Hon Chen Temple Hue- A Mysterious Cham Heritage

Hon Chen Temple- Hue Nam Temple- Vietnam Vacation Travel


From the past to the present, Hue remains a peaceful and beautiful destination. It has affirmed its unique position as one of the ideal and most famous destinations for tourists on every vacation. Hue has many ancient features but is still modern and is the intersection of many diverse cultures. Therefore, you cannot ignore one of them, Hon Chen Temple.

Hon Chen Temple( also known as Hue Nam Temple) is a sacred place of importance in the spiritual life of the Hue community. It is also one of the only temples in Hue, demonstrating a unique blend of royal rituals and folk beliefs. Consequently,  this makes it the only temple in Hue with unique characteristics.

These days, Vietnam Vacation Travel will introduce everyone to Hon Chen Temple, definitely a good place if planning to visit the Hue capital. If you are interested in Hue City, you can book the Hue Tours such as

Where Is Hon Chen Temple Located?

Hon Chen Temple is located on the top of Ngoc Tran Mountain, in Ngoc Ho village, Huong Ho ward, Huong Tra town, Thua Thien Hue province. The distance from this temple to Hue city center is about 8km in the southwest direction.


There are unique construction elements in this temple, and it also serves as the focal point for ceremonies honoring religion and ancestors. Consequently, it mixes traditional beliefs elegantly with lavish customs.

Hon Chen Temple was constructed in the nineteenth century. It has become a favorite site for anyone interested in learning more about Hue’s unique cultural and historical heritage.

How To Get To Hue Nam Temple Hue?

When you get to the temple, you can move in the following ways:

The most popular option is to ride a dragon boat along the Perfume River. Traveling by boat will take longer, but it will allow you to see the most stunning sights and enjoy the peaceful nature along the riverbank.

Hon Chen Temple-Vietnam Vacation Travel
The dragon boat arrives before the Hon Chen festival.

 The second option is to travel by car. You go down Le Loi Street until you reach Minh Mang Street, then turn right onto Highway 49. After passing through rice fields and Thieu Tri Tomb on the right, turn left onto a short road leading to Than Boat Port. It’s time to board the little boat that will transport us to Hon Chen Temple.

 Another choice is to hire a private car to take you to the north of Huong River. You go to Le Duan Road, then Kim Long Street, and finally Van Thanh Street. Continue to the left along the river until Hon Chen Temple.

Opening Hours and Entrance Fee

The entrance fee is 50,000 VND per adult and is free for children under 1.3 meters. And the hours to be open are daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Best Time To Visit Hon Chen Temple 

Hon Chen Temple is not only a historical site and a place of religious devotion, but it is also a picturesque place. Therefore, it’s a well-known destination with a distinct culture that draws thousands of people. Visitors come every year, especially around the lunar calendar’s celebrations between March and July.

When you visit Hon Chen Temple Hue, you will not only see architectural structures that record the passage of time, such as Dien Minh Kinh Dai, Ngu Hanh Temple, Mandarin Altars, Ngoai Canh Am, and the Ho Altor Cave. Along the Perfume River, you will also find Quan Cu, Thanh Pagoda, Trinh Cat Vien, and Am Thuy Phu.

If you visit during the festival, you will see an entirely different Hon Chen Temple. The scenery shines with spectacular dragon boats, clothes ranging from ao dai to turbans, and vibrant performance costumes. The festival is not only an offering to the gods and spirits but also a part of the native people’s cultural and religious lives. The celebration includes two parts: the ceremony to welcome the god (bringing the god to the temple) and the main sacrifice ceremony.

Architecture of Hon Chen Temple 

Architecture outside the temple

Hon Chen Temple- Vietnam Vacation Travel
Hon Chen Temple- Vietnam Vacation Travel

Hon Chen Temple is designed with about 10 beautiful architectural works, all located halfway naturally on the southeast mountain slope. Besides that, it is hidden in the shadow of an ancient forest with luxuriant foliage. Designs with a hierarchy running from top to bottom.

