Perfume Pagoda: The Quite Oasis Outside Hanoi

Its a conflict! Some called it Perfume Pagoda and some others called it Perfume Temple. In Vietnamese, they called it Chua Huong and this a very large Buddhism pagoda complex with shrine structures in Huong Tich mountainous area. This pagoda is also a popular religious festival site which had attracted a huge number of pilgrims from all over Vietnam yearly. The main of this Perfume Pagoda is located in Huong Son commune of My Duc District, Hanoi or formelly Hay Tay province. The centre of this Perfume Pagoda is Chua Trong (The Inner Pagoda) which is located in the Huong Tich Cave. 

The Histroy

This pagoda was the firstly built as a small structure in 15th century during  the reign of Le Thanh Tong. According to the legend, a monk who was meditating at this area had discovered this site over 2000 years ago. The stele in the temple now, the building terrace, the stone step and the shrine of Kim Dung was dated on year 1686, during the reign of Le Hy Tong which was the same years of Chua Trong's construction. During the time, we we some damaged and replaced to this pagoda site especially during French and American was time. The gate and bell ower of Thien Tru Pagoda was rebuilt on 1986 and completed on 1994. 

Note to travellers. How to get here?

I would personally recommend travellers to go here by taking any group or organised 1 day tour from travel agencies in Hanoi. 

As early as 8.00am, your tour guide will pick you up at your hotel and the journey to perfume pagoda begin. After 2 hours journey crossing Hanoi's countryside areas, you will arrive to the wharf and your journey will be continued by rowing boat to the Perfume Pagoda. Along the way, you will see the lifestyle of local people, the stream, the rice field and appreciating the scenic view along the Yen River. 

Once you hop off from your rowing boat, you still need to do a little hike about 2.5km to the main cave and casting the beautiful view of the magnificent mountainous area. All you need to do is to find the best spot and snap hundreds of photos. Optionally, you can take round cable car trip to this cave. 

Normally, your tour package will include lunch at local Vietnamese restaurant at Thien Tru yard. After lunch, you will visit Thien Tru Pagoda and your tour guide will explain to you everything about Buddhism in Vietnam.

Around 3.00pm, your trip end and you will depart back to the wharf by rowing boat before changing to 2 hours journey back to Hanoi. 

My personal thinking

I personally think that those temples as just typical like other Buddhist temple around Vietnam. What amaze me the most is to see the clusters of mountains from far sight while on the rowing boat and the paddy field on your left and right side of the Yen River bank. 

Do you know that the 1.5 hours on the rowing boat during summer day somehow can burn you? It is better for you to at least bring your sun glasses or apply the sun screen cream to protect your skin. You also need to wear shoes as you will need it while trekking to the Huong Tich Cave on the mountain. 

RIPPED OFF, I don't really see any cheating or overpriced during the visit to this place. Just maybe you will wonder, on the rowing boat, you will have like 4 ladies will take charge to row the boat. Normally they will ask for tips, and USD1 or USD2 is not for them. They might demand for more, up to USD5 for some tourist. 

If you need to book your tour, here are some of my personal recommendation 

Luxury Travel Vietnam
Contact Person: Mr. David Nguyen
HQ and Branches: Click Here
Tel: +84 4 3927 4120
Fax: +84 4 3927 4118
Hotline: +84 12 34 68 69 96

ANZ Travel
Head Office: 71 Mai Hac De Str, Hai Ba Trung Dist, Hanoi, Vietnam. 
Tel: (+844) 3974 4405/3974 4406 Fax: (+844) 3974 4407.
Hotline: (+849) 0418 6939 (Mr Tony)/1232 6176 (Mr David)
Address: 17 A Hang Dong , Hoan Kiem , Hanoi
Tel: (84 4) 3923 4848
Fax: (844) 3923 4107


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