The Marble Mountains in Da Nang

Reading Time: 23 minutes

Last Updated on 3 years by Tam Le Van

Da Nang city selected the Marble Mountains for its official logo because the scenic area was the most renowned site at that time. Over years, it gets still kept this reputation stay strong. Two million people visited last year as the evidence. Why so famous?

Firstly, the Marble Mountains (Ngu Hanh Son) owns a lengthy history during centuries and striking natural beauty of spectacular mountains and glorious open-ceiling caves varying in size that may interconnect to each other. The complex also has great religious significance for Vietnamese, especially Buddhism followers. Among five marble mountains, there is only Thuy Son accepted for tourist access. It boasts the highest peaks, largest caves, earliest temples and most impressive viewpoints.

To help you design a trip without much difficulties, HOI AN LIFE informs all things need to know about the Marble Mountains in Da Nang in this article.   

What is the Marble Mountains?

Brief introduction about the Marble Mountains

The Marble Mountains is a well-known cluster of five marble-created mountains emerging on the flat land, 20 kilometers away to the North of charming Hoi An. It contains numerous centuries-old Buddhist temples including the oldest and holiest one in Da Nang, mysterious-beautiful caves together with sweeping viewpoints. Month to month, the chanting is still practiced by monks/nuns in its religious sites and more than that, a couple of featured fesivals held here annually drawing thousands of attendees. Alongside with Ba Na Hills, Hai Van pass and the Monkey Mountain it lies on the list of must-see attractions in Da Nang.

Formerly, local residents living around dramatic Marble Mountains exploited the on-site stone material to produce intricate sculptures for sale. This activity stopped in the last decades because the goverment wanted to protect priceless values of the complex. As a part of the history, the craftmanship is also under an active preservation actions and registered as important intangible cultural heritage of Vietnam. Nowadays, ingenious products from here, not only have its presence nationwide, but also are imported to lots of countries in the world. Skillful craftmans from the Marble Mountains make great contributions in constructing large-scale monuments as well, the highest Lady Buddha statue (67m height) at Linh Ung Bai But pagoda for example.

Non Nuoc, Five-Element Mountains, Ngu Hanh Son or The Marble Mountains?

When research information about the Marble Mountains, you will see several different names used to call this appealing place such as Non Nuoc, Ngu Hanh Son or Five-element mountains. So what are reasons?

Basically, Non Nuoc is the first name and it means ‘mountain and water’ due to its locational setting close by a river and the ocean. However, someone believe that the name originates from the early times when the Marble Mountains were islands and had no inland situation like today. Although it got others later, local people still keep this words for their village as well as its traditional craftmanship of sculpture carving.

The name of Non Nuoc was changed to Ngu Hanh Son or five-elements mountains after the visit of Minh Mang king of Nguyen Dynasty in 20th century. At the time, he noticed its well-matched features with traditional Asian five-elements theory. Not only the whole complex, he also renamed each one of them to Thuy Son (water mountain), Hoa Son (fire mountain), Tho Son (earth mountain), Moc Son (wood mountain) and Kim Son (metal mountain) correspondingly. These continue to be used until now. In addition to, French called it as the Marble Mountains basing on its major tectonic ingredient during the period they controlled the political area in Vietnam.

How to get the Marble Mountains from Hoi An

Private car and taxi

All vehicles is convenient to get the Marble Mountains from Hoi An, including private car and taxi. The first costs around 150-500.000 VND (USD) for one way with four-seat car and more if book larger cars. You have no difficult to make a reservation both online and offline channels from hotel receptionists, local freelance drivers, tour operators, booking offices to transport enterprises. Even within restaurant and coffee shops, you still see advertisement signs about this kind of service. Keep in mind to save telephone number of the driver for contacts prior to start your trip on the mountain.

In case of taxi, you will be charged by the length of distance you travel (often counted by kilometers) and little more if go further than 30km. Additionally, Hoi An’s taxi companies also provide quite similar fares, quality as well as services to the guests making your selecting process easier. Meaning that with a distance of twenty kilometers from Hoi An to the Marble Mountains, it costs you about 220.000 VND (USD) for one way.

