Birds sing merrily in the trees that overhang the murky water.
The sun beams warmly down on the little rowboat that makes it’s tedious way up the river. The oars creak loudly, but except for that sound and the birds, all is still. Around us, a few other boats row peacefully up the Perfume River. There aren’t half as many now as there will be in the spring, when thousands of Vietnamese make a pilgrimage to the Perfume Pagoda. For now, it is calm. Our guide peeks out from beneath her wide umbrella to smile at us. She’s been telling us Vietnamese legends the entire ride.