The Marble Mountains, also called Ngu Hanh Son, is the name of five marble mounts that rise on a coastal sandy beach, covering an area of about two square kilometers. This place converges the beauty of heaven and earth, from mountains and seas, and includes the historical, cultural, and spiritual values. Ngu Hanh Son in Da Nang City becomes a famous destination to attract tourists in Vietnam as well as in the world.
If you have a plan to explore this interesting site, Vietnamdrive shares the experience of visiting the Marble Mountains to support you to explore here easier.
The Marble Mountains consists of 5 mountains, including Hoa Son (Mount Fire), Moc Son (Mount Wood), Kim Son (Mount Metal), Tho Son (Mount Earth) and Thuy Son (Mount Water). The biggest and most famous mount is Thuy Son ( Mount Water) which tourists always choose as the first place to visit.
The map to go to the Marble Mountains
The Marble Mountains has located about 11 km from downtown Danang, and nearly 20 km from Hoi An. The roads to Ngu Hanh Son are effortless to go.
From Da Nang City Center, just cross the Han River Bridge (Tran Thi Ly or Dragon Bridge; depending on where you are), then turn right into Le Van Hien Street towards Hoi An City, where visitors can find the Mable Mountains.
From Hoi An City, the guests can follow two ways: the first one is to go along Truong Sa Street, and the Marble Mountains stands on the left side. The second method is to drive along Nguyen Tat Thanh Street (in Hoi An) to come to Tran Thu Do Street, then Tran Hung Dao, after that enter Le Van Hien Street (in Danang), Ngu Hanh Son will be found right on the road.
Transportation to the Marble Mountains
Because the Marble Mountains is easy to come, tourists can use a motorbike, private car, taxi or grab, or bus to travel to there. Vietnamdrive always recommends the guests from other countries should not use motorcycles by themselves because this mean is the most dangerous vehicle to travel.
Please check the details of each kind of transportation as below:
- Motorbikes for rent are in the city center with relatively low prices. Range of price from 100k-150k /1 piece /1 day.
- Taxi / Grap: It is a suitable vehicle for tourists who follow their families or group under 6 people because most of the taxi/grab have cars with a max of 6 seats for guests. Danang or Hoi An has many taxi companies, visitors can freely choose a taxi, but the top choice should be Mai Linh Taxi. Moreover, the grab service is currently thriving in Da Nang and Hoi An, this is also the type of vehicle used by many people, but your phone needs to have wifi to book it.
- Bus: It is quite cheap (from Danang from 12,000VND – from 25,000VND from Hoi An), but it takes you a long time and not convenience. I do not recommend to use it when you travel because I sure you do not want to waste the valuable time of your holidays. We mention here, for any have really low budget and more free time. So, you can catch the yellow buses, from Da Nang, at the coaches at the Danang bus station or some roads in the city center (Le Duan, Tran Phu, Truong Nu Vuong or Le Van Hien); and from Hoi An, get on the bus from Hoi An bus station at Ly Thuong Kiet Street. Then, you ask them to drop you off at Ngu Hanh Son – the Marble Mountains.
- A private car is always the top choice of luxury travel. You will get door-to-door service everwhere you are in Da Nang city or Hoi An. Price is ranged from 30USD – 45USD for 4 hours, including waiting time.
Do I need to book a package tour to visit the Marble Mountains? Yes, if you have a big budget. No, you don’t if you want to travel freely. Buy the ticket at one of two gates of Mount Water (Thuy Son), then follow the guide boards to visit main points: Linh Ung Pagoda, Huyen Khong Cave, Xa Loi Temple, Tam Thai Pagoda, and Tang Chon Cave (at the back of the pagoda). At the foot of Thuy Son, there is a Hell Cave (Dong Am Phu) situated between 2 gates.
You now continue reading the details of experience at the Marble Mountains.
Fares to visit the Marble Mountains, Da Nang City, Vietnam
- Tickets to visit Thuy Son: 40,000VND/adult, 10,000VND/student, children under 6 years free.
- Tickets to visit Am Phu Cave: 20,000VND/adult, 7,000VND/student, children under 6 years free.
- Vong Canh Hill ticket to see the telescope: 10,000VND/time.
- Tickets to use lift (near the second gate): 15,000VND/turn, 30k/round trip (lift operates from 7:00am – 17:30pm daily).
Best time to visit the Marble Mountains in Da Nang, Vietnam
Ngu Hanh Son can travel to visit any time of all year. Every season also has a different beauty with its own nature of rocky mountains.
However, if you want to enjoy the fresh air and see the blue sea, and white sand summer is the ideal season for visitors to the Marble Mountains. At this time (from April to September), visitors can not only admire the impressive beauty of Ngu Hanh Son in the clear blue waters of the sea. Then, you can swim or relax at the beautiful beaches nearby, Non Nuoc or My Khe beach.
But, remember that the weather is hot, this can make you feel tired to climb up the mountains.
