnamese Restaurant, Villa Song Saigon (previously Thao Dien Village) has a weekly water puppet presentation. The village is located on Nguyen Van Huong in District 2, and the show starts at 19:30 and ends at 20:00.

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