Da Nang, Vietnam — During our recent cross-country trip from Bangkok to Da Nang in Vietnam sponsored by TAT and Bangkok Airways, one of the places we visited is the famous cluster of five hills made from limestone and marble which is more popularly known as the Marble Mountains.
Known as Ngu Hanh Son to locals, the place was eventually called Marble Mountains by French people during the French Colonial War.
From the Vietnamese name, you can get a hint about the appearance of the Marble Mountains. They are five, and each has reference to the elements of nature. These are Kim Son – Metal Mountain, Moc Son – Wood Mountain, Thuy Son – Water Mountain, Hoa Son – Fire Mountain, and Tho Son – Soil Mountain.
The five mountains have each unique shape as well as their distinct layout of shrines and caves. But they all share a wide variety of traditional flora and fauna and the deep historical and cultural value of the locals.
During the old days, the Marble Mountains were a popular travel destination for royals and other noble class citizens. It is also often frequented by the monks of Mahayana Buddhism due to the numerous shrines and temples on the mountains.
Marble Mountains was part of the Cham Kingdom, and if you visit the region, you can feel the depth of the rich culture of the past.
Today, Marble Mountains are among the most visited places in Vietnam. It features a cluster of hills, marble stone, shrines and temples, dark caves, and lots of steps. The activities of the Vietnam War still loom large in the caves in the form of bullet holes.
The Marble Mountains are located along the coast, which means you can also enjoy the magnificent views of the sands including the popular My Khe Brach.
Things to know before visiting Da Nang Marble Mountains
- The region is very hot, so consider packing enough water to stay hydrated
- Wear comfortable footwear, your Instagram followers will forgive you for uploading pictures with “ugly” shoes. There is no point of going mount climbing with heels so you can look good on photos.
- You don’t need a tour operator to explore the mountains; you can do it by yourself but if you are traveling alone, joining a group tour will be more cost-effective.
How to get to Marble Mountains
There are several options you can use to get to Marble Mountains. You can take a bus, taxi, or a scooter (Xe om – motorbike taxi). Using either of the three means you don’t need to have a map or the direction of the area. However, if you are driving there, here are some helpful directions.
From the Da Nang city center:
- Cross the Dan Nang River using either one of the three bridges. Whichever bridge you take, you will reach the Ngo Nguyen Street.
- Head south or to your left until you reach the Le Van Hien Street.
- Drive along the street for about 2 kilometers and turn to Huyen Tran Cong Chua Street.
- Drive for 8 kilometers and you will start seeing the mountain peaks from a distance.
Best time to visit
You can visit the mountains any time you wish, but if you want to experience Vietnam at its glorious, you should visit during the summer.
Marble Mountains is open to the public daily from 7 AM to 5.30 PM. You will have to pay an entry fee of 40.000VND (USD 2.00) and 15.000VND (USD 0.75) to ride the elevator if you don’t want to climb the stairs.
- Hell Cave: 40,000 VND per person
- Travel Guide Fee (optional): 50,000 VND per group
Marble Mountains and Da Nang Tour Packages
Marble Mountain and Hoi An Day Tour from Da Nang
Learn more about Vietnam’s Buddhist origins and ancient history on this tour. Get to visit Marble Mountain and its complex of five marble and limestone hills that represent the five main elements of the universe – Iron Mountain (Kim), Wood Mountain (Moc), Water Mountain (Thuy), Fire Mountain (Hoa), and Earth Mountain (Tho).