The unique natural beauty of Hue is Huong River. It is a symbol of Hue City. Visiting and traveling on dragon boat in the Huong River is one of the most attractions for tourists in Hue. Coming to Hue without visiting Huong River is a flaw. A visitor to Hue after his vacation here said that: “A visit to Hue would not be complete without a boat excursion on the gentle Huong River or you cannot feel the romance of Hue.
The Huong River (Vietnamese: Sông Hương or Hương Giang) is a river that crosses the capital city of Hue, in the central Vietnamese province of Thua Thien Hue. It is around 80 kilometers long. It has two sources: left tributary and right tributary. They begin in the Truong Son Mountain Range and intersect at Bang Lang Fork. The Left Tributary( Ta Trach) originates in the Truong Dong mountains and flows northwest towards Bang Lang Fork. The Right Tributary( Huu Trach) flows through the Tuan ferry, landing towards Bang Lang Fork. Then it flows in the south-north direction passing the temples of Hon Chen and Ngoc Tran, and turns north-west, meandering through the Nguyet Bieu and Luong Quan plains. From here, the River then continuously flows in the north-east to Hue city, only an echo of Truong Son Mountain, and passes the resting place of the Nguyen Emperors. The river of green water continues its itinerary, passing Hen Islet and some villages, crossing the Sinh junction, at last, it pours into the Tam Giang Lagoon. From Bang Lang to Thuan An estuary, the Perfume River is 30 km long and runs very slowly. In the sunlight, it is like a huge silver strip, traversing the green fields, it is an amazing and unique picture.
According to legend, in the old days, its name is Lo Dung. After that, the people discovered the trees which have the fragrance from the two sources: left tributary and right tributary. So it was named Huong. Nowadays, we call Huong River or Perfume River (in Vietnamese Huong Giang).
I am so curious to know which trees have the perfume. In a trip by bike with my friends, we decided to cycle to Vong Canh Hill to explore that tree. We went along the river’s bank to the upstream, we discovered a kind of tree, likely grass which is a shrub, green leaves and fragrancy tree. I picked a leaf and smell, it has a soft perfume. I understand why people call it is Huong.
Its name speaks up its poetry and romance. Many artists, poets and composers compose their masterpieces thanks to the romance of Huong river, their inspiration deriver from the Huong River. There is a famous song “Who come to Hue” written by Duy Khanh:
“Who turns to Hue
Who comes back to Ngu Mount
Who comes back to Huong River
The river water never sinks
Ngu Mount birds fly back to friends
Whoever are children of Hue remember to return…”
In the autumn, the river becomes more beautiful and charming when flowers from plantations fall into the water. Artists’ inspiration is derived from the Huong’s water, its landscape and even the bridges over the river. All of them become the dateless inspiration.
Today, tourists travel to Hue could not miss a chance to visit the river. We have two ways to enjoy the landscape. The first is going by bike. We can cycle along the bank to the Vong Canh Hill_ the upstream. Standing here, you can see all the view of Huong River. It is compared like a ferret meandering the hill.
The second way is traveling by dragon boat. It is the most interesting that sitting on the boat, listening to the folk songs and seeing the view of two banks. It is great. I used to listen to fold songs both on TV and on the boat. I realized that has the difference between two places to listen to folk songs. I prefer listening to folk songs on the boat to on the TV. The voice is more beautiful. Everyone who came here, says that Huong River is one of the most beautiful and extremely romantic river landscapes that they have ever seen. Especially, it becomes more beautiful at night when the lights are on. The river is like a girl’s hair with a colourful hair-pin.
Huong River is one of the most beautiful places of this poetic city. It attaches closely with Hue cultural life. Observation is the best teacher. Why don’t you try coming here and seeing? You had better visit Huong River to experience everything which I tell you.