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What to see in Hanoi - Part 6


Thanh Long Water Puppet Theatre (Nha Hat Mua Roi Thang Long)

Located at 57B  Dinh Tien Hoang street, nearby Hoan Kiem Lake, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is a famous and familiar address for both domestic tourists and foreign ones, who want to enjoy water puppet shows and discovery the beauty of this unique Vietnam traditional art.



The formation and development of Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

In 1969, the theater was established and since 1990, many water puppet shows have been performed by Thang Long theater artists .Since being established, the main task is to serve domestic audiences and foreign tourists with "165 performing days". Besides, Thang Long Water Puppetry Theatre has introduced this unique traditional art of Vietnam to other countries and attended International Art Festivals in Asia, Europe, Australia, Latin America. Vietnamese water puppetry shows are warmly welcomed and highly appreciated wherever they are staged. The famous Thang Long Water Puppetry Theatre has been performing in many countries such as Sydney (Australia), Athens (Greek), Spain, Portugal, Iran, France, Italy, Philippines, Mexico, America, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Japan, Australia, Switzerland, Korea, Hongkong, Thailand…..

Traditional content of water puppet performance like daily life of Vietnamese farmers (cultivating, tending buffalo, catching fishes…), communal entertainment (swimming contest, dragon dancing…), or historical legends (Le Loi returns precious sword…), with modest performance way have appealed audiences for centuries. However, the artists of Thang Long Water Puppet Theater want to renew the old puppet shows with effect of high light, music and combination between people and puppets

It sounds risky, but the theater has been really successful since the beginning and received great favors and praises from both domestic tourists and foreign ones.

Certainly, it will be much great if tourists can directly watch these shows in Thang Long Water Puppets Theater after enjoying a cup of coffee in the coffee lounge which is right in front of the theater, and giving a nice view to Hoan Kiem Lake.

If tourists travel to Vietnam and have chance to visit Hanoi, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is a must-see place that should not be missed!


Bach Ma Temple

76 Hang Buom, Hanoi

Opening Hours: 07:00-11:00,14:00-17:00. On the 1st and 15th of every lunar month: 07:00-21:00

Located in the center of Hanoi’s ancient quarter, Bach Ma temple is an isolated religious relic that runs in a long, narrow path from its facade on Hang Buom Street to the back door on Ngo Gach Street. This is also  an ideal place to visit.



The temple has a wooden framework with big iron-wood columns. The rafters joining together to form a weight-bearing structure and an art-work abundant in decorative carvings. The incense-burning house has a carapace-shaped roof.

Bạch Ma Temple is a unique architectural construction and one of the four district gate temples of ancient Thang Long. The district gates and the temples are located at the four compass points of the city : Quan Thanh Temple to the north, Bach Ma Temple in the east, Kim Lien Communal House and temple in the south, and Voi Phục (kneeling elephant) Temple to the west.

Among these temples, Bach Ma is the oldest and its existence has been documented over one thousand years since the Ly and Tran Dynasties. Today it contains many valuable relics such as stone steles, altars, shrines and statues. Along with architectural and artistic merit, Bach Ma Temple is also a valuable resource for researching and studying the history of Thang Long–Ha Noi.


Hanoi Opera House

Address : 1 Trang Tien Street, Hanoi

Built by the French in 1911, and renovated in the late 1990s, this is an incredible building. Hanoi Opera House is an old theatre with French architecture and typical Gothic and Mosaic characters reflected on the door domes and the glassed room respectively. The facade is colonial French with pillars and balconies overlooking the city center. The 900-seat opera house plays host to visiting foreign performances as well as Vietnamese symphonies. The exterior is a delightful mix of French neo-classical design with shuttered windows, wrought iron balconies and tiles friezes.



For a long time, Hanoi Opera House has been a rendezvous for those who love theatrical performance and traditional songs and music, symphonies, opera and classical opera. It is also a tourist attraction place for local and foreign visitors.

Hanoi Opera House has a great value in history, architecture as well as its use. It was a historical evidence of Vietnamese social and cultural development under French rule, a vestige for an architectural development stage dating back to the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries in Vietnam. The theatre has seen many significant historical events associated to the August Revolution and the early years of Vietnam Democratic Republic.

Hanoi Opera House is renowned for its very unique architecture and good composition. It is furnished rationally and harmoniously. Since its establishment, Hanoi Opera House becomes the largest theatre in Vietnam.

Previously the site was a big pond, adjacent to the city gate of Tay Long (also called Tay Luong) of the ancient Thang Long Capital. The construction met with many difficulties, because the foundations of the theatre were built on the pond. Before building a concrete foundation, nearly one metre thick, the pond was emptied and dredged, then 30,000 hard bamboo stakes were placed on its bed.

Hanoi Opera House is of the same architectural style as the Opera House in France. Foreign architects said that due to being built nearly 300 years after the Paris Opera House, Hanoi Opera House avoids superfluous architectural details, which make it more magnificent and attractive. Inside the opera house are a large stage and a main audience room with a size of 24x24m, with many small rooms for audience on the central floor. The middle staircase leads to a large Hall on the second floor. The sub-staircase and corridors are located in both sides.

At the back of the Opera House is a management chamber consisting of 18 make-up rooms, 2 rooms for voice training, 1 library and 1 meeting room. Facing the stairs is a magnificent mirror room on the second floor. Opera house has been so far a typical, large-scaled art showing place, where in party state meetings and international conferences are held. It is considered a cultural work with the best value in Vietnam, a unique architectural work with great historical, cultural, architectural and fine-art value, a unique works in urban area as well as in the capital city. The theatre has been equipped with state-of-art facilities and appliances, compatible for all types of artistic performances, from folk music and songs, ballets and piano to classical opera, reformed opera, Vietnamese operetta and drama, all made great impressions on the audience. Hanoi Opera House has also successfully organized many large-scale international concerts.

Being an ancient architecture work, the Opera House is now becoming a national art work of international renown, which contributes to the country's modern cultural field, also serves as a foundation in cultural exchanging, in the present social economic development and the national cultural innovation in particular.

Hanoi Opera House is a worthy artistic centre, a cultural and architectural relic of the capital Hanoi. This is truly a beautiful building in Hanoi and the best place to see the Opera House is from the 6th floor of the Hanoi Hilton Hotel.

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