Hoi An Cultural Shows

Hoi An is host to a plethora of cultural activities for visitors to choose from. The three stand-out Hoi An cultural shows and theatrical performances on offer in the city are: Lune Productions, “Hoi An Memories”, and the long-running and very traditional water puppet show. The range of these three shows set them at various price points. This is because each offers up a very different experience from the other. Hidden provides you with a brief overview of each performance, so you’ll know what to expect. Then it’s over to you to figure out which unique show suits you best.

Lune Productions

Website – Address: Dong Hiep Park, Nguyen Phuc Chu St.Price: A Zone – 700,000 VND (30.50 USD) O Zone – 1,150,000 VND (50 USD) W Zone – 1,600,000 VND (70 USD)

Lune Productions is a Vietnamese theatre company showcasing five distinct cultural shows. These shows rotate throughout the country, including A O Show, Teh Dar, My Village, Palao and The Mist. Each show is strongly rooted in Vietnamese beliefs, traditions, and the realities within the country. Imagine a cross between Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group, and Stomp. Minus the frantic lighting, over the top costumes and congested sets.

Lune Teh Dar: Lune Show Hoi An
Traditional masks, costume, and music play a big part in the Teh Dar Show. Photo: Hidden Hoi An

The company relies on the thoughtful and intriguing use of a small space. Coupled with the precision and talent of its performers. Items of cultural significance play a large roll in the shows, such as basket boats, bamboo poles, hill tribe instruments and much more. It’s a no-frills act that reduces the show to an epic performance with nothing to hide behind but skill and wit.

Lune Productions Hoi An Venue

Lune’s Hoi An venue was constructed specially for their shows, making it incredibly unique venue for Hoi An cultural shows. Featuring a beautiful moon-shaped dome, adorned with wicker-basket chandeliers and bamboo scaffolds. The theatre holds an intimate setting, with 299 seats situated in a semi-circle right up at the stage’s forefront.

The Shows

The shows are family-friendly and enjoyable for all ages. However, do note that children under five-years-old are not permitted. While some may see this a downside, with Lune’s price points being slightly higher than other shows, it does ensure stability in the audience.

In Vietnam, Lune Productions operates in Ho Chi Minh, Hoi An, and Hanoi. Their shows rotate between these cities. So make sure to check online to see which show is being offered in each city ahead of time, to avoid missing out.

Click here to see a more in-depth article about this production.

Lune AO Show cast: Lune show Hoi An
The cast of Lune Productions AO Show in Hoi An. Photo: Hidden Hoi An

Hoi An Memories

Website – Address: Con Hen (200 Nguyen Tri Phuong turn left), Cam Chau– Price: Hoi An Memories ticket prices for children range from 300,000 to 450,000 VND (13 to 19 USD) and for adults, prices range from 600,000 to 900,000 VND (26 to 39 USD).  Combo tickets which include entrance to the theme park are 30,000 VND (1.20 USD) and tickets for the theme park alone are 100,000 VND (4 USD).

The Hoi An Memories show is located at Impression Theme Park on a small island in the Thuy Bon River. The show is a colossal performance, offering a feast for the eyes including 500 cast members. They consist of dancers, singers, actors and extras that take to the large movie-set-style stage every night. Memories aims to show the evolution of Hoi An throughout four centuries.

The set boasts massive movable props allowing the drama to evolve and develop along with the city. Lights also play a huge role with fleets of illuminated bicycles and conical hats, along with lengths of light rails built into the ground. This is the largest scale production of all the Hoi An cultural shows.

Impressions Show performers: Lune show Hoi An
Performers on the vast Impressions Show stage. Photo: Chris Shimanoff

The Outdoor Stage and Surrounds

The seating area is massive with more than 3,300 seats to choose from. A unique aspect of Hoi An Memories, mainly due to the sheer size of the show, is that it all takes place outside. So there are no walls, no roof, and no building large enough to house the production! However with this, the weather does play a big role in the show taking place, and it will be cancelled if it turns sour.

As for the location of Impression Island, the entrance is on the north side of Cam Nam Island. But easily accessible from Hoi An’s Old Town by a bridge near the Central Market. You can easily drive there yourself, but a taxi is the best bet.

Book a ticket easily through the Impressions website or at the island itself. The show is an excellent choice for families, as children of all ages are welcome. Tickets for children are 50% off.

As for the location of the Hoi An Impression Theme Park, the entrance is located on the north side of Cam Nam Island which is connected to Hoi An Old Town by a bridge near the central market. You can easily drive there yourself, but a taxi is the best bet.

The theme park offers a variety of well-produced minishows and informative workshops that can be enjoyed as the sole performance or as a pre-show warm up for the main event – Hoi An Memories Show.

Click here to see a more in-depth article about Hoi An Memories.

Impressions island: Lune show Hoi An
Impression Island seen from the Hoi An riverbank. Photo: Hidden Hoi An

Hoi An Water Puppet Show

Website – Address: 548 Hai Ba Trung Price: Adult – 80,000 VND (3.5 USD) Child – 40,000 VND (1.7 USD). Time: 6:30pm every day (closed Wednesday and Sunday). Tickets can be booked in advance through Facebook, email: hoianwaterpuppetshow@gmail.com or phone: +84 941378979

The original cultural show for many Vietnamese cities has always been the water puppet show. In Hoi An, it’s no different. The water puppet show is located just north of Old Town at the Hoi An Theatre—a sizeable open-air space with stadium-style seating. The show consists of a dozen short acts that depict Vietnamese folklore and fables through the use of colourfully decorated hand-carved puppets. Furthermore, with the trade of a solid stage for one of water, it’s a unique show to experience.

Water puppets for sale: Lune show Hoi An
Water puppet models  for sale in Hoi An Ancient Town. Photo: Hidden Hoi An

Regardless of if you’re travelling with children or not, it’s an experience that can be enjoyed by all ages. Especially with such a reasonable price point. At just 45 minutes long, the show is slightly shorter than others within the city. Therefore a good choice for those with short attention spans! While the acts are introduced in English, any speaking on the puppets’ behalf is all in Vietnamese. However, through movement and sound, you can easily follow what is happening.

Booking a ticket is easily done at any of the tourist booths in and around the Old Town. However you can also pay at the entrance when you arrive. There are no assigned seats with the tickets, so we recommend you arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the show begins, especially during high season. The Hoi An Theatre has a small ramp to overcome the steps if required for a wheelchair.

traditional backdrop: Lune show Hoi An
The traditional backdrop for Hoi An’s water puppet show. Photo: Hidden Hoi An

Hidden’s thoughts on Hoi An Cultural Shows

Now, you have a good understanding of what each performance in Hoi An has to offer. Whether it’s impressively large-scaled, pure raw talent, or old school traditional storytelling, Hoi An’s got a show for you. Above all, with the city already being a definite location for local culture, attending a show is an entertaining way to bring it all together.

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