Perfume River or Huong River is a big river flowing through the heart of Hue City, famous for its poetic and lyrical beauty. A legend says that it is called Perfume River because, at the head of the river, there are many types of perfumed grass that bring the scent into the stream. However, there are some people who believe that the name of Huong River is called by place name – the river flows through Huong Tra District. Foreigners who translate this river name into French or English use the word rivière des Parfums or Perfume.
Huong River has 2 large branches, all originating from Truong Son Range. The left branch comes from Dai Cave, flows through 55 large and small waterfalls to Bang Lang Fork. The right branch starts from the east of Chan Mountain, flows through 14 waterfalls and then joins the left branch at Bang Lang junction.
Huong River is not long – the whole River is only 100 km. And the main river section is 30 km long. From Bang Lang Fork, Huong River gently, slowly flows through the rich villages of the Hue suburb, goes into the heart of the city, then continues to wind through the lower countryside before going the sea.
Around the year, excepting for the flooding days, the Huong River water is blue clear. Taking a boat trip to get to watch the poetic Huong River, listening to Hue’s folk song at quiet night is eternal pleasures of many turns of tourists. The View of the river bank like the buildings, the streets, the gardens, the pagodas…, the shadows under the water surface make the river more lovely and poetic. Most of the people think that Hue becomes calm, gentle, quiet because of thanking to Huong River.
Perfume River is a river closely associated with the cultural life of Hue people. The traditional forms of activities like listening to Hue songs in the river, boat racing, lantern dropping…are still reserved rather in intactness. Perfume River is also a river associated with the works of poetry and art. There are many famous poems, paintings, photos and songs that authors take the river as inspiration for writing.