Though not having originated in Saigon and south Vietnam, this lively theatre performance/art form swaps the traditional stage for water. The water puppets glide, float, fly, swim and perform short folk tales and stories accompanied by a traditional orchestra. Puppeteers sing and bring the characters to life. Although the performances are in Vietnamese there is enough going on with all the bright colours and movement to keep it interesting should you not understand the dialogue. There are a number of water puppet performances worth attending in HCMC.
The water puppets are made out of lacquered wood. Shows are staged in pool of shallow water. An underwater wood or metal rod props up the puppets giving the illusion that they are walking over water. Puppeteers hide behind a screen while they manipulate the marionettes. It is worth checking out a water puppet performance when in Saigon. Show times and ticket prices vary according to day.