Not only the talented but the people whose footsteps have stamped many beautiful rivers world famous also said a lot about the Perfume River. Not only in words, but also in literature, poetry, music, and films. But perhaps, it is better to visit the place, to immerse in it, explore it, and … feel it yourselves on Vietnam vacation.
The Origin of Perfume River
The romantic river flows through Hue city, Thua Thien – Hue province. Perfume River has two sources. The left one originates from the Truong Son Mountains; it flows north-west through 55 majestic waterfalls, and then flows through the Bang Lang T-junction; the right source is shorter. After crossing over 14 waterfalls and through the wharf of Tuan, the right source reaches the Bang Lang T-junction and merges with the left source, forming the romantic Perfume River. Counted only from Bang Lang to Thuan An, the Huong River is 30 km long. The slope of the flow is not much higher than that of the sea; thus, the flow of the river is quite slow.
What Can Be Seen from a Perfume River Cruise
Perfume River is beautiful right from its source. It winds around the forests and mountains, carrying the aromas of tropical jungle herbs. The river slowly glides through the green, tree-shading villages including Kim Long, Nguyet Bieu, Vi Da, Dong Ba, Gia Hoi, Cho Dinh, Nam Pho, Bao Vinh, integrating with the fragrance of Hue flowers. The color of the water becomes greener after the flow crosses Ngoc Tran mountain – Hon Chen temple.
The greenish river twinkles just like sapphires under the sun. Traveling by boats to sightsee the dreamy Perfume River and listen to Hue’s folk songs at night is always a pleasure of tourists here. The shades of the surrounding scenery such as streets, gardens, pagodas, and temples are reflected on the river, making the beautiful river even more dreamy and romantic. It is said that it is a Perfume River that makes Hue more peaceful, tranquil, and harmonious with the long-lasting history and culture of the citadel.
Best Things to Do & See on Perfume River
Enjoy Hue Folk Song
Visit Hue, tourists will be immersed in local people’s folk songs when having a boat trip on Perfume River. One new feature of the Hue folk song (Ca Hue) tour on Perfume River is that apart from utilizing Vietnamese traditional instruments to play traditional music, the instrumentalists can also play some familiar foreign songs for foreigners from different countries as well.
Hue folk songs tour is the combination of folk songs and royal court songs and is performed in two ways, North and South. North music includes songs that are cheerful and formal. South music contains more than 60 sad songs. Orchestra performing Hue folk songs include musicians wearing a turban, playing erhu, moon lute, flute, and monochord. The female singers wear traditional ao dai and play other instruments.
Get Closer to Local Life of Hue People
When the boat reaches Van Lau wharf, tourists will have chances to drop the floating lanterns on Perfume River under the instruction of the boat manager. This is an old custom of Hue people with the wish of being safe and sound. Each floating lantern represents its owner’s wishes.
Lighting the floating lanterns is considered an act to honor the spiritual and cultural values of Vietnamese people on big holidays and festivals. Especially on Lunar New Year, people light the lamps to celebrate the festival and to pray for peace and happiness.