The Marble Mountains, also called Ngu Hanh Son in Vietnamese, which belong to the top destinations of Da Nang City, have many sacred temples and caves. This peaceful place is where many people come to find the relaxing and tranquil moments with the holy bell sounds.
Where are the Marble Mountains?
8km from the center of Da Nang, on the route Da Nang – Hoi An along the coast, the Marble Mountains belong to Hoa Hai Ward, Ngu Hanh Son District, Da Nang City.
This destination covers a cluster of 5 marble mountains rising on the coastal sand with ancient and majestic features.
The Marble Mountains are considered a convergence of heaven and sea, history, culture, and spirituality. 5 mounts were named five elements: Kim Son (Metal Mount), Moc Son (Wood Mount), Thuy Son (Water Mount), Hoa Son (Fire Mount), and Tho Son (Earth Mount). Each mountain has its own beauty, but the most beautiful and biggest one is Thuy Son (Water Mount).
Ticket price to visit the Marble Mountains
Thuy Son Ticket:
- Adults: 40,000 VND/pax
- Students: 10,000 VND/pax
- Children under 6 years old: Free admission.
- Adults: 20,000 VND/pax
- Students, students: 7,000 VND/pax
- Children under 6 years old: Free admission.
- Round trip lift ticket price: 30,000 VND / person / 2 ways.
- Tour guide at the site: 50,000 VND
The Legend of Marble Mountains
The Marble Mountains are associated with a legend from the wilderness, suddenly a Dragon flew here to lay an egg and then disappeared. Golden Turtle God (Kim Quy) came to cover the sand to hatch eggs.
Another day, an old fisherman who sank a boat was rescued by the god Kim Quy and brought here, given the task of protecting the dragon egg.
With the nail left by the god Kim Quy, the old man fought against many wild animals, protecting the egg until the day when the egg hatched, a beautiful fairy was born. The eggshells also grew and separated, becoming the five clusters of mountains with different colors such as pink, gray, blue, green, black, and yellow, symbolizing five elements in the universe. This place is called Ngu Hanh Son, meaning the Marble Mountains.
Visiting the Marble Mountains
Not only beautiful scenery but Ngu Hanh Son is also a treasure store of cultural and historical values, from temple architecture in the early 19th century, Cham sculptures of the XIV and XV centuries, to autographs of the poetry of the Le and Tran dynasties.
Kim Son (Metal Mount)
Kim Son is one of the five mounts where you can come to explore the temple and cave. At the foot of Kim Son mountain, you will enter a cave 50m long, 10m wide, 15m high.
In the cave, there are natural stone steps, especially a layer of perennial stalactites, creating the shape of a statue of Quan The Am Bodhisattva as tall as a person, very impressive.
The layer of stalactites sparkles as if forming a coat for the statue, next to it is a statue of Thien Tai Dong Tu and the image of a giant bird with two wide wings covering the ceiling of the cave.
There is also a Quan The Am pagoda built in the 1950s, leaning on Kim Son, facing the river with a fragrant lotus pond, blooming brilliantly in the summer.
Moc Son (Wood Mount)
Moc Son is located close to the sea, near Thuy Son, also known as Mong Ga mountain because the shape of the mountain looks like a crest.
On the mountain, there is a white marble block like a person sitting, people call it Co Mu or Ba Quan Am. At the top of the mountain 10m, there is a cave called Ba Trung cave because it is said that a woman of the same name used to practice there.
However, this mount is not for visiting because not much to see there. You can see this when climbing up Water Mount.
Thuy Son (Water Mount)
This mount is the largest and most beautiful mountain in the Ngu Hanh Son with 3 peaks on 3 floors meaning Tam Thai – 3 stars of the great constellation (Dai Hung Tinh).
Water Mount is also home to many stalactite caves and pagodas, of which the famous ones are Non Nuoc Pagoda, Tam Thai Pagoda, and Linh Ung Pagoda.
To get to Tam Thai pagoda, you have to go up 156 steps; to Linh Ung through 108 levels.
