How To Explore Perfume River In The Most Experienced Way?

The Perfume River or Huong River is a symbol of Hue Imperial City, a critical part of Feng Shui in the Nguyen Dynasty’s architecture. Not only has this river become the great inspiration for a myriad of poets and musicians to compose but also played a crucial part in the daily life of the locals as well as the development of the locality. 

Table Contents
perfume river
Source: bambooairways

Hue City is not only charming with ancient pagodas, temples, citadels, royal tombs,... but also famous for the romantic Perfume River. This river is regarded as an iconic image of Hue Poetic City, the soul, and spirit of the local people, making it a very popular tourist magnet that every visitor would like to pay a visit to once traveling to Hue City. 

The poetic beauty of the Perfume River Vietnam

huong river

Stunning beauty of the river - Source: @Minh An

According to many different ancient documents, the Huong River has various names. Particularly, it was mentioned as the Linh River in the book “Du dia chi” by Nguyen Trai, a great poet in 1435. In the book of “O chau can luc” by Duong Van An in 1555, the river got the name of the Kim Tra River (the great river of Kim Tra). The famous 18-century poet, governmental official and encyclopedist called it the Huong Tra river in the book of “Phu bien tap luc”. Other names of the Perfume River in Hue can be mentioned as Lo Dung River, Dinh Rive, and Yen Luc River. 

The river stretches around 140km and has an area of 2,830km2, accounting for nearly three-fifths of the province's area. The Huong River Hue City system has three main tributaries: the Bo River, Huu Trach River, and Ta Trach River, which originate in the mid-mountain area of A Luoi and Nam Dong Districts, flowing through Phong Dien, Huong Tra, and Nam Dong Districts, Hue City, and Huong Thuy district, finally flowing into Tam Giang Lagoon. 

The clear, emerald Perfume River mirrors the images of lush tree bushes on both sides of the river, blue sky with seas of incredible white clouds, and the charming Trang Tien Bridge. Near the river are architectural works and colorful blossoms, which contribute to making the picture of the river more poetic and attractive. The Huong River Vietnam river seems quiet and a bit “serene” at sunset when the sun goes down, and gradually hides after high mountains, so there are a few light sun rays left. The entire area here is cloaked with warm, yellow, and orange colors, creating a subtle quiet atmosphere.

This may be the reason why Hue is known as the “sad city”. However, the Perfume River in Vietnam becomes glorious in the nightfall with colorful lights on the bridge of Trang Tien, reflecting on the water surface, which is amazingly attractive. The silence is likely to be broken by the noise of rowing Dragon boats and Hue’s traditional folk music echoing in the vast space. More specially, the Huong River appears more charming during festivals, when the water surface is awakened with hundreds of twinkling lanterns. 

The Perfume River in Hue is also considered the river of festivals because there are numerous festivals closely associated with Hue’s rich culture held on the river such as the festival of releasing floating lotus-shaped paper lanterns, the Hon Chen festival, the traditional boat racing festival, etc. 

Perfume River boat trip - must-try experience in Hue City

Exciting experiences on a Perfume River cruise tour

perfume river in vietnam

Dragon boats on the river - Source: Internet

The experience of cruising a stunning dragon boat on the Song Huong River is a must for any visitor to admire the utmost beauty of the river as well as Hue City. The dragon boat goes slowly along the waterway, passing the ancient dragon boat station of the emperors under the Nguyen Dynasty, Minh Mang Tomb, the iconic Trang Tien Bridge, Thien Mu Pagoda - the most sacred one in Hue City, Hon Chen Palace,... 

One of the most unique activities during a Perfume River boat trip is Ca Hue, the combination of two musical genres: folk music and Hue royal court. The beautiful voices of Hue women echo in the vast quiet space in the middle of the river, which makes your soul more “gentle” than ever. 

In addition, you get to sample Hue’s traditional specialties right on the boat. Unlike in the restaurants or hotels, enjoying food during the boat ride is totally different and unique because you can choose some options such as a basic dinner, a “loyal” dinner, or a royal banquet. The basic dinner in a Perfume River cruise tour includes specialties of the ancient capital such as chicken soup, spring rolls, and steamed squid, etc.

The menu of royal dinner seems a bit more luxurious and the dishes are meticulously garnished such as rice wrapped in lotus leaves, seafood soup, “nậm” cake, “nem công chả phượng” (royal phoenix rolls). The royal banquet helps you to fully enjoy the feast of the kings in the past with the menu imbued with Hue royal cuisine, typically luxurious appetizers, Cung Dinh grilled chicken, Cung Dinh rice, and Hue royal tea. 

Travel agencies offer a dragon boat tour on Huong River

perfume river boat trip

Music performance on the boat - Source: baodantoc

Here are several tour operators providing Dragon boat trips on the Perfume River Vietnam: 

Ca Hue Song Huong 

- Services: dragon boat trip to pay a visit to Hue’s monuments (near the river), eating on the boat, listening to Hue folk songs, and combo services.

- Hotline: +84 916 938 031 or +84 826 775 166 

- Website:

La Que 

- Services: The agency provides all services on dragon boat tours on the Perfume River. In Particular, you can hire the dragon boat for parties or birthdays to both enjoy the scrumptious food, admire the stunning view of Hue City and have fun with your travel companions. 

- Hotline: +84 935 088 394 

- Website:

The Perfume River in Hue Vietnam is as graceful as the souls of local people here, which appeals to a number of visitors to come and gain wonderful experiences on a boat ride. Be well-prepared for your coming trip to Hue City and start to explore the utmost beauty of the poetic Huong River! 

U want to share?
Hi, my name is Bich, and I do love traveling a lot. I have a huge passion for exploring new places & different cultures. And for me, it will be so great to share some of my travel experience in Vietnam to other travelers through my posts on this site.

Ha Bich — Ha Bich



Please enter email to get further
information for your travel plan

Vietnam Travel Memories

Best memories in Vietnam

Besides nature's beauty, historical relics,.. Vietnamese souvenirs especially handcrafted gifts with unique and catchy processes, also attract tourists a lot. This following article may be the best answer for the question “What souvenir to buy in Vietnam?”