Hue Dragon Boat Trip On The Perfume River

Hue Dragon Boat Trip On The Perfume River - Vietnam Vacation Travel


When it comes to Hue, most people think of a poetic land and a gentle pace of life. One way to get the most enjoyment out of this city is by taking a Hue Dragon Boat on the Perfume River. Floating around the river in a dragon boat, all of Hue’s beauty will appear in front of your eyes.

Hue Dragon Boat Trip On The Perfume River - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Nowadays, Hue has become more and more updated with modern buildings, new entertainment, and luxury hotels. However, many locals try to keep their traditional features, especially the Perfume River cruise. A dragon boat trip can take you to many corners in Hue and bring you the most breathtaking scenery.

Let’s learn more about this unique leisure activity with Vietnam Vacation Travel.Besides, you may be interested in our Hue Tours which gives you an unforgettable experience on the Perfume River.

Hue Perfume River Overview

Perfume River Geography

Originating from the Truong Son Mountains and having an impressive length, the Perfume River passes by nearly everywhere in Thua Thien Hue Province. It flows around Hue City and large towns such as Phu Vang, Huong Tra, and Huong Thuy.

Perfume River Truong Tien Bridge - Vietnam Vacation Travel

The Perfume River Hue has the same level as the sea level, so it flows very slowly and smoothly. With that softness, the Perfume River bends and twists all over this land before pouring into the sea.

Wherever in Hue you visit, Thien Mu Pagoda or Imperial Citadel, you can see a part of the Perfume River. Its existence emphasizes the grace of Hue, like a priceless gift that nature bestows on the ancient citadel of Vietnam.

Name And History Of Perfume River Hue

There are different explanations for the name “Perfume” river, which means “Huong” river in Vietnamese. Because it has been called that for a long time, no one actually knows where its name comes from.

Some people explain that thanks to its mountains-to-sea flow, the Perfume River takes various fragrant herbs from every forest it passes by. The river carries all the mild scents of natural plants along, so people named it the “Perfume River”.

Perfume River Hue - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Others suppose that the name “Perfume River” comes from a traditional incense-making village called Thuy Xuan Incense Village on the riverbank. In their incense production, they use sandalwood, cinnamon, lemongrass, jasmine, and other natural components. They become a part of the river and give it a sweet aroma.

The Perfume River Hue - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Or, there is an explanation that it was named after the town called Huong Tra that it flows by. Hue’s folk usually name rivers after the land they pass by, so they called it the “Huong Tra” River. Then people shortened it to “Huong” or “Perfume” River.

There are some other explanations, but whatever they are, they reflect the culture, beliefs, and customs of the locals.

Hue Dragon Boat Trip Travel Guide

History And Culture Of Hue Dragon Boat

Hue used to be the glorious citadel of Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty. Therefore, there are many entertainment forms imbued with royal styles. And taking Hue boat tours on the Perfume River is one of them.

It was an elegant means of transportation, taking the royal members and servants around their land. That is a way the royals enjoy their spare time: watching the landscape, feeling the fresh air, and talking.

Hue Royal Dragon Boat - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Because the king dragon boats were for royal leisure, their design was imbued with royal details. The first impression people have of the boats is the majestic dragon pattern.

Since ancient times, people have believed dragons, which can live underwater and fly in the sky, symbolize power, strength, and blessing. Hence, dragons become a royal symbol and have special cultural meanings for Vietnamese.

Hue Dragon Boat - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Nowadays, the Hue Dragon Boat still keeps its traditional shapes and combines modern updates. Today, variants have contributed to the diversity of the Hue King Dragon Boat and Perfume River Cruise.

The times have changed. You don’t need to be a royal member to enjoy a Hue dragon boat trip. It becomes leisure for everyone to admire Hue’s landscape, breathe in fresh air on the Perfume River, and get to know more about this poetic land.

Hue Dragon Boat Trip On The Perfume River - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Dragon Boat Station Location

So you might wonder where you can take a Hue dragon boat trip on the Perfume River. You can easily find the dragon boat station right in Hue City at Toa Kham Wharf.

Address: 49 Le Loi, Hue City

Hue Dragon Boat Price

There are many kinds of Hue boat tours at different price ranges. Yet the most popular trip is a 1-hour cruise to listen to Hue’s songs. It starts every evening with three sections: 19:00–20:00, 20:00–21:00, and 21:00–22:00.

Within 1 hour, this cruise includes sightseeing of the Perfume River-Truong Tien Bridge, a Hue music performance, and flower lantern dropping. This tour ranges from 100,000 VND to 250,000 VND, depending on the ticket supplier you choose to buy from.

Hue Dragon Boat Trip On The Perfume River - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Besides, you might want to experience other services offered by Perfume River Cruises. The prices vary with different kinds of tours and ticket providers. So please look at the following Hue dragon boat prices as a reference:

Itinerary Price (VND)/Boat

Single boat

(max.10 pax)

Double boat

(max. 30 pax)

Local Fish Village (1 hour) 200,000 350,000
Thien Mu Pagoda 300,000 400,000
Around Perfume River (1 hour) 200,000 400,000
Thien Mu Pagoda + Hon Chen Temple 400,000 650,000
Thien Mu Pagoda + Hon Chen Temple + Minh Mang Tomb 850,000 950,000
5 above destinations 900,000 1,000,000

If you want more detailed information, please find a reliable travel agency and contact them for good prices and services.

