Monday, December 10, 2012

Vietnam - Hanoi Day 1

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Vietnam : Hanoi 5th to 7th March 2009
Day 1 : 5th March 2009
Cast of the Water Puppet Show
Having heard of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, Lynn & me decided to visit the place.
It was a good trip and also a bad trip - both of us came down with diarrhea, Lynn from having an ice-cream she bought from a night market stall and me from a medium-rare steak. It was the rainy season, and apparently this happens.
But overall we enjoyed the place.

We arrived in the early part of the day and was soon whisked to this hotel, the Golden Sun Hotel in the old quarters of Hanoi.
Upon our arrival, the manageress, a sweet & polite young lady, checked us in quickly and brought us up to the top most floor where breakfast was already waiting for us! It was a simple but very good and filling food consisting of Vietnamese and Western fare.

The breakfast area even overlooks the Hoan Kiem Lake.
What a fantastic way to start our holiday, having good food with a beautiful lake view.

After breakfast we went down to our room, just one floor below.
It was a modest-sized wood paneled room with one king-size bed and one twin bed.
It also overlooks the lake. Good! We can eat and sleep in luxury.

After a good bath, we roamed the streets of the old quarters.
Each street have shops that deals in a particular trade, the place was interesting but nothing to shout about.
Later, we popped into the Cha Cha La Vong shop to have lunch - the famous Grilled Fish Cake. Good but not fantastically so. What can I say, I am from Penang, the food capital of Malaysia and my standards for good food is rather high.


We had a free and lazy afternoon as we were saving ourselves for the evening to attend the Hanoi's renown WATER PUPPET SHOW.
Here I am standing in front of cabinets with actual size and miniature puppets that they use in the show.

Stage of the show with the curtains down. The dark green patch is water where the puppets perform.
Entering the performance hall, we were a bit disappointed as our seats were almost at the last row. We had booked our tickets through our hotel too late, so be advised book early!

The water puppet show in NOT a normal puppet show!
Literally there are not strings attached, the puppets are always partly submerged in water.
Up till now, I have not figured out how the control the movements of the puppets. Underwater levers? Perhaps, but after five-minutes into the show I just stopped figuring out how they did it.
Just sit back and enjoy the show. It's UNIQUELY GOOD!

Most of the sketches are comical, some to the point of being hilarious.
Their themes are based on communal life in Vietnam, eg. like the one above about fishing in the lake with water buffaloes around.

And a comedy of two peacock birds, discussing their life and how they are treated by the villagers.

There was one of two fishes arguing and fighting with each other for a fear of being caught and eaten.

On a more serious note, the was a presentation of a rural wedding ceremony.

The sketches were supported by a simple orchestra providing music from Vietnam's cultural past.

Water Puppet Show Entry Ticket
Really the show was very good and one should not miss it when in Hanoi.
My photos does not do justice to the presentation. Back then I was not into blogging, hence the lack of photos and note. Sorry!

Related Posts :

Vietnam - Hanoi Day 2

Vietnam - Hanoi Day 3

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