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Photo Essay: Water puppets in Hanoi

The water puppet shows in Vietnam have a long, rich history dating back many centuries.  We went to the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater in Hanoi.  The cynical part of me had low expectations and, wow, were those expectations exceeded.  I loved the show which lasts about an hour and a half. The theater is in the Old Quarter and very easy to find.  It's also only a short walk away from the Temple of the Jade Mountain (Ngoc Son Temple) which is on Hoàn Kiếm Lake.  This whole area of the city is very walkable  and nice to check out.

Here is the stage as we all eagerly waited for the show to start.

Finally the characters start to come out.  There are several stories played out with these characters.  We kept wondering where are the artists that are moving the puppets.

One of the main characters is just having a relaxing time fishing. Until...

A dragon shows up.

There are several old Vietnamese folklore stories which give you a good sense of the culture. Then the artists come out to take a bow and it's done.

This is a must see when in Hanoi!

Review - Great Flamenco Venue in Seville, Spain

Pictured above is the front entrance to the Los Gallos flamenco venue in Seville, Spain.  The three guys sitting down are performers in the show.   There are two shows each evening.  They were taking a break before the late show started.

We have been to a couple of different ones in Seville.  Los Gallos was our first and is still our favorite.   Below I'll highlight what we felt made the difference between this and other venues in Seville.

  • Service - The service is great.  They come around to take drink orders before the show.  You can also have a slight break in the middle of the show to take a bio break and/or order drinks again.  Everyone on the staff is extremely down to earth and will talk to you including the performers (though they are obviously busy!).
  • Seating - Los Gallos' seating is set up to minimize blind spots.  So, no matter where you sit it is very likely you'll have a clear view of the stage.   Some other venues have quite a few seats with obstructed views.  There is also a balcony which is where they tend to sit families with any young-ish children.   The balcony gives the kids just a little space to squirm around as they will do without disturbing the main seating area.
  • Performance - The shows are two hours which is great.  Other venues are similarly priced for only a one hour show.  The performers are what really make the difference at Los Gallos.  They seem much more passionate about their craft plus there are more performers per show than at other venues.  The extra performers is probably owing to the two hour show length.  This gives the show more variety and a great fiesta scene at the end.

All in all, I can whole-heartedly recommend Los Gallos if you are in Seville (Sevilla) and want to watch a flamenco show.

Until next time...