Taxi companies4 seat taxi7 seat taxi
Mai Linh (green)Initial charge-11.000 VND, Over 30km distance- 14.500 VND  Initial charge-11.000 VND, Over 30km distance-15.500 VND
VinaSun (white)Initial charge-11.000 VND, Over 30km distance- 14.500 VNDInitial charge-11.000 VND, Over 30km distance-15.500 VND

Note: At the Marble Mountains, think nothing of looking for taxi back to Hoi An. There are many in two entrances and always ready to serve you. Moreover, you should choose taxis with a brand instead of no-brand cars in order to avoid over-priced services. 

Motorcycle and bike

As same as any other vehicles, you have such convenience if travel with a motorcycle from Hoi An to Da Nang’s attractions and definitely the Marble Mountains. Generally, the distance is relatively short and easy to drive no matter you move on the coastal or inner roads. Where to hire a motorcycle? In the hotel, roadside stores or proffessional companies? In actuality, they offer different advantages&disadvantages, requirements and prices that the final choice belongs to your needs together with your taste. To know more details, read our article about Hoi An’s best motorbike rental shops via http://hoianlife.net/the-best-hoi-ans-motorbike-rental-shops/.

The bike/bicycle is less complex in hiring and suits for who wants to like to combine over 40 kilometers cycling and trekking on the Marble Mountains within a day out. You should kick off the journey early in the morning to keep yourself away from the midday heat, especially during hot summer. Roads towards the Marble Mountains from Hoi An also stands as arterial traffic ways therefore there are many mechanics established along. Keep in mind that their opening time begins at around 7 a.m until 5 p.m.

Public bus

If like to travel on public bus to the Marble Mountains in Da Nang, get bus No.1 (yellow color) at Hoi An bus station. Every single 30 minutes, you will see one and it takes around a half of hour to approach the place you want to visit. Pricing of the ticket is 20.000 VND (0.86 USD) for all ages and stopping points on its itenerary. No worry about missing when without strong attention, the mountains are easy to observe by naked eyes from a distance.  

Note: Prepare in advance some notes of 20.000 VND to pay for bus tickets. If give the attendent large banknotes, he/she may exchange wrong to you at sometimes. Check carefull how much you have in that case and tell locals for a help. 

Hoi An’s guided tours to Marble Mountains

In general, every local tour operator as well as accommodation is able to organise day trips from Hoi An to the Marble Mountains. The itenerary, duration and price are all in abundance. If need something special, think of traveling around on a jeep. Hoi An Jeep Tours provides one day tour combining Thuy Son mountain with other must-see destinations near Da Nang center. For further details, browse its official webpage. In addition to, we have an article about Hoi An’s jeep tours as well, through http://hoianlife.net/hoi-an-jeep-tours/. Make sure you read it before make up your mind.  

Parkings

There are some public parkings at two entrances as well as near Dong Am Phu cave and many parking service at local houses in the Marble Mountains. Generally, it costs around 10.000 VND (0.4 USD) for a motorcycle and ranges from 30.000-150.000 VND (1.3-6.5 USD) for bus/car depending its size.

The best times to visit the Marble Mountains in Da Nang

The Marble Mountains’s tickets

Entrance ticket

You will pay 40.000 VND (1.7 USD) to visit Thuy Son (Mount Water)-the largest mountain within Ngu Hanh Son complex. This price only covers everything on the mountain and excludes the elavator service as well as entrance to Dong Am Phu (‘Hell Cave’) at its base. Ticket booth stands at both No.1 and No.2 gates that reach West and East sides of the mountain respectively. Additionally, there is free of charge for childrens and kids under 6 years old. 

Elevator’s tickets

In order to make childrens, elders and disable persons easier to admire the beauty of Ngu Hanh Son, Da Nang’s authority built an elevator to the West of Thuy Son (near No.2 gate). The price is 15.000 VND (0.65 USD) for each way and you have to buy your ticket separately in particular booths on and at foot of the mountain.

Note: If go up by the elevator, your trip will start from the East side. At other side of the mountain, when everything done, consider carefully two options for going down: return on the same way&get elevator and just go down by No.1 gate for selecting your best choice.

Dong Am Phu (‘Hell Cave’) entrance ticket

Dong Am Phu is another sightseeing spot in Mount Thuy Son (Water mountain). It encompasses small-to-large caves where had ever been Vietcong hiding places during Vietnam War and age-old temples with various demonstations of human life after death according to different karmas in Buddhism. The pricing is 20.000 VND (0.86 USD) and free of charge for childrens/kids under 6 years old.