Where To Buy Hue Dragon Boat Tickets?

You can buy tickets for Hue dragon boat tours directly at Toa Kham Wharf (49 Le Loi, Hue City). Or, there are many local travel agencies that can help you get tickets at better prices.

Vietnam Vacation Travel is willing to be a trustworthy supplier for your Hue dragon boat trips. We are a professional local agency, so we can offer you good prices and various services such as Hue tours, private car rentals, and more. So if you need anything, contact us via email at or via the hotline at +84349825119.

Hue Dragon Boat Trip On The Perfume River - Vietnam Vacation Travel
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Opening Hours And Best Time To Go

Hue Dragon Boat opening hours:

  • Monday-Friday: 8:00-21:00
  • Friday-Sunday: 8:00-22:00

Hue’s weather has two separate seasons in the year: the dry season from March to September and the wet season from October to February.

Hue dragon boat tours take place outdoors, so the best time to take one is during the dry season. You should set dates for your trip from March to September. Besides, it’s better for your other activities in Hue, such as visiting tourist attractions, hiking in the Bach Ma Mountains, swimming on beaches, and so on.

Hue Dragon Boat Trip - Vietnam Vacation Travel

In the wet season, Hue usually comes into a long period of relentless rain, so your Perfume River cruise will not be so convenient and enjoyable. It may give you bad experiences on your trip to Hue.

What To Do On Hue Dragon Boat Trip?

Admire The Natural Surroundings

Hue’s main attraction is not the towering buildings or thrilling entertainment, but the tranquil natural scenery. Its serenity gives people calmness but not loneliness, which heals their souls.

Hue Perfume River - Vietnam Vacation Travel

The Perfume River carries this special feature of Hue. It shows an elegant beauty regardless of day or night. Covered with sunlight, everything becomes clear and cheerful. And when the sun fades away, Hue’s scenery turns a nostalgic color. Taking a Hue sunset cruise might be an unforgettable experience for you.

Perfume River Cruise Hue Vietnam - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Yet, you must see the Perfume River at night, when the Hue Dragon Boats turn on their vivid lights in the darkness. On that cruise, things show up differently. If in daylight the Truong Tien Bridge blends into the sunshine, it becomes prominent with colorful lights among the quiet surroundings at dark.

It would be a romantic night to chill out on a Perfume River cruise and take in all the poetic beauty of Hue City.

Hue Dragon Boat Trip On The Perfume River - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Listen To Hue Folk Songs

This is considered the best highlight of your experience on the Hue Dragon Boat. Besides other tourist attractions, Hue’s music, including folk songs and royal music, is always a charm to tourists.

Hue Folk Songs Performance - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Many visitors to Hue would love to immerse themselves in a melody full of emotions, from sadness and grief to sweetness and delight. Local culture and beliefs show in beautiful chanties or call-and-response couplets imbued with Hue identity.

With traditional musical instruments, talented artists in Hue create melodious pieces, enchanting many visitors.

Hue Folk Songs On The Perfume River - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Drop Flower Lanterns On The Perfume River

This is a beautiful and meaningful activity for your Perfume River cruise Hue. At the end of a dragon boat trip, they will hand you a flower lantern so that you can let it go on the Perfume River.

Each lantern symbolizes a wish from Mother Nature. Drop it off and pray for the best. Let all the troubles go with the flow.

Flower Lanterns On The Perfume River - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Enjoy Hue’s Royal Cuisine

Also, on the Hue Dragon Boat Trip, you can have a unique food experience with the traditional royal cuisine of Hue. Various choices are available for you, from daily local meals to royal dinners and royal banquets.

The combination of Hue royal cuisine and sweet folk songs will evoke a sense of being the royals in ancient times.

Hue Royal Cuisine - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Watch Monuments And Villages In Hue

A Perfume River boat trip can also provide you with another angle to see famous historical sites in Hue. Following the river flow, it takes you around Hue City, passing by many well-known places such as Thien Mu Pagoda, Minh Mang Tomb, Hon Chen Temple, or An Hien Garden House.

Hue Dragon Boat Trip To Hon Chen Temple - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Moreover, you can catch a glimpse of the local villages, such as Thanh Tien Paper Flower Village. As the locals’ daily lives partially tie into the Perfume River, you can occasionally see them doing their everyday jobs. Thereby, you can learn more about local life in Hue.

Thanh Tien Paper Flowers On The Perfume River - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Watching these places from a dragon boat Perfume River is a whole new experience. Rather than details, it’s like an overview, allowing you to see the face of those places.

Plus, if you love to visit them, you can do it when the boat docks. Going on a dragon boat to Thien Mu Pagoda has been on the bucket list of many travelers to Hue!

Hue Dragon Boat Tour To Thien Mu Pagoda - Vietnam Vacation Travel


Taking a Hue Dragon Boat is an interesting and relaxing leisure activity for both locals and tourists. If you love to watch Hue’s landscape from a different angle and experience one of the local traditional activities, you don’t want to miss a Perfume River cruise!

Vietnam Vacation Travel hopes that you get useful information from our article. Thanks for reading!

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