Perfume Pagoda Travel Guide
The Perfume Pagoda is a historic sight located in Huong Son (Perfume Mountain) 70kms southwest of Hanoi. It is also known as Chua Huong and is famous throughout the country as it is not only historically important, but it is also the largest cluster of temples and shrines in the country.
The main pagoda is found in the hamlet of My Duc, which is a beautiful place in itself. This beauty led to the first temple, Huong Tich temple, being built close by. This temple dates back to the 18th century and is an important retreat for monks across Vietnam. Other shrines and temples were later built here in order to take advantage of the stunning scenery.
The Perfume Pagoda appears in many pieces of Vietnamese literature. It is also the setting for many works of art and poems. It is the beauty of the surrounding nature which makes the site so popular with locals and tourists alike as it is very calming and serene. While tourists flock here during the peak season, it is the months of February and March every year which are the most beautiful as thousands of monks make their way here on a pilgrimage, and the sea of orange from the robes adds color and vibrancy to an already beautiful site.
A must-do while here is to hire a boat and take a trip down the Yen Vi River, passing the temples on the way. It allows you to see things from a different perspective and also to enjoy the natural beauty and peace all around you. Boats can be hired from all sections of the river.
The site can be reached by car from Hanoi, where you can find the international airport, although journeys take about two hours because many of the roads are not paved. When you have reached the site, you will find many small villages nearby housing temples from the same collection and also small guest houses, restaurants, bars and very welcoming Vietnamese people.
Getting There & Away
The easiest way to reach the attraction is to first get to Hanoi and make your transfer from there. The nearest international airport is in Hanoi and from here taxis, buses and mini buses are available to take visitors to many areas throughout northern Vietnam. Journeys from Hanoi are about two hours as the roads are not always paved.