Perfume River: Hue’s Aromatic Waterway For Indians In 2024

perfume river

Perfume River flows from the serene mountains to the heart of Hue’s romantic city, offering a journey rich in cultural heritage, artistic wonders, and delicious local cuisine. Over the centuries, it has silently witnessed historical and poetic events, remaining a steadfast symbol of Hue’s rich heritage and enduring charm. Join as we explore the allure of the Perfume River and discover why it continues to enchant visitors from all corners of the globe.

A General Introduction to Perfume River

Perfume River originates from two main sources, Ta Trach and Huu Trach, up in the Truong Son mountains. These sources meet at Bang Lang junction, marking the start of a 33-kilometer journey to the sea. Passing through Hue City and nearby areas like Huong Tra, Huong Thuy, and Phu Vang, the river brings life to villages and gardens along its route.

For the people of Hue, the Perfume River holds special meaning, symbolizing a vital source of life and spirituality. Its name reflects the pleasant smell of flowers that fill the air, thanks to the plants and petals that fall into the water. This delightful scent is most intense in autumn when the flowers are in full bloom, creating a charming atmosphere for all who enjoy its presence.


In the heart of Hue City, Vietnam, you will find the Perfume River, a must-visit spot. It is right along Le Loi and Tran Hung Dao streets, so getting there is a breeze – the city’s accessible any time of day. The river adds an extra layer of romance to Hue’s historic vibe as it flows through the Imperial Citadel and Forbidden City.

perfume river

Best Time To Visit

The best time to go is from January to April when the weather is just perfect – not too hot, not too cold, with temperatures ranging from a comfy 20 to 24°C and just a sprinkle of light rainfall. This period not only offers comfortable temperatures but also provides ideal conditions for exploring the region’s rich historical attractions.

Additionally, the Perfume River plays host to lively carnivals, adding an extra dash of excitement to your trip. Here is a tip: If you are here in an even-numbered year, you are in luck – that is when the Perfume River festivals take center stage. But do not worry if it is an odd-numbered year – you will get to experience the charming craft village festivals instead.

perfume river

How To Get There

As the Perfume River flows through the heart of the city, you can easily access the river via a variety of transportation options.

  • Motorbike: Indian visitors can easily rent a motorbike from one of the many rental services available. Take your time exploring nearby tourist spots along the Perfume River, trying local food, and browsing through popular shopping areas.
  • Cyclo: For a relaxed ride along the Perfume River, consider taking a cyclo. Prices usually range from $2 to $4, depending on how far and how long you go.
  • Taxi: If you want things to be easy and fast, taxis are a stress-free way to get to the Perfume River and start exploring the exciting sights of Hue.

Best Things To Do Along the Perfume River

Travel on a relaxing boat and savor local specialties

Taking a dragon boat ride along the Perfume River in Hue while watching the sunset is a truly special experience. Instead of the usual ways of getting around like bikes or taxis, you can relax on the boat, enjoying the sights of historical landmarks along the riverbanks as the sun sets. You can choose between going with a group or booking a private boat at Toa Kham boat station.

perfume river boat

Dinner on the boat features tasty dishes from the ancient capital, including chicken soup, spring rolls, and braised tuna, ensuring a satisfying meal. For a more luxurious option, the royal dinner serves up fancy dishes like phoenix-shaped spring rolls and seafood soup, giving you a taste of the imperial cuisine once enjoyed only by royalty.

Experience rowing SUP on the Huong River

Rowing a Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) is one of the must-do summer experiences on the Perfume River. It is a great way to relax, stay active, and enjoy the peaceful scenery all at once. The SUP boat service on the Perfume River is priced from only $3,94 to $6 per person, including a life jacket, a SUP for 2 people, and staff support.

perfume river

Go on a duck boat adventure

Pedaling ducks on the Huong River is a favorite outdoor activity among tourists in Hue. It is a fun way to soak in the stunning views along the Perfume River while getting some exercise. The duck pedaling service along the Perfume River in Hue is particularly beloved during the late afternoon, from 3 pm to 7 pm when the weather is mild and the sunlight is gentle. Renting a duck pedaling boat typically costs around 50,000 VND ($2) per hour, with additional charges applied for any extra time.

duck boat

Enjoy Ca Huế (Hue folk songs)

This is perhaps the most unique activity during the journey on the Perfume River. Ca Hue blends folk music with the court tunes of Hue. The Ca Hue collection features around 60 songs, including both vocal and instrumental pieces, with two main styles: Bac (Northern) and Nam (Southern). Bac melodies are upbeat and joyful, while Nam melodies evoke feelings of sadness and longing, enhancing the musical journey along the peaceful Perfume River.

perfume river

Take a walk on Truong Tien Bridge at night

As night falls, Truong Tien Bridge takes on a whole new look, becoming a magical spot along the Perfume River. You will see Dragon boats cruising by, accompanied by traditional Hue singers, which adds to the scene. The bridge lights up with colorful lights, casting beautiful reflections on the water below. There will be lovely lanterns floating along the Perfume River, creating a serene atmosphere.

perfume river

Wander along Nguyen Dinh Chieu Walking Street

Nguyen Dinh Chieu Walking Street is a must-visit spot for anyone exploring Hue. It is a popular attraction on any Hue tour, giving you a glimpse into the local culture. Take a stroll along the street and enjoy the beautiful views of the Perfume River. Do not miss the chance to check out the ancient Ruong houses that line the street. And when you are feeling hungry, there is no shortage of delicious local food to try.

perfume river

Attractions Nearby

  • Hue Imperial City: This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where tourists can step into the past and dive into the captivating history of Hue. Admire the stunning architecture and uncover the stories of Vietnam’s imperial era as you wander through this grand complex.
  • Tu Duc Tomb: Tu Duc Tomb, where a Vietnamese emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty is laid to rest, invites visitors to enjoy a stroll through its serene grounds. Take in the beauty of the gardens and the intricate decorations that embellish the tomb, setting a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere.
  • Khai Dinh Tomb:  This impressive tomb features a fusion of Eastern and Western architectural influences, highlighting the opulence of its time. As one of Vietnam’s most intricate tombs, the Khai Dinh Tomb draws visitors worldwide, offering a window into the grand history of Vietnamese royalty.
  • Thien Mu Pagoda: Thien Mu Pagoda, is situated atop a hill with a view of the Perfume River. It provides visitors with insight into Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage and religious customs.

Tips When Visiting Perfume River

  • Opt for dry seasons for your trip, as the mild temperatures make it convenient to explore and visit other famous attractions nearby.
  • Do not forget to pack hats, sunscreen, and light coats to shield yourself from the summer heat.
  • Make the most of your journey by exploring ancient pagodas, temples, and natural landscapes while cruising on a dragon boat.
  • When visiting temples or pagodas, be sure to dress respectfully to honor the cultural significance of these sites.

As you prepare for your visit to explore the beauty of the Perfume River, we are here to help. We offer a range of tour packages that can be customized to your liking. Start planning your trip today and get ready for an amazing adventure along the Perfume River in Hue, Vietnam!

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