If you are planning a dream trip to Vietnam and are looking for fascinating things to do, you should include a visit to Marble Mountain n Vietnam. The Marble Mountain located in the town of Da Nang is an incredible historical and religious site to visit. Also, it is a great option for a day trip from Hoi An.
During my 2-week itinerary in Vietnam, one of the highlights was exploring the Marble Mountains in Da Nang I am glad I did it! I really enjoyed the natural beauty of this place, but also could learn more about the intriguing history and importance of this religious site in Vietnam.
In this guide, I share all you need to know to plan a perfect day trip to Marble Mountain Vietnam, some important history of this religious site, and all the important logistics to make your visit as easy and safe as possible. So, without any further ado let’s explore this complete guide to Marble Mountain!
If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam, you will love these articles:
- Vietnam Travel Planning: All You Need to Plan Your Trip
- Vietnam Itinerary 7 Days: The Best One Week in Vietnam
- A Perfect Hoi An Itinerary
- Is it worth it to visit Marble Mountain in Vietnam?
- Marble Mountain Vietnam: How to Get There
- How to Explore Marble Mountains in Danang, Vietnam
- The Importance of the Religion at the Marble Mountain
- Visit the Carving Shops in Da Nang
- Practical Information to Visit the Marble Mountain Vietnam
- Marble Mountain Vietnam Conclusion
Read More: A Perfect 2 weeks Vietnam Itinerary
Is it worth it to visit Marble Mountain in Vietnam?
If you are wondering if it is worth it to visit Marble Mountain in Vietnam, my answer for you is YES! It is easy to get here if you are visiting from Da Nang or Ha Noi, or only a 2-hour drive from Hue (see below for details). Also, it is cheap, you will find amazing opportunities for photos, have fun exploring the intriguing pagodas and sites, pulse get a 360 degrees view from the top!
The Marble Mountains in Danang are a group of unique five limestone and marble hills in the Ngu Hanh Son District. The mountains’ sheer, porous limestone is punctuated by caves, hiking trails, and tunnels, which are fitted with spectacular Buddhist and Hindu shrines.
Their intrigue continues as you get closer and see the scores of magnificent marble carvings of lions, Buddha, Jesus, elephants…you name it, and they can carve pretty much anything from marble.
Marble Mountain Vietnam: How to Get There
The Marble Mountains are in the center of Non-Nuoc Jewel village, just 8 kilometers South of Da Nang city center. You cross the Han River Bridge, follow Ngo Quyen street, Le Van Street, and finally turn onto Huyen Tran Cong Chua street.
FROM DANANG: The Marble Mountains are located only 5.4 miles (8 minutes by car) from the Danang Airport (DAD). It dominates the plain-like landscape along the coast road between Hoi An and Danang. If you happen to land at Danang airport, you can’t help but notice them looming in the distance and jutting up dramatically. I also recommend this private tour to get to visit Marble Mountain and the Hoi An on this 8-hour day tour.
FROM HOI AN: A perfect itinerary is to visit Marble Mountain as a day trip from Hoi An. Danang is located only 45 km (28 miles) from Hoi An, and it takes approximately 1 hour by motorbike or a little quicker car ride from Hoi An. The best option is to rent a motorbike in Hoi An. Or you can join a full-day tour from Hoi-An, with a professional local guide.
FROM HUE: You can also visit the Marble Mountains on a day trip from Hue. It is about 2 hours by car. You can hire a private driver like this one
How to Explore Marble Mountains in Danang, Vietnam
Each of the mountains at Marble Mountain has a variety of sights to see and experience. It was great as many of the caves and pagodas were not overcrowded with tourists and I could enjoy the amazing history, understand the importance of religion of this place, and dive into the serenity of this magical experience.
When visiting the Marble Mountains, you will probably come to the big mountain Thuy Son, next to the parking lot. Then you will make your way around visiting the main sites:
Thuy Son (Water Mountain) – If you are short on time, this is the only place you want to visit in Marble Mountains, it is a sanctuary that attracts many Buddhists.
