Photo: The Perfume Pagoda is a great example of the journey being as important as the destination.

Perfume Pagoda

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The sprawling Perfume Pagoda, or Chua Huong, is a series of revered shrines and temples tucked into the pretty Huong Tich mountains, a few hours' drive out of Hanoi.

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The sacred pagoda is popular with Vietnamese devotees year round, but particularly from the middle of the second to the end of the third lunar months following Tet, and on even days of the lunar calendar. Embrace the madness and see how a Vietnamese tourism destination operates: think lots of noise, souvenirs galore and plenty of snacks and food. This is arguably the mother of all domestic tourism spots in Vietnam, and should be experienced for that reason alone, whether you learn anything about Buddhism along the way or not.

Eeny-meeny-miny-moe. Photo taken in or around Perfume Pagoda, Hanoi, Vietnam by Samantha Brown.

Eeny-meeny-miny-moe. Photo: Samantha Brown

The first temple on the site here is thought to have been built in the 1400s, though legend has it that the area was found by a meditating monk more than 2,000 years ago. A stele uncovered at the current temple dates the building of a terrace and stone steps to the mid-17th century; sections of the grounds were damaged by both the French and the ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 700 words.)

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