The step system runs from the high temple down to the clear blue water wharf. Looking out into the distance, the river surface is as flat and quiet as a mirror. Visitors can easily immerse themselves in the natural scenery and feel like they are lost in a magical land.

 You will not only learn about the unique architecture of the temple but also visit precious historical and artistic relics. This is one of the can’t-miss destinations for those interested in the history and culture of ancient Hue.

In 1886, the Dong Khanh emperor compared the Hon Chen Temple to the image of a lion drinking water from the river. This temple is located under the shade of lush old trees. Therefore, you can see about 10 exquisite architectural works along the southeastern slope of the mountain. 

 There are many steps leading from the temple down to the pier in the clear blue water. The river is calm, like a mirror that reflects well both the beauty of nature and the surrounding architecture.

 Architecture inside the temple

Hue Nam Temple- Vietnam Vacation Travel
Hue Nam Temple

The architecture of the temple is quite neatly organized. In the center, there is the main shrine, Minh Kinh Dai, facing the river. On the right side of the pagoda are the houses of Quan Cu and Trinh Cat Vien. On the left side is the Temple of the Five Saints, the Mandarin altar, Ha Ban, Ho Cave, and Ngoai Canh Am. At the end of the road on the left lies Am Thuy Phu. 

 The architectural plan also has some other small altars, such as Co Ngoc Lan Am and Trung Thien Am, scattered throughout the pagoda area.

Minh Kinh Dai was built in 1886 by King Dong Khanh. It measures 15 m by 17 m and is separated into three temples depending on the purpose of devotion.

To begin, Minh Kinh Cao Dai, commonly known as the Upper Temple, is separated into two stories. The upper floor has Holy Mother Thien Y A Na, Holy Mother Van Huong, and a statue of King Dong Khanh. Moreover, the other high-ranking gods in the religion. The bottom floor is a place to greet visitors and secure the temple.

Minh Kinh Trung Dai, the second pagoda, also known as the Council Pagoda, boasts a towering and large temple in its center. This pagoda worships a variety of divinities, including the Great Buddha. It is a place to debate altars for essential occasions such as Cung Nghinh Mau, Phung Lien, and Long Dinh.

Minh Kinh Tieu Dai, also known as Tien Dien, is a location for major sacrificial rites. It includes significant drums and bells on both sides. In front of the temple, there is a place of worship for tourists to visit.

Hon Chen Temple Festival

Hon Chen Temple (also known as Hue Nam Festival) is a traditional activity. It contains spiritual and cultural aspects of the people of Hue and the entire country’s population.

The procession festival of Thien Y A Na Thanh Mau from Hue Nam to the common house of Hai Cat village was held respectfully. At the temple, the locals perform sacrifices. A ceremony is a festival held before the main forfeit day to welcome all of the gods in the community to the communal dwelling. 

Hon Chen Temple- Vietnam Vacation Travel
Thanh Mau Thien Y A Na Temple

Hon Chen Temple Festival’s Holding Time

 The Hon Chen Temple Ceremony is usually held twice, on the occasion of the spring festival and the autumn festival. It is around the 2nd and 3rd days of the 3rd lunar month( spring festival) and the seventh lunar month (autumn festival) every year.

 As a result, booking a dragon boat is highly difficult, and the cost is significantly greater. Because festivals attract thousands of people to come here to take part in celebratory events, you must schedule the train in advance, or you can use a car as an alternative. Hence, Hoi An Private Taxi will instruct you on how to visit Hon Chen Temple.

Main Ceremonies at Hon Chen Temple 

Divine Ceremony (Nghinh Than Ceremony)

The Divine Ceremony (Nghinh Than Ceremony) in Hue City is an event honoring the goddess Thien Y A Na. It has a very important meaning in the culture of the community. This festival focuses on the procession of the goddess from Hon Chen Temple to the Hai Cat communal house.

Dragon boat during The Hon Chen Festival
Dragon boat during The Hon Chen Festival

The Nghinh Than ceremony takes place on the Perfume River, where many dragon boats have colorful and bright flags and flowers. The atmosphere at the festival is vibrant and exciting, with the singing of mediums, bowls, and folk songs. It creates a bustling atmosphere and reflects the excitement of the community.