Summit of Mt Thuy – Behind the relaxation area, slightly off to the right, is a narrow footpath that leads up to the summit. This is the view you must see.
Tam Thai Pagoda – A 400-year-old pagoda built in the 17th century. Close by the central avenue that takes you to the relaxation area, which is a collection of small stands, vendors, and restrooms.
Huyen Khong Cave – This is a must-see cave, massive and awe-inspiring with a small temple and a giant marble Buddha
Linh Nham Cave – This is a place to worship three Gods: Ngoc Hoang, Nam Cao, and Bac Dau. There is a folk tale that every December 23rd of the lunar calendar, these Gods visit the humans and help them with their magical capabilities.
Van Thong Cave (Heaven Cave) – back along the right avenue from the relaxation area
Hell Cave – Just opposite side from Heaven Cave. It is dark, humid and even fear-inducing this cave represents what hell looks like.
Mt. Metal – This cavern was only found in 1956 as it is particularly hard to find, with the gateway facing Southeast, it is hidden away from the cliffs. The most impressive is the natural marble structure of the Bodhisattva in human size and a stalactite that drops to 0.3 meters above the floor.
Mt. Plant – It was said to be in the past a beautiful mountain with majestic cliffs, but after exploitation, today this mountain has long been abandoned.
Mt Fire – There are two ancient pagodas Linh Son and Phy Da Son Pagodas.
The Importance of the Religion at the Marble Mountain
The cluster of limestone outcrops that make up the Marble Mountains were initially sacred sites worshiped by the Cham peoples of Central and Southern Vietnam.
However, the mountains are not massive in comparison to some of Vietnam’s northern ranges. But they are impressive in relation to the flat central floodplains of the surrounding countryside. So it is easy to see why they cast an attractive spell on the Cham. They also contain a myriad of cave networks and tunnels that the Cham recognized as holy places.
In 1825, centuries after the decline of the Cham Empire, the Vietnamese King Minh Mang, named the mountains “Ngu Hanh Son”—The Five Element Mountains.
Each mountain is named after one of the five essential elements in Eastern Philosophical thought: Kim (metal), Tho (earth), Moc (wood), Hoa (fire), and Thuy (water).
Together, the mountains were a spiritual destination for both the Vietnamese aristocracy and Mahayana Buddhists. So over the years, Buddhist followers constructed the sanctuaries that you see today.
However, during the French colonial period, French geologists realized the mountains were comprised of marble and renamed them the “Marble Mountains.” The French name stuck, and the rest, as they say, is history.
In the centuries since the Champa Empire, Buddhist followers have built shrines and temples at the summits of the mountains and in the caves below them. Therefore the Marble Mountains and their shrines within, continue to lure visitors to this day to enjoy their expansive views, wander their intricate caves, and be swept up in their history.
Visit the Carving Shops in Da Nang
After spending 4 hours exploring the Marble Mountains, I visited the marble carving stores at the foot of Non-Nuoc, a crowded shopping area made up of dozens of stone carving shops and lots of artistic sculptures that are carved by hard-working local craftsmen.
The marble you will see here comes from different parts of Vietnam, and if you decide to buy something, keep in mind that it won’t be a souvenir from Mt. Thuy.
The red, white, and green marble used by local carvers for tombstones, statues, and touristy knick-knacks sold in Da Nang and the surrounding beaches came from the large rock deposits in the mountains themselves.
Sadly the limitless consumption of stone from their reserves would reduce the towering hills to rubble. So, in order to maintain the mountains as a destination worth visiting, quarrying has recently stopped, ensuring the mountains’ longevity.
You can also watch the artisan’s work, sculpting, and sawing huge slabs of marble.