Attractions to check at the Marble Mountains
1. Mount Water (Thuy Son)
Thuy Son is the largest and most beautiful mountain. To get to the top of the hill, visitors can choose to climb the stairs or take the elevator. Using the lift will save a lot of time and energy. But, if you are a young person, love the conquest, do not hesitate to try steps to climb up the top of the mountain.
On top of the Mountain of Water, visitors will have a panoramic view of Danang and the beach. This activity is truly a rare sight that is not everywhere. Looking down from the mountains, we can see how vast the sea and land are.
Anyways you go up, and these are top highlights which you can visit on the top of Mount Water.
1.1. Tam Thai Pagoda and Linh Ung Pagoda
The temples are beautiful and famous at the landscapes of the Marble Mountains. The ancient architectural style is not only suitable for those who want to travel spiritually, the Tam Thai Pagoda and Linh Ung Pagoda are also the places for tourists to drop their souls into peace, and to escape away from the bustling noise of the city.
- Tam Thai Pagoda is located on a fairly flat surface. The pagoda has three gates (at the same design of many old temples); in the past, the essential main entrance is for the monk to go, the left gate for the male, and the right for the female. The pagoda features ancient architecture and has undergone plenty of time of repairs due to natural disasters and the wars.
- Linh Ung Pagoda in Ngu Hanh Son is also a large pagoda on Thuy Son Mountain which many tourists choose to visit for their religious trip. This pagoda is one of three Linh Ung temples in Da Nang, including one in Ba Na Hills, one in Son Tra Island and one here at the Marble Mountains. Worshipping inside the temple is Thich Ca Buddha statue in a solemn middle position; the two sides have Lady Buddha Quan Yin and the Hell Bodhisattva. For those who want to pray, they should go to Linh Ung Pagoda to burn incense and pray because this temple is very sacred.
1.2. Visiting Caves in Mount Water
The Marble Mountains has a lot of mysterious caves. Three main caves which tourists often like to visit, including two famous caverns on the top: Huyen Khong (Unlimited Heaven Cave) and Tang Chon Cave, and one at the foot Dong Am Phu (the Hell God Cave)
- Huyen Khong Cave (at the back left of Tam Thai Pagoda) is the most beautiful scenery in the Marble Mountains. The cave has an extremely typical structure with circular arches and one opening on the top, so the cave always has full of holy lights. There are temples, and lots of Buddhist statues worshipped here, so visitors also come to feel the sacred space.
- Tang Chon Cave is located behind Tam Thai Pagoda belonging to Mount Water. The cave is like a small valley, 7m wide, 10m long, airy thanks to the sky through the gate. Coming inside the cave, travelers see the temple and many statues. Keep going on a few steps and look on the left the guests will find a small sacred cave (the cave inside the cave). If coming behind the temple (when entering), a big Buddha statue is to pray and take pictures.
- Am Phu Cave (at the foot of Thuy Son Mountain, between to gates to go up the top) has a mysterious, murky feature. That makes visitors a little afraid as if they are getting farther away from life to go down to hell. Keep going on the right, visitors will go down the hell with many statues telling the activities at the death place. On the right side from the entrance, inside the cave, there is a stair with many steps that is the way to go to heaven.
Besides, the guests can visit many small caves, including Linh Nham, Minh Nguyet, and Hang Gio (Wind Cave). All these are also on the top of the Mountain of Water.
2. Mount Metal
Kim Son Mountain locates in the southwest of Thuy Son, on the right of Su Van Hanh Street, Ngu Hanh Son District, Da Nang City, Vietnam.
Right at the foot of Kim Son, there is a cave more than 50m long, nearly 10m wide, about 10-15m high. The entrance is dynamic natural stone steps. Inside the cave, stalactites are clinging to the cliff to create a high figure of Quan Yin Bodhisattva, and other images. A small stream in the cave can be considered as a holy spring, where many local people come to pray and take water washing the face to wish them good luck.
The top highlight at Kim Son is a Buddhist Museum in the area of Quan The Am Pagoda. The museum has over 500 Buddhist antiquities. This one is considered the first Buddhist Cultural Museum in Vietnam.
Many collections reflect the Buddhist heritage, rich diversity of expression styles and materials, dating back to the past many centuries. The artifacts exhibited at the museum have the value of the ancient artworks, and also crystallize the quintessence of Buddhist cultural heritage. The museum is home to plenty of artifacts and antiquities of historical significance and spiritual culture.
Below are the rests of three mountains which are not very interesting to visit. But, Vietnamdrive introduces you about them to have an overview of the Marble Mountains. And, you can see them from the top of Thuy Son.
3. Mount Wood (Moc Son)
Moc Son locates on the east of Le Van Hien Street, close to the sea, near Thuy Son (Mount Water). The east and the south of Mt. Wood are sandy, the north is the field, and the west is the village.
