King of music in Vietnam


Trundling through the streets of Hanoi, avoiding the myriad of motorbikes we head to a little restaurant on the outskirts of the city. Being greeted at the door we are shown to a table and offered a cup of tea. The elderly owner comes and sits with us. There is a something on his mind… 

Vu Ba Pho family - Jewel Tours Director

“Welcome to my music hall” he proudly announces.  “Music hall???”  we are here for some refreshments but this sound interesting.  

“Come” he takes us to a back room and laid out in front of us is a huge collection of traditional Vietnamese instruments,  All in pristine condition. 

“This is my little museum” he proudly announces going on to explain his love of traditional Vietnamese instruments.  This little cafe on the outskirts of Hanoi is owned by Mr. Vu Ba Pho who worked from 1961 at the Vietnam Cultural and Music Theatre where he performed many tunes to the general public. His love for traditional instruments grew and over time both him and his wife scoured the country for such artefacts.  Some he found played without any attention others needed rebuilding and after hours of tender loving care these too sprang into life. 

Flute instrument, vietnam

Professor Vu Ba Pho play flute by one nose

  The couples fondness of the instruments comes second to their ability to play and both are ready to show their art off to their visitors and being joined by their son just makes the sound more enchanting.  Their joint music lead us to a different world of emotions as we drift off into the jungle listening to the birds…

Trung instrument, vietnam

Professor Mai Lien playing T'Rung Percussion

2 string instrument, vietnam

Vu Ba Nha playing 2 String music instrument

Alas all too soon we need to return to reality and back in the car through the streets of Hanoi, the hustle and bustle of everyday life surrounding us but  the authentic music and ambiance of Mr Vu Ba Phos museum plays on our minds – we will return for another cup of tea soon…

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