Tips good to know before travel the Marble Mountains

Take note of hundreds of steps once go up

To visit impressive caves, old temples and panoramic viewpoints of the Marble Mountains, every tourist needs to travel on foots over hundreds of steps although the evelator available. A good exercise for many people but for someone, that’s a big challenge. If make the trip to this steep-terrain place with kids, elders or disable persons, consider carefull before come to any decisions. Notably, during rainy days, its steps will be wet and greasy into the bargain.

Dress code

The Marble Mountains is a religious site for Vietnamese as well as Buddhists so everybody gets required to wear the clothes fully covering knees, armpits and abdomen when visit (especially if want to come into the praying area). At the main hall of Tam Thai and Linh Ung temples, the monks prepare several long dresses for tourists who do not know the regulations before.

Footwares

You have to walk over hundreds of steps if like to see all highlights on the mountain therefore need to bring trainers, sport shoes or trekking boots. Waterproof footwares are also necessary during rainy season (from September to January next year) when the steps and the cave floor are very slippery.

Keep eyes well on your kids

Because of plentiful steps, nearly vertical cliffs and deep holes within caves, you should notice your kids when they visit around the Marble Mountains. In the past, several unfortunate accidents happened and even deadly case recorded. To prevent tourists from danger, Da Nang’s authority constructed the safe barriers all over the mountain. Some warning signs in English also are added to let people know where are banned areas.    

Restaurants and drink stalls

On the Marble Mountains

Drink stalls locate along your trekking route on Thuy Son mountain. Particularly, one spot at the midway between Tam Thai and Linh Ung temples and another near Huyen Khong cave. They serve cold bottled/canned drinks, ice cream and fresh coconut with a price between 15.000 and 30.000 VND (0.65-1.3 USD). Over there, some couples of chairs available to sit down and enjoy cool breeze. The first stall also has stone-made trinkets as well as sourvenirs for sale.

Note: On the Marble Mountains, restroom is arranged close by two main temples. Plan your journey properly if do not want to be put in dilemmas.

Around the foot of the Marble Mountains

Some small local restaurants and drink stalls are set along the footpath towards the Marble Mountains‘s entrances as well as main street-Huyen Tran Cong Chua. Laluna Bar&Restaurant (9 a.m-9 p.m, prices from 40.000 VND-1.7 USD) together with Anh Tuyet Restaurant (6 a.m-8 p.m, prices from 40.000 VND-1.7 USD) are the most excellent places to eat where you are able to find a good lunch in both Vietnamese and international style dishes.

The Marble Mountains’s history and cultural relations

Vietnamese legend about formation of the Marble Mountains

Scientifically, the Marble Mountains is created by complicated geological activities over thousands of years. Nevetheless, before the science known, local residents had a legend to explain its formation.

Once upon a time, there is an old man moving to Da Nang beach today and establishing the thatched hut to live. One day, a massive dragon suddenly appears within large storm and leave her egg prior to quickly disappear into intensen waves right after. When everything is calm again, suprisingly from the sea, the Golden Turtle god come closer to the egg and dig a hole in the sand to bury it. Before say goodbye, he remind the old man carefully that have to try his best for protecting the dragon broodline as well as give him one nail to put on the ears to know advices if something bad happened.

Time flies, the egg gets bigger and bigger until can not be in hiding anymore. Someone knows then and their greed arises. One night, a group of people burn the fire to destroy the hut, threaten the old man and force to take it. Marvelously, under help of the Golden Turtle god, they give up quickly after that. The egg hatches and its fragments turn into dramatic mountains what still in existence up to the present.

The Marble Mountains: A Buddhism sacred center of Vietnamese

Functioned as a Hindu sanctuary of Champa kingdom for past centuries, the Marble Mountains are better known by its role in Buddhism. Many followers called the complex as Phat Son (Buddha mountain) or Ngu Chi Son (Buddha’s five fingers mountain). More than names, temples, shrines, monk’s tombs, towers, statues and rock carvings are also added in abundance on all mountains that altogether created a true Buddhism center.  Among them, two ‘national temples’ (titled by the king) are the most sacred sites where attract million people visiting to pray for good things in life.

