Journey to the Royal Park Theater for a water puppetry performance devised more than a thousand years ago by villagers to celebrate the end of rice harvests, mark religious festivals and entertain the royal court. Water puppetry has evolved over the centuries from folk art to a more established art form. An important part of Vietnam's cultural heritage, this theatric form not found anywhere in the world but Vietnam, has a traditional link to the earth, water and the local rice farmers.
The puppets range from 12 to 40 inches in height and from two to ten pounds. Many of the puppets are so heavy and complex that they require two or three puppeteers. During the performance, the puppeteers hide themselves behind a long screen and manipulate the wooden puppets with bamboo rods and strings while standing chest-deep in water. The show depicts Vietnamese life like weddings, domestic animals and school examinations accompanies by the music of bamboo flutes, drums, bells and single-string violins.