Perfume Pagoda (Chua Huong)

Attraction Huong Son, My Duc, Hanoi, Vietnam Published on: 14-04-2017

1 hours 30 mins
07:00 AM - 05:00 PM
07:00 AM
08:30 AM
First-time visit
Must see
Temple & Monument
3.49 USD

Perfume Pagoda (Chua Huong) is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
The Huong Pagoda (English: Perfume Pagoda, Vietnamese: Chùa Hương) is a vast complex of Buddhist temples and shrines built into the limestone Huong Tich mountains. It is the site of a religious festival which draws large numbers of pilgrims from across Vietnam.

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Why Perfume Pagoda (Chua Huong) is special ?

The Perfume Pagoda, one of more than thirty peppering these hills, occupies a spectacular grotto over 50m high. The start of the journey is an hour’s ride by row-boat up a silent, flooded valley among karst hills where fishermen and farmers work their inundated fields. From where the boat drops you (memorize your boat’s number as there are hundreds of identical craft here), a stone-flagged path shaded by gnarled frangipani trees brings you to the seventeenth-century Chua Thien Chu.

What to explore at Perfume Pagoda (Chua Huong)?

The many Pagodas that make up Chua Huong are spread out among the limestone hills and tropical forests in the area of Huong Mountain.

Den Trinh

Approaching from the Day River, one will first come across Den Trinh (Presentation shrine), also known as Den Quan Lon (Shrine of High-ranking Mandarin), built to worship one of the generals of a Hung King.[1][3][4] This large shrine has a gate with two kneeling elephant statues on each side. Inside the structure is a large ceremonial room.

Thien Tru Pagoda

Beyond Den Trinh is Thien Tru (Heaven Kitchen) Pagoda, also known as Chua Ngoai (Outer Pagoda). Here one will find Vien Cong Bao Stupa, a brick structure where Ch’an Master Vien Quang, who led the reconstruction of the pagoda, is buried. Thien Thuy stupa, a naturally occurring structure that is the result of the erosion of a rocky hill, is also nearby.Thien Tru is also home to a bell tower and Hall of the Triple Gem, both built in the 1980s. Inside the Pagoda there is a large statue of Quan Am Nam Hai.

Giai Oan Pagoda

On the route from Thien Tru to Huong Tich cave is Giai Oan Temple, also called ‘Clearing Unjust Charges’ Pagoda. Here there is a pond called Thien Nhien Thanh Tri (Natural Blue Pond), also called Long Tuyen Well, and Giai Oan stream, with its 9 sources.

Huong Tich Cave

The center of the Chua Huong complex, Huong Tich Cave houses Chua Trong (Inner Temple). The mouth of the cave has the appearance of an open dragon’s mouth with Chinese characters carved in a wall at the mouth of the cave. The characters (Nam thien de nhat dong) are translated as “first grade cave of the South World” and the carving is dated to 1770. The words are attributed by some to the ruler of that time, Thinh Do Vuong Trinh Sam. Inside the cave there are many statues. There is a large statue of Lord Buddha, as well as one of Quan Am, both made of a green stone. Quan Am's "left leg is stretched out and the foot lies on a lotus flower, her right leg is bent and is supported by a lotus flower with supple leaves; a hand holds a pearl."There are also statues of Arhats and various other figures. Among the naturally occurring features of the cave are numerous stalactites and stalagmites, some of which are worn smooth from years of rubbing by visitors to the cave.

Other sites included in the Chua Huong complex are Thien Son Pagoda, Thuyet Kinh Grotto, Phat Tich Temple, and Vong Temple.


How to get to Perfume Pagoda (Chua Huong)?

If you want to go by yourself, you need to catch a bus and then reach the bus terminal to take boat.

The best way is to take tour to reach the pagoday with a guide. Trekking or hiking can be suitable approach for those who are not worried about climbing muddy stairs.

Selling points

  • Great trip away from the busy city!
  • Nice, quiet and beautiful
  • A great spiritual place
  • Stunning scenery and landscapes
  • Wonderful day trip away from chaotic Hanoi
9 Days in Hanoi, Sapa & Halong Bay

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9.0 days
238.81 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
32 places




Huong Son, My Duc, Hanoi, Vietnam

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Tips for you

  • If you want to have a rest in the middle way, you should check the price for a cup of tea if you don't want to pay 5 USD for just a cup of tea.
  • Some local girls come to you and offer guide service, to carry your bag for extra tip.
  • The boat drivers may ask you to tip. It's advisable to ask carefully before you start your trip.
  • Some people will continuously ask you to buy some souvenirs. If you don't want to buy, just ignore them.


TripAdvisor View more

One of those attractions where the journey is possible more memorable than the destination. Surrounded by incredible limestone karsts shrouded in mist and a quiet rowboat ride up the river. The pagoda itself is a series of rock elements set inside a slightly subterranean cave. The only unfortunate thing is the amount of rubbish and debris created by all of the stalls that litter the path up the hillside.

FourSquare View more

Go up by car, going by foot only makes you sweat and there is no landscape to see, only stores. Take the cars and the landscape is much better. Plus you get up in 15 foot almost 1 hour!

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