Non Nuoc sculpture carving village

First group of Vietnamese inhabited in the Marble Mountains’s surroundings in 16th century and worked as farmers plus fishermans for living. During their free time, they exploited on-site source of marble to produce small household utensils for sale. When moved to Hue in order to serve for building the new capital, local artisans learnt a lot from talented carvers nationwide and accordingly, their skills were greatly upgraded.  After every duties done, they returned and made more sculptures with more skilled workmanship. These products got considerably favoured by either Vietnamese or people residing in other parts of the world.

At the moment, the handicraft is still alive strongly and becomes an inseparable component of the Marble Mountains. Witness artisans at work or shopping with varied colorful items are noticable things to do here. Browse our article for more information about Non Nuoc sculpture carving village.

Festivals during the year

Tet Nguyen Dan (Vietnamese New Year Festival)

Tet Nguyen Dan is the biggest celebration of Vietnamese during the year and usually starts between the end of January and beginning of February annually. Customarily, right after the New year’s eve, local people come to temples to pray for good things as well as get lucky envelopes from. Because of the sacredness, the Marble Mountain’s Buddhist sites become popular places. If travel during this special time, you have the chance to admire colorful decorations over the buildings, lively atmosphere and know more about long-standing traditions.

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24th January12nd February1st February22nd January
Vietnamese new year each year

Buddha Birthday Festival (Le Phat Dan)

As a Buddhism center, Le Phat Dan (Buddha Birthday Festival) is among the most important events occuring in the Marble Mountains. Not only prepare the ceremony with vegetarian foods at home, local residents always approach temples to pray and pay homage to the Great Buddha. If you are a cultural explorer, this is the perfect occasion to expand your horizons in Vietnamese customs (releasing birds/fishes, non-killing animals), Buddhist practices (chanting, ceremonies, etc) as well as have the opportunity to try delicious veggie dishes.

Notes: In fact, vegetarian foods are selled everywhere in Hoi An and Da Nang during Buddha birthday. You also have more choices than any days during the year.

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19th May7th May26th May15th May2nd June
Buddha birthday festival each year

Lady Buddha festival (Le Hoi Quan The Am)

Le hoi Quan The Am (Lady Buddha festival) originates from a pure Buddhist ceremony at Kim Son (Metal mountain) where local people believe that Lady Buddha appeared and brought happiness, wealth plus good security to them. It is firstly taken place with a large scale in 1960 on the occasion of inaugurating new Buddhisattva statue.  After that, this meaningful cultural event is held every year and draws thousands of attendees within its three day duration. In reality, Lady Buddha festival is the biggest celebration in Da Nang.

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24th March12nd  March31st March21st  March10th March
Lady Buddha festival each year

Parents festival (Le Vu Lan Bao Hieu)

Differentiate to other celebrations, Le Vu lan Bao hieu (Parents festival, Mid-July festival) focuses on memorizing the parents who passed away and showing the filial piety to persons still living. This Buddhism-influencial festival roots from Mulian Saves His Mother From The Hell tale in which Mulian (a Buddha) seeks the help to rescue his died mom but can not and then gained success under the instruction of the Great Buddha (offering foods to monks and monasteries on fifteenth day of the seventh lunar month). For that reason, Vietnamese always prepare a feast at the time with strong desire that their parents have the happiness on the next life.

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15th August2nd September22nd August12nd August30th August
Parents festival each year

The Marble Mountains during Vietnam War

In the course of Vietnam War, interconnected cave and tunnel systems of the Marble Mountains turn into ideal places for hiding and fighting to Vietcong (Vietnam communists). With significant support from locals and monks, their information plus activities are kept well until the country unified.

Notably, Dong Am Phu served as a secret surgical station for curing sick solders and veterans. In 1968, this was also the historic site for an unbalanced battle between five warriors of the Libriation Army of South Vietnam (LASV) and over eighty Americans with advanced combat weapons. After all, the larger force had to leave and they were praised as ‘five heroes of Ngu Hanh Son’. Additionally, their resilient images got carved out on the cave wall.

On the opposite side, Republic of Vietnam (RVN) constructed numerous firm bunkers around marble mountains, helicopter landing site on top of Kim Son, an airport nearby (still in use today) and much military structures.  

