We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great for visit, need more jackets”
Review of Perfume Pagoda

Perfume Pagoda
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Perfume Pagoda Day Tour from Hanoi
Ranked #63 of 287 things to do in Hanoi
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Reviewed January 8, 2013 via mobile

The pagoda of perfume was great for visit, I subscribed and dealed from Customized Tour for going with a group of 12 persons. The weather was really cold in the morning, but try to get a cable hanger.Food, transport was safety and need for an hour to come

1  Thank SadddNess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (580)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
All reviews
"cable car"
in 164 reviews
"boat ride"
in 63 reviews
"row boat"
in 21 reviews
"walk up"
in 17 reviews
"day trip"
in 58 reviews
"religious sites"
in 5 reviews
"plastic seats"
in 5 reviews
"pilgrimage site"
in 4 reviews
"spiritual place"
in 4 reviews
"steep steps"
in 6 reviews
"beautiful cave"
in 7 reviews
"lotus flowers"
in 6 reviews
"main temple"
in 5 reviews
"vietnamese lady"
in 4 reviews
in 7 reviews
"apt travel"
in 4 reviews
"great scenery"
in 5 reviews

309 - 313 of 580 reviews

Reviewed January 6, 2013 via mobile

During the pilgrimage surrounding Tet (Lunar New Year), this might be worth the trip. Visiting in January was a cold, miserable and quiet trip with a few interesting moments.

The highlight of the day was the cave temple. Beautiful and unique rock formations, made more interesting by the incense in the air and monks chanting before an altar of kitsch.

The journey by rowboat there and back was long and arduous. We were accompanied by a group of 6 local women, a few of whom took turns rowing the boat, and a few others who just came along to ask for tips at the end. Along the way, they told dirty jokes and showed us how they collect and peel water lilly stems to make soup.

The rowboat journey is down a small canal and lasts about an hour each way. The surrounding mountains appear like elephants to the Vietnamese, and they have stories about each of them. Bring your imagination and a sense of wonder.

Once you reach the cave port, you walk up a hill to the 'Perfume Pagoda' enclave. At that point, you can decide to take a cable car or a slippery stone stairway to the cave.

During our visit, there was a lot of building and repair work happening in preparation for high season. We were told that during Tet, there are as many as 5,000 boats shuffling pilgrims to the cave temple and various others. If you wanted to visit all of the temples nestled in the mountain, it could take days. The temples are pretty typical.

Not a mind blowing experience at all. Might be better during the pilgrimage season (Feb-Mar).

1  Thank Dan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013

If you have a day to spare, you should go to the Perfume Pagoda which is actually a whole bunch of pagodas (18) located outside of Hanoi. One of the pagodas is a cave pagoda, the holiest Buddhist site in northern Vietnam (we were told). To get there, you have to drive for 3 hours, then take a 1 hour row boat ride. This is a very beautiful ride along the river. As mentioned in previous reviews, the women who row the boats expect a large tip (at least 20,000 VND or $1/passenger each way). Included in your package is lunch which is OK. Also, be prepared to walk up several steps to get to the pagodas and to the cable car (this is an option if you don't feel like hiking to the cave pagoda. It takes 15-20 min.). People who have trouble walking should be made aware of this. Also, during the New Year it gets very busy!

1  Thank Myle G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2012

Along the way, we saw paddy fields, duck farms, lotus ponds and cemeteries. At 10.30am, the van stopped near Yen River. Six of us boarded a steel boat which was rowed by a woman at the rear. There was no life jacket at all on the boat. Don’t forget to bring along sunscreen and cap. The tour guide told us that the busiest time at the Perfume Pagoda Mountain is in the months of Feb and March every year where there would be thousands of pilgrim coming to worship here and the Yen River would be full of rowing boats.
After about an hour of rowing, we reached the foothill of Perfume Pagoda Mountain. The tour guide led us up some steps to visit the Thien Tru Temple which resembled a Chinese temple. Lunch was provided at the restaurant at the foot of the mountain, drinks paid by ourselves. After lunch, we walked up some steps to the cable car station and took the cable car up to the Emperor Grotto (or Huong Tich). We walked down 120 steps to reach the cave with the temple inside.
At about 4.00pm, we started our journey back Hanoi. In short, the scenery was beautiful along the way and the grotto was unique as it looked like an opened mouth with a tongue in the middle.
1.The boat rowers are quite greedy as they demanded more tips. They are not satisfied with a few US dollars.
2. Don’t buy the trip which includes the cable car as the tour companies will charge much more for the cable car. This trip cost USD20 including lunch but no cable car. The cable car tickets can be bought at the cable car station for only 80,000VND one way/120,000VND two ways per person.

6  Thank Poon C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed December 3, 2012

Last month ( November 2012 ) during a trip in Vietnam, my wife and me have book a one day trip with Ocean Star Tour, a travel agency located in Hanoi center. The day visit of the Perfume Pagoda site was well organized and pleasant. The welcome at the travel office was professional and the guides very friendly during the tour.
During the booking, in the office in Hanoi, as the credit card machine did not work with our 2 different credit cards, we have paid by cash.
After go back at home, when checking of our bank accounts, we have noted that the 2 credit card operations were well passed as the bank accounts are debited.
We have exchanged mails with our contact at Ocean Star Tour office, we have explained the problem, which has been taken in consideration.
After 3 weeks, a long time due to international transferts between banks regarding the refund, our bank accounts are credited again of the amount mistakenly debited.
I would like to testify of the honesty of the "Ocean Star Tour " travel agency in Hanoi and the good management of this problem by the staff.
Patrick, a french traveller.

3  Thank helliot29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Perfume Pagoda also viewed


Been to Perfume Pagoda? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing