Hanoi Where To Go

Top 3 Shows in Hanoi | Water Puppetry Show – Ionah – Four Palaces

The top 3 shows in Hanoi highly recommended below which are Water Puppetry, Ionah, Four Palaces show will give you the key into the Vietnamese culture – a mysterious and perhaps, an unknown land to most people outside the country.

1, Múa rối nước (Water Puppetry Show)

Show Information

  • Showtime: 15:00, 16:10, 17:10, 18:30 everyday.
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Location:  Thang Long Theater, No. 57b Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
  • Ticket Price: VND 100,000
  • For further details:

Are you curious about this unique traditional art form of Vietnam? As puppetry can be widely seen in many countries, Water Puppetry turns out to be the only one in Vietnam appearing a long time ago (Can you guess? Yes, it is now over 1000 years old.)

waterpuppet show
Top show in Hanoi for 1 hour

A rice-based agricultural country is perhaps the first thing most tourists think of when someone mentions Vietnam. Indeed, in the North Delta, there are many ponds and lakes that have become extremely animated water puppetry shows. In fact, due to natural conditions and the work of the farmer, it can be said that the water puppetry is built from the heart, the feelings of the working people. Hence, it reflects life and aspirations. At first, water puppet show was only outdoor with a combination of nature and human: the stage is attached in a vast space with the sky, clouds, winds, fire, smoke fog and hidden roofs with red curved tiles.

The show is various:

  • The praises of the farm animals raising: fishing, weaving, rice husking, rice pounding,…
  • Activities such as wrestling, horse riding, swinging, climbing, lion climbing, lion danced, sword fighting.
  • The heroic examples of national heroes such as Bà Trưng, Bà Triệu, Trần Hưng Đạo
  • Chèo plays

Water puppets are shaped by lightweight wood such as figs, vines (which are readily available around the ponds) and painted with resinous paint (which is used for boat painting in the Northern Midlands). The remote control of puppets tangled by two types of machines: wire and pole with simple or complex tables, pile systems, small wires, soft wire, wood rods, bamboo poles.

Chú Tếu - Water Puppetry - Hanoi Free Local Tours
Chú Tễu (“chú” means uncle, man, boy or Mr. in Vietnamese) is a recurrent and the most notable character in water puppetry.

Water puppets must be able to stand in the mud in the mud behind the control room of the puppet theater. Quotations are made from folk songs or from the national dramas.

Highlights of Thang Long Water Puppetry

  • Learn about the traditional culture of Vietnam.
  • Feel the peaceful beauty of the rural countryside of the North
  • Explore the techniques of masterful water puppetry of the artists.
  • Distinguish the differences between normal water puppetry and puppetry.
  • Review Vietnamese folk tales through a new perspective of water puppetry

2, Tứ Phủ (Four Palaces) show:

Show Information:

  • Showtime: every Thursday and Saturday
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Location: Cong Nhan Theatre, No.42 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Ticket price:
  • Ticket box: Viet Theatre Box Office: P901, 9th Floor, Royal Building, No. 180 Trieu Viet Vuong Street, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi
  • For further details, see here:
Four Palaces Show - Hanoi Free Local Tours
Four Palaces Show – A beautiful Journey into the spiritual world.

Apart from Chinese culture, Viet Belief is based on Mau Religion (Mother Goddess) which was recognized as a UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage. The Four Palaces show is an Incorporation of the traditional culture of Vietnam into special artworks. Drama, music, poetry, cinema … are the bridges conveying many messages, meaningful values in social life. That is why many works, in turn, are the indispensable spiritual thing in modern society nowadays.

Tu Phu - Four Palaces Show - Hanoi Free Local Tours
“Mẫu” Religion worships Goddesses representing 3 realms of the Universe: the Goddess of Heaven (Red), Water (White), Mountains and Forests (Green)

The part that audiences happily clapping along with the steps of the performers and the music during the show is said to bring domestic and international audiences moments of truly Vietnamese culture.

In 45 minutes of performance, with 3 parts: The reincarnation of the Second Lady of the Highland (Chầu Đệ Nhị), the Reincarnation of the Tenth Prince ( Chầu Ông Hoàng Mười) and the Reincarnation of the Little Princess of Highlands (Chầu Cô bé hượng Ngàn), the audience was guided to the holiest and the most beautiful land of traditional Vietnamese culture.

Tu Phu - Four Palaces Show - Hanoi Free Local Tours
The color of the clothes of mediums (Cô Đồng) reflects the token color of each of the four spirits of which they are possessed.

During the show, you can hardly take your eyes off the colorful costumes of performers or decorations of the stage. The visual was designed using modern art videos combined with Vietnamese traditional worshipping paintings called Hang Trong painting. Moreover, there is a large projection screen with English subtitles to make you satisfied and enjoy the show.

One of the best thing about the show is that at the final ritual of the show, to increase interaction, the audiences are particularly interested in receiving the “fortune” (lộc) as the truncated-cone-shaped cakes or beautiful lotus seeds packages.

Tu phu - Four Palaces Show - Hanoi Free Local Tours
The Medium is giving “Lộc” to the audiences

This is a special performance for Vietnamese people who love Vietnamese culture and foreign tourists really want to learn about the unique features of our Vietnamese culture. Also, for ones who want to sit back, learn something new while enjoying themselves, don’t miss the show.


  • Be there on time, the show starts punctually


Show Information:

  • Showtime: 19:45 every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
  • Duration: 75 minutes
  • Location: Star Galaxy Theater, No.87 Lang Ha Street, Ba Dinh District
  • Ticket price: VND 600,000 – VND 800,000
  • For further details and sales promotions, you can check out:
IONAH - Shows in Hanoi - Hanoi Free Local Tours
Ionah is a mixture of dance, theatre, circus, and music.

Along with the appearance of Cultural, Entertained Shows from international artists. In recent years, the public has been informed about the launch of a variety show called IONAH.

In big cities like Hanoi, the demand for the entertaining and cultural enjoyment of the people is always high. The explosion of different types of entertainment gives the audience many options to choose.

Beginning with iconic scenes of the Vietnamese capital the stage soon transforms into a magical and mysterious world.

Just a short time after debut, Ionah quickly showed its irresistible charm. Not only families who are the loyal audiences are attracted, Ionah also attracted the attention of many young people. All of them were delighted to return to their childhood with beautiful memories of the circus, to the theater with their parents, but also excited and overwhelmed by the lively and wonderful image, sound of the show.

Modern art forms such as dance, hip hop, … are combined with music, visual arts, lighting arrangements and advanced performance technologies

It is a freedom of expression and also a challenge for the creative team. As not all the types of performances have the same way to tell the story or the idea of the director. In Ionah, the creative team chooses the circus as the background element. Besides, modern art forms such as dance, hip hop, … are combined with music, visual arts, lighting arrangements and advanced performance technologies. All the ingredients have been used so subtly to stand together on a stage, to share a story and create a very special performance.

IONAH - Shows in Hanoi - Free Local Tours
The 75-minute show features some of the best acrobats and circus performers from Vietnam, accompanied by a blend of Western electronic and Vietnamese traditional music and using excellent theatrical effects.

In the context of many modern entertainment complexes that are constantly coming out, giving tourists options to explore Hanoi in many ways, watching a show in a theater does make a brand new way to pull people to the stage of the theater, sit back and admire the meticulousness and talent of the artists.

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