A visitor to Hue once remarked after his vacation here: “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 Hương or Hương 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.
The Perfume River have two sources. They come from the Truong Son range: the Ta Trach (Left Tributary) from Truong Dong mounts toward north-west through 55 impressive waterfalls, and then slowly to Bang Lang fork; the shorter Huu Trach (Right Tributary) flowing through 14 dangerous waterfalls and Tuan ferry landing to Bang Lang fork where the two tributaries join to form the poetic Perfume river.
From Bang Lang to Thuan An estuary, the Perfume river is 30 km long (The river level is not much above that of the sea) so that the river runs very slowly.
The colour of the Perfume river is darker when it winds along the foot of Ngoc Tran mount - the Jade Cup Temple - where there is a very deep abyss.
The Perfume River is beautiful sight from its source, and winds among mountains, forest trees, plants, etc. bringing with it fragrances of tropical flora. The river runs slowly through the verdant and shady villages of Kim Long, Nguyet Bieu, Vy Da, Dong Ba, Gia Hoi, Dinh market, Nam Pho, Bao Vinh, mingling with the odours of flowers of Hue... The river with the shimmer blue limpid colour is like a pearl in the sun. Hue boats rowing up and down with remote, meditative and deep folk melodies at deep night. It is an eternal pleasure for many generations of tourists who go boating to behold the poetic landscape, to listen to the folk melodies of Hue in tranquil nights.
The views on both sides of the river with the citadel, town, gardens, pagodas, towers and temples, etc. and their reflections in the waters make the already loveable river even more poetic and musical. Many people think that Hue city has peaceful, gentle and tranquil landscapes mostly thanks to the Perfume river. This river brings to the city a meditative poetic characteristics and the harmonious limpidity exhaling from a land of age-old culture.
The 105m Ngu Binh has a striking and symmetric figure. On both sides of the Even Mount (Bang Son) are 2 small mounts called Ta Bat Son (Left Mount) and Huu Bat Son (Right Mount). The Nguyen dynasty was established and decided to build up the Hue Capital. When seeing that Bang Son look like a front screen. Gia Long Emperor approved the design of geo-mancers: to choose this mount as a front altar of the imposing and solid defending wall system, and renamed it Ngu Binh.
Together with the Perfume river, Ngu Binh Mount is the second invaluable gift endowed by Nature to Hue. These two mingle with each other creating the romantic mountain and river beauty of Hue. For a long time, this beautiful mount and the blue limpid Perfume river have become the symbol of Hue city. Therefore, people often call Hue "The land of the Perfume river and Ngu Binh mount" or "Huong-Ngu Land".
A river tour
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 in Hue is included in a lot of classic Hue city tours or day trips. Pick the most suitable itinerary for you and start exploring the beauty of this poetic river and city today!