• Discover the best of Northern Vietnam’s culture at The Quintessence of Tonkin show in Hanoi!
  • Lay your eyes upon the open-air setup of the show, reminiscent of the Red Delta River’s glory days
  • Watch in awe as water puppetry, lights, music, and nature bring you a dazzling set of performances
  • Witness 6 magical acts in time courtesy of inclusive round-trip transfer services
  • Seclude yourself within tranquil surroundings inspired by the Thay Pagoda at The Quintessence of Tonkin show
The Quintessence Of Tonkin Show

What to expect:

  • Witness the artistic celebration of local heritage at The Quintessence of Tonkin show in Hanoi! Be immersed in the historic setting of northern Vietnam blended with environment technology to create a unique, world-class performance. Just 20km west from the city of Hanoi, this outdoor spectacle proves the city’s title as the “cultural capital of Vietnam.” Watch a contemporary take on the way of life in Vietnam as the show delves into Poetry, Buddhism, Nostalgia, Music & Painting, Peace & Harmony, and Joy & Festival. Six acts will retell the region’s history through a genius mix of traditional water puppetry, a dazzling lights show, a moving musical score, a flawless production setup, and the natural beauty of the Thay Mountain in the background. Enjoy a string of heartfelt performances from dancers in the Sai Son Commune’s farming families. Don’t miss out on The Quintessence of Tonkin show for a genuine cultural experience in Hanoi!
The Quintessence Of Tonkin Show

An emotional touch:

  • A special point of Tinh hoa Bac Bo is its 4,300 square metres stage lying at the foot of Thay Pagoda mountain in Sai Son Commune, Quoc Oai District, about 28km from centre of Ha Noi to the west. Performances are supported by technology of sound, lighting, images, modern equipment, telling stories about nature, and the rich spiritual life of the ancient Vietnamese community. Traditional folk elements and cultural quintessence have been recreated, contributing to raising the value of cultural heritage (water puppetry, singing of quan hochau van…); The Quintessence of Tonkin delivers audiences a unique and memorable exploration of the Red River Delta – the beating heart of Northern Vietnam – from poetry and music to Buddhism, beliefs…
  • This show is a delicate merge of 6 different aspects of the cultural Quintessence of Tonkin: Poetry, Buddhism, Nostalgia, Music & Painting, Peace & Harmony and Joy & Festivities. Performers who are originally from Sai Son will bring you back to a pristine time, living in the old countryside of Vietnam, feeling the sacred atmosphere and the cultural crystallisation of the land with thousands of years of literature.
  • “Poetry”, inspired by the poetry of Nguyen Khuyen, the folk song Tat Nuoc Dau Dinh and the lullaby of Tonkin, the opening scene of The Quintessence of Tonkin spotlights traditional, rural life in Vietnam.
  • “Buddhism”, the next scene carries the story of Tu Dao Hanh, the venerable monk who founded the Thay Pagoda. Known as The Master, Tu Dao Hanh was also a medic and a mystic who healed the impoverished sick and asked for no payment in return. He taught the local residents of the village cultivation and also the art of water puppetry, which is now firmly entrenched in Vietnamese culture.
  • “Nostalgia” scene tells the story about candidates bringing their cloth bags and bamboo tents to the Thang Long Citadel for their mandarin examination.
The Quintessence Of Tonkin Show
  • “Music & Painting”, drawing inspiration from the poetry of female artist Ho Xuan Huong, four screens depicting young women appear on the darkened surface of the lake. Each girl plays a different traditional Vietnamese musical instrument: flute, four-chord lute, two-chord fiddle and two-chord guitar. While the music wafts over spectators, beautiful fairies fly and dance, gracefully skimming the surface of the lake.
  • “Peace & Harmony”– Religious beliefs and activities play an important role in the lives of villagers. The worship of the Third Holy Mother and Mother Goddess– saints who are in charge of the rice fields and help with successful farming and agriculture – give villagers a more comfortable life. The practices related to the Viet beliefs in the Mother Goddesses of Three Realms are recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
  • In the last scene, “Joy & Festivities” focuses on the “challenge and response” singing competition of Quan Ho folk songs to traditional games that are rarely seen today to the customs of Song Loan to the Song Dinh procession, all are vividly and convincingly portrayed. “Nguoi Oi Nguoi O Dung Ve” is sung as a farewell to the audience from the performers.
  • Tinh Hoa Bac Bo has received great appreciation from cultural experts and prestigious award organisations in the world. In early June 2018, the show received the Gold Stevie® Award (annual award for the business community by The Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards) with the category “Innovation in  Product Design and Development”; The Guinness Vietnam organisation awarded the certificate, setting 2 records as “The show has the largest water stage in Vietnam” and “The show has the largest number of performers who are farmers in Vietnam”.

Conservation of culture, heritage and tourism development based on local resources:

  • From March 2022, Tinh hoa Bac Bo has been back after a long period of COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, Tinh hoa Bac Bo has been staged every Saturday night with many attractive special price policies.
  • Besides, Sai Son has many artisans with traditional crafts. Therefore,  performing Tinh hoa Bac Bo contributes to create stable jobs for the local community. With a variety of jobs such as performers, water puppeteers, costume makers, carpenters, technicians and service workers. The show would not have been successful without these dedicated and passionate people. Tinh hoa Bac Bo partly helps to raise people’s awareness of the cultural and historical values of this place through the way of economic development based on tourism. Above all, giving a hand to improve the quality of lives of the locals.
The Quintessence Of Tonkin Show

Tinh hoa Bac Bo is a lively and vibrant painting about lives, spirit and culture of the North in general and Doai land in particular. The young Hanoians, who have access to the programme, will feel more proud of Thang Long with 1000 years of civilization as well as the unique tourism products in their homeland. Visitors will be immersed in the beauty of the ancient cultural life of the North as well as the ancient and studious spirit of the Vietnamese people when watching the show.

The Quintessence Of Tonkin Show

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Insider Tips:

  • Grab dinner before the show at Cho Que, a nearby restaurant that serves authentic Vietnamese food