Popular place for spiritual retreat and pilgrimage, is composed of several pagodas Buddhist, remnants of the Champa civilization and caves inside the mountains, natural caves formed by erosion, water and the passage of time.
Pagodas, marble caves and mountains
The Group of 5 mountains that stand in the center of Danang, whose name is Ngu Hanh are, measuring 2 km long, 800 meters wide and 500 meters in height.
The names of these mountains, representing each of the 5 elements, were taken from an old Vietnamese song. The marble mountains are known with the names of (following the clockwise direction): Hoa Son (fire mountain), Kim Son (mountain of metal), Tho are (mountain of Earth), Thuy Son (water mountain) and Moc Son (wood mountain).
Mountain Thuy Son is the largest mountain group comprising marble mountains of Da Nang, with several caves, caverns, pagodas and 2 viewpoints with some spectacular views of Danang city and the coast with the sea of China in the background.
The Moc are mountain is the only one that has no pagodas or not caves.
Many tourist attractions, for example other marble Gulch mountains complex Ung Nhien pagodas, Pho Da are, Linh Son, Thai Son, Quan Am, Long Hoa, Tam Ton, Tam Thai, Linh Ung (Tower Xa Loi) and caves Flee Vi, Quan Am, Huyen Khong, Hoa Nghiêm, Linh Nham, Van Thong, Tang Chon and Am Phu (hell cave).
Kim Son Mountain
Mountain metal, on the banks of the River Co Co, possesses a shape that resembles a Bell. The highlight is the Quan Am pagoda and Quan Am cave, called the mysterious cave by strange and suggestive shapes that make up the stalactites and stalagmites, where locals say they resemble figures of Buddha and dragons.
We recommend you take a boat down the River Co Co before dusk to see the shadow of the marble mountains and the reflection of the temple on the River.
Mountain Moc Son
A small mountain of steep slopes practically deserted and little vegetation that is not visitable.
Mountain Hoa Son
The mountain in the ancient land where two rivers passed zigzag shaped down to the beach, it is said that the rivers were the yin - yang symbol, giving peace and harmony to this place.
Although today some remnants of the Champa civilization (partially ruined towers) can still be seen, the highlight of this mountain of marble is the Pho Da Son Pagoda, small pagoda which contains vestiges of Emperor Minh Mang (buried in Hue, see Minh Mang tomb Imperial), during a visit to the city to meet with his sister, Princess Ngoc Lan, I used to frequent this pagoda. It is an inscription engraved in stone dating back to the 18th century.
Tho Son Mountain
Mountain smaller group of marble mountains, formed by clay and marble. The Champa civilization used this mountain as a base, what are only reddish bricks covered by grass.
With an irregular rectangular shape, said Vietnamese imagination how this mountain resembles a sleeping dragon.
Most notable is a tunnel used in the war against the French and the Vietnam war against the Americans, as well as the Long Hoa pagoda, built in 1992. Near the pagoda there is a column of rock 30 meters of height that the religious resemble Buddha.
Thuy Son Mountain
The mountain of water is the largest and most beautiful of all mountain and without a doubt, the great tourist attraction of Danang marble mountains, since it concentrates almost all the points of interest of the visit.
This mountain covers an area of 15 hectares, comprising in turn 3 rocky peaks with a similar provision to the stars of the Big Dipper, the peak more large all known with the name of Tam Thai, which gives its name to the pagoda which there rises.
To access the temples, caves and viewpoints of mountain water of the marble mountains group, there are 2 paths formed by flights of stairs: the road located in the western part of the mountain is composed of 156 steps and the path of the East by 108 steps. Since 2011 is running a lift / elevator that it facilitates the access of visitors and pilgrims (sometimes the elevator is not in service, with what we recommend to wear footwear comfortable and appropriate if finally touched up the stairs).
At the top of the mountain Thuy are marble, as well as the breathtaking viewpoints, highlight the Linh Nham cave in which the holes formed on the walls of the cave let rays of light creating a spectacular effect in the interior, the pagoda Tam Thai, Temple dating back to the year 1630, and as a last highlight recommend visiting the beautiful Linh Ung pagodaprobably the most photographed of the complex, where the most visible part is the Tower Xa Loi and the spectacular views of the sea of China.
Among the different caves that are part of Thuy Son, the tourist are Huyen Khong cave, with an immense altar carved in stone and the cave Am Phu, known by the nickname of Cave of hell.
I Am Phu cave receives that name by the entrance, which is steep, you descend from heaven to hell, since during the descent light stays on her back and the only thing that looks forward is darkness. I Am Phu inside, we can see statues and representations of skeletons, demons, and other scenes of Buddhist, imagined hell as a prison. Inside the cave of hell the temperature seldom exceeds 20 ° C, which should be warm and not be carried away by the heat that can encourage your name.
