Chua Huong (Perfume pagoda) is located in Huong son (Perfume mountain), 70 km from the southwest of Hanoi. “Huong Son Thien Tru Pha” is written that Huong Tich temple was built in the late 17th century. Populations of the pagoda are many small pagodas and temples scattered in the Yen Spring valley.
Poetic Yen Spring leading to Perfume Pagoda has the scenery as a picture
To the person who come to Hanoi for the first time are all keen on having the opportunity to follow the poetic Yen Spring to visit Perfume Pagoda, watch Huong Tich cave- the most beautiful cave of Vietnam.
Every year when spring comes, tourists and Vietnamese people are pouring to Perfume Pagoda to burn incense and pray for luckiness and peace in the new year coming. At this time, you will have to struggle with many people to go up to the Pagoda and it will be difficult to admire the majestic mountains landscape surrounding.
Therefore, if you visit Perfume Pagoda in a normal day, you can feel all the restful and fresh beauty of the Pagoda which is in the middle of mountain and forest. You can also gently take steps on stairs covered by green moss leading you to worship alter and stalactite blocks lying inside Huong Tich cave.
Row boats in Duc port
Before going to Perfume Pagoda, you can visit many other pagodas along Yen Spring. If you have only one day, you should visit the main destinations are Trinh Temple – Thien Tru Pagoda – Huong Tich Cave.
The trip starts from Duc port, the row boat on Yen Spring will take you to a poetic scenery. Along two sides are the green immense forest, the quiet atmosphere which make you only hear the paddles on the water or birds calling their flocks.
Trinh Temple lies on the foot of Ngu Nhac Mountain
The first stop is Trinh temple which is also known as Ngu Nhac Linh Tu. The temple is situated at the foot of Ngu Nhac mountain which includes 5 mountains shaped like Thanh Long (Blue Dragon). This is the place visitors come to burn te incense and pray for peace.
Hoi bridge crossing Yen Spring
The journey continues down the peaceful Yen Spring and the charming scenery. Across the red wooden bridge, you can go to Thanh Son Temple in the cave.
Tro port at the end of Yen Spring
Sloping path leading to Thien Tru Pagoda
Thien Tru Pagoda or “Sky Kitchen”
Tro port is at the end of Yen Spring, from here you leave the boat and walk uphill to Thien Tru Pagoda which is also known as the ” Sky Kitchen”. The highlight of the temple is the 3-meter copper pillar lying between the yard and tower garden with red brick four-floor tower. The second and third floor have the blade- curved roof.
The 3-meter copper pillar in middle of the yard and tower garden
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Inside the temple there are many shrines are decorated splendidly. In particular, among the Buddhist alter, there is a stone statue of Guan Yin Nanhai, carved in the form in but Huong Tich Pagoda but is enlarged 2.5 times.
The impressive scenery leading to Huong Tich Cave
The steps covered by green moss and forests
Leaving Thien Tru Pagoda, the trip climbing to the Perfume Pagoda in Huong Tich gets started. You have to pass about 2 km winding steep mountain road. Many sections have stairs but it is still very harsh because the higher level, the steeper slope.
Along the way, there are stalls where you can buy cold water and take a short rest. However, this is also the weak point because these stalls broke the natural scenery of the site.
The large cave looks like a huge dragon’s jaw
Stalactite called Dun Gao ( Rice Dune) looks like a tongue in the dragon’s jaw
Being known as “Nam Thien De Nhat Dong” (the First Cave of Vietnam), the entrance to Huong Tich Cave is quite dark and mysterious. There are total 120 stone steps, two sides with trees and forest make you feel like you are entering another world.
Small and big stalactite with various shapes
Entering the cave, thousands of stalactites blocks own different shapes and names as Rice Dunes, Golden Tree, Silver Tree, Buffalo, Pigs,… In particular, on the ceiling, there are nine stalactites having shape of dragon. In addition, there are breast-shaped stalactites dripping fresh cool water from the cliff.