Whats to expect in the Marble Mountains

Striking landscape of marble mountains and their caves

Unique mountains

Celebrated the Marble Mountains comprises five awe-inspiring rock towers and each one of them houses unique characteristics. Fist of all, they are made by different kinds of marble: Thuy Son-pink colored marble, Moc Son-white colored marble, Hoa Son-red colored marble, Kim Son-blue green colored  marble and Tho Son-brown colored marble. In the past, local villagers exploited a part of Hoa Son (Fire mountain) for culpture carvings causing the disconnection of it into two. That’s reason why everybody says five but actually six. Moreover, these features coupled with the locational setting of indiviual mountains correspond very well to Asian Five-element theory. Thus, the Marble Mountains is a marvelous installation artwork created by the Mother Nature.

Secondly, besides rules in the ancient thinking, name of each mountain is called basing on its shape, the most recognizable feature or a human closely relates as well. In other words, we have Thuy Son-temple mountain, Moc Son-chicken crest mountain, Tho Son-overlap stone mountain, Kim Son-bell mountain and Hoa Son-uncle Chai mountain. Over time, this scenic area owns most names if compare to any other sites in the country.

Open-ceiling caves

Note: Different from Ha Long bay or Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park, caves in the Marble Mountains feature an open ceiling and without much speleothums.

Dong Tang Chon Cave

Just behind Linh Ung temple, Dong Tang Chon cave composes of five opening-ceiling caverns including one towards the Marble Mountains peak and four temples workshiping the Great Buddha, goddesses and gods located within them. Its name Tang Chon means ‘containing all truths of the universe’. Historically, the cave functioned as a temple library where monks preserved Buddha teaching books. Apart from Vietnamese traces, there are some Champa kingdom’s sandstone altars with fine carvings reused into the bargain, quite as similar quality as My Son sanctuary.

Dong Huyen Khong Cave

In the walking distance from Tam Thai temple, Dong Huyen Khong boasts as the largest and the most impressive cave in the Marble Mountains making it becomes a worthy place to visit. To enter this natural monument, you need to go through Hoa Nguyen cave featuring one central altar worshipping the Lady Buddha (Boddhisattva) as well as the oldest incriptions of Da Nang city on its wall.

Sunny days are the best times to appreciate Dong Huyen Khong cave because its floor no longer gets wet. Furthermore, the sunlight will shine through five holes on the ceiling into it that create a dreamy scenery with charming light falls. As same as other Marble Mountain’s caves, it does not have much speleothems. At the corner to the right-hand side, water is still dropping from a rock formation and kept inside one jar for ceremonies. Local ladies believe that if touch on the stone, drink the water and pray in the temple, they will get pregnant later.

Not only famous for fantastic beauty, ancient temples inside Dong Huyen Khong cave own great spiritual significances to both Da Nang and Hoi An people. The most important building among them belongs to temple of Ba Ngoc Phi who give the richness and longevity to humans. In particular, she also stands as the supervisor of entire Marble Mountains. Two others are Ba Chua Thuong Ngan temple (goddess of the highlands temple)-place to pray for good health, safety on all journeys and Trang Nghiem Tu where young persons often come to pray for a permanent love in the life.

Dong Am Phu Cave

While Dong Tang Chon and Dong Huyen Khong situate on the mountain, Dong Am Phu’s location is at its base. In comparion to any others, this longest cave brings us very spacious-windy inner chambers together with vivid representations about Buddhism stories in human life after death. In past times, its mouth was ever filled by bricks to fence every in and out activities of Vietnam communists at here until cleared at our recent time.

Interestingly, to find out the real sizes of Dong Am Phu, the king tried to fire twelve torches continously to discovery its length but failed then. In another time, he throwed the pomelo with a mark into the cave bottom and found it the day after on neighboring beach. Following this event, people thought that there is a hidden connection between Dong Am Phu and the sea.

Note: Keep in mind that the Marble Mountains’s entrance ticket does not cover the entry to Dong Am Phu (‘hell cave’). Additional fee is 20.000 VND (0.86 USD) and free of charge to kids under 6 years old. 

