Scenic Sites Along Perfume River Cruise in Hue City
Perfume River has long been a symbol of Hue ancient capital. It plays an important role in fang shun architecture as well as local people’s lives. Especially, the river is an inexhaustible topic for poet writers and photographers.
A visitor to Hue once remarked after his Vietnam travel: “A visit to Hue would not be complete without a boat excursion on the gentle Perfume River, or else you cannot feel the romance of Hue”.The Perfume River (Vietnamese: Sông Huong or Huong Giang) is a river that crosses the capital city of Hue, in the central Vietnamese province of Thua Thien Hue. Perfume or Huong River is around 80 kilometers long and owes its name to the fact that it flows through many forests of aromatic plants before reaching Hue, bringing with it a pure and fresh aroma.
1. Origin of the name of Perfume River in Hue
Perfume (Sông Hương) is the name of a river that crosses the last capital city of Vietnam, Hue. The river has such a beautiful name as a pretty girl because of the pure fragrant and wild sweet bushes grown in the upstream river. It flows through many forests of aromatic plants before reaching Hue, bringing with it a pure and fresh aroma.
2. Where does it comes from & flows to?
The Perfume River has two sources, both of which begin in the Truong Son Mountain range and meet at Bang Lang Fork. The Ta Trach (Left Tributary) originates in the Truong Dong mountains and flows northwest towards Bang Lang Fork. The shorter Huu Trach (Right Tributary) flows through the Tuan ferry, landing towards Bang Lang Fork.
Then it flows in a south-north direction passing the temples of Hon Chen and Ngoc Tran, and turns north-west, meandering through the Nguyet Bieu and Luong Quan plains. From this, the River then continuously flows int the north-east direction to Hue city, only an echo of Truong Son mountain, and passes the resting place of the Nguyen Emperors. The river of green water continues its itinerary, passing Hen Islet and various villages, crossing the Sinh junction, which is known as the capital of ancient Chau Hoa, before emptying into the Tam Giang Lagoon.
Tam Giang Lagoon is located in Phong Dien, Quang Dien, Huong Tra, about 15 kilometers from Hue City. It is where the Perfume River, Bo and O Lau Rivers meet before they flow into the sea through Thuan An estuary in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue. With the pristine beauty and tranquility, Tam Giang Lagoon makes anyone coming here have to admire and burst into joy.
From Bang Lang to Thuan An estuary, the Perfume River is 30 km long and runs very slowly (as the river level is not much above sea level). The Perfume River darkens as it winds along the foot of Ngoc Tran Mountain – home of the Jade Cup Temple – where there is a very deep abyss.
Perched on the southern side of the Hon Chen temple – Jade Cup Mountain on the left bank of the Perfume River, the temple is composed of some ten constructions, all set amid verdant foliage. Most important is the Hon Chen temple which honours the Goddess, Emperor Dong Khanh and dozens of her leading disciples. On display inside are a great number of rare and attractive objects handed down from the past.
What could be a pleasant surprise to visitors is that if tiger is considered a beast to be exterminated at the Royal Arena, then it is sculptured and honoured on the temple grounds, just across the river. This belief building complex is one of Hue’s beauty-spots.
3. How to enjoy its great beauty?
As mentioned, the river flows through a series of beauty-spots, taking visitors to every corner of the ancient citadel when you travel by boat. Along the river, you can visit Da Vien, Phu Xuan, and Truong Tien Bridges, come to the Tomb of Minh Mang, Hon Chen Shrine, Thien Mu Pagoda, and finally to bathe in the sea. Upstream, at the Tomb of Thien Tho, you can hear the rustling of the pine tree, which may help you become a… poet!
When the night comes, the surface of the river glistens under the moonlight, and the songs of the boat rowers can be heard breaking the silence. Just come here and you will feel the pure atmosphere of romance and beauty.
As one of the most popular attractions in this romantic city, a boat ride or cruise on the Huong river is included in a lot of classic Hue city tours or day trips. Pick the most suitable itinerary for your upcoming Vietnam travel and start exploring the beauty of this poetic river and city right here.
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