Lu Huong Islet is given its name due to its shape that resembles the incense burner (“lư hương” in Vietnamese language). It is among many curiously-shaped islets on Halong Bay.
Lu Huong islet is located in the Southwest of Halong Bay. With the grand size that extends vastly on horizontal dimensions, it easily reminds observants of a huge incense burner on the ancestor altar. Surprisingly enough, it was portraited on the 200,000 VND note, as it has been a very famous destination for tourist to visit in Vietnam.
More importantly, its name, its shape and the connection between them has a whole cutural story behind. You must have wondered why among hundred names possible to associate with such intriguing shape, Viet folks ended up picking “incense burner”. It must has been recalled first or else stood out as the most meaningful name. To understand it, you might need to grasp some knowledge of Vietnamese philosophy of life.
Vietnamese people believe in the life after death. They believe that the ancestors has power to bring good fortune to the living. Living members in family can be protected by their their deceased ancestors and the ancestors are worshiped by their present generations. The way to enable communication between the living and the dead is by offering incense stick. The living would light incense sticks and practice the rituals of offering, reading prays and wishes then put them into the incense burner. The image of incense burner that Lu Huong islet resembles does not just a manifestation of Vietnamese people’s wide scope of imagination but also, more importantly, a manifestation of ancestor worshiping ritual’s importance in their life.
To pay a visit to this islet, you can buy ticket for cruise tour at the booth of Tourism Management Department of Bai Chay. There will be tour guides accompanying you during the trip and take you to visit so many more other interesting destinations on the bay.