Dong Van Thong Cave

Dong Linh Nham Cave

Behind Tam Thai temple and to the left-hand side, Dong Linh Nham is another open-ceiling cave in Mount Thuy. Before the Jade emperor and two gods Nam Tao, Bac Dau are worshipped, the Lady Buddha is the main venerating figure.

The Marble Mountains’s view points

Vong Giang Dai: River and mountain views

Vong Giang Dai near Tam Thai temple provides one of the nicest panoramic view from its top. More special, all stupendous marble mountains and city roads, temples plus the sculpture carving village around their foot can be seen. The morning will be better for taking pictures due to the harmonious light given but the end of the afternoon is also great to stop for relaxing, catch winds and enjoy sunset. To know other awesome sundown-watching spots in Da Nang, browse here for more details.

Vong Hai Dai: Sea views

Sea-facing Vong Hai Dai is another beautiful viewpoint on the Marble Mountains. To reach this spot, you need to walk up dozens of steps from Linh Ung temple. A sandstone-made stele was added in 1837 by Ming Mang king who renamed the complex into the Five-elements Mountains (Ngu Hanh Son). Because rich in cool breeze coming from the ocean, it becomes the proper place to have a break once continue your exploration.

Cong troi (‘Heaven gate’): The highest viewpoint

For many travel lovers, the most mind-blowing sweeping scene captured when stand at ‘Heaven gate’-the highest point we are able to reach in the Marble Mountains. Da Nang peaceful outkirt, the sea, the beach with mega resorts, Cham islands and other marble mountains all will be ‘performed’ in your eyesight. Its entrance is right at back of Tam Thai temple. Take note of slippery steps (often white in color) when climb up to the peak. Look around carefully before you set foot on anywhere. In local folktale, Cong troi (‘Heaven gate’) is the meeting place for playing Chinese chess between fairies.  

Heritage trees at the Marble Mountains

600 years-old banyan tree behind Linh Ung Temple

This naturally grown banyee tree is on a hardly accessible cliff behind Linh Ung temple but easily seen by its big size. Scientists state that it gets 600 years old (from 14th century) and lies in group of valuable plants. Because of being within a sacred precint, local inhabitants prevent it from any damages. That’s reason why this ‘natural treasure’ lives in peace over centuries. During Vietnam War, the tree served as a hidden communicating place between Vietcong (Vietnam communists) as well.

Country almond couple at the front of Tam Thai Temple

Tam Thai temple’s couple of country almond trees were planted by Minh Mang king within his visit to the Marble Mountains in 19th century. Interestingly, the tree to the left-hand side is called as ‘male tree’ because it has a penis-like lump and the another one is ‘female tree’. Plenty of people believe that if touch on both of them and then come into the Buddha hall of the temple to pray, they will find the rest of their lives soon.

The oldest and holiest Buddhist temples in Da Nang

Chua Linh Ung-‘Wishes Answered Miraculously Temple’

To get this first Buddhist temple in the Marble Mountains, you have to walk up over one hundred steps from gate No.1 or only a short distance from the elevator endpoint. About its name, Linh Ung means ‘wishes answered miraculously’. Along with Tam Thai on another side of the mountain, it was tittled as ‘national temple’ from 19th century too. When walk in its main hall, you will see The Three Buddhas representing to past, present and future tenses.

It’s no wonder to say that Chua Linh Ung has most sister temples, with two others at Ba Na Hills plus the Monkey Mountain built in 1999 and 2004 respectively. All of three temples together made a spiritual triangle protecting Da Nang center. For that reason, the city has been outside the effects of natural disasters since then. 

Chua Tam Thai-‘Three Peaks Temple’

300 years-old Chua Tam Thai is one of two most important the Marble Mountain’s religious sites. Built first by thatch, bamboo and leaves, it was reconstructed with a scale in 1825 and tittled as ‘national temple’ by Ming Mang-the second king of Nguyen Dynasty. Reason of this action originates from past promise about building a temple to give thanks to the Great Buddha who created the source of fresh water saving his dad (the first king) in the war.

Moreover, Minh Mang’s younger sister also was the nun decicating her lives to the Buddha at here too. Although many people tried to change her mind but never successful.