Luckily, if you do not have enough mobility, you can choose to take the elevator 30,000 VND / 2 ways/person, up to 43m high. You can have a good chance to enjoy the scenery when going up, very beautiful.
When visiting Water Mount, you should not miss the two famous caves: Huyen Khong Cave and Hell Cave.
- Huyen Khong Cave is the most beautiful of the caves in Ngu Hanh Son, lying open-air with circular arches leading to the sky, helping the cave to always be filled with light. The sacred space here makes you have peace and relaxation when arriving.
- Hell Cave is one of the great caves located at the food of Water Mount. This natural cave has mysterious murky features and has many nooks going deep underground. Here, there are 18 hell levels portrayed, you can go to check it out if you are not faint of the dark and hell images.
Hoa Son (Fire Mount)
Hoa Son includes Yang Hoa Son and Yin Hoa Son. Yang Hoa Son has caves and Pho Son Da pagoda, which is near Kim Son. Am Hoa Son has the high top of the mountain, many rocks scatter around this area.
This mount is not much to see, so you can skip this to save your time to explore another.
Tho Son (Earth Mount)
Tho Son is the lowest but longest in the Marble Mountains, with the shape of a dragon lying curled up in the sand. There are many ancient bricks of the Champa period, with the color of red earth exposed under the thin grass covering the mountain.
Tho Son has Bo De cave, very beautiful, but the entrance is only enough for one person to pass through. This place also records a heroic battle, the hiding base of Vietnamese troops during the two resistance wars against France and the US.
In Tho Son, there is also a Long Hoa pagoda, worshiping Maitreya Buddha, behind is Shakyamuni Buddha, on both sides, are Bodhisattva and Hell God.
When to go to Ngu Hanh Son?
Ngu Hanh Son has mild weather, suitable for visiting all year round, but spring and summer are the best seasons to fully enjoy the vitality and scenery here. At the same time, this tourist place is also easy to move to visit the beautiful beaches in Da Nang City in the nearby area.
How to go to the Marble Mountains in Da Nang?
The Marble Mountains are only 8km from the center of Da Nang city, right on the Da Nang – Hoi An road. You can combine this sightseeing with the journey to Hoi An old town. The road is large, flat, easy to go, and easy to find the way.
You can choose to travel by motorbike, a private car or bus when you stay in Da Nang City.
For the bus, you take the Da Nang – Hoi An trip, there will be a stop at Ngu Hanh Son, a departure from 5:30 to 17:50 daily. And tell the ticker conductor to stop at Ngu Hanh Son.
However, a private car or a taxi is the most convenient travel for most foreign tourists when they do not have much time, and do not want to wait for the local bus.
Where to eat when going to the Marble Mountains?
If you have the journey to Hoi An or Da Nang Cities, you should come to the center of these cities to find better restaurants.
If you want to check the local restaurants which can serve a little local style, here they are:
- Quang Noodles: Mi Quang Dung at 43 Ngu Hanh Son Street, Mi Quang Phuong at 6 Phan Tu Steet, Mi Quang Ba Vi at 60 Ngu Hanh Son Street, Ba Mua at 40 Ngu Hanh Son Street. Price is from 20,000 VND. You can choose one of them to taste the local noodle.
- Ba Hai crab noodle soup: K25/14 Ngu Hanh Son Street.
- Quan Ly Restaurant (Grilled beef): 328 Ngu Hanh Son Street.
Notes when visiting the Marble Mountains
Clothing to visit the Marble Mountains: It is because the Marble Mountains have many spiritual temples, you need to dress politely and discreetly but still ensure coolness and ease of movement.
Keep clean at Ngu Hanh Son: This is a masterpiece of nature bestowed with beautiful stalactite caves, do not litter indiscriminately!
Drinking water: To visit the caves and temples, you have to climb up, so you should bring drinking water. If you do not want to carry water, on the top of Water Mount, here is a small shop with chairs for you to rest at the back of Tam Thai pagoda.
The Marble Mountains have still a must-see destination when coming to Da Nang City. This place can give you beautiful scenery and spiritual temples to find peace in your soul.