Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater with a Toddler

Tonight we attempted to bring Gabriel to the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City. He is now 20 months old, and I was hoping that he’d be able to sit through a lively show, or at least 30 minutes of the 50-minute show. He can sit and watch a whole movie at home, but I forgot that when anything involves water he wants to be able to splash and play in it and doesn’t like to sit down.

We only lasted about 5 minutes before he decided he wanted to stand right next to the pool with the puppets, and when he could not do that because the attendant asked us to have him sit down, he had a meltdown. My husband took him out, with Gabriel screaming for “agua!” and I shot a quick video before making my escape.

If your children are a bit older or are happy to sit, this could be a good family outing. Our son loves water, and if you’ve been following this blog you may remember he jumped into a koi pond at a restaurant during our first school faculty gathering. Probably wasn’t the best idea to bring him to the water puppet theater.

He did like watching, he just wanted to be up close with the puppets. After we left, he was screaming “Agua!” to go back so I bought him a 60,000 VND ($3) wooden water puppet souvenir. Maybe we’ll try to go again in a few years, although all of the narration is in Vietnamese so you can’t follow the story unless you know the language.

There is a large park nearby as well as lots of restaurants, so you could make an evening out of it. Shows are daily at 5pm and 6:30 and last 50 minutes. We bought our tickets for 170,000 each (kids under 2 are free, and good thing cause we didn’t really see the show!) from Buffalo Tours, but you can buy them at the entrance.

It’s not worth bringing a stroller because there are steps getting in and out of the theater and there aren’t any ramps. Also, the streets nearby do not have good sidewalks.

It wasn’t a total bust though. Gabriel practiced two new words during the drive: taxi AND motorbike. He says “bo ga dai” for motorbike, and he kept looking out the window of the taxi saying “Oh no bogadai! Oh no!”

Another quick video if you’d like to see more:

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