Information about Marble Mountains
Marble mountains and the passage of clouds (Hai Van pass) are the major tourist attraction of the city of Danang, visited annually by more than 1 million tourists. Practically any motorcycle driver, taxi or tourist agency offer us a tour by marble mountains, where you also can visit for free without major drawback.
The mountain of water (Thuy Son mountain) is the highlight of the visit. Usually take 4 hours to visit the whole complex forming Thuy Son, being the first thing in the morning the best time to start the visit.
Access this (where the elevator and parking) allows us to rise to the top of the great mountain of marble through a stone staircase where the end of the road you will find a stone gate with multiple bullet holes, memories of the war in Vietnam, since at that point many spies of the Viet Cong were watching American troops aficandas off the coast of Danang. Behind this door we have the Linh Ung Pagoda, with 3 huge Buddha statues in the gardens, but the most spectacular of this place is the Tower of Xa Loi, a beautiful 15 meter tower built in 1997 and performed in stone which stands overlooking the coast. Close to the Tower of Xa Loi, we have the curious cave Am Phu (15,000 VND entrance fee), the cave of hell.
The rest of Thuy Son tourist attractions is the Huyen Khong cave, with a spectacular altar carved in stone as well as sculptures of Buddha. This altar is known as the Cathedral carved in stone, impressive place which is guarded by 4 statues representing 2 mandarins of the Court and 2 soldiers.
Location of the Marble Mountains
The marble mountains are Hoa Hai District (Huyen Tran Cong Chua Street access), about 9 km south of Danang and 15 kilometres north of Hoi An, just opposite the large beach resorts of Danang.
The Marble Mountains are easily visible from a distance as they are the highest point of the city.
Map and tourist map of the Marble Mountains
Here you have a tourist map of the mountains of marble from Danang (courtesy of @alfanje). This is the map that will give us at the box office once buy tickets for access to the complex (to the South of Thuy Son mountain).
Moving and transporting to the Marble Mountains
The bus that stops right in front of the marble mountains is the bus No. 1, bus yellow color that covers the journey Danang - Hoi An. We can take the bus at the bus station in Danang (street Dien Bien Phu nº 33, very close to the train station of Danang) or at the Hoi An bus station (Le Hong Phong Street junction with Nguyen Tat Thanh). The price of the bus is 20,000 VND (less than 1 US $), it takes 15 minutes from 40 minutes from Hoi An and Danang.
To go from the center of Danang to Marble Mountains ride, we will have to pay 3€ about the taxi from Hoi An can cost 12€.
Hours and admission price to the Marble Mountains
The price of the entrance to the marble mountains is 15,000 VND (less than 1 US $), price which will give us access to mountain Thuy Son (the mountain of water), since the rest of the marble mountains are of free and open access. The elevator costs 30,000 VND (1€), price that allows us to go up and then down. The price of the entrance to the cave Am Phu is 15,000 VND.
Danang-marble mountains are open daily on schedule from the 7 to the 17: 00 in an uninterrupted way.
Facts about Marble Mountain
The interior of the Marble Mountains is full of this material, marble. For over 400 years it was customary to remove the marble inside the mountains to make furniture, sculptures, jewelry and used as building material. Marble is of such quality that Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi It was decorated with marble extracted from these mountains.
To avoid the damaged and over-exploitation, currently not allowed to extract marble from mountains of Danang, which has forced to import this material from other provinces (for example from the province of Ninh Binh).
During the Indochina wars and the Vietnam war marble mountains were used by the different sides that fought there. For example the French built bunkers during the indochina wars, Viet Cong installed a hospital inside the mountains (hospital that although hidden took a little time to be discovered by the American army) and the Americans used this location to place observation posts and deployed heavy artillery.
As past curious history say that in feudal times, the Lords of Danang hid the gold and precious jewels in the marble mountains, asking the monks that they guard precious treasure. They say that these treasures, which is not known for certain magnitude and value, still hiding in the mountains since the monks took the secret to the grave.
The Legend of the Marble Mountains
The legend of the golden dragon and the tortoise: Cham legend that an old hermit who lived on the coast of Danang, was fishing in the waters of the China Sea when a dragon suddenly emerged from the water to deposit a dragon egg on the coast. After the dragon disappear from the waters came a golden turtle, who claimed to be the god Kim Quy. The turtle instructed the old man 's mission to protect the dragon egg to any lurking danger, the old man unable to cope with the dangers, decided to bury the dragon egg in the land. The egg slowly grew until hatched. The dragon egg broke into 5 pieces, forming the 5 elements which in turn are the Marble Mountains in Danang.