Perfume Pagoda – Tracing the Buddhist Path of Vietnam

Located about 70km to the Southwest of Hanoi, Perfume Pagoda (Vietnamese name: Huong Pagoda)  is one of the most famous attractions in Vietnam in Huong Son Site (also known as Perfume Mountain). If you are about to visit Vietnam, take time to read this article as it may give you some useful information of an ideal cultural and religious journey.

Why should you visit Perfume Pagoda?

The Perfume Pagoda, considered is most beautiful landscape and sacred caving pagoda in Vietnam, is one of the highlights of the Hanoi area and one of the most important religious sites in Vietnam. It is a vast complex of  Buddhist temples and shrines built into the limestone Huong Tich mountains. As one among centers of Buddhism in Vietnam, Perfume Pagoda offers tourists plenty of chance to get an insight into this side of Vietnam’s culture and religious. Perhaps the centuries-old culture has imprinted on the mind of every Vietnamese person when it comes to Huong pagoda. They incense to show their aspirations from the bottom of their hearts. In front of such a scenery, even the Vietnamese Kings and the Confucians did honestly show the admiration. It is not only a regional value, but also a national relic and spiritual culture, as it has been the living value of the Buddhism’s development in Vietnam since the ancient days.Perfume pagoda

Moreover, the scenic and mesmerizing scenery here is really worth visiting at least once in a lifetime! As there are no roads into this area, the pagoda itself is built into limestone cliffs and can only be reached by boat and foot. This could be an experience for travellers to glide along scenic waterways and walk up steep mountain paths visiting the pagodas and temples that were built in this area over the last centuries.

The Perfume Pagoda highlights

Yen Stream

Coming to the complex of Perfume Pagoda, you can take a boat along the poetic and romantic Yen Stream. Yen stream flows between two mountains for 3 kilometers. Nevertheless, sitting on the boat, leisurely enjoying the surrounding landscape, you may feel that the stream is endless. There are numbers of must-see highlights along the stream, which is by far a much more romantic and scenic route to Huong Pagoda. You will pass by stunning landscape of blazing green rice paddles studded with jagged limestone mounts to the base of Huong Mountain.yen stream


Huong Tich Cave

Huong Tich Cave, literally meaning “traces of fragrance”, was named as “The first-ranking grotto under the Southern Sky” by the lord Trinh Sam, an 18th century ruler of Northern Vietnam.  Inside, the magnificient cave is made with various shapes of stone plates, stalactite, etc. In addition to the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva statue inside Huong pagoda, the area in the cave also has some other statues such as Kim Dong, Ngoc Nu, Cuu Long made of stalactites in the shape of nine dragons. The unique carving art together with the extremely magnificient works of Nature makes the Huong Pagoda complex the top-revenued tourism destination among others in Ha Tay, and the foremost destination of Buddhists in particular and tourists in general.Huong Tich cave

Perfume Pagoda

Perfume Pagoda is a central temple with a large area located inside the majestic Huong Tich cave and contains many mystical curiosities to explore. This place worships the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara attracting millions of tourists coming to pray for peace and happiness, especially every New Year.Huong pagoda

>>>Explore more tour to Perfume Pagoda here.

Thien Tru Pagoda

Thien Tru Pagoda, with the meaning of the Heaven’s Kitchen, is a pure and always cleaned up Pagoda. It’s quite small but always peaceful and transquill. Thien Tru Pagoda is famous for Thuy Tien tower, a granite monolith. On the right is Tien Son grotto, popular for five granite statues and various formations on the walls of the cave. Coming here, pilgrims have chances to admire the pagoda’s beauty and wonderful local landscapes.thien tru pagoda

Trinh Temple

Trinh Temple, also known as Ngu Nhac Linh Tu, is a small temple on the right of the Yen Stream. This place is dedicated to the soldiers of the mountains, guarding the Pagoda. Visitors can go to the temple to present before entering the complex and this is a little procedure that everyone should do when visiting Perfume Pagoda.trinh pagoda

Best time to visit Perfume Pagoda

The best time for you to visit Perfume Pagoda is from October to December. It’s less touristy and more quiet. It’s a pleasure for a slow pace rowing on river to enjoy sightseeing amazing landscape with beautiful water lilies blooming everywhere.

yen stream
On the romantic water lilies stream to Perfume Pagoda.

However, it depends on tourist expectation to choose a travel ideal time as well. If you fancy local religion culture, you can come for a trip in the occasion of main festival which lasts 3 months from Vietnamese traditional new year (Tet). This time of the year offers magical scenery with rice flowers blooming along the stream. Nevertheless, travellers have to face many others problem as in the high season, the price is higher and the trip can be affected by the crowd.

Tips for a trip to Perfume Pagoda

1. Boat

This main mean of transport will take you to each cave and pagoda along Yen Stream. It is highly recommended that you go straight to Duc Pier, find the office and buy tickets. When buying, you should also ask for the maximum number of guests on a boat to avoid being stuffed. The price is 130,000VND/person for the main route on boat and the tickets to the highlights are included.

2. Cable car

Coming to Thien Tru Pagoda, you will easily find the cable ticket office. You can choose either to challenge your strength to climb to Huong Tich Cave and Perfume Pagoda, or buy a ticket and enjoy the view. It’s highly recommended that you take a cable to save your time and energy. The price for cable car is 100,000VND/person one way and 160,000VND/person for a two-way ticket. On the occasion of festivals, it is so crowded that you have to wait in a long line to buy the tickets from the organizers to avoid purchasing elsewhere with a too expensive price.

Cable car
Cable car to Perfume Pagoda.

3. Small things to notice

You should dress up discreetly with long-sleeved shirts and long pants as this is a religious place. Also, as you have to walk and climb quite a lot to the pagodas and caves, you should prepare yourselves comfortable shoes.

Bring along some water in case you are thirsty of walking too much. But you are not allowed to eat inside the pagodas so please take note. There are some restaurants around for your lunch if you need.

Finally, be respectful and avoid talking too loud or dishonestly. Be careful to protect your own stuffs and enjoy your trip!

So, if you are interested, don’t hesitate to let our tailor Asianwaytravel help you create the most meaningful trip to this spiritual and religious site now!

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