The Perfume Pagoda in Vietnam.
About visiting The Perfume Pagoda which is situated along The Suoi Yen River around 60kms southwest of Hanoi in Vietnam. Most Hanoi hotels and guesthouses will have this popular day trip on offer - it typically costs around 30 USD each including transport, guide, a ride on a sampan, entrance fees - plus one way on the cable car and lunch. (If you decide to go on this trip remember to take some bottled water with you - prices at the Pagoda entrance gate as well as
the stalls on the way up are totally outrageous).
The Perfumed Pagoda is one of Vietnam's most popular and spectacular sites and located on the Hui Huong Tich (Fragrant Vestige Mountain) - a complex of shrines set in the hills. Where the Red River Delta ends the limestone hills rise out of the paddy fields and the ride along the flooded
valleys is quite spectacular. From My Duc small metal boats rowed by village women make the hour long trip along the Suoi Yen River to the landing area. it's very busy here, loads of food and gift stalls, cafes and tour guides desperately trying to keep their groups together. After walking a short distance through the mayhem you then commence the climb firstly going to Thien Tru Pagoda - The Pagoda leading to Heaven.
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The Buddhist Thien Tru Pagoda - Vietnam. This is a shrine which was built in the 18th century and rises through three levels - an elegant triple roofed bell pavilion stands in front of the temple. The temple itself is dedicated to Quan Am (bodhisattva Guanyin - The Goddess of Mercy) and her statue takes pride of place on the pagoda's main alter. Although the temple complex is quite pleasant to wander around the whole area is basically very busy with tourists and worshippers.
From the side of the temple there is still a bit more climbing up steps to do to get to the cable car area. Although the idea might be taking the cable car to the top and walking back in fact the queues can be totally horrendous - much shoving and pushing and little crowd management. It does not take too much thought that this is just not worthwhile - so the alternative is obviously to
walk up the mountain instead and use your ticket to ride back down. The 2.5km climb up does however require a certain amount of fitness and probably takes about an hour. Not only is the way up very steep and can be hot and humid but also the route is narrow because of the stalls lining either side and there are many people walking back down as well as up.
The Huong Tich Pagoda and Cave - north Hanoi. On reaching the top you are faced with a steep descent down 120 steps into the cave and the (the pagoda is dedicated to Quan Am). Trees cling to the side of the cave and incense smoke is thick in the air. Note: although the walk down the steps is fairly ok once at the bottom the surfaces are very slippery and there is a lot of pushing and shoving - and it is quite difficult to see very much let alone walk around.
Once back to the top it is only a short walk back to the cable car and eventually back to your boat for the trip back to My Duc (you are expected to give a tip to the rower once back - this is usually 1 USD or 20000 Dong for each passenger).
Is this Perfumed Pagoda trip in Vietnam worth going on?
The boat trip is enjoyable and The Perfumed Pagoda is one of Vietnam's most important religious sites however the heat and really
huge crowds make it quite hard work. This is particularly the case on weekends and naturally during any public holidays or important religious periods. If you are mostly interested in taking a quite unique Vietnamese river trip on a sampan along with excellent countryside scenery - and can only do one trip due to limited time - then Visiting Tam Coc on a daytrip from Hanoi
is probably a much better and more relaxing choice.
Our items about Hanoi - including day trips which can be easily done from the city.
- Hanoi Vietnam Travel and Touring Guide and Photos
- Hanoi hotels and restaurants in The Old Quarter i.e. where to stay, Hoan Kiem Lake, Den Ngoc Son Temple, markets, photos.
- Hanoi Vietnam Sightseeing Guide and Photos
- Visting Bach Ma Temple, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Tran Quoc Pagoda, Temple of Literature, Presidential Palace, Long Bien Bridge
- Visiting Tram Gian Pagoda, Tay Phuong Pagoda, Thay Pagoda in Vietnam
- Looking round Tay Phuong Pagoda, Thay Pagoda, Tram Gian Pagoda (Tien Lu Pagoda) on a daytrip from Hanoi, Vietnam, Photos.
- Going for a Cruise at Halong Bay in Vietnam
- Ha Long Bay cruise - daytrip from Hanoi and visiting Halong Bay, Bay of Tonkin, down into Hang Thien Cung caves, pictures.
- Day trip to visit Tam Coc in Vietnam
- Going to Tam Coc - taking a sampan ride through the caves and between the hills, also visiting Hoa Lu Temples in Vietnam.
- Vietnam and Mekong Delta Touring Guide
- Our Vietnam Home Page - this contains all of our topics about touring in Vietnam and The Mekong Delta.
More destinations for which we have travel and holiday guides are for Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Cyprus, lots of Greek Islands, The Algarve and several Canary Islands
Also many Topics about England - Wild Flowers, National Trail Walks, Churches plus quite a few canals including The Kennet and Avon Canal, The Oxford Canal, The Grand Union Canal, The Regents Canal - also two rivers (the Lee and Stort) and about walking The Thames Path.
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