Away from the bustling streets and markets of Hanoi lies a hidden gem that awaits your exploration - Perfume Pagoda. Situated just outside the inner city, this remarkable pilgrimage site offers an unforgettable day trip experience. As you embark on your Hanoi travel adventure, make sure to carve out time to visit Perfume Pagoda and immerse yourself in its natural beauty, spiritual serenity, and profound tranquility.
1. Location and history of Perfume Pagoda
Perfume Pagoda is a renowned religious site located along Da River in Huong Son Commune, My Duc District, approximately 40 kilometers away from the center of Hanoi.
In the late 17th century, the main temple of Perfume Pagoda was officially constructed. However, during the resistance against the French in 1947, the pagoda suffered severe damage. Thanks to the guidance of Venerable Thich Thanh Chan and the efforts of Venerable Thich Vien Thanh, the pagoda was restored in 1988.
2. Best things to do at Perfume Pagoda
2.1. Contemplate the stunning attractions at Perfume Pagoda
- Duc Wharf: This is the starting point in the complex of Perfume Pagoda. From Duc Wharf, you will boat along Yen Stream to the inner complex.
- Yen Stream: Along the stream, you can see expansive green rice fields and treacherous limestone mountains stretching all the way to the foot of Huong Mountain.
- Trinh Temple: Located approximately 300 meters away from Duc Wharf, Trinh Temple serves as the first stop on the journey to Perfume Pagoda.
- Long Van Cave: After Trinh Temple, you will pass by Long Van Pagoda. Continue a bit further through the mountain and you will arrive at Long Van Cave, which offers a spacious, cool, and airy space for visitors to explore.
- Tuyet Son Cave: Nestled in the mountains, Tuyet Son Cave is relatively easy to reach. The cave leaves a strong impression on visitors with its captivating stalactite formations, exhibiting extraordinary beauty.
- Huong Tich Cave: From a distance, this cave resembles a dragon's open mouth. Huong Tich Cave features numerous natural stalactites and stalagmites, which have become smooth and polished over the years.
- Thien Tru Pagoda: This pagoda serves as the site for the opening ceremony of the Perfume Pagoda Festival. It also houses Vien Cong Tower, the final resting place of Vien Quang, the Zen master who founded the pagoda.
- Bao Dai Pagoda: Situated at the foot of the mountain, this pagoda exudes a sense of tranquility, showcasing the architectural features of the historical period it belongs to.
- Giai Oan Pagoda: Built along the pathway leading to Huong Tich Cave, this pagoda exudes a serene and nostalgic beauty, evoking a sense of peace and calmness in visitors.
- Thanh Son Pagoda: This pagoda features entrances from both the river and the mountain side, creating a magnificent and picturesque natural setting.
- Sung Sam Cave: Located at an elevation of approximately 100 meters, with an average width of 15 meters, this cave offers unique geological formations.
2.2. Partake in the Perfume Pagoda Festival
The Perfume Pagoda Festival is considered one of the largest religious events in Northern Vietnam, following the Lunar New Year. It attracts millions of Buddhist followers and tourists from all over the country. It is also the longest-running festival in Vietnam, spanning from the 6th day of the first lunar month to the 6th day of the third lunar month.
During the festival, various rituals and events take place, including offering incense, processions, and meditation sessions. It is a time for devotees to deepen their spiritual practice, seek blessings, and pay homage to the deities. Tourists visiting Perfume Pagoda also have an opportunity to participate in entertaining activities and traditional games such as rice blowing, tug-of-war, boat racing, folk singing, etc.
2.3. Try the local specialties
There are plenty of interesting and delicious local dishes at Perfume Pagoda. These dishes can be enjoyed on-site or purchased as souvenirs to take home.
- Rau sang: This vegetable is commonly used to make soups with fish or meat. However, the price is quite high due to its challenging cultivation.
- Apricot: Grown abundantly in the mountain slopes of Perfume Pagoda, apricots have a mild sour taste and can be used to make refreshing drinks, especially during hot summer days.
- Che lam: Considered a specialty of Hanoi, this cake has a fragrant and slightly spicy taste from ginger, making a delicious and worthy souvenir to bring home.
