Water puppetry - a quintessential experience in Vietnam on the US magazine

Nga Do
Water puppetry - a typical form of Vietnamese art to be introduced on National Geographic Travel, a magazine published by the National Geographic Society in the US.

According to National Geographic Travel report, water puppetry is a typical form of Vietnamese art, which has existed for more than 1,000 years—and a quintessential experience if you're visiting this beautiful country.

Photo by kkinjo on the Flick
Seeing a show at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is one of the classic highlights of Hanoi, an absolute must-do. The theatre is just across the road that wraps around the north shore of Lake Hoan Kiem, on the edge of the Old Quarter. The show lasts 45 minutes and runs several times throughout the day, though it’s so popular you may have to book a day or two in advance.

True to name, the puppets splash around on their stage – a square pool of waist-deep water – rather than dangle above it. The puppeteers are hidden behind a screen, and manoeuvre their characters using bamboo rods. The scenes are based on Vietnamese legends and are accompanied by live folk musicians and singers.

The whole thing is remarkably impressive and utterly charming. Once the show is over, look out for a counter selling lacquerware replicas of the puppets from the show – they make great souvenirs and the prices are very reasonable.

National Geographic Traveler is a magazine published by the National Geographic Society in the United States. It was launched in 1984. Local-language editions of National Geographic Traveler are published in Armenia, Belgium/the Netherlands, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Latin America, Israel, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and Spain. A UK edition launched in December 2010.

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