The Quintessence Of Tonkin Review – Is it worth-seeing?

The Quintessence Of Tonkin Overview

Since 10/2017, the grandest and most spectacular live cultural entertainment show Vietnam with the name The Quintessence of (also known as Tinh Hoa Bac Bo – Vietnamese language) is officially presented to all international visitors who come to Vietnam. This fantastic visual spectacle is more than just a show; it is an experience of the agricultural culture of Northern Vietnam.

It will give you close spectators a chance to explore Vietnamese history and culture from a contemporary perspective, with hundreds of performers, an interactive water stage, and state-of-the-art technology. 

The Quintessence of Tonkin covers six aspects of the cultural Tonkin: Poetry, Buddhism, Nostalgia, Music & Painting, Joy & Festivities. The show will bring you back to a pristine time, living in the old countryside of Vietnam, feeling the sacred atmosphere and the cultural crystallization of Northern Vietnam with thousands of years of history.

Length: it is a one-hour show

Is The Quintessence of Tonkin worth-seeing?

Let watch this video to see what international audiences talk about The Quintessence of Tonkin:

Why The Quintessence of Tonkin so special?

Watching the video is enough to click the book button? The following facts would make you eager to see it more.

The Backdrop

The Quintessence of Tonkin is located in Baara Land complex, about 40 minutes’ drive from the city center of Hanoi. This complex is very close to Thay Pagoda – The National Heritage and one of the oldest Buddhist Pagodas in Vietnam. 

Especially, the open-air rice field completes with a replicated village and the Chua Thay Mountain as the backdrop is the setting for this spectacle, which is performed on a submerged stage under a thin layer of water. “Mountains and water are very important in Vietnamese spirituality and folklore, which is why the show takes place on a lake and the Chua Thay hill is visible”, says Hoang Nhat Nam, Director of the show. “The Quintessence of Tonkin” will be showcased in different fields of arts from poetry, music, painting, sculpture, architecture, leisure activities to cultural activities in religious belief and in the working life of the people.

The Story

This show is blended 6 different aspects of the cultural Quintessence of Tonkin: Poetry, Buddhism, Nostalgia, Music & Painting, Joy & Festivities. Besides, water puppetry – a typical form of Vietnamese art, which has existed for more than 1,000 years – as a part of the Quintessence of Tonkin will bring you vivid images of daily rural life in Vietnam.
Not only opening up the cultural space of the northern delta with people’s daily life activities, the play also shows the audience the best of the water puppetry art with the story of the venerable monk Tu Dao Hanh and the history of the ancient Thang Long Royal Palace.

Real People, Real Performer 

The interesting fact about this show is the performer. They are not professional performers, in which most of them are local family of farmers and only about 10 of them are young dancers from Hanoi College of Dance. Each performer has undergone a rigorous one-year training program.

It is the local farmers to be the main spirit of the show. These local farmers know the story of countryside dwelling, farming, fishing and festivals better than anyone, thus, it can bring you the real experience, real stories from the real people. 

The-Quintessence-of-Tonkin Performer
Real people telling their real stories – The Quintessence of Tonkin performers

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The Theater

The theater itself is an engineering masterpiece. The natural lake was transformed into a stage, including a state-of-the-art hydrothermal system that raises the 15-ton Thuy Dinh Pagoda (pavilion on water) from under the water in just under a minute. As the Thay Mountain composes the background of the scenery, we also had to develop a unique illumination system to light up the hills, 1.5km away, using 40 lamps of 1500 watts!

The Costumes

The costumes are made of traditional patterns and raw materials – silk and cotton. They are all made on-site, and in order to faithfully illustrate our history and culture, were produced under the supervision of a historian and multiple artisans.


Complimentary shuttle bus for individual guests/ group under 10 persons will be provided with bookings of at least 2 days in advance.
You should arrive at the amphitheater at least 30 minutes before the show on time to check-in. Latecomers will be seated in a latecomers’ zone. The price difference between zone booked and latecomers’ zone will not be refunded. Seats in latecomers’ zone are subject to amphitheater availability.



The Quintessence Of Tonkin Review – Is it worth-seeing?
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