Ho Chi Minh City never struck me as a great place to see live performances. I always thought of it as a place to visit mainly for the historical aspect. Nope! Once again, Ho Chi Minh City proved us wrong.
This time, while having a drink at Hotel Continental Saigon – we saw a bunch of people outside the Opera House I said to myself, “There must be a really good show there. Either that, or they are giving away something for free.”
Turns out, they weren’t giving away anything for free. Instead, there was a performance of the A O Show, an attraction that is one of the most popular on Tripadvisor. The following day, we confirmed that assumption with our own eyes, I dare to say that the A O Show is every bit as exciting as any cirque du soleil show. In fact I think there is a lot more creativity behind this show, because without a large budget, they manage to put together an hour of entertainment by using mainly – bamboo, an unseemingly versatile theater prop.
The Story behind the A O Show
Unlike many other shows, that have a story line from beginning to end, the A O Show has no script or story. But the way I saw it, is like an incredible snapshot of the Vietnamese people and their heritage. I can’t think of a better way to present the life of the villagers than the way they presented it. It is a cultural awakening of the beauty of Vietnam. The creative mind behind the A O Show is Mr. Tuan Le – a Vietnamese guy that moved to Germany at a young age. His creativity and passion for theater & arts put him in different spots in his life, where he got the opportunity to be part of a Broadway show, among other renamed shows around Europe & America.
I was surprised over and over again during the show of the remarkably inventive and creative uses of bamboo, woven baskets and woven bamboo basket boats.
These simple, natural materials were used in acrobatics, balancing acts, story telling, and motif scenes. They were used to depict many objects such as boats, bridges, frisbees and even an entire apartment building. Some of the funniest scenes where those in which the performers acted out animal scenes with these props – as crabs and ducks. Throughout the show, you’ll also get to hear a mix of extreme sounds from soft and soothing traditional music, to loud sounds of the heavy drums, electric guitars and the unique traffic noise that makes Vietnam different from any other country around the world.
The Venue – The Saigon Opera House
Aside from the amazingly talented performers & props we got to see throughout the show, the venue was very impressive, too. The Opera house is a beautiful colonial building that was built in 1897 by the French architect, Eugine Ferret. So when you buy tickets, you are not only paying to go see the A O Show, but also you get the opportunity to appreciate & photograph this piece beauty, that normally is not open to the public.
Saigon Opera House - Ho chi Minh City, Vietnam
Would I recommend this show?
Absolutely! I really enjoyed everything about the A O Show, from the complementary herbal tea before the show to the skilled acrobatics, everything was just fantastic! Just one thing to keep in mind is to make sure to get the “WOW seating” tickets. There is no better seating area than those seats, just like at any other theater, you know that the best view is always going to be in the balcony, right in front of the stage so you don’t have to move your head up or down when looking at the stage. It is worth every penny. So now you know, If you’re ever in Ho Chi Minh City, put this show at the top of your list. You won’t be disappointed.
Company InformationA O Show Saigon 07 Cong Truong Lam Son, District 1 Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam Mobile: (84) (0) 1245 18 11 88 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tickets start at USD 30.00
Disclaimer: We were provided tickets in exchange for sharing our experience about the show, but that didn’t influence the way we got to see things.
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