Although it belongs to the woods, there are very few trees. The top of the rocky mountain was cut into saw teeth like the comb of a chicken, so it could be called the Mao Ga (the peak of chicken comb). There are no temples in this mountain, only a white marble block that looks like a person sitting. The locals are called Ms. Mu or Quan Yin.
Moc Son is not nice to visit so that you can save your time, look Mt. Wood from the top of Mount Water.
4. Mount Earth (Tho Son)
Mount Earth locates in the north of Kim Son (Mt. Metal) and west of Thuy Son (Mt. Water). This mountain is the lowest, but the most extended place, looking like a dragon lying on the sand. There is a pagoda Long Hoa near this mountain.
The mountain has two levels with solid blocks on the top and the eastern side. The northern slope is steeper. The mountain body has a thin layer of grass that covers to reveal ancient red clay bricks in the time of Champa before 13th century.
In the mountain, there is a cave that turns to the southwest; it is called Hang Coc or Bo De Cave. The way into the cave is very narrow, and only a person can get through. We do not recommend visiting this place.
5. Mount Fire (Hoa Son)
Hoa Son (Mount Fire) consists of 2 tops connecting them by a rocky line. In the east, near the street to Hoi An is the Am Hoa Son (the Yin Fire).
The western mount near Kim Son is Duong Hoa Son (the Yang Fire), located on the Co Co river bank. In the past, when Da Nang and Hoi An were still communicating by waterway, there was a river junction, the boats were extremely busy. On the mountain, there are three large Chinese characters carved into the cliff “Duong Hoa Son”. Near this mount has Pho Son Da pagoda.
Non Nuoc stone carving village
Address: At the foot of Ngu Hanh Son Mountain, Hoa Hai Ward, Ngu Hanh Son District, T.P Da Nang
Non Nuoc Strong Carving Village is located around the foot of the Marble Mountains. Visitors can see a lot of beautiful stone statues with different shapes and designs. You will be surprised to see the exquisite sculptures in the village with rich artistry and sexy images, the romantic mighty of the lions, and the peace and freshness of Buddha and Bodhisattva.
Over 400 years of establishment, the stone village has been recognized as a national cultural heritage, not only attracting domestic but also foreign tourists. The town is a place to preserve the traditional identity of an ancient region. Nature is exceptionally preferential when giving here charming scenery and the abundant source of limestone. With the talented hands of the local people, they create sculptures that touch the scene of magic art.
But, the real thing happens: for the big need of the materials for carving statues, the marble from the Marble Mountains cannot supply. And, to protect this landscape, the local authority does not allow taking the rock here for sculptures. The craftsmen have to buy the marble from other areas of Vietnam. It is because many talented artisans living in Non Nuoc Village, the carving work is still intact with an intense vitality with time and continuous development to nowadays.
To explore the beauty of the village, you can go along Huyen Tran Cong Chua Street o visit any carving shops. Many big shops settle around the Marble Mountains. However, you should note that when visiting any shops, the sellers often try to introduce and sell their products of carving stones.
Notes when visiting the Marble Mountains
- Ngu Hanh Son is a big place with the mountainous landscape, so the movement must be very careful. Especially, when climbing up Mount Water, the steps are big and slippery during the wet days, always pay attention to this!!!
- When going to the top, the path is quite small and steep, you have to notice your movement and the relatives.
- If you travel with the older people, they should move up by elevator near the second gate because of challenging deep steps.
- It is easy to visit the Marble Mountains, but if you want to save your time and understand more about this place, you can hire a local guide right at the ticket staff.
- At the two gates, typically at the second gate, there are plenty of souvenirs made of the marble. If you want to buy small gifts, you can buy them here; and, remember bargaining. If you’re going to get wholesales or buy big statues, you should come to large shops along the Truong Sa Street. They can ship the products to your homes anywhere in Vietnam or in other countries.
- There are many sacred temples. When visiting the Marble Mountains, you should dress neatly, the shirts with hands, and pants or skirts under your knees.
- There are snacks and drinks on the top of Mt. Water, but you are allowed bringing your drinks and food. Please keep sightseeing clean!
Legend to create the Marble Mountains
In the past, an old man was living alone in a small hut on the deserted beach. The people nearby did not know when he had come and what he did.
One day, a storm from the sea came violently, making the sky dark. There was a long dragon landing on the shore, crawling on the mainland. Then, a big egg appeared from the dragon on the side of the old-age man’s house. After finishing, the dragon crawled back into the sea.
A moment later, a vast golden turtle came in from the sea. The turtle buried that egg in the sand and told the man to protect the egg because heaven chose him to do this.
The god egg kept growing bigger and bigger, and it came over the soil. The man felt that he was too tiny to protect the enormous egg. One day, the egg hatched and a beautiful girl came from the egg saying “thank you, the man!” After that, she flew up to heaven. And, the eggshells scattered to become the Marble Mountains which maintaining until now.
All information about the Marble Mountains what we share with you hopefully helps you to visit this famous site in Danang City, Vietnam, effortlessly. Share this post with your friends and relatives, please!