- Banh cu mai: This sweet and gentle cake is often sold in small packaging, making it convenient for you to buy and take home for your family.
2.4. Take a cable car ride
The cable car service in Perfume Pagoda offers a convenient and scenic way to reach the top of the complex. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, rivers, and lush landscapes as you ascend Perfume Pagoda. The cable car ticket prices are:
- Adults: 120,000 VND for one-way trips and 180,000 VND for round trips
- Children: 90,000 VND for one-way trips and 120,000 VND for round trips
3. Frequently asked questions about Perfume Pagoda Hanoi
3.1. How to get to Perfume Pagoda from Hanoi?
To reach Perfume Pagoda from Hanoi, you have several transportation options:
- Bus: Take Bus 103 from My Dinh Bus Station to Perfume Pagoda, which operates from 5 am to 8 pm daily, with a frequency of every 15 minutes.
- Motorbike: Riding a motorbike is a convenient and flexible option, allowing you to adjust your itinerary and make stops at other attractions along the way to Perfume Pagoda.
- Private car rental: Renting a private car with a driver is the most convenient and comfortable option, providing flexibility in terms of schedule and itinerary.
3.2. When is the best time to visit Perfume Pagoda?
You can visit Perfume Pagoda at any time of the year, specifically:
- From January to April: This is the peak pilgrimage season, so it can be crowded during this time. However, you will get to immerse yourself in the lively and joyful atmosphere of the festival.
- From May to September: This is the time when the red silk cotton flowers along the banks of Yen Stream start to bloom.
- From October to December: During this time, you can enjoy the romantic beauty of water lilies blooming on the surface of Yen Stream and the picturesque white pampas grass fields nearby.
3.3. When does Perfume Pagoda open?
Perfume Pagoda welcomes visitors from 5 am to 5 pm daily.
3.4. How much does the Perfume Pagoda entrance ticket cost?
|Sightseeing tour ticket
|For the entire scenic complex of Perfume Pagoda
|Ferry ticket (main route)
|For the entire scenic complex of Perfume Pagoda
|Ferry ticket (secondary route)
|From Tuyet Son Pagoda to Long Van Cave
4. Some notes for your first trip to Perfume Pagoda
To ensure a smooth journey, here are some important notes to keep in mind:
- Dress modestly to show reverence for this sacred place.
- Wearing sports shoes will make it easier for you to move around.
- To enter temple buildings, use the side doors instead of the main entrance.
- If you want to burn incense, light only one stick.
- Avoid buying prohibited items such as wildlife and their products.
- Be cautious when purchasing herbal medicines from vendors along the pathways, and check the expiration dates of packaged products such as banh cu mai and banh rau sang.
If you are looking for other places to visit in Hanoi after Perfume Pagoda, here are some popular attractions that you should consider: Hanoi Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, Ba Dinh Square, Temple of Literature, Long Bien Bridge, One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, etc.
Besides these attractions, you can also visit VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium Times City. VinKE provides many indoor games, interactive experiences, and educational activities, making it an ideal destination for families and friends to enjoy quality time together. At Vinpearl Aquarium, you can explore the wonders of the ocean world, with a variety of colorful fish, mesmerizing marine life, and immersive underwater exhibits.
VinWonders Hanoi Wave Park and VinWonders Hanoi Water Park are also worth visiting. They feature thrilling water slides, wave pools, and various water-based attractions, offering adrenaline-pumping experiences for adventure enthusiasts.
>>> Book tickets to VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium for the funniest day ever!
To extend your Vietnam trip, don't forget to add these popular destinations to your bucket list: Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, and Ha Long. During your stay in these destinations, you can enjoy the luxury and comfort of Vinpearl hotels and resorts, known for their excellent services and beautiful locations.
In addition, don't miss the opportunity to explore VinWonders, a chain of amusement and theme parks that offers exciting entertainment for the whole family.
Perfume Pagoda is a remarkable destination that offers a perfect day trip from the inner city. With its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural significance, and spiritual ambiance, Perfume Pagoda captivates visitors from all walks of life. Every moment spent here is an opportunity for self-reflection and spiritual rejuvenation.