Some travelers prefer to immerse themselves in the culture of the country they’re visiting. Theatre can be a great way to get a glimpse into the traditions and history of a country, and this is especially true for Vietnam. There are hundreds of shows you can watch for a more immersive cultural experience in Vietnam, so here are five to get you started.
The Quintessence of Tonkin
Located in Hanoi, this show has been masterfully put together after ten years of planning. This outdoor spectacle featuring 250 actors showcases the poetry of Tat Nuoc Dau Dinh as well as folk tales and traditional rituals.
After a jam-packed holiday exploring the country on one of your Vietnam tours, you will be able to enjoy this show whilst lounging in the warm evening air. It is worth noting that this show is only available on Tuesdays. Thursdays and Sundays at 7 PM.
Lang Toi Show
The Lang Toi Show, or My Village Show, is a way to gain insight into how villagers in the northern part of the country live. Lasting an hour, you will be treated to a dazzling display of dance and acrobatics.
One particularly special thing about this performance is the music made up of 20 different instruments, which add to the creative genius of the performance.
Ionah Show, which is Hanoi spelled backward, has been called the Cirque du Soleil of Vietnam, and that description could not be more accurate. Be prepared to experience a 90-minute feast for your eyes.
A perfect blend of circus arts, hip-hop, and belly dance, there is something for everyone to enjoy. There should also be a special appreciation for the costume designers who have created a colorful extravaganza.
A O Show
Recommended by the director of Cirque du Soleil, A O Show in Ho Chi Minh is an incredible rendition of Vietnamese culture in the form of an artistic circus show. The name “A O” indicates the “Wow” factor the cast offered to the audience. Almost every prop within the show is made from or reminded of bamboo – the quintessential symbol of Vietnam’s agricultural lifestyle, in addition to the location of the show at Saigon Opera House, the show promises to bring forward an all-around cultural experience.
Water Puppet Show
The history of puppetry in Vietnam dates back over 4,000 years, and this history is shown in a Water Puppetry show. It takes an extraordinary puppeteer who can control the puppets and make them look as though they are dancing along the water while hidden behind a bamboo screen.
The storyline within the show is influenced by folk tales and uses traditional instruments to convey the winding and beautiful storyline. You can easily find a show at either the Water Puppet Theater near Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi or at the Vietnam History Museum in Ho Chi Minh City.
Hoi An Memories
Part of the Hoi An Impression Theme Park, Hoi An Memories is a large-scale open-air show – the largest in Vietnam, in fact. This vast staging includes rocky landscapes and watery expanses and has a cast of over 500 actors. The producers have invested heavily in lighting and sound technologies, which shows in the production’s quality.
Based around the port town of Hoi An, this play effortlessly leads you through a journey exploring the town’s history, showcasing its transformation from a humble farming village to a bustling tourist hub.
Summary of the Cultural Shows in Vietnam
Admittedly, performance is not a well-known art form in Vietnam, though it has gained tremendous popularity in recent years. While some shows might require a little bit of pre-understanding of the country’s past, others are more of a visual fest on the background of a Vietnamese storyline.