The Quintessence of Tonkin: Unveiling Hanoi’s Cultural Gem

Ananthu Syam

April 1, 2024

4 min read

Topping the list of things to do for anyone visiting the rustic city of Hanoi is to catch a performance of its most famous show – The Quintessence of Tonkin. Taking place some distance away in the peaceful village of Sai Son, which is just a short journey from the heart of Vietnam’s capital city, this stunning spectacle offers visitors a captivating journey through different periods of Vietnamese history and tradition.

The Stage Is Set

The show takes place from the evening and as the sun begins setting over the beautiful countryside, you can feel the air becoming infused with anticipation and excitement as visitors from near and far gather at the city’s expansive outdoor theatre. Surrounded by lush greenery and the gentle rustle of bamboo, the stage is set against the backdrop of a lake and towering mountains. This creates a unique ambiance that sets the stage for the show.

A Celebration Of Culture

The Quintessence of Tonkin is not just a performance; it is a carefully crafted celebration of Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage. From its very beginning, every aspect of the show has been thoughtfully designed to showcase the essence of Vietnamese culture in all its glory. The production team behind the show has painstakingly researched and curated elements from various regions of Vietnam, combining them together into a seamless show that reflects the diversity and richness of the country’s traditions.

Legends Come To Life

One of the highlights of the show is the reenactment of the legendary tale of Thanh Giong, a mythical hero who bravely defended his homeland against foreign invaders with the help of a magical iron horse. Through some amazing dance routines and spellbinding acrobatics, skilled performers bring this centuries-old legend to life, captivating audiences with their grace and athleticism. The attention to detail in the choreography and costumes will bring the audience back in time, allowing them to experience the heroic exploits of Thanh Giong firsthand.

Melodies Of The Past

Throughout the performance, traditional Vietnamese music fills the air, transporting spectators to a bygone era of dynasties and legends. From the melodies of the bamboo flute to the rhythmic beats of the traditional drum, each note is in line with the spirit of the Vietnamese people, and creates a sense of pride and nostalgia among spectators. The live orchestra, composed of talented musicians playing traditional instruments, adds depth and authenticity to the experience, enhancing the overall immersion in Vietnamese culture.

Puppetry Masterpieces

But perhaps the most captivating aspect of The Quintessence of Tonkin is the amazing water puppetry performance, a centuries-old art form that originated in the rice paddies of northern Vietnam. Against the backdrop of the beautiful lake, skilled puppeteers manipulate intricately crafted puppets, bringing to life scenes from rural Vietnamese life with astonishing precision and fluidity. From scenes depicting traditional farming practices to mythical creatures from Vietnamese folklore, the puppetry will take audiences on a journey through the imagination, leaving them spellbound and amazed.

A Unique Experience

As the final curtain falls and the applause echoes through the night, visitors are left with a sense of wonder and admiration for the beauty and history of Vietnamese culture. The Quintessence of Tonkin is more than just a show; it is proof of the spirit of a nation, a celebration of its rich heritage and timeless traditions. For many of the audience, the experience leaves a lasting impression, sparking a newfound appreciation for Vietnamese culture and a desire to learn more about its history and traditions.


For anyone looking to learn more about the true culture and history of Hanoi, The Quintessence of Tonkin is a must-see cultural experience that will leave a lasting impression on the hearts and minds of all who witness its magic. In a world where modernity often threatens to overshadow tradition, this stunning show serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and celebrating the cultural remains of the past.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the duration of The Quintessence of Tonkin performance?

The performance typically lasts for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, providing a captivating and immersive experience for audiences.


Is The Quintessence of Tonkin suitable for children?

Yes, the show is family-friendly and suitable for children of all ages. However, parental discretion is advised for younger children due to some scenes involving dramatic performances and loud noises.


Are there any dining options available at the venue?

Yes, there are dining options available at the venue, offering a selection of traditional Vietnamese dishes and refreshments for visitors to enjoy before or after the performance.


Is photography allowed during the performance?

Photography and videography are not allowed during the performance to make sure that all audience members can fully enjoy themselves in the experience without distractions. However, guests are welcome to take photos before or after the show.


Is transportation provided to and from the venue?

While transportation is not included in the ticket price, there are various transportation options available, including taxis, rideshare services, and organized tour packages that may include transportation to and from the venue. It’s recommended to plan transportation in advance to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

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    2801, Mazata Business Avenue BB2,
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    Dubai, UAE


    2801, Mazata Business Avenue BB2,
    Plot No: JLTE-PH2-BB2,
    jumeirah Lakes Towers,
    Dubai, UAE

    Thrillark, Crafted with in Dubai

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