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Entertainment in Vietnam

Entertainment in Vietnam

By Ruby ZhaoUpdated Sep. 6, 2023

In Vietnam you will not only see beautiful sights, but will also be entertained by the country's vibrant and exciting culture. Vietnam has a rich heritage of performing arts including theatrical arts, music, and dance.

Whether it be watching music performances, or learning how to make Vietnamese food, whether in Hanoi or in Hoi An, we hope to create for you a memorable experience.

Watch Theatrical Performances

What better way to gain insight into Vietnam's folk stories and cultures than to watch them performed?

There are several theatres where you can watch highly-rated contemporary theatrical performances highlighting Vietnam's rich cultural heritage, including Hanoi Opera House and Vietnam Tuong Theatre in Hanoi, and Saigon Opera House in Ho Chi Minh City.


Enjoy the music, stories, and dance of Vietnam while also learning to appreciate Vietnamese culture.

What Makes it Special

  • Cultural yet contemporary: The performances highlight Vietnam's traditional culture, while at the same time involving modern theatrical techniques, to create a professional show.
  • Colonial historical buildings: The shows take place in several high-end theatres such as Hanoi Opera House, Vietnam Tuong Theatre, and Saigon Opera House. All of these are historical buildings from the French colonial period which are well preserved and maintained.

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Watch a Water Puppet Show

Puppetry is a form of entertainment you can find in many cultures. However, water puppetry, where the puppets appear to be moving on top of water, is unique to Vietnam, and has intrigued many people from all round the world.

The show is traditionally performed on flooded paddies and is very popular amongst tourists. The Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi is a good place for watching these shows, which last just under an hour.


Be intrigued by the way the puppeteers manipulate the puppets to move naturally above water.

What Makes it Special

  • It is a traditional form of Vietnamese Art: Water puppet shows are a unique form of traditional performing art dating back to the 11th century, originating in the villages of the Red River Delta in Vietnam.
  • Find out for yourself how they do it: The puppeteers stand waist-deep in the water behind a bamboo screen, using long wooden rods to manipulate the puppets so that they appear to be moving on top of water.

Enjoy Traditional Vietnamese Music

Do not miss the opportunity to discover Vietnam's enchanting music. Each culture has its own unique music, which is a reflection to the character of the people as well as their past history. Such is the case with Vietnam's music.

Vietnam's musical culture is as rich and diverse as its people. While it is distinct from Chinese music, there are some similarities, as a result of their shared past history.

You can explore various traditional music genres, one of them being Ca Trù, an ancient genre of chamber music centering round a female singer. You can watch Ca Trù performances at Thang Long Ca Tru Guild in Hanoi.

Ca Trù used to carry negative connotations and be likened to the geisha form of entertainment, as it was used to entertain wealthy people. Today, however, that is no longer the case.

You can see many musical instruments in Vietnam. Two of the most popular are the sáo (the Chinese flute), and the dàntranh (a long zither highly similar to China's guzheng).

You can also find many other traditional instruments in Vietnam. Some resemble Chinese musical instruments, others are completely unique, such as the T'rưng, a vertical bamboo xylophone, or the H'mong Pen Pipe, a unique reed instrument commonly played at funerals.


You will find that the sounds of Vietnamese music are foreign to the Westerner's ear. Once you get over the unfamiliarity of the sound, however, you will find yourself enchanted by its beauty.

What Makes it Special

  • Unique musical instruments: See and hear for yourself musical instruments that you won't see or hear elsewhere.
  • Listen to Ca Trù: Listen for yourself to the beauty of this genre of music that is considered by UNESCO as a world heritage that needs to be preserved.

Taste Vietnam's Street Food

Outside Vietnam, most people only know of Vietnam's pho noodles and Vietnamese spring rolls. While these are indeed delicious, there is a lot more to be discovered.

A great opportunity for you to discover more Vietnamese delicacies is via a street food tour, a popular activity for tourists in Vietnam.

We can arrange such a tour for you in the Old Quarter in Hanoi. You can sample Vietnam's delicious street food such as banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), as well as the local drinks such as egg coffee.


Walk through the array of street vendors and be captivated by the smells, sights, and tastes of Vietnam.

What Makes it Special

  • Egg coffee: You might wonder how egg and coffee goes well together, but this drink is actually popular not only amongst locals, but tourists as well. Taste for yourself!
  • Picking tropical fruits: Your tour guide can advise how to pick fresh mangos, longans or lychees, and will be your source of other local insights.

Learn How to Cook Vietnamese Food

You can learn how to cook Vietnamese food for yourself, not just to taste it!

We can arrange a private Vietnamese cooking session for you. The session begins with a tour round a local market. You will then take a short boat trip on the Hoi An River to a restaurant, where you will be instructed by an experienced chef.

A few dishes you may learn to cook include: rice cake, shrimp rolls, Hoi An pancakes, quang name chicken noodle soup, and food decorations.

What Makes it Special

  • Small private cooking session: You will have the full attention and thorough instructions of an experienced chef, learning to make traditional Vietnamese food.
  • Local market tour: During the tour, the basic ingredients of Vietnamese cooking will be introduced to you.

Enjoy Vietnam's Nightlife

While travelling with Asia highlights, you will have most of your evenings free to yourself. Take this opportunity to discover Vietnam's nightlife. You can explore Hanoi's Old Quarter, where you can enjoy anything from the street food vendors to the local bars.

Ho Chi Minh City, having been influenced by the Americans during the war, has numerous bars in the southern part of the city. Hoi An used to be known as a quiet riverside city famous for wine and cocktails, but now also has a lively nightlife with clubs and bars.

Explore Asia with Asia Highlights

At Asia Highlights we offer tailor-made tours through Asia, where you can enjoy all highlights as well as amazing cultural experiences. To get started, send us an email.

Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)

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  • Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
  • Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
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