The Perfume River in Hue brings the poetic beauty of a peaceful life

Along with Ngu Binh Mountain, the Perfume River has become a symbol of people and the beloved ancient capital of Hue City.

With a length of about 80km, starting from Bang Lang junction, which is made up of two streams of Ta Trach and Huu Trach, to Thuan An estuary.

The highlight of the Perfume River is always clear blue color, gentle flow like the people here.

the Perfume River in Hue
A morning on the Perfume River. ©Vietnamdrive

Perfume River Hue

Location: Located in the middle of Hue city, between two streets of Le Loi in the south and Le Duan street in the north.

The name of the Perfume River comes from the forest ginseng’s perfume located in the upper reaches of the river. When the flowers bloom, the flavor is fragrant. Since ancient times, people moving on this river had smelled the fragrance, so this river is called the Huong Giang, meaning the Perfume River in English.

But in fact, it is now impossible to find the remaining types of forest ginseng here. However, the water of the Perfume River is still green, still faintly smelling of flowers, pleasant forest trees, as its name suggests.

Tourist information about the Perfume River

1. The best time to visit the Perfume River

The weather in Hue has two distinct seasons, the rainy season from October to February and the dry season from March to September. The rain is very long, sometimes all day, but looking at the Perfume River is a romantic and slightly sad charm. In the dry season, the river is gentle, very suitable for those who like to take pictures; However, the temperature is sometimes very high, especially from May to September.

If you like flowers, from late June to July, red flamboyant flowers bloom along the riverbank, creating a great background for beautiful photos. You will see many girls wearing ao dai and taking pictures with red flowers and the river.

perfume river hue vietnam
The red flamboyant flowers bloom. ©Vietnamdrive

The best time of day to see the calmness of the Perfume River is at sunset. The poetic river blends into the landscape of the two banks, forming a lovely picture of a peaceful landscape.

2. Activities to do and things to see in the Perfume River

As one of the main tourist attractions in Hue City, the Perfume River is full of activities, buildings, and sights along the river to explore.

2.1 Catch dragon boats on the river

The Perfume River is not too wide, the water is not strong, creating excellent conditions for cruising activities on the river. The dragon boats that take you up and down the river are a great opportunity to travel and explore the beauty of the Perfume River.

Just go to the marina and rent a dragon boat (a small boat is enough for a group of 2-6 people, a big dragon boat is from 6 to 16 people) is to be able to enjoy the landscape, floating emotions on the river, temporarily away from the busy street and traffic noise.

dragon boat on perfume river hue
Take a dragon boat on the river. ©Vietnamdrive

2.2. Visit the architectural works along the river

You will see many old and new architectural works on the romantic Perfume River.

Trang Tien Bridge has become a familiar image of the locals in the ancient capital and is one of the famous bridges in Vietnam. It is the first bridge across the Perfume River associated with the history, which witnessed a lot of changes in this land. Besides, the new Bach Ho Bridge has a place for you to stop and watch the river.

Not to be missed the Thuong Bac building (Trade Fair Building), the memorial screen in front of Quoc Hoc High School, Phu Van Lau Pavillion, Hoang Thanh flagpole, and especially Thien Mu Pagoda and the mausoleums of the Nguyen kings.

Renting a boat for excursions to visit Thien Mu Pagoda, Hon Chen temple, and the mausoleums of King Minh Mang and Khai Dinh will be an interesting and memorable activity when you come to this place.

screen in quoc hoc high school
Looking at the screen in front of Quoc Hoc high school from the dragon boat. ©Vietnamdrive

2.3 Walk along the river to relax

Nguyen Dinh Chieu pedestrian street connects with the ironwood bridge on the river into a perfect walking path for you to feel relaxed and let your feelings drift along the calm river.

Here, the afternoon is romantic. When night falls, this road will become more bustling with many teenagers and tourists walking together to enjoy the fresh, cool air from the river.

If you want to explore further, from Trang Tien bridge along Nguyen Dinh Chieu pedestrian street and along the river is a very long way where you can spend more time. You will feel comfortable walking in the peaceful scenery. On the north bank, there is also a road like this, you should try coming to feel the beauty of the Perfume River.

walking street along the perfume river
A distance on the walking street along the Perfume River. ©Vietnamdrive

2.4. Watch the sunset on the river

Sitting by the river, sipping a cup of coffee, and letting your soul fall to the sunset on the Perfume River is an experience not to be missed.

If you want to have more beautiful places to capture impressive photos, you can go to Cau Ban Nguyet – Crescent Bridge located on the north bank of the river, between Phu Xuan and Bach Ho Bridges.

The second favorite place of Vietnamdrive when watching the sunset on the Perfume River is Thien Mu Pagoda. This place is high enough to have a nice view of the river, mountains, and peaceful countryside.

sunset on the perfume river
Sunset covers the river. ©Vietnamdrive

2.5 Listen to Hue folk-songs on the river

Every time the night falls, the Perfume River welcomes tourists to enjoy Hue songs on the river. The nightlife in Hue seems more lively on the river. A stage is both small and wide: small because it is limited to the boat, wide is that the song itself blends into the scenery of the river becoming immense.

Toa Kham Wharf, where Doi Cung Street intersects with Le Loi Street, is the place where you will find a lot of dragon boats moored ready to welcome guests to float on the river to listen to Hue folksongs.

The join-group ticket price is not high, only from 120,000 VND to 150,000 VND. That’s enough for you to enjoy the sweet singing on the impressive dragon boat stage.

If you have a private rental need, the music group will be ready to serve, but the price is much higher than joining everyone. Furthermore, you need to book in advance so that everyone can prepare a private band and boat.

2.6 Biking along the river

To explore the scenery along the river, cycling is also one of the exciting activities in Hue to do.

The route can be chosen: along Le Loi Street, crossing Trang Tien Bridge to the north bank of the river, and entering the pedestrian and bicycle path along the Perfume River.

You can cycle through the park, breathe fresh air, see peaceful scenery. Don’t forget to stop at Thien Mu Pagoda and watch the Perfume River.

biking road along perfume river
A walking and biking road along the river. ©Vietnamdrive

Notes when visiting Perfume River

+ When riding a dragon boat on the river, the boat owner often sells souvenirs and clothes for tourists. You can buy to support them. But sometimes I don’t like it when they invite me too much, so you can tell them to leave it there if you like it and buy it later.

+ In my experience, you’d better book your boat trip with a travel agency to get better service. At that time, remind the agent to tell the boat owner not to offer too much stuff while on the boat. To avoid disturbance, the staff of Vietnamdrive often prepares 50,000VND – 100,000 VND tips for the ferryman, so that the guests can enjoy the scenery more comfortably.

+ If you listen to Hue folksongs, usually you will have lanterns to put them on the river to pray for good luck for everyone. Be careful not to slip on the edge of the boat.

+ When walking to see the Perfume River at night, there may be a few people selling snacks along the riverside. Although the price is not high, you should consider the issue of hygiene and safety. Choose foods and fruits carefully to protect your health.

+ If you are an international tourist, sometimes many students come to talk to you to practice English. If possible, stop by to help the students for a few minutes, you will find it interesting to interact with local people. However, you should also be careful when many people approach you. Always keep an eye on your wallet and valuables.


When you travel to Hue City, do not miss visiting the Perfume River and joining the exciting activities. You will find a romantic landscape with peaceful life here.

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About the author

The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.