If you plan to see the water puppets show at Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre in Ho Chi Minh, plan ahead and get your tickets the day you get there as the performance hall is small with limited seats which get booked much in advance by tour agents. In July 2014 (low season), If you call to get advance tickets you may be told just to arrive 20 minuets early to buy tickets. Tickets can be purchased same day without a problem.

Please note: Their website shows three (3) scheduled show times but there are actually only two: 5pm & 6.30pm. The 7.45pm show does not exist so to avoid disppointment, plan to get there for one of the earlier times.

Water Puppets originated in the delta of the Red river in Vietnam in the 11th century, and are still popular. The importance of water in all aspects of life really comes through in these performances.  This unique art form has won many international puppet awards.

A live orchestra accompanies the performance with traditional music and song. Singers tell the stories and shout encouragement to the puppets that range from dragons, fishes, water fairies and farmers. It's all in the local language and quite incomprehensible. The puppet show is performed in a pool of water 4 meters square with the water surface, which acts as the stage.  The puppeteers stand behind a split-bamboo screen, decorated to resemble a temple facade, and control the puppets using long bamboo rods and string mechanism hidden beneath the water surface. The puppets are carved out of wood and brightly colored.