Perfume Pagoda Tours - Day Trips

Perfume Pagoda Tours - Day Trips

Perfume Pagoda Tours - Day Trips
3.5
Sightseeing Tours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles30 reviews
Excellent
9
Very good
7
Average
7
Poor
4
Terrible
3

Erika
Nashville, TN10 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2017 • Friends
This was one tour that I was very excited about going into my trip to Vietnam. We did this our second day there (on a Sunday), thinking it would be a good time to go. I didn't realize there was a festival that day, since it was right after Tet (the lunar New Year), and basically everyone in the surrounding villages in Northern Vietnam would be going to Perfume Pagoda also.

The positive part of this tour, 1) great cultural experience and 2) the beautiful, relaxing boat ride out to the pagodas.

The downside:
- There were SO MANY PEOPLE HERE. Like, thousands upon thousands. We couldn't even move at times for a good while because there were so many people. We ended up hiking up/waiting for 2.5 hours before we decided to get out of line and take the cable car back down without seeing the pagoda at the top because it was so miserable standing in the crowd. I wish there had been some warning for visitors before booking during the time.
- Lots and lots of steps. We didn't get the full experience since it was slow moving and we only had breaks in the crowd here and there, but it was a little more intense than I expected, and I do hike quite often.

Overall, I think this would have been cool if not for all of the people. We ended up taking the cable car down the mountain and ended up with an incredible view where it drops you. So, that was a highlight. Basically, just don't go on a weekend between February and April.
Written February 14, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alastair N
Melbourne, Australia143 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2015 • Couples
It is about 2 hours drive south west of Hanoi with a rest stop
en route. It is an interesting drive that gives good opportunities to see small towns and the countryside. We then climbed into a flat bottom boat rowed by a single woman with great skill. Views en route were great of the limestone pinnacles and it was a peaceful and pleasant experience to travel in such quiet through such an attractive area.
On arrival we ascended along a track for about 500 meters to a small pagoda that had been destroyed and reconstructed following the war of independence of the 1950's.
An acceptable but un exciting lunch was served at a local cafe and we then climbed a short but fairly steep track to the cable car. It gave spectacular views oof the area and is well worth taking
After a short climb past the usual souvenir vendors we came to a very steep descent down stone stairs to the Perfume Pagoda, which is in fact a large cave.
Because my wife suffers from shortness of breath she decided to wait at the top and I went down only so far as to get a view of the cave before rejoining her.
The return voyage was uneventful and the hour trip back down the river was again most enjoyable. I paid the tip suggested by the guide to the lady rower (US $2) which she received with considerable disgust, mainly directed at the guide.
While I would recommend the trip and we enjoyed it, I would suggest it is unsuitable for older people with any form of disability. It involves climbing into and out of small boats and a fair amount of walking up and down uneven steps,often without hand rails. Our guide was most helpful in this regard and we managed it OK but this is worth keeping in mind. Also the boats are cramped and not very comfortable and a small cushion might have helped and would be worth taking along.
Written November 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pkrekeler
Brussels, Belgium201 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015
The initial boat ride is about 2 miles. Depending on the time of year, it can be hot so be prepared.
Upon arriving at the site, you start out by climbing stairs. After a bit of climbing you are offered an option to continue climbing or take a gondola. We chose to walk.
There are vendors stalls the entire way up (at least 1-2 miles) in addition to trash. As with all Vietnamese attractions, temples, and pagodas, trash is prevalent and lack of respect to the area is paramount.
The lack of ability to see the beautiful scenery as you ascend the mountain is sad. You only have vendor stalls to look at. Taking the gondola would allow a nice view of the area.
Upon reaching the top you are required to be properly dressed (knees and shoulders covered). If you aren't, there are monk-like robes available to borrow.
You descend into the cave and see the formations that are said to resemble Buddha. The cave is lovely.
The hike isn't easy but is enjoyable.
Written August 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

73Chelle73
Sydney, Australia91 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Sorry but I don’t have a lot of things to say about this day trip. After a two hour bus ride from our hotel in Hanoi we then boarded a small “man powered” boat for the one hour row up the river. The scenery is okay but nothing special, once we arrived at the dock it looked derelict don’t think we saw another tourist all day, it was dirty and dull. We walked up the hill to some old relics and a pagoda then stopped for some lunch at the only food option available, we had paid for a set menu lunch which was five courses and ended up making my husband and daughter sick the next day, there was even a creepy tank in the restaurant with dead animals in it which was supposed to be fermented wine which has medicinal powers - gross! We kept walking up to the cable car past all the closed derelict looking stalls then took the 10 minute trip up to the perfume pergola, some great views on a beautiful day, walk down the staircase which reminded me of the Indiana Jones movies, was OK but not earth shattering. Took some photos & Walked back to the cable car for our return trip, the cable car doesn’t run all the time so we had to wait for them to turn it back on to get back to the river for our hour boat ride back to the bus, she also told us how much tip she wanted & wasn’t very happy with what we offered - just happy we made it back. If we didn’t have our own guide I don’t think we would have been comfortable going up there. Wouldn’t go there or recommend
Written January 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SookyMike
Singapore, Singapore51 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2014 • Family
Our tour was arranged by a local friend who drove us in his MPV. The car journey was more than an hour followed by a one hour boat ride. It was crowed during the pilgrimage season which commences three months around the Chinese New Year. Accordingly, there are 16 to 17 hills and in each hill, there is a temple. The place is not that scenic to speak of and there are many commercial stalls selling local food and souvenir. They are catered to the local Vietnamese. We took a cable car and walked a fair distance to the most famous temple in a cave. The ground is sloppy, so wear good walking shoes.

