Puppet show with no strings

Puppet show with no strings

A wonderful Vietnamese tradition that has been going since the 11th century is the water puppet show. This form of entertainment is thought to have originated in the villages of the Red River Delta, where stages would be constructed around flooded rice paddies. The performances were staged to celebrate the end of the rice harvest, religious festivals or other important occasions. However, the shows were not purely for entertainment but were thought to stop the spirits from causing mischief.

Hand-carved puppets

Whether that worked or not we don’t know, but this art form is still steeped in mystery. The shows take place in a waist-deep pool of water, with the water’s surface acting as the stage, so all you in the audience see is the puppets. Just how the puppeteers control them remains a closely guarded secret.

The puppets, which can weigh up to 30 pounds each and stand up to two feet tall, are all carved in wood by hand and coated in lacquer paint. The theme of each show is deeply rooted in rural traditions such as planting rice and fishing, and they typically feature no English, though here actions speak louder than words!

Backstage access

On Travelsphere’s Images of Vietnam tour you’ll not only get to watch a traditional water puppet show, but you’ll also get to go backstage for an exclusive visit. Who knows, with this special access, if you keep your eyes peeled you might just be able to work out exactly how the puppeteers perform this traditional and mysterious art form.

Every Travelsphere holiday offers exceptional value for money. Included in the price are return scheduled flights/rail travel and internal flights, where applicable, overseas transfers and transportation, carefully chosen hotels, many meals and excursions and the services of a Travelsphere Tour Manager or Local Guide.