Water Puppets

We spent our final day in Hanoi taking it easy. The weather was cool and very hazy. It felt rather wintery and although we wore only our polar plus jackets, we noticed that all the local people were well & truly rugged up in coats and jackets.

We spent the morning finishing any shopping that we had on the list and arranged for the concierge at the hotel to get some tickets to an afternoon water puppet show. These make wonderful entertainment and really are a ‘must see’. If they ever come to Australia (they have once before) make sure that you go and see them. Most of the segments are short and quite humerous.

When you enter the theatre, you find a series of tiered seats, like a normal theatre, facing a stage with a house as a backdrop and a square of water at the front like a paddy field. Under the house is a bamboo curtain / blind from which teh puppets appear.

The show begins with a live orchestra appearing to the side. These people play traditional instruments, sing, and provide the voices for the puppets. The puppets are controlled by poles and strings from under the water. Their movements are incrdibly life like and they synchronise well to the music and voices, even if we could not understand them..

Each act is a reconstruction of some part of everyday life or historical / mythical theme. In them, for example, famers try to catch fish that don’t want to be caught, they compete with a fox in caring for ducks or worship anncestors who appear and glide around the periphery. At the end of the show, the puppeteers appear from behind the bamboo cutains, standing waist deep in water and getting a great round of applause. A great show for kids and especially adults.

We are now in Singapore for a last few days before coming home. This is the dtriest period thy have had here for 29 years. The temperature is 34 degrees. We are hardly chilling out!


Bruce is a keen traveller and photographer. This web site describes his travel and family interests

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