FUN FACT: Check out these places and find out how much a 20-foot lady Buddha statue costs. You can negotiate pricing and shipping cost for them to arrange to deliver to your house. BTW, I didn’t buy anything, even if I got tempered to have it in my garden back in Florida. So, I am curious to know if anyone decides to buy something to have it delivered to your home country. Just drop me a comment below 😉
Practical Information to Visit the Marble Mountain Vietnam
Consider some fitness levels: There are a lot of stairs involved and some steps are high and uneven and not too easy if you have short legs, but the view from the top is outstanding. Many areas are accessible through narrow steps in the rock and on a rainy day the steps can be slippery. You have the option to pay to take the elevator up also.
Entry Fee: There are two entrances to Marble Mountains. Gate one and Gate two. Both entrances cost 40,000 VND (1.70 USD) per person to enter. Although the second, further entrance has an easier climb and is less-frequented. The elevator costs an additional 15,000 VND (.65c USD) per person, each way. The 156-step climb at the main entrance is not particularly difficult and offers some interesting views of shrines and stone-carved friezes on your way up.
Tour Time: You can explore the site by yourself, or you can go on a tour. If you decide to go on a tour, there are a variety of options you can do. It takes roughly 1-1/2 hours to view the sights at Mt. Thuy. I did it myself, and it took approx. 4 hours and I visited the 5 mountains and spend time taking pictures.
What to expect: There is a lot to see in Marble Mountains, such as religious temples, pagodas, caves, amazing stone carvings, and local marble carving shops
When to Visit the Marble Mountain in Da Nang
Marble Mountains is open year-round from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The best months to visit are during the summer season, even though the heat can be stifling. During the rainy season (September to November), heavy rains can come up suddenly and their torrents will slick the marble stairs. I have been on a rainy day and it was very slippery and dangerous.
The best time to visit is in the morning, before 8:30 AM as the tour buses start to arrive around 9:15 AM.
For weather conditions in this region of Vietnam, you can Check here
Where to Stay in Da Nang:
If you are planning to stay around the Marble Mountain area, I have selected the best hotel options for all budgets:
- Best Overall: Aloe Garden Homestay
- Great Value: Phuc Than DaNang Beach Hotel
- Boutique Hotel: Tashi Boutique Apartmen
Best Recommended Tours to Visit the Marble Mountain:
If you are looking for a convenient and easy way to visit the amazing Vietnam Marble Mountain, I have picked some tours options that you may love:
- Private Customized Tour Da Nang full-day: Take advantage of this 8-hour private tour in Danang with your own English-speaker guide.
- Marble Mountains and Son Tra Peninsula: with this tour, you will visit the Marble Mountains to see the pagoda and hidden caves and grottoes. Enjoy views of Vietnam’s coast and visit the Son Tra Peninsula as well.
- Da Nang and My Son Sanctuary: This is an excellent tour to catch the two hidden gems in Vietnam in a day tour. You will embark on a full-day adventure to My Son Sanctuary and Da Nang’s Marble Mountains. Admire the Champa Kingdom ruins, explore cave temples, and visit Am Phu Cave and the Linh Ung Pagoda.
What to wear to visit Marble Mountain:
Comfortable clothes: gym attire can be a good choice! A rain jacket is also a great idea if it is on a rainy day.
Sturdy shoes: Wear sturdy shoes if you are planning to visit all the sites and climb up to the top. Also, I visited it during a rainy day, and turns very slippery, so wear sturdy and waterproof shoes to be safe.
Day-Pack: I also recommend having a day pack and packing a refilled water bottle and some healthy snacks with you. Also, don’t forget to pack sunblock and a hat.
Marble Mountain Vietnam Conclusion
I hope you have found all the information you need about Marble Mountain Vietnam and added it to your bucket list!
You can easily spend half-day here exploring the many sites, including pagodas, hiking trails, caves, and fascinating marble statues. It is easy to get here from Da Nang, Hoi An, or Hue, and you can visit the Marble Mountains in Vietnam as a day trip.
If you have any additional questions or recommendations, please leave a comment below. As always, I love to hear from you and your adventures!
If you’ve enjoyed this guide then here are some others that you might find helpful:
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- Vietnam Travel Tips: Everything you need to know before your trip
- Best Hoi An itinerary
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- Best Hanoi Itinerary
- Best Da Nang itinerary
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