Perfume Pagoda, 70 km southwest of Hanoi, is a complex of pagodas and Buddhist shrines on the limestone rocks of Huong Son Mountain. Among the better known sites here are Thien Tru, Giai Oan Tru and Huong Tich Tru. From January to early April, Perfume Pagoda gets busy and exciting by a great number of Buddhist pilgrims. And Perfume Pagoda is more attractive and mysterious than other sacred pagodas in the north not only for its spectacular scenery but for the painstaking road you need to pass over to reach to the top.
What to do?
A trip to Perfume Pagoda is a combination of different activities including boating, sightseeing and mountain climbing.
Visitors firstly spend one hour on a rowing boat on Yen River through poetic and scenic route to the base of Perfume Pagoda. Then everything on the way to main pagodas is remarkably photogenic, except the 4 km walk straight upward to Thien Tru, good exercise as well as good chances for beautiful photos.
How to get there?
Getting to Perfume Pagoda requires a journey combined by road, by river and then by foot.
First, two hour drive will bring you to My Duc Town, from where you take one hour boat trip to the foot of Huong Son Mountain. The main area is about a 4km steep hike up, approximately two hours for a return trip, even longer if it rains.
Dress modestly and respectfully once visiting pagodas. Also bring hat, sunglasses and good walking shoes as the path is steep and even slippery if it is raining.