Visit the shines of the Perfume Pagoda on a full-day trip from Hanoi and explore a scenic landscape that draws Buddhist pilgrims from around the country. Cruise the Yen River to the Perfume Pagoda, then ride a cable car to a mountaintop complex of cave temples, where formations are said to confer blessings on visitors. This tour includes all activities and transport, lunch at a local restaurant, and pickup and drop-off at Hanoi hotels.
Full-day tour to the Perfume Pagoda
Two scenic river boat trips
See a rural landscape of rice paddies and limestone mountains
Start with pickup from your Hanoi hotel, then take a scenic drive into the Vietnamese countryside, where you’ll pass a landscape of bright green farms and slow-moving rivers. Transfer to a boat for a cruise down the Yen River, which flows past the base of the Perfume Pagoda, a complex of Buddhist shines carved into limestone cliffs.
Continue to Thien Tru Harbor in another boat then board a cable car that runs to Huong Tich Cave, the heart of the cave complex. You’ll have time to explore Huogn Tich, where stalactites and stalagmites are believed to confer special blessings—especially the “golden tree” and “silver tree” stalactites, which are considered to be especially lucky.
On the return trip, visit Tuyet Son Pagoda and Giai Oan Spring, or “Justifying Spring”; according to legend, this is where an ancient king gave up his power to become a monk, and a historic temple and bridge mark the site. Pause for lunch at a local restaurant before starting the return trip to Hanoi, where this tour concludes with drop-off at your hotel.
Reviews by Viator travelers
A very full but fascinating day tour...
, May 2018
A very full but fascinating day tour from Hanoi. Yes there were some discomforts about the tour but for us the whole day was entirely worthwhile and no hesitation to give 5 star rating. Out tour guide Xiang and driver picked us up on time at our Hanoi hotel. Xiang made the day entirely enjoyable with his constant smiles and laughter. His English was very good and we rarely had issues communicating. Xiang gave us loads of interesting details about all our sights, Vietnam, the economy, politics, culture and daily lives. The drive to and from was long, about 2 hours each way but there is so much to see along the way from the car window. We stopped for morning vietnameses coffee and toilet stop about half way. The sampan boat ride was quite uncomfortable but all the tours use the same type of boats. We bought small towels to sit on the hard metal seats. We found our long legs didn't quite fit the space. We were offered one umbrella between us but I think one umbrella per person is better as the boat ride is one hour in the hot sun. Take some extra water to drink and hand fans as the air was still and very humid. Beware of all the opportunities to get sold souvenirs, the main drawback of going to popular tourist destinations in Vietnam. There are many stone stairs to climb so very good walking shoes are essential. Broad brim hats, light cotton long sleeve clothing, a camera, small backpack, small towel, hand sanitiser, an open mind and cash for drinks and tips are essential too. The cable car was a great relief from the walking and gave us a good birds eye view of the area. The cave in which the shrine is situated is down many old stone stairs as well. We stayed for quite a while as many locals were visiting to offer altar gifts and pay homage, a number of nuns were also doing chanting and mantras. The cave is spectacular and so full of history. We found it mesmerising. Overall this trip was worth it and Xiang was an absolute gem of a guide.
Picked up on time from our hotel for trip to the river. Guide Ms Dung Nguyen was very pleasant and informative. Boat ride up the river to the Pagoda was very relaxing. Cable car ride was best way to get to the top but there was still a bit of walking around the site.
Worth doing if you have the time.
This trip was a wonderful way to close out our visit to Hanoi. Our guide was helpful, patient and very informative. Be prepared for lots of walking and steps, even with the cable car the path to Perfume Pagoda was challenging but definitely worth it. We visited in the off season so did not have crowds, some renovation underway but all we met were enthusiastic and made us feel welcome.
What an amazing day we had on our Perfume Pagoda tour with guide Ms Dung Nguyen. We were met at our hotel and drove in comfort to the drop off point to begin the river cruise. Along the way Dung told us much about Vietnamese life and shared much detail about Buddhism and many other aspects of her own life also. We loved the gentle paddle along the river taking in the beautiful scenery and by mid morning arrived at the base of the mountain ready to explore. We walked up to the temple and Dung explained all the local traditions and customs before enjoying a very large lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch we walked up quite a number of stairs to reach the cable car. The journey to the top is quite quick by cable car but would be a fairly challenging walk in the heat so for the elderly or less fit I highly recommend this option. The Perfume Pagoda itself is very beautiful and unique and well worth a visit. It was a long but extremely enjoyable day and our guide was truly exceptional and made the tour even more rewarding