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Quang Phu Cau Guide

Bright red incense sticks arranged like blossomed flowers in the sun, among which people walk by on perfectly carved paths, surrounded by calming scents, as if part of a fairy tale, was the dreamy location creeping everywhere on our social media feeds for months. Was Quang Phu Cau, the incense village near Hanoi, just another instagram-overhyped location, or a real encounter with a local ancient tradition that just happens to be a photographic paradise?

With skeptical expectations, we decided to visit Quang Phu Cau incense village. Welcomed by friendly locals, it was astonishing to see how it seemed like most of the village was working with one goal in mind: keeping alive the centuries-old tradition of incense-making! Its meticulous process was visible by the side of every road, inside people's houses, and even by vibrant local markets. This turned out to be a fantastic serene escape from the bustling city of Hanoi.

Make the most out of your experience when visiting this famous incense village in Vietnam with this guide to Quang Phu Cau, where we will tell you the best time to visit, how to get there, whether to visit solo or with a tour, and much more.


How to Get to Quang Phu Cau Incense Village

Commonly referred to as “Hanoi incense village”, Quang Phu Cau is actually located roughly 35 kilometers south of downtown Hanoi, within the Ung Hoa district.

Traveling from Hanoi to Quang Phu Cau can be anywhere from 1h15min by car to 2 hours by public transportation. If you are visiting the incense village on a tour, you have nothing to worry about as the transfers are included. However, if you are going solo, there are several transportation alternatives.

Worker near red incense sticks at quang phu cau incense village, vietnam.

How to get to Quang Phu Cau from Hanoi


Is it possible to drive from Hanoi to Quang Phu Cau on a scooter? Absolutely! Is it for everyone? Not really. The route offers lovely countryside views; however, you need to be an experienced driver to feel comfortable navigating the chaotic Hanoi city center traffic.

If you are driving to Quang Phu Cau, the Google Maps directions are accurate and easy to follow. From center Hanoi, travel along National Highway 21B then onto Provincial Road 429.



Get a taxi (or Grab/GoJek to avoid haggling), rent a car, or hire a car with a driver for a more comfortable journey from Hanoi to Quang Phu Cau. Considering the price difference between all these options (with a taxi being the most expensive), we personally recommend hiring a driver so you don’t have to worry about the traffic and can just enjoy the scenery.


If you opt for a taxi or Grab, make sure you ask the driver to wait for you, or you might have problems getting a driver to return to Hanoi.


The bus is the most affordable option to get from Hanoi to Quang Phu Cau, but it is more advisable for experienced travelers. The schedules are limited, you might encounter some language barriers, and while the public transportation details on Google Maps are quite precise in Hanoi, things get trickier near Quang Phu Cau. You might find it hard to locate the bus stop to return to Hanoi, so be flexible, keep a positive attitude, and ask for help from locals if needed.

Catch the bus number 91, which will take you directly to Quang Phu Cau Incense Village. Find the nearest stop from your accommodation or head to Yen Nghia Bus Station, one of the major bus stations in Hanoi.

Fields of pink incense stick in a village near hanoi.

Quang Phu Cau Incense Village Tour

Joining a Quang Phu Cau Incense Village Tour is not only the most hassle-free way to visit this village and learn about its incense-making process, but it also offers several other advantages you might want to consider:

  • Round-trip transfers from Hanoi to Quang Phu Cau included.

  • A local guide who can explain the craft of incense-making and serve as a translator for any questions you might want to ask locals.

  • The chance to access production areas that walk-in tourists are not allowed to enter.

  • The opportunity to visit other nearby attractions.

  • A professional photographer who guarantees the best angles and photo tips (specific for the photography tours).

Person working with red sticks of incense in quang phu cau, Vietnam.
Trolley full of red incense during the high production season. Quang phu cau’s best time to visit.
Field of red incense with a person posing during a quang phu cau incense village tour.

There are a wide variety of Quang Phu Cau tours available, ranging from quick Instagram worthy photo spots tour, to some more in-depth cultural experiences and, of course, the photography tours. Make sure to select the one that suits your taste the most.

Here are our top Quang Phu Cau Incense Village tour suggestions:

Instagram Quang phu cau incense village tour.
Best incense village Hanoi tour for photography lovers.
Suggested quang phu cau tour with additional heritage stops, such as hat and lacquer villages.

Entrance Fee & Opening Time

Quang Phu Cau, like any typical Vietnamese village, doesn’t have an opening time or entrance fee. However, if you want to visit the most photogenic displays of incense drying in the sun, these are usually on private property, and a small entrance fee is charged.

If you book a tour the entrance fee is included in the total price.

Entrance Fee: Usually between 50K to 100K Vietnamese Dong (1.80 - 3.60€) per person. This amount must be paid in cash, and afterwards you are free to explore the premises and take as many photos as you want.

Quang Phu Cau aerial view of incense gardens. Figures of a golden star and christmas tree among red incense sticks.

Photography Fee: It is not uncommon for photographers to ask Vietnamese workers to pose for photos. They are usually happy to do so, but for a price, typically around 100K Vietnamese Dong (3.60€).

