Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Vietnam: Water puppet show (múa rối nước) in Ho Chi Minh City
If you can spare a night while in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam you might want to watch a Vietnamese water puppet show (múa rối nước). It's a craft that is uniquely Vietnamese. And if you have kids with you, they'll surely enjoy this wonderful element of Vietnamese culture.
I got to watch the water puppet show at Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre twice on two separate trips. The shows are about fifty minutes long with no intermissions. It could get a little bit boring for some, but this something you have to watch if you're interested in local culture.
Puppets are carved from wood and then lacquered. The puppeteers control the puppets from behind a screen. Water is waist deep and they use rods to move the puppets around. The water thus creates the effect of a lake, river or rice paddies in various scenes. I actually bought myself miniature versions of these water puppets at Ben Thanh Market.
There's a live Vietnamese ensemble which plays music and narrates, with everyone in traditional Vietnamese costumes. Everything is in Vietnamese so you'd have to refer to the English guide at times to understand what is happening. It's definitely something you'd want to watch even just once.
Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre
55B Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City
Showtimes: 5 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.