2 Best Cultural Shows You Should Watch When Visiting Vietnam

Watching cultural and artistic shows is the best way to learn about the culture, history, and local people through unique, modern, and visually appealing art forms. Vietnam has a rich and diverse cultural heritage, deeply rooted in its ethnic identity, and it can be challenging to truly grasp it solely through books and newspapers. Therefore, SVietnam Travel would like to introduce you 2 best cultural shows that are regularly showcased in Hanoi and Hoi An, allowing you to immerse yourself in a part of Vietnam’s cultural history.

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1. The Quintessence of Tonkin Show

The Quintessence of Tonkin Show is the first live performance show in Vietnam, premiered in 2017. With its grand stage, modern special effects, and a large cast of actors (around 250 performers), it created a sensation among both domestic and international audiences. The stage area of The Quintessence of Tonkin Show spans over 4,000m2 and is located at the foot of Thay Pagoda, Quoc Oai, Hanoi, approximately 30 km from the city center.

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The Essence of the Northern Region Show

The performances are enhanced by state-of-the-art sound, lighting, visual effects, and modern equipment, immersing the audience in a narrative that depicts the unique cultural life, spirit, and traditions of ancient Vietnamese communities. The show beautifully showcases traditional folklore and cultural highlights, contributing to the elevation of Vietnam’s cultural heritage values (such as water puppetry, Quan Ho folk songs, and Chau Van singing).

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The Quintessence of Tonkin Show has received high praise from cultural experts and prestigious awards organizations worldwide. In early June 2018, the show won the Gold Stevie Award for Asia-Pacific (an annual award for the business community, often referred to as the Oscar system for business) in the category of “Innovation in Media, Visual Media, and Interactive Entertainment.” The show also established two records recognized by Guinness Vietnam: “The Largest Water Stage Show in Vietnam” and “The Show with the Highest Number of Farmer Performers in Vietnam.”

The Essence of the Northern Region Show

Due to its nature as a cultural tourism product, the show has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in temporary suspensions of performances. However, as the pandemic situation improves, the popularity of The Quintessence of Tonkin Show is gradually rekindling.

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Since March 2022, the show has resumed its performances after a period of interruption. Currently, it opens its doors to audiences every Saturday evening, offering special and attractive pricing policies.

Video The Quintessence of Tonkin Show

2. The Memories of Hoi An Show

The Memories of Hoi An show premiered on March 18, 2018, on a stage spanning 25,000m2 situated in the middle of the Hoai River in Hoi An. With a duration of 60 minutes, it is a contemporary dance art performance that combines sound, lighting, special effects, and most importantly, professional actors. The entire show revolves around the history of Hoi An, a bustling trading port that served as a cultural crossroads and a connection between Vietnam and the legendary Silk Road at sea.

The Memories of Hoi An Show

Each scene of the live performance involves a large number of actors, with 500 performers participating in The Memories of Hoi An show. The show is divided into 5 episodes, featuring over 15 mini-shows that depict various historical stages of Hoi An: from its humble beginnings as a small village, through ups and downs, to its prosperous days as the bustling trading port of Faifo, and up to the present day as one of the world’s most wonderful tourist destinations.

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Throughout The Memories of Hoi An show, the audience will be taken on a journey filled with astonishment and surprise, from the scale of the stage and props to the meticulously choreographed dance movements. The performances are delivered by well-trained dancers with beautiful physicality.

The Memories of Hoi An Show

On March 14, 2019, just one year after its debut, “The Memories of Hoi An” unexpectedly screened at Times Square in New York City, United States, immediately capturing the attention of international audiences. “The most beautiful” and “the most stunning” were the phrases uttered by viewers upon witnessing the breathtaking imagery. Reuters news agency recognized “The Memories of Hoi An” as the “most beautiful show in the world,” and in November 2022, the World Travel Awards honored the Hoi An Memories Artistic Island as the “world’s leading entertainment destination,” acknowledging its continuous efforts to bring Vietnamese culture, art, and history to international friends.

Video The Memories of Hoi An Show

Some information about The Memories of Hoi An show:

Performance Schedule: Every day of the week except for Tuesdays.
Time: From 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Venue: Hon Hen, Cam Nam, Hoi An
Ticket Price: Approximately $22 per adult, free for children under 1.4 meters in height.

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The aforementioned shows are organized with professionalism, meticulous staging, and impressive use of special effects, sound, and lighting, creating a remarkable experience for tourists who watch the shows.

To this day, “The Memories of Hoi An” has become a highlight of Hoi An, and any visitor to the city should not miss this performance. Along with The Quintessence of Tonkin Show in Hanoi, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture and explore one of the oldest and most unique cultural heritages.

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