The Nghinh Than Ceremony is not simply an event to honor spirituality but is also an important part of the cultural heritage of the Hue people. It connects generation after generation and expresses respect and gratitude to the goddess Thien Y A Na.

Chief Priest Ceremony (Chanh Te Ceremony)

 The Chief Priest Ceremony Ceremony (Chanh Te Ceremony) follows shortly after the Divine Ceremony, which welcomes the gods and the Holy Mother. This celebration comprises a wide range of activities, including welcoming the Holy Mother, freeing animals, releasing lanterns, and praising Hai Cat village.

Hon Chen Temple-Vietnam Vacation Travel
Chanh Te ceremony in Hue Nam Temple

Tourists’ passionate response to this unique cultural and spiritual characteristic has resulted in the creation of a specific celebratory place. This is a much-anticipated and welcomed event, bringing a significant number of guests each time the festival season arrives.

 It is not only an opportunity to connect with the spirituality and traditions of the country, but it is also an opportunity to experience the appealing and packed festival atmosphere. The primary ceremony is an exciting combination of faith and relief, creating an attractive and cozy atmosphere.

Related Stories About Hon Chen Temple

 In Vietnamese legends, Ngoc Tran Mountain is known as Huong Uyen Son and afterward renamed Ngoc Tran (Hon Chen). It is famous as Hon Chen Temple, where the Cham people worshiped Hon Chen Temple in the past. The Hon Chen festival honors the goddess PoNagar. The Vietnamese who follow the Thien Tien Thanh Sect continue to honor her as Holy Mother Thien Y A Na. It is a temple dedicated to the Cham goddess PoNagar (the mother goddess of the land).

 Every year, on the 2nd – 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month and the 7th lunar month. People from all around come to the temple to take part in the Thien Y A Na Thanh Mau festival. It is celebrated with respect and gravity. The Thien Y A Na Thanh Mau celebration from Hue Nam to Hai Cat village is an important aspect of the festival’s customs.

 Thien Y A Na Thanh Mau was originally the Cham people’s goddess Yang Po Inu Nagar or Yang Po Ana Gar, known as “God Mother of the Land,” before the legend of her being the Heavenly Emperor’s daughter came true. She made the land, the crops, and the rice. Vietnamese people think that this Cham deity shares many characteristics with the Vietnamese spiritual goddess. That is why the Vietnamese recognized and honored her as Holy Mother Thien Y A Na (or goddess Y A Na).

As a consequence, Hon Chen Temple went through numerous historical revolutions. People have worshiped Buddha, Saint Quan Cong, and a variety of other gods. The temple’s architecture is in perfect harmony with nature. It consists of about ten modest structures on the mountain slope. It includes three levels down to the Perfume River, making magnificent views on both sides of the river.

 Travel Tips When Visiting Hon Chen Temple

 Because holidays at Hon Chen Temple are quite crowded, you should book tickets in advance: Hon Chen Temple is often quite crowded on holidays, so make an appointment in advance to avoid long waits.

Hon Chen Temple-Vietnam Vacation Travel
Early morning scene before the Hon Chen Temple ceremony.

When you visit Hon Chen Temple, you should move to Hon Chen Temple in the early morning to avoid harsh sunlight and have more time to explore.

When visiting Hon Chen Temple, you should avoid making noise and taking pictures in the temple area. In addition, you should wear suitable clothing because this is a sacred place with historical and religious values.


Hon Chen Temple is a wonderful destination in Hue, famous for its unique combination of classical architecture and beautiful nature. 

This is an exciting place for those who want to immerse themselves in nature. It’s also bringing a feeling of relaxation and peace to the Hue tradition.

In conclusion, the Hon Chen Temple is well known for its different architecture and interesting stories about the Nguyen Dynasty. Therefore, it is a good opportunity for you to better understand Vietnamese history and culture. Let us instruct you to come to Hon Chen Temple, you will not be disappointed.