The incredible Marble Mountains can be a little confusing to get around to, so keep in mind they are a cluster of 5 marble and limestone formations within driving distance, or even walking, if you've got the time. The legend goes, a dragon came out of the water, laid an egg that hatched a beautiful girl, and the shells of the egg became the mountains. Each mountain represents an element: :Thuy Son (Water), Moc Son (Wood), Hoa Son (Fire), Kim Son (Metal or Gold) and Tho Son (Earth). Each is spiritually significant, with Confucian and Buddhist shrines and pagodas (chua). The villagers in the area are all into marblework, but thankfully, not the marble of the mountain. Check out the quarries. The hawkers make a good place to buy souvenirs, most of which are trinkets carved from marble. More than a million tourists visit every year, so there will probably be a crowd. The Moc Son has no caves or pagodas.
Thuy Son (Water) Marble Mountain
The Thuy Son is the most beautiful and biggest of the five. There are two entrances to this mountain - a southwest entrance leading 156 steps up to 1630 Tam Thai Pagoda, and an eastern entrance 108 steps up to LinhUng Pagoda. Or you could pay a fee and take the elevator. The LinhUng, a shrine within a cave, is the most popular pagoda of the mountains. From the Tower XaLoi, you get spectacular vistas of the sea. In HuyenKhong cave is an immense stone altar. The steep descent at Am Phu cave gives it its name - Cave of Hell (check out the statues of skeletons, demons). Another view point to the west gives a great view of the city.
Hoa Son (Fire) Marble Mountain
The mountain rises over the confluence of two rivers. The locals say they represent the balance of nature - yin and yang. You'll see some ruined towers here, remnants of the Champacivilisation. However, the main attraction is the Pho Da Son Pagoda, which contains artefacts from Emperor Minh Mang.
Kim Son (Metal or Gold) Marble Mountain
Said to be shaped like a bell, this mountain has the theQuan Am pagoda and Quan Am cave, in which the stalagmites and stalactites take on strange shapes and cast surreal shadows. The locals say these figures are reminiscent of the Buddha. If you're on the river below, you'll be able to see the temple reflected in the water.
Tho Son (Earth) Marble Mountain
This is the highest moutain. It can be climbed by steel ladders that start at the cave and come out on the top. The locals say the silhouette of the mountain resembles a sleeping dragon. Inside the mountain is a tunnel that the the Vietnamese used against the Americans, and the French before that. There's tall column of rocks 30 metres high representing the Buddha; next to it is the Long Hoa Pagoda.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Bring a torch.
- Start early in the morning. The days are hot.
- Elevator Fee - 30000 VND
- Bus No 1, from Danang street Dien Bien Phu nº 33, or Hoi An bus station, to Hoi an.
- Take a taxi from Danang
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95% of people who visit Da Nang include The Marble Mountains in their plan
06 AM - 07 AM
91.82% of people start their The Marble Mountains visit around 06 AM - 07 AM
People usually take around 4 Hrs to see The Marble Mountains
93.56% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting The Marble Mountains
Make sure to wear comfortable shoes because you will be walking a lot. Prepare to sweat and be breathless after this trip because it is a workout especially in this heat. There are a lot of caves, shrines, temples, and viewpoints. I would recommend coming here early in the morning or late afternoon so it will not be too hot to climb. They close at 5:30 pm, so make sure you come before then to explore it all, we came around 3 and finished at 5.
Cut to the chase, here are the instructions. If you going there by a scooter, you will most likely to park in front of a Souvenir shop. The owner of the shop will give you a ticket, don’t lose it cos you will need it to get your scooter back. You have a option to take a lift or stairs. Stairs option is much cheaper, and it’s not a hard climb. You will see a lot of caves and temples so best to buy a bottle of water before you go up. Allow maybe 1-2 hours. Now when you come down from the mountain, the souvenir shop will sell you some beverage and possibly a marble jewels. Might as well buy them as parking fee + donations to the community. Also there are some donation boxes on each temples so handy to have changes with you.
Take your best walking shoes, water and time. Beautiful views, might be many tourists. You need to buy the lift tickets both ways (up and down). The marble items (most likely) are not from The Marble Mountain but from China. We bought two small elifants. Well worth the visit 😀
I'm giving it one star based on the hype. I feel that a place like this should not have an entrance fee. It's nature and they aren't offering a service so why pay? It's a beautiful place ruined unfortunately by the crowds of humans with their selfie sticks and their need to take a picture, instead of experiencing the beauty in front of them. There is also random instrumental music playing both in the caves and the climb up the steps which takes away from the peaceful sound of nature. Random tacky led lights in the caves were unnecessary. I'd prefer if it was kept natural and people entered using their torches. There was garbage and cigarette buts in some areas. The highest peak was nice as it was the only time we were at peace and away from the hordes of noisy tourists with their camera phones. If you truly want to experience nature, don't bother.. If you want to take pictures for your social media, you will love this place and fit right in!
Amazing, take the stairs via gate2 on the way up and down via gate1. Up the stairs will take you no longer than 10min. Make sure you’ll go around on the first cave (happy Buddha), there is much to see and the entrance is kinda hidden.