Perfume pagoda Vietnam, located on the Hong Linh mountain range, is one of the most famous landscapes of the ancient South of Vietnam, which impresses visitors not only by its natural beauty but also peaceful atmosphere and serenity. Below is detailed information about Huong pagoda you can refer to before starting your journey to this gorgeous pagoda.
I - Perfume pagoda festival
The festival of Huong pagoda - Source: wikimedia
Among top most famous religious & cultural festivals in Vietnam, Huong pagoda is a leading spiritual attraction in the North of Vietnam, especially at the beginning of a new year when the festival takes place. In particular, the festival is held on January the first and lasts till the lunar March. The highlight of the festival is the pagoda opening ceremony, taking place from January 15th to February 18th.
The Huong pagoda festival is divided into two main parts: ceremony and festival. The former is offering incense, flowers, lamps, fruits, and vegetarian food inside Huong Tich cave, performed by monks and nuns wearing monk robes. All temples, pagodas, and shrines are covered with incense; the Perfume pagoda festival atmosphere spreads throughout the entire commune of Huong Son. The latter is amusing activities catching the attraction of numerous people such as rowing a boat, sightseeing, hiking, exploring the caves, and visiting the pagodas. Besides, you can also enjoy the local musical performances in the yard of the pagodas or communal houses.
The combination of poetic landscapes, chilly weather, and the rising incense smoke creates the tranquil atmosphere, which brings the sense of peace deep inside your mind and your body.
II - Perfume pagoda one day tour highlights
1 - Top points of interest in Perfume pagoda
Trinh Ngu Nhac Temple
Trinh Temple at Huong pagoda, also known as Ngu Nhac Linh Tu, is a small temple located on the right side of Yen Stream, about 500m from the boat wharf of Yen Stream, which is on the main tourist route going to Thien Tru pagoda and Huong Tich cave. Ngu Nhac is a mountain range which consists of five continuous mountains, characterized by lush old trees, which create the shape of a green dragon. This is a place dedicated to a general who defeated the enemy and assisted the Hung King.
Thien Tru pagoda in Perfume pagoda
Thien Tru pagoda - Source: wikipedia
From Ben Tro boat wharf, you hike to Thien Tru pagoda, located on Lao mountain, constructed in 1467. The pagoda is designed according to Ngu mon tam cap design (five gates and three courtyards, which is very popular in Vietnamese pagodas.
Through the gate of the pagoda is the large courtyard, both sides of which are cottages for visitors to take a rest during day time, featuring a 3 - meter censer for burning incense. Then, you reach the second courtyard, which is higher than the first one, characterized by houses for guests to take a rest on both sides.
The third courtyard of the Perfume pagoda Thien Tru pagoda is a bit higher than the others, connecting to the Tam Bao, which worships the Buddha. On the both sides of Tam Quan (three gates) leading to Tam Bao are the bell tower and the drum tower. Two tanks, the monks’ rooms, and the chambers, etc. are located on both sides of the Tam Bao. In front of the Tam Bao is the palace of Thanh Mau (Holy Mother), featuring the large stone statue of the 2.8 - meter Quan Am Nam Hai Bodhisattva. Thien Tru pagoda is a unique large-scale architectural work, which makes it the tourist center of the complex of Huong pagoda.
Huong Tich temple
Huong Tich cave temple - Source: wikimedia
After visiting Thien Tru pagoda, you embark on a cable car up to Huong Tich cave. Huong Tich cave, also well-known as “the greatest cave in Vietnam”, is a scenic landscape center of Perfume pagoda, which is 900m high above sea level. After going through 120 stone steps, you come into the inner of the cave, characterized by lush green trees on both sides and a myriad of stalactites in different shapes and sizes hanging down from the ceiling of the cave, and stalagmites rising from the ground. The most prominent feature is the stalagmite shaped nine dragons adoring a block of stalactites, which is called “Cuu Long Tranh Chau” (Nine Dragons fighting for a pearl).
