A good way for tourists to experience the local culture of Hanoi is to attend a live Ca tru performance, a traditional form of Vietnamese music, performed by Thang Long Ca Tru Club’s singers at Quan De Temple on Hang Buom Street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi.
Ca tru is native to north Vietnam and dates back more than 1,000 years to the Ly Dynasty. It was especially popular with the royal court and feudal elites and has been passed down through the centuries orally. The art was recognised as an “intangible cultural heritage” in need of preservation by UNESCO in 2009.
The show was put on by ca tru traditional band trio Ca Tru Thang Long. The band includes 83-year-old singer Nguyen Thi Chuc, dan day player Nguyen Phu De, 88, and their student, singer Pham Thi Hue. During the performance, the trio performed seven ca tru songs and extracts, include Tieng Duong Tranh, which is considered the oldest song of the genre.