Phu Sa Lab, Hanoi - review by Rusty Compass
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Phu Sa Lab, Hanoi

| 14 Sep 2019
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Phu Sa Lab, Hanoi
21/52 Tô Ngọc Vân, Quảng An, Tây Hồ - West Lake, Hanoi
Around 700K for tickets depending on show

14 Sep 2019


Phu Sa Lab is a special performance space in Hanoi’s West Lake area dedicated to supporting traditional Vietnamese musical forms. They do other cool stuff too. Check what’s happening there during your stay in Hanoi.

Note: The information provided in this review was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service

Phu Sa Lab is the creation of Nhat Ly, the musical director behind the highly successful A O, Lang Toi and Teh-Dar shows that play in major theatres across Vietnam. He’s an amazing talent and a wonderful man with a deep commitment to preserving and promoting these unique musical styles.


Phu Sa Lab Hanoi, music and culture
Photo: Mark Bowyer Phu Sa Lab Hanoi, music and culture


Nhat Ly was born in France and moved to Hanoi as a young child in the early 1960s in the early years of the Vietnam War. He then returned to France to study music. It’s an unusual story that has shaped a fascinating character. Phu Sa Lab is his space. Phu Sa means "sediment" in Vietnamese.

Ca Tru is among the traditional musical forms Phu Sa Lab showcases. This ancient northern style is performed by a trio consisting of a female singer, a male lute (dan day) player and a spectator who doubles on percussion.

If you’d like a special experience of Vietnamese music - traditional or not so traditional, check Phu Sa Lab’s events on Facebook (see link). Performances are varied and only take place a few nights per week.

Rusty Compass recommendations are always independent. We list the places we think you should know about. That’s it. We paid our way at Phu Sa Lab and are keen to support their great work. Check out what’s happening here.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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