Last update: 08:10 | 25/03/2019
Huong (Perfume) Pagoda on the outskirts of Hanoi is popular with tourists because of its spiritual dimension. The pagoda, located inside Huong Tich cave, which has been called the best cave in Vietnam, could become a highlight of the heritage trail in Vietnam’s northern region.
Visitors have to take a boat trip along the Yen stream to get to Huong Tich cave
Huong pagoda, also known as the Huong Son Historical and Scenic Complex, was recognized as a special national relic in December, 2017. Since then local tourism has boomed, not just during spring time, but all year round.
Local authorities have had to step up their efforts to protect the environment, prevent opportunistic fraud, train people to provide better service, and preserve cultural and historical artifacts.
Tourists who come to see the Huong Pagoda take an interest in nearby attractions like Tuyet Son cave and An Ngua mountain. Nguyen Van Hung of Vinh Phuc province said: “The Huong Pagoda complex boasts a magnificent natural landscape. Service quality has improved year by year. This is an attractive tourist destination.”
Tourism in Huong Son has expanded beyond the three months of religious pilgrimage at the beginning of the year. There is the bombax flower season between March and April, the lotus season in August and September, and water lily month in October.
Huong Pagoda stands at the midpoint of the 100-kilometer heritage trail in northern Vietnam, which stretches from the Three-door Gate to the Trang An complex, the Hoa Lu ancient capital, the Bai Dinh pagoda complex, the Van Long wetlands reserve, Tam Chuc pagoda in Ha Nam province, and the Thang Long imperial citadel in the heart of Hanoi.
Pham Minh Tu, a manager at the Huong Pagoda complex, told VOV “Investment is needed to upgrade the site and divide it into areas for different purposes of spiritual practice and exploration.”
The Huong Pagoda complex now welcomes 2 million visitors a year. Tourism generates 500 billion VND (22 million USD) annually, 65% of Huong Son commune’s total GDP.
Nguyen Ba Hien, Chief manager of the Huong Son Historical and Scenic Complex, spoke of the need for tourism infrastructure development “We expect to welcome visitors all year long. To do so, we are working on a master plan to build spiritual tourism areas, lotus ponds, fishing ponds, and resorts around the complex.”
This master plan aims to exploit the area’s tourism potential while protecting its natural beauty.