Wordtravels

Wordtravels

The Perfume River

Perfume River © Luu Ly
Perfume River © Luu Ly

A boat trip on the Perfume River is one of the highlights of a visit to Hué and includes stops to visit some of the city's main attractions. Passing other sampans (traditional rowing boats) on their way to market, houseboats and dragon boats, a typical trip will take visitors to the Thien Mu Pagoda, Hon Chen Temple and the Royal Tombs.

The Thien Mu Pagoda is one of the oldest and most attractive religious structures in Vietnam, dating back to 1601. Its most striking feature is the seven-tiered tower, representing the seven steps to enlightenment. Another way to experience the Perfume River is on an evening boat trip hosting a traditional folksong performance. This long-standing tradition goes back to the rule of the emperors when artists would play music and recite poetry from a rowing boat on the river.

Transport: Boat trips up the river and to the Citadel are very popular ways to explore the mausoleums in the area; be prepared to negotiate fees.

Admission: 3 USD for a day trip, not including site entrance fees. Evening performances are 3 USD to 5 USD. Fully organised tours may come to 30 USD.