AsiaVietnamHue

Along the Perfume River

Hue Travel Blog

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The boat that took us along the Perfume River (Hue, Vietnam)

The Perfume River crosses the city of Hue. In the autumn, flowers from orchards upriver from Hue fall into the water, which gives the rivers a perfume-like aroma.

Since a lot of sights are located next to the river, and because we both love boat trips, we had no trouble deciding we wanted to take a daytrip along the Perfume River. The Orchid Hotel, where we were staying, offers several tours, including a boat trip that takes all day.

The boat that took us acrosse the Perfume River (Hue, Vietnam)
It was a cheap tour (Seven US dollars per person), so we didn’t expect much. We’d rather book this low-priced trip than look for another, more expensive one that may give us the same things though.

A young woman picked us up at the hotel and walked us to the boat. The boat was lovely, it was colourful, had two dragons up front and was spacious. Downside was that they stuffed more than thirty people on the boat and we ended up waiting on the boat, in the blistering sun, for almost an hour until everybody had turned up.

The trip itself was wonderful, although the first ‘sight’, a very overrated floating village, was actually a stop to pick up staff for the boat. My husband and I laughed our asses off when we saw everybody on the boat take pictures of the three worn down houseboats while at the same time a woman with a huge pan of rice was stepping on board.

The tour along the Perfume River also included a Kung Fu show (Hue, Vietnam)
Part of our lunch had arrived.

Second stop was a Kung Fu-show, performed by students. This was not on the actual schedule of the tour and since all entrance fees, including the fee for the show was excluded from the trip, some people had problems with this. It wasn’t expensive though, and we all enjoyed the show, so it wasn’t a huge issue.

It just would have been so much easier if the guide actually spoke English. The enthusiastic young man that was on the boat, who stepped in front us and addressed us from time to time, every now and then uttered a word that slightly resembled an English word. But any other similarity to English got lost after a few sounds. He spoke so fast, with Vietnamese intonation, with a huge accent and without any articulation, that he might as well could have spoken Vietnamese to us. Nobody had any idea what he said to us.

The tour along the Perfume River also included a Kung Fu show (Hue, Vietnam)
As soon as he finished speaking everybody on the boat turned to each other and discussed about what he just told us. This, and our blank faces whenever he opened his mouth, never gave him a clue that he needed to improve his English (or at least his pronunciation). Nevertheless, there was quite a lot of fun to be had in guessing what he might be saying.

Anyway, the first scheduled stop was the Thien Mu Pagoda, and this was a wonderful sight. There were several nice statues we liked, but most impressive was how the pagoda and its surrounding buildings intertwined into the green landscape.

We also saw the car in which the famous rebellious monk  drove to Ho Chi Minh City. Right after arrival he set himself on fire right next to the car. The picture of this burning monk keeps impressing me, the car had the same effect.

The tour along the Perfume River also included a Kung Fu show (Hue, Vietnam)

The trip on the river also showed us many local people who earn money by dredging the river bed for sand. They collect the sand on a boat and sell it to cement manufacturers. We also stopped at Hon Chen Temple, but this was quite uninteresting. By now everybody was hungry and curious to see what lunch would bring. It was said that the tour included lunch, but earlier that morning it was said (we guessed) that the included lunch was not more than rice, tofu and a bit of vegetables. They had sent round menu’s so you could order extra additions to your lunch (for an additional price of course), and it should be ready when we got back to the boat from the last temple.

The food turned out to be quite nice (although the additions were very needed in order to eat a full meal) and we enjoyed the last stretch of Perfume River before we stopped at the first royal tomb.

The tour was not bad so far, as long as we didn’t expect too much (a guide that doesn’t speak understandable English, paying extra for entrance fees and a surprise Kung Fu show, paying extra for a decent lunch and sitting on a crowded boat). It was unclear if we had gotten a bit more comfortable trip if we had booked a tour elsewhere, the river was full of boats who looked exactly the same. There was no discontent, although the guide was starting to annoy me. I would have preferred it if he would have given up and continued in writing signs or just tried gesturing…

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The boat that took us along the Pe…
The boat that took us along the P…
The boat that took us acrosse the …
The boat that took us acrosse the…
The tour along the Perfume River a…
The tour along the Perfume River …
The tour along the Perfume River a…
The tour along the Perfume River …
The tour along the Perfume River a…
The tour along the Perfume River …
The tour along the Perfume River a…
The tour along the Perfume River …
The tour along the Perfume River a…
The tour along the Perfume River …
View at the Perfume River (Hue, Vi…
View at the Perfume River (Hue, V…
The Thien Mu Pagode (Hue, Vietnam)
The Thien Mu Pagode (Hue, Vietnam)
The Thien Mu Pagode (Hue, Vietnam)
The Thien Mu Pagode (Hue, Vietnam)
The Thien Mu Pagode (Hue, Vietnam)
The Thien Mu Pagode (Hue, Vietnam)
The Thien Mu Pagode (Hue, Vietnam)
The Thien Mu Pagode (Hue, Vietnam)
The Thien Mu Pagode (Hue, Vietnam)
The Thien Mu Pagode (Hue, Vietnam)
The Thien Mu Pagode (Hue, Vietnam)
The Thien Mu Pagode (Hue, Vietnam)
Three local women at the Thien Mu …
Three local women at the Thien Mu…
The Thien Mu Pagode (Hue, Vietnam)
The Thien Mu Pagode (Hue, Vietnam)
On June 11th, 1963, Thich Quang Du…
On June 11th, 1963, Thich Quang D…
A waterlily at the pond of the Thi…
A waterlily at the pond of the Th…
The Thien Mu Pagode (Hue, Vietnam)
The Thien Mu Pagode (Hue, Vietnam)
View at the Perfume River (Hue, Vi…
View at the Perfume River (Hue, V…
Hue
photo by: Paulovic