Chu Hương Temple Spring Festival 2022: Revamped Organization, Tightened Service Management

One of the new features at the 2023 Perfume Pagoda Festival is that boat owners are no longer allowed to independently take passengers. Instead, they have to participate in a new cooperative to provide their services, in order to put an end to the practice of overcharging and deceiving tourists.

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On February 5, 2024, the People’s Committee of My Duc district held a press conference to provide information about the Huong Pagoda Festival – Spring of the year of the Snake 2024.

Huong Son, a special national heritage in the Huong Son complex (Huong Pagoda), is a famous landscape and spiritual tourist destination with great potential in terms of ecological environment, cultural and spiritual values, and tourism. Especially, it is a pilgrimage site during the 3-month spring season every year, attracting millions of visitors annually.

The Deputy Chairman of the People’s Committee of My Duc district, Mr. Dang Van Canh, stated that the Huong Pagoda Festival – Spring of the Snake year will take place from February 11 to May 1, 2024 (from the 2nd day of the first lunar month to the 23rd day of the third lunar month). The festival will officially open on February 15, 2024 (the 6th day of the first lunar month of the Snake year). The highlight of the Huong Pagoda Festival in 2024 is the continued focus on renewing the organization to ensure safety, civilization, and friendliness.

This year, the Management Board of Huong Son scenic and historical relic area will continue to switch from traditional ticket sales to electronic ticket sales, discontinuing ticket sales at the Duc Khe and Tien Mai gates, and instead serving ticket sales for sightseeing and boat rides at the visitor’s transportation stop.


Caption: Mr. Dang Van Canh answering reporters’ questions at the press conference.

According to Mr. Canh, the ticket prices for Huong Son scenic area this year have increased significantly compared to the previous price of 80,000 VND. Specifically, the prices for boat and ferry services have also increased significantly compared to previous years: the Huong Tich line is 85,000 VND per person for a round trip (previously 55,000 VND); the Long Van line is 65,000 VND per person for a round trip; the Tuyet Son line is 65,000 VND per person for a round trip. The round-trip cable car ticket price is 220,000 VND for adults and 150,000 VND for children, and the one-way ticket price is 150,000 VND for adults and 100,000 VND for children. The electric vehicle transportation fare is 20,000 VND per person per trip.

“Investiture 16/2023/NQ-HDND issued on December 6, 2023, by the People’s Council of Hanoi City, the ticket prices for Huong Son scenic area will be implemented from January 1, 2024. Specifically, the regular ticket price is 120,000 VND per person per trip, while the preferential ticket price is 60,000 VND per person per trip (including a 2,000 VND insurance fee),” stated Mr. Dang Van Canh, Deputy Chairman of the People’s Committee of My Duc district.

The leaders of My Duc district’s People’s Committee stated that in order to prepare well for the upcoming festival season, the district’s People’s Committee has assigned the Project Management Board for Investment and Construction to cooperate with the Huong Son commune People’s Committee to expedite the construction project of renovating and arranging the Yen Wharf area, from Yen Vi bridge to Tam Chuc – Kha Phong road, and the pedestrian route from Yen Wharf to Trinh shrine, ensuring the progress. In addition, the Urban Management Department is responsible for coordinating with the Management Board of Huong Son scenic area and the Huong Son commune People’s Committee to beautify the landscape of the festival area, such as installing decorative flower pots on both sides of the road from Doc Tin junction to Yen Wharf and the banks of Yen stream, as well as the ticket control area at Thien Tru gate; 7 Bacdrop positions and a 36m2 LED screen have been installed.

Regarding the management of parking lots for tourists’ vehicles, currently, Huong Son commune has 4 remote parking lots: Hoi Xa bus station, Huong Son (Duc Khe Wharf), road No. 1 bus station, and Vai Gate bus station (Tuyet Son Wharf). Therefore, there is temporarily enough capacity to accommodate vehicles during the 2024 Huong Pagoda Festival. In case of a sudden increase in the number of visitors on Saturdays and Sundays, the district’s People’s Committee will allow the Huong Son commune People’s Committee to utilize the Huong Son commune stadium and internal roads in the district meadow as parking areas for tourists.

In terms of environmental sanitation, the organizing board has closely managed the collection and transportation of waste in the festival area, taking it for treatment at centralized locations in the city. This year, public restrooms will continue to be provided free of charge to serve tourists. At the same time, efforts are being made to enhance security, order, and fire prevention and control in the festival area. First aid stations are set up in crowded areas such as the Huong Tich cave gate, the cable car station, and the Thien Tru courtyard to ensure the safety of tourists.


Caption: Ticket control station at Thien Tru Wharf.

To address the transportation issues on Yen stream, which is 4 km long and includes 2 wharves, Yen Wharf (outer wharf) and Thien Tru Wharf (inner wharf), which have long been the underwater pilgrimage route for bringing tourists to Huong Son for the Buddhist festival. Mr. Dang Van Canh pointed out the fact that in previous years, the current types of boat and ferry were made by the locals themselves without complying with regulations and without meeting the required standards for registration and inspection. The number of passengers transported on boats and ferries ranges from 6 to 35, depending on the type of boat or ferry, leading to many cases of overcrowding and safety hazards. The practice of overcharging passengers and demanding additional fees compared to the stated ticket price has been a long-standing issue raised by tourists.

In response to this situation, the People’s Committee of My Duc district has instructed the Huong Son commune People’s Committee to innovate the management of boat and ferry transportation for tourists on Yen stream. As a result, the Huong Pagoda Tourism Service Cooperative has been established, and the organization of the cooperative’s congress has been completed according to the current regulations.

The Huong Pagoda Tourism Service Cooperative, in collaboration with the local authorities, is improving the form, quality, and standards of boat and ferry transportation to ensure the conditions for departure, such as registration, inspection, license plates, life jackets, seats, and trash containers. At the same time, a traffic regulation plan is being developed to ensure safety, civilization, and friendliness for tourists, and strict measures will be taken against any resistance or violations of the regulations set by the organizers, the government, and the current laws.

Up to now, there are 696 voluntary cooperative members from the commune who have joined the cooperative, with a total charter capital of 23 billion VND. The cooperative is currently upgrading old boats and building new ones to ensure there are 3,800-4,500 boats and ferries for transportation purposes. Among them, there are 590 registered large boats with a capacity of 12 seats or more and 2,651 small boats that do not require registration.

The Huong Pagoda Tourism Service Cooperative has organized training conferences on Inland Waterway Traffic Law and civilized tourism etiquette for officials and residents involved in transportation services during the festival season. Regarding the operating hours for boat transportation, from Monday to Friday, boats operate from 5 am to 8 pm, while on Saturdays and Sundays, boat services start at 4 am and end at 8 pm.

SOURCEvneconomy
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