Hue Incense Making Village

Written by: BNT Travel | 349 views

Thuy Xuan is a western suburb of Hue city, famous for having more than a hundred year old pagodas. Here, people are very devout Buddhists, and are a typical locality of incense making in Hue.

The incense making in Thuy Xuan has existed for a long time. Elderly people who do this job do not remember when, only knowing that when they were born, they saw grandparents and parents making fragrant incense. Up to now, over 700 years (Thuan Hoa – Phu Xuan – Hue), people still maintain the tradition of handed down from ancestors.

In spiritual rituals, Hue people do not use aromatic chemicals; Therefore, Thuy Xuan’s sandalwood incense is very expensive. Xuan Thuy incense sticks have a characteristic flavor of pure sandalwood, having to go through many stages of preparation. In order to have a good batch of incense, the workers often pay attention to the selection of sandalwood ingredients, mix cinnamon, cardamom, buds, cloves and star anise. In addition, there are also pomelo fruit peel powder, dried grapefruit flowers, eucalyptus …

Hue people abstain from scorching incense that were half-turned off, or unusually burnt. Therefore, the core of the incense must be made from dried bamboo intestines, split into small pieces, sun-dried, many days in order to be dry, crunchy.

After drying the incense stick, the worker will proceed to color it with “five colors” (red, blue, yellow, green, purple). Previously, Hue people often only made incense stick with “red” color that was mainstream, but now when visiting the village of incense, visitors will encounter the diversity of the incense sticks that look very eye-catching. In order to get a fresh color for the sticks, the workers mix an appropriate amount of color powder in the hot water, dip the incense sticks over several times, then dry naturally.

Raw materials for splitting incense (cores) of incense must be old bamboos taken from Nam Dong, Binh Dien and Phong Son forests. Watching the maker splitting the cores will make you admire their virtuosity. Each movement is quick and decisive. They just look over the bamboo stick to know to split into three or four cores to match the size of incense.

After mixing the spice, when the spice is satisfactory, ingredients such as powder, cinnamon, and Chinese tradictional medicine will be kneaded with water so that the flour mixture reaches “sticky and thick”. However, to create a distinct aroma for the batches of incense, depending on the secret of each worker according to a suitable ratio by the method of weighting of the family.

From 1990 onwards, not only to meet the demand for Dong Ba, An Cuu, Ben Ngu, Tay Loc and Thuy Xuan markets, Thuy Xuan incense market also serves a large market for traders in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

The reputation of Thuy Xuan incense has flown as far as Laos and Thailand, characterized by its small, delicate incense sticks, which have fragrant.

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