Things to do in the Marble Mountains

Rock climbing and rappelling

Around Hoi An and Da Nang, nowhere else is better for rock climbing than vertical cliffs in the Marble Mountains. Phat Tire Adventures knows about this and offers a half-day experience suiting for both beginners and pre-experienced persons. It starts in the morning at the hotel and then transfer by bus to Thuy Son-the largest mountain. Besides conquering impressive slopes coupled with cave walls, you will have time to find out all other highlights in the tour.

Shopping colorful marble-made gifts and statues

You will see marble-created gifts and statue shops everywhere around the Marble Mountains, notably along footpath towards the entrances as well as main road Huyen Tran Cong Chua. They are not only diverse in color, size, shape and even origin (locally-sourced or imported marbles), but also the pricing (from few to thousands of dollars depending on value).

Big shops provide the most models, credit card payment acceptance but cost you more than roadside ones with vendors. To make the guest get more information, lots of places in this group also introduce their on-site workshops and feng shui (Chinese geomancy) principles relating to several creations. In fact, very touristic but you have free access for taking photos and admiring one-of-its-kind works of art. If like to buy something more pocket-friendly, come to smaller stores. Carefully when select because you may get faux marble items.

Note: Bargaining is a popular social habit of Vietnamese when go shopping in markets, including in the Marble Mountains. If think price of your item not well-corresponding to its value, use it as a way to protect you from cheating.

A guide to visit Kim Son (The Metal Mountain)

Location and history

Kim Son or Metal mountain is to the South-west of the Marble Mountains. It features a bell-like shape that representative for whole complex to be on Da Nang’s official city logo. The earliest temple’s constructed in 1957 after a monk who sees Lady Buddha appearing in hidden cave of the mountain, in his dream. This site gets known more and more over time. In 1991, Quan The Am festival starts to be celebrated to bear honor to the Buddha in 17th to 19th days of second lunar month. Draw thousands of attendants annually. Recently, the event is registered as a National cultural intangible heritage.

During the Vietnam war, the top zone of Kim Son functions as a landing place for American army’s helicopter. Caves below are also hidding home of locals to avoid bombings and working spaces for Communists. K20 Resistance Base nearby shows you more information about this period, visit if have time.

How to get Kim Son mountain

From the main sightseeing mountain Thuy Son, average distance to Kim Son mountain is one and 1.2 kilometers respectively if you start from Gate No.1 and No.2 (Elevator gate). This is a walking distance. If like to get taxi, there is no hard as well. Tell your driver waiting for couple of minutes. A small fare may be charged but you don’t need to find another after visit around.

Discuss in advance with tour operator for a stop at Kim Son mountain. You may save a bit when combine this place with rest of the trip.

In case you plan to explore Kim Son mountain before the major area, it takes you about 15 minutes to walk from Non Nuoc bus station, along Le Van Hien and Su Van Hanh streets. En route, you have the chance to see many beautiful stone sculptures.

In the future, travelers can get Kim Son (and the Marble Mountains) from Hoi An by boat when Co Co river reopened.

What to sightsee in Kim Son mountain

As same as Thuy Son mountain, Kim Son also houses caves and Buddhist temples. However, in a more modest scale. The best cave is next to Chua Quan Am, named “Lady Buddha” that found by Thich Phap Nhan monk in 1956. It features a small entrance and various stone formations, several like a giant bell or prayer wheel. In the end of your journey, you will see an underground stream what offers very fresh and cool water. Local people believe that if use it to wash their face and pray in the temple then, they enjoy the peace in mind.

Buddhist Culture Museum (Bao tang Van hoa Phat giao) is another highlight. This first of its kind in Vietnam is opened in 2016, as a part of greater Chua Quan The Am and now showcases over two hundred artifacts dated from many centuries. Keep in mind that museum’s operational hours stretch from 7 a.m until 5 p.m everyday.

Beaches near the Marble Mountains

In the surrounding of the Marble Mountains, Son Thuy and Tan Tra beaches are less-known, peaceful and nice to spend time. During the morning and late afternoon, there is not crowded like famous My Khe beach at both.

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Tam Le Van

Tam is a tour leader and passionate traveler who has beautiful memories over 50 provinces of Vietnam. During the time Corona virus spreads out globally, he decides to become a blogger to share his experiences.
Contacts for work: Levantam0906@gmail.com or (+84) 968009827

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