The Hanoi area of Vietnam has lots of interesting places that you can visit on a short trip outside the city, and one of the best for photographers is the incense village of Quang Phu Cau, where colorful incense sticks are made.
This Vietnamese village has apparently been making incense sticks for more than 100 years, and bushels of all different colors are laid out in the sun to dry every day, which is very photogenic and a fun sight to see.
It’s easy to visit Quang Phu Cau on a half day trip from Hanoi, and the locals welcome visitors and photographers. The place is already becoming a bit popular with tourists.
This travel guide will explain how to get to the Vietnam incense village (with or without a tour), when to visit for the best photos, and everything else you need to know before you go!
Best Tour For The Vietnam Incense Village
GetYourGuide has a high-rated incense village tour that includes pickup and drop-off for hotels in the Hanoi old quarter of Vietnam.
This is a 5-hour tour that also includes a visit to the photogenic Hanoi train street, with an English speaking guide, air-conditioned transfers, and all of the entrance fees for the Quang Phu Cau incense village. They have join-in or private tours available.
We’ve used GetYourGuide for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they’re great. Highly recommended!
Book Now: Incense Village Tour From Hanoi
What To Expect At Quang Phu Cau Incense Village
The incense village at Quang Phu Cau is a fun sight to see. Bamboo incense sticks are dyed with all different colors and then spread out to dry every morning.
Since this is Vietnam, red is the most common color they use, but you can also see many other bright colors like green, yellow, purple, maroon, or turquoise.
With hundreds of bushels of incense sticks, this place almost looks like a flower garden! Sometimes they arrange the incense in fun patterns that look like the star on the Vietnamese flag, or the geographical shape of Vietnam.
The locals at the incense village are very welcoming and happy to let you look around and take as many photos as you want. There are even some elevated platforms so you can take pictures of the incense from above, which I found to be the best perspective.
Drones are allowed at Quang Phu Cau as well, and I saw one tourist using a drone for videos, although it’s really not required for taking great photos since the platforms give you almost the same perspective as a drone anyway.
There are several different yards where they dry the incense sticks in Quang Phu Cau, but the best one to visit is marked on Google Maps as ‘Lang lam huong do’. This one is very photogenic, and it’s where most of the pictures in this blog post were taken!
Some tours will also give you a peek into the workshops and the incense-making process, which includes chopping the bamboo, dipping the sticks in dye, and creating incense paste. Overall, it’s a very cool experience!
The incense village charges an entrance fee of 50k to 100k Vietnamese Dong ($2 to $4 USD) per person, and once you pay this you’re free to walk around on all the platforms and take as many photos as you want. Bring some cash to pay for the tickets.
If you book a tour of the incense village, the entrance fees are already included in the total price, so you won’t have to pay them when you get there.
Some photographers at Quang Phu Cau were paying the locals to pose in their photos as Vietnamese workers wearing their traditional rice farming hats. The funny locals were happy to oblige, and it seemed like a request they get pretty often! Their charge for this was an extra 100k Dong ($4 USD).
They also have some traditional Vietnamese dresses (ao dai) and hats you can rent to wear yourself, but I didn’t ask the price. Last, but not least, there are drinks and snacks available in the village if you need them.
Best Time To Visit The Incense Village
The best time to visit the incense village is anytime when it’s not raining, because the incense sticks are only laid out when the weather is dry.
If it rains, the incense sticks might have to be covered up to protect them. There are some indoor displays of incense in the village (such as this one), but they’re not nearly as photogenic as the outdoor displays.
Any time of day is good for visiting, although morning is usually best since it’s not as hot. The incense is laid out all day, so you can go in the afternoon if you want to.
I started from the Hanoi old quarter at about 8 AM, so I was in the incense village from 9:30 AM until around noon, and then I went back to Hanoi.
How To Get To The Incense Village From Hanoi
The Vietnam incense village is located in Quang Phu Cau, which is part of the Ung Hoa district, about 40 kilometers south of Hanoi city center.
You can get there by driving a car or motorbike, taking a taxi, riding the bus, or taking a tour.
• By Car / Motorbike
If you’re driving from Hanoi, you can get to Quang Phu Cau via DCT Ha Noi – Ninh Binh/DCT Phap Van – Cau Gie/CT01. Alternatively, you can go via QL1A and D. 429.
Download an offline map and navigate to ‘Lang lam huong do’ on Google Maps, and then walk through the alley. It’s the most photogenic spot in the incense village!
Normally the drive takes about 1.5 hours, or a bit less if the roads aren’t as busy. Traffic is absolutely crazy in Hanoi, so I really wouldn’t recommend driving here unless you have plenty of experience driving in Vietnam.
• By Taxi
A taxi is more expensive, but it’s a safer, easier, and more flexible way to visit the incense village. It can also be economical if you’re traveling in a group with friends.
Your hotel in Hanoi can help arrange a taxi for you. All of the hotels know about the incense village now, and you can ask the driver to wait for you a couple hours while you take photos at the village.
Remember to download a translator app and an offline map of the area, then make sure your taxi driver brings you to ‘Lang lam huong do’ on Google Maps. It’s the most photogenic spot in the incense village!
• By Grab / GoJek
You can get to the incense village with the Grab or GoJek ride-hailing apps, and the price is slightly lower than a conventional taxi, but getting back to Hanoi might be a challenge.
Grab and GoJek drivers are not widely available in the Quang Phu Cau area, and phone reception is weak there too, so it may be hard to order a driver back to Hanoi city. Overall, it’s probably not the best way to go.
• By Bus
There is a bus connection to the incense village from Hanoi, and it’s the most affordable way to get there, but it requires more time and hassle.
First, you’ll need a bus or taxi to take you to the Yen Nghia bus station southwest of Hanoi. Next, take the bus line 91 for about 1.5 hours to Quang Phu Cau.
• By Tour
One of the quickest and easiest ways to get to the incense village is with a tour. GetYourGuide has a high-rated Quang Phu Cau tour that includes an English speaking guide and transportation from the Hanoi old quarter. We’ve always had a good experience with this company.
More Hanoi Tours
More Vietnam Travel Guides
Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoyed this guide for visiting the Quang Phu Cau incense village on a half day trip from Hanoi, Vietnam.
In case you’re wondering, this is not the only incense village Vietnam has to offer. There’s also the Thuy Xuan incense village in Hue, Vietnam. You can book a tour for that one here.
Don’t forget to check out my Vietnam Travel Guide for more tips, info, and photos!