Rearrange the Display Fee: From unique fields of red incense to displays that form shapes like stars, flowers, and other figures when viewed from above, a lot of work goes into creating these perfect photo-ops. If you have a specific request, such as a shape or a path carved among the red incense, it will come with a price tag proportional to your request.

Opening Time: Most of these private properties at Quang Phu Cau Incense Village are open from 7am to 4pm.

Street photo of the incense village near Hanoi, Quang Phu Cau. House with yellow walls and green window and door, with bamboo drying in front.

Quang Phu Cau Best Time to Visit

Quang Phu Cau is open year-round. However, when you visit will have a huge impact on your overall experience. The village ranges from having only a couple of display properties set up for photos, with no other sign of incense-making, to having about 70% of the village involved in producing an estimated 50,000 incense sticks per day during the peak season.

Woman lying on the floor surrounded by pink incense sticks in the most famous  incense village in vietnam.

Quang Phu Cau best time to visit for the perfect Instagram photo

Any time of the year, as long as it doesn’t rain, since incense is only laid out when the weather is dry. Visit during summer time to make the most of the sunlight.

We recommend you visit these “incense gardens” at Quang Phu Cau first thing in the morning, as it is not as hot and you might have the place all to yourself. Arrive between 9 and 10:30am if you wish to watch the making of the incense sticks.

Quang Phu Cau best time to visit for the full experience

The weeks prior to Tet are the incense-making peak season. During this time, you will see a village fully committed to producing as many incense sticks as possible. There will be big stacks of flower-like incense sticks, meticulously arranged and drying everywhere, from courtyards and pathways to the side of the road.

Incense sticks are an integral part of Vietnamese culture, used in religious ceremonies, festivals, and daily offerings. Tet is the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, the most important celebration of the year, which usually takes place in January or February. We visited at this time of the year, and it was mind blowing.

Incense sticks drying in the sun in Quang Phu Cau village, near Hanoi.
Bundle of red incense open like a flower to dry in the sun, in Vietnam.

What to See and Do in Quang Phu Cau

Quang Phu Cau's story as an incense-making village stretches back over a century. While the exact date is unknown, historical records suggest the craft emerged around the 15th century, during the reign of King Le Thanh Tong. Needless to say, even though the village is not solely dedicated to making incense 365 days a year, it remains the main attraction for visitors. So what should you expect to see and do during a Quang Phu Cau incense village tour or day trip?

Learn about the art of incense-making

Get to see firsthand how much work goes into each incense stick. Observe local artisans carefully choosing and splitting bamboo, dyeing it in vibrant colors, laying it out to dry in the sun, coating it (to ensure the incense burns slowly and evenly), bundling and packaging it for sale.

The most common color used to dye the incense in Quang Phu Cau is red, as it is considered a lucky color in Vietnamese culture. It is not only visually appealing, but it is also associated with positive wishes and blessings.

Stacks of red incense sticks against a wall. Production observed in Quang Phu Cau incense village tour.
Stacks of dry bamboo ready to turn into incense stacked against a wall in a home in Quang Phu Cau, Vietnam.

The smell of anise, cinnamon, sandalwood, and clove will not leave you indifferent, while you admire the artistry and combination of ancient traditions with machines that expedite the process and help with high production demands.

Take photos with colorful backgrounds

Do you have a few hours free in your Hanoi itinerary and want to get some drop-dead gorgeous photos of oversized incense bundles in bright colors that pop under the sunlight, displayed like a beautiful flower garden? It seems to me a Quang Phu Cau incense village tour is calling your name.

Man smiling among hundreds of incense sticks, in Quang Phu Cau incense village.

For the most striking photos head to one of the few incense gardens where thousands of incense stick bundles dry in the sun, creating the most photogenic and colorful tapestry. Here, you will find countless opportunities for stunning photos and even elevated platforms so you can take pictures of the incense from above. An authentic photographer’s paradise.

If you are looking for the most instagrammable spot in Quang Phu Cau, search for “Lang Lam Huong Do’ on Google Maps. This is the most famous incense garden that allows walk-in travelers to visit. Nevertheless, there are a handful of other properties nearby that are just as impressive.

Cultural Immersion

Engaging with the local community is one of the highlights of visiting Quang Phu Cau incense village. However, it is not always easy due to the language barrier. If you are not traveling with a local guide, ensure your Google Translator is ready at all times.

Workers surrounded by red incense sticks in Quang Phu Cau incense village, Vietnam.

Take a leisurely stroll along Quang Phu Cau and discover a less touristy side of Northern Vietnam (the incense gardens are the only actual tourist attraction in the village), with local craftsmen working also on basket weaving and pottery, offering plenty of souvenir opportunities.

If you have extra time don’t miss the chance to visit the Quang Phu Cau nearby attractions of  Chua Huong (Perfume Pagoda) and Van Phuc Silk Village.

Planning Time

If you are ready to start planning your next trip, here you have all the usefull links you need to make it happen! By using them you are supporting our work as we might get a small fee from it. But hey! You pay the same (or might even get a discount), so is a win-win situation!

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