Our local friend packed sandwiches for us as he knew that we foreigners will not be used to the local food sold there. He turned out to be right. We dare not try the wild animals like ant eater served in the local eatery.

I won't say that there is a tourist trap but the experience is just average.
Written May 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jodi R
Inverleigh, Australia275 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2016 • Family
The perfume pagoda tour was a full day tour, about 2 hours drive from central Hanoi. The drive takes you through some wonderful, interesting countryside with a roadside stop halfway at an embroidery factory. Once you hop off the bus, you hop in a hand rowed boat for another hour down the river which is very peaceful, but remember to take a hat and sunscreen as there is no shade. When you arrive at the dock, you need to climb around 500 stairs to see the first pagoda of the day, Thien Tru, which is just stunning. Take long sleeves and wear something to cover your knees if you wish to enter the pagoda. After visiting the first pagoda, we walked down to the restaurant which served an excellent lunch. After lunch, we walked up more stairs to the cable car station (you do not have to take the cable car, but if you lack extreme fitness, I strongly suggest it at least on the way up). The cable car ride is only about 10 minutes when you arrive at the other end, there are another 100 steps to climb up to the entrance to Huong Tich Cave. Once you reach the top, you need to climb down 120 steps into the cave where the pagoda is. It is clearly a very stunning place but it is hard work, very hot (particularly in June) and not ideal for anyone who suffers from ankle, knee, hip or asthmatic issues. Although this tour was hard work, it was definitely worth a visit
Written July 14, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

distirling53
Beerwah, Australia18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2016 • Solo
It was an interesting tour. After we were picked up we drove through parts of Hanoi that you wouldn't be able to see normally. We drove through the country side and past other housing developments that were like high rise units. We drove through little villages and rice fields. Half way there we stopped at an arts and crafts place to refresh. When we arrived at the entrance to the river we went by a six person canoe that was rowed by a female to the entrance to the pagoda. The ladies all work so hard but must be used to it as they do it each day. We then had to walk up lots of steps to get to the first pagoda. After that we had a delicious lunch and off to the cable car to see the perfume pagoda. It was in a cave and quite moving. To get to the bottom of the cave we had to walk down 120 steep steps knowing that we would have to walk back up them to get out. I met some interesting people and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was an all day trip.
Written January 12, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kasmito D
46 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Family
We take off from hotel late, since our unschedule visit to hanoi, arrived around 11.00am and after arranging a row transport small boat for 5 person, not 100% save, the weather are hot, no umbrella provided.
Around 1 hr tiny board and arrive at wharf, only few tourist there, lunch then walking and steping to cable car to save the time. Visiting the cave and back with cable car, we are the last to left at 4.pm. and back again with machine boat with additional fee and
Pulling 2 boat to go along.
They always ask for more and arguing with unsave procedure and service, no adequate umbrella for rain. At last we are save to car and left.
Written July 23, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

T Liang
Chicago, IL26 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Solo
Saw a lot of negative reviews, but my experience was much better (probably because of low expectations).

First,keep in mind this is not as popular as tam coc, so the quality of things are lower (closer to local standard, poverty status) instead of tourist / western standard. Example: I see signs of 5k breakfasts, compared to an easily 30k breakfast in old quarter, Hanoi.

Our guide English was not good, and the introductions are rehearsed. When asked a question, he gives mostly blank look and move on without acknowledgment (which offended some of the westerners in my group). The tour itself was beautiful. Tranquil boat ride, beautiful pagoda, and beautiful cave. The trip is physically demanding; keep in mind this is a holy place that Buddhist make the journey to here. Part of the pilgrimage is about suffering / hardship, which we all got a small dose of with the steep steps (despite the cable cars).

I would only recommend this to people that love exploring and understanding local culture / poverty, physically capable of climbing steep stairs (about 1000 steps, 10 minutes), and accept the fact that all the locals will try to scam you / get money from you... (an unfortunate side product of poverty and the fact we earn 10 to 20 times more). Remember vietnam median income is $150 / month.
Written November 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

isabellelizabeth
Bunbury, Australia147 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Friends
It was a few hours in a bus but I really enjoyed going here - the boat ride was lovely amongst the limestone karsts and the pagodas are so cool - a pagoda in a cave in the middle of nowhere is something that has to be seen to be believed. A weird experience but a great insight into Vietnamese culture. The weird little plastic babies that people put in there to get good luck for having a baby makes it even weirder/better. I suggest walking up and then getting the cable car down, it's only 60,000vnd or something but it gives you great views of the mountains that the walk up doesn't.
Written February 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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