Nowadays, Perfume Pagoda (or Chua Huong) becomes more and more popular for both travellers and tourists. But not many people know that long ago the Pagoda was already an essential spiritual destination for every buddhist in Vietnam. They came here to ask for a good new year, specially, they could ask for babies for those who can not do their own reproduction. And the thing is that, many wishes come true. Every year, after the Tet holiday, the locals are very eager to get there not only for praying but for visiting the majestic view of the Pagoda as well.
Located about 60 kilometers to the southwest of Hanoi, Perfume Pagoda is the largest and unique religious site of Hanoi. The pagoda is situated on the right bank of Day River. This is a complex of pagodas and Buddhist shrines built into the limestone cliffs of Perfume Mount (Hương Sơn). The complex’s center is at the right inside Huong Tich cavern. There is a large number of pilgrims flock to the site during Perfume Pagoda festival. (The festival annually begins in the middle of the first lunar month and lasts until the end of the third month and people often pray for happiness and prosperity in the next year. This is also a great chance for young people to meet and find their partners, make the relationship with each other. On this exceptional occasion, a wide range of traditional cultural activities is combined. Visiting Perfume Pagoda, you should not forget to bring a good camera to capture the amazing scenery of the beautiful nature.
Bến Đục – Pier Duc
Coming to Perfume Pagoda, the first destination for tourist to start is Ben Duc. It often takes more than 2 hours to go from Hanoi. In the period of time the annual festival happening, Ben Duc is packed with thousands of rowing boats used for shuttling visitors. It is promised that sitting on these rowing boats on the Yen Vi Stream from Pier Duc is an amazing experience for tourists and actually the highlight of the trip visiting Perfume Pagoda. This experience has already inspired many poets.
Suối Yến – Yen stream
Flowing between two mountains about 3 kilometers, Yen stream is a famous one of Perfume Pagoda complex. In addition, sitting on the boat, enjoying the beautifully peaceful surrounding landscape, you may have the feeling that this stream is endless. In spite of a facilitated road from Pier Duc to Perfume mountain, tourists often choose to sue rowing boat in Yen stream because it seems more romantic and scenic route to Huong Pagoda.
During the time traveling along with Yen Stream, visitors will pass by a number of the landscape of blazing green rice paddles studded with jagged limestone mountain to the root of Huong Mountain. Sitting on the boat, you will have an opportunity to the Phoenix Mountain on the right and Doi Cheo Mountain, which looks like an Indian python (Tran).
Chùa Thiên Trù – Thien Tru Pagoda
Leaving the boat, you will take your foot on land to continue to discover the destinations. Before you climb up to Huong Mount, you should stop to visit Den Tring then Thien Tru Pagoda. This pagoda was built in the 18th century under the King Le Thanh Tong Dynasty. “Thien Tru” means a heaven kitchen, derived from the imagination of the locals in this region, of which the rock formations in this area look like chefs busily working in the kitchen. 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.
Động Hương Tích – Huong Tich Grotto
Now take about 120 stone steps to Huong Tich Grotto, literally meaning “traces of fragrance”. Along the path to Huong Tich, you can enjoy lots of magnificently luxuriant landscapes. The moss-grown Huong Tich Grotto came to life thanks to the most venerable Van Thuy Thien Tran Dao Vien Quang Chan Nhan, the Chief monk of Thien Tru Pagoda. In front of the cave lie stone stairs. Stepping down the 120-step stairs, tourists will find the inscription “The first-ranking grotto under the Southern Sky” in Han scripts, which are traces of Lord Tinh Do Vuong Trinh Sam’s calligraphy in the 3rd lunar month of the year of the Tiger (Canh Dan -1770). Getting into the grotto, you will find a purely cool air in a hazy light before assuming out naturally architectural works such as Dun Gao (Rice) rock, gold and silver trees, Girl and Boy Mountains (in the shapes of a girl and a boy), and so forth. Therefore, don’t forget that is the statue of Avalokitesvara carved out of bright green stone on a stony lotus, built in 1793, under the Tay Son dynasty, and a 1.24m bronze bell, mounded in the 3rd Thinh Duc Year (1655).
Saying goodbye to Perfume Grotto, then tourist can choose to go to the top Mount by climbing up hundreds of stone steps or take a short rest and complete the pilgrimage. Nowadays, to the Vietnamese, it is believed that Huong Son is Buddha’s Heaven due to its sacredness and 100% natural works of beauty.
For more information, you could contact us to join our Perfume Pagoda tour, which promises you an unforgettable experience when traveling to Vietnam.