The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater is one of Ho Chi Minh City’s most popular performing arts attractions. These amazing presentations are unique and a bucket list item for Saigon.
Shows happen daily at 5 pm and 6:30 pm, for which tickets can be purchased at the ticket counter on-site or online. Another option is to book an evening cyclo tour and add on a stop at the water puppet theater for a show.
History of Vietnamese Water Puppetry
Water puppetry is one of Vietnam’s most beloved traditions, dating back to several generations ago.
Rural communities would gather to listen to tales and legends from their local area while watching it acted out with the help of puppets. The people controlling the puppets would stand in waist-high water, usually in a rice paddy, using gestures, music, and talking to bring the story to life.
Water Puppet Shows in Ho Chi Minh
The performance takes place on a stage with a water surface. Puppet masters use bamboo rods beneath the water to direct the movement of the puppets as the story is told. Even though the dialogue is all in Vietnamese, the acting is done well enough so that the audience can follow along no matter what their native language is.
Not only is this one of the most famous activities in the Ho Chi Minh City area, but it’s a great way to get a taste of authentic and aged Vietnamese culture.
In Hanoi, the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is a hit. So add that to your northern itinerary.
Address: 55B Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Phone: +84 28 3930 2196
Hours: Two shows per day at 5 pm & 6:30 pm. Occasionally a 3rd show is at 7:45 pm. Ticket booth hours are from 8 am-7:30 pm, with a break from 11:30 am-1:30 pm