Besides the “masterpiece of Mother Nature”, there are also artificial architectural works such as a delicately sculpted stone lotus Pedestal, a four-corner pedestal sculpted with a human figure raising the arms. In the middle of the Perfume pagoda Tam Bao cave is the statue of Quan Am (Avalokiteshvara) carved by precious stones, which is classified as a rare and priceless antiquity.
According to legend, the cave is the mouth of the dragon, in the cave there are drops of water falling down all day and night which is considered as dragon’s milk, also known as miraculous holy water. Many tourists come here to collect the holy water to wish for good luck.
After visiting Huong Tich cave, you will get on the cable car to go back to Tro boat wharf, then take a ferry back to Yen boat wharf and finish the schedule.
2 - How to get to the Perfume pagoda from Hanoi?
Lotus season in Huong pagoda - Source: hanoimoi
Located in Huong Son Commune, My Duc District - just about 60 km from the city center, Huong pagoda is a perfect spot to visit for one day in Hanoi Vietnam. The best way to get to the pagoda is to book a package tour with transfer service included, or to ride by motorbike or get by bus.
- Go on a tour
The pagoda is one of the top famous spots to visit among top one day tours from Hanoi. Booking a tour for one day of exploring Huong pagoda is highly recommended to all tourists. The tour package includes: transfer service, cable car ticket, entrance fee, boat trip ticket, a meal, and tour guide. Normally, the group tour with around 15 guests will cost about $40 for each person. It is so nice and convenient for a group tour like this. Some Perfume pagoda tour operators for those who need:
Golden holiday travel
Address: 104C17, Tan Mai street, Hoang Mai, Hanoi
Tel: 0988451530 (whatsapp,Viber)
Day tours Hanoi
Address: 2nd Floor, 192 Thai Thinh street, Dong Da, Hanoi
Tel: 081 759 3333
- Hanoi to Perfume pagoda by bus
There are shuttle buses with the price of 9,000 VND ($0.4)/ ticket, the frequency of 30 to 60 minutes/ way, departing from 4am every day and stopping right at the pagoda. Here are details of these buses:
+ Bus 01B: Depart from Gia Lam bus station - No.09 Ngo Gia Kham Street, Long Bien District, Hanoi.
+ Bus 107B: Depart from No.01 Kim Ma Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
- By motorbike
Traveling by motorbike is an interesting way to explore the Huong pagoda by yourself. With a length of about 60 km, it takes about over 1.5 hours.
3 - Best time to visit Perfume pagoda
The weather in Hanoi is quite nice from late September to May when it is not so hot like summer months from June to August. The spring (from late January to March) is the ideal time for visiting, worshiping, and pilgrimage in Vietnam. However, during the Huong pagoda festival, the number of domestic tourists increases significantly, international tourists should be more careful before visiting. From September to December is a great time for sightseeing when the weather is dry & cool, and it is not so touristy.
4 - How to explore the Huong pagoda?
Huong pagoda cable car - Source: mapio
To visit the Perfume pagoda, you firstly need to get an entrance ticket and a boat trip ticket.
The boat trip lasted for 1 hour along the Yen river from Ben Duc village to reach Suoi Yen boat wharf. You sit on a small boat, and travel through the small river, passing through lots of jagged rocks and green rice fields surrounded by mountains. If visiting in October, you can admire the breathtaking beauty of blooming lotus flowers on the water surface.
- Entrance fee: 80,000 VND/ person ($34.8)
- Boat trip ticket fee: 50,000 VND/ person ($21.8).
From Thien Tru pagoda, you can hike or take a Perfume pagoda cable car to get to the Huong Tich cave temple.
- One way ticket price: 120,000 VND/ adult ($5.23); 90,000 VND/ kid under 1.2m ($3.9)
- Round-trip ticket price: 180,000 VND/ adult ($7.85); 120,000 VND/ kid under 1.2m ($5.23).
In general, Perfume pagoda is not only impressive for its critical values in culture and religion but also a wonderful destination for visitors to stand in awe of the complex of magnificent religious architectures as well as admire the poetic beauty of nature in the sacred place where you can immerse yourself in soothing moments, simultaneously pray for a lucky and promising upcoming year.