Visitors to Perfume Pagoda must drive through Ha Dong city, Van Dinh township to Ben Duc (pier Duc). The road is in poor condition so it can take more than 2 hours to travel the 50 miles from Hanoi to Ben Duc. Although there is a road from the pier to the base of Perfume mountain, most people choose to use row boats on Yen Vi river, which is by far the more romantic and scenic route to Perfume Pagoda
The very first starting point of the pilgrimage is Ben Duc (Pier Duc). Normally, it takes more than 2 hours to go from Hanoi to Ben Duc. During the annual festival months, Ben Duc is packed with thousands of row boats used for shuttling visitors. For many visitors, this one-hour boat ride on the Yen Vi Stream from Pier Duc is actually the highlight of the trip, and inspiration sources of quite a few famous poets.
Yen stream flows between two mountains for 3 kilometers. Nevertheless, sitting on the boat, leisurely enjoying the surrounding landscape, you may feel that the stream is endless. Despite a facilitated road from Pier Duc to Perfume mountain, most people choose to use row boats on Yen Vi Stream (or Yen Stream), which is by far a much more romantic and scenic route to Huong Pagoda.
Our walk along the River Yen saw ends at the Trinh Temple shrine which is the start of our visit to the Perfume Pagoda. The literal translation of this place is the sanctuary of the presentations, where the tradition instructs burn sticks of incense to the gods of our presence and that we granted good luck for the road that begins
After a visit to the Trinh Temple shrine the next stop before ascending to the top of the mountain of the Perfume is the Thien Tru Pagoda, also called Pagoda Chua Nhãn (outer pagoda). The literal translation of Thien Tru is the kitchen of the sky, from name of Vietnamese legend and imagination in which the rocks of the mountain resemble a Cook working in your kitchen. Perhaps this natural enclave surrounded by rocks and green forests not resembles a kitchen, and a chef, but the beauty of the place anyone can put it in doubt.
The Thien Tru Pagoda was built in the 18th century by Emperor Le Thanh Tong, made of brick and fitted with decorative curved roofs who remember to the Temple of Literature Hanoi.
Thien Tru Pagoda
Destroyed and subsequently rebuilt in 2 occasions, the highlight of this Pagoda which is one of the many temples of the Perfume Pagoda complex, is a monolith of granite called Tower Thuy Tien is located in the middle of the courtyard of this Pagoda, in that same courtyard have other sculptures with the shape of dragons, etc... Although one of the most photographed spots of this Pagoda is the exterior door, 2 heights with 3 arches on each height from which we can see the Pagoda.
For those travelers who want to spend the night at the Perfume Pagoda, near Thien Tru Pagoda of small lodges can be found and places to sleep.
Huong Tich Grotto
After more than one hour along the stream and visiting the initial ancient pagodas from the riverbank, now pilgrims would climb up hundreds of stone steps, and then down 120 stone steps to Huong Tich Grotto, literally meaning "traces of fragrance". The path to Huong Tich winds its way through 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).
Huong Tich Grotto
Getting into the grotto, you will find a purely cool atmosphere in a dim
light before figuring 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. Yet, what is noteworthy is the statue of
Avalokitesvara carved out of emerald stone on a rocky lotus, constructed in
1793, under the Tay Son dynasty, and a 1.24m bronze bell, moulded in the 3rd
Thinh Duc Year (1655). The unique carving art together with the extremely
magnificient works of Nature makes the Huong Pagoda complex the top-revenue
tourism destination among others in Ha Tay, and the foremost destination of
Buddhists in particular and tourists in general. Hope these four Vietnam
Popular Destinations can satisfy your trip.
Festivals in Perfume Pagoda
The Perfume Pagoda is a perigranacion of the Vietnamese people during the first months of the lunar calendar (February to March) coming en masse to pray and make offerings to have luck and prosperity in the year that begins.
Traditionally a Vietnamese pilgrims can spend 3 days touring and praying for all the temples of the complex of the Perfume Pagoda.
The most important festival, called the Perfume Pagoda festival is held on 15 to 20 of the second month of the lunar calendar. This place also hosts other celebrations during the first day of the lunar year (Tet Festival) and also the 6 day of the first month of the lunar calendar. These dates mean celebrations during the months of February and March.
As a curiosity, we know that this festival is a popular place for young people to find a partner because legend has it that this magical place is the ideal place to begin a romance.