Marble Mountain is a must-see for those visiting Da Nang and Central Vietnam! While it’s not far from the city center, it will feel like a completely different world. Let us take you to the top of the mountain, through caves, and all the sacred sites! Here’s what to expect when visiting the Marble Mountains of Da Nang.
How to Get to Marble Mountain Da Nang
Marble Mountain is located in Non Nuoc Village in Da Nang Vietnam. The Marble Mountains are technically in Da Nang, but you’ll find that they’re not so far from Hoi An either!
The best way to get here is by riding a motorbike. It’s a 15-20 minute drive from the center of Da Nang city and 30 minutes from Hoi An Ancient Town.
If you can’t ride a motorbike, don’t worry! The cost of taxis is very cheap in Vietnam, especially with apps like Grab. You can even hire a driver through your hotel who will wait at the bottom of Marble Mountain to bring you back when you’re done.
Quick Tips for Marble Mountain
Bring Cash: You’ll need this for parking, any snacks, and an entrance ticket.
Proper Footwear: Wear shoes and somewhat athletic clothing.
Know Your Limits: Marble Mountain does require a certain level of fitness for all the steps and climbing in and out of caves.
Go Early: Marble Mountain is one of the most popular things to do in the area and can get very crowded.
Photo Time: Bring your camera! There are so many amazing temples and viewpoints to snap photos of at the Marble Mountains in Da Nang.
History of Marble Mountain Vietnam
The history of Marble Mountain runs deep through Central Vietnam and all the way back to the ancient Cham people. The legend goes, that a dragon flew from Non Nuoc Beach and laid an egg. A beautiful girl eventually hatched out of the egg. The shell then broke into 5 pieces and formed the five mountains you see today!
Over the centuries, the Marble Mountains have become a sacred place for the people of this region. This can be seen in the Buddhist sculptures and shrines built throughout the caves and marble hills.
Fast forward to 1825, when the Emperor Minh Mang gave the limestone mountains the name of “Ngu Hanh Son” meaning Five Element Mountains. Each peak was named after the elements of water, fire, wood, earth, and metal.
Yet, during the French Colonial period, geologists discovered they were actually made of Marble. Hence, the name Marble Mountains was given!
During the French Colonial War, the caves would become hideouts for the Vietnamese to battling their oppressors. In more recent history, the Marble Mountains were the stage of battles during the Vietnam War.
When to Visit the Marble Mountains
For the nicest weather you’ll want to go to the Marble Mountains outside of the rainy season. That means the best time to go will be between February and May. This is important as the views from the top are spectacular, and you can see far off into the distance and coastline.
However, with this beautiful scenery, there is really no bad time to go to Marble Mountain Da Nang. We have been on stormy days and exploring the temples and mysterious caves are fun either way. Check out more fun things to do in Da Nang below!
Arriving at Marble Mountain in Da Nang
When first arriving at Marble Mountain it won’t be hard to find the entrance. That’s because, in addition to the limestone hills, you’ll see hundreds of marble sculptures welcoming you in!
It’s not only a popular tourist destination, but it’s also a place where marble sculptures (both big and small) are sold. As you pull onto the street towards the entrance, dozens of locals will try to get you to park at, or buy something from their stores. They will even ride up to you on a motorbike on the main road and lead you to their very own spots!
There is no main parking lot that we’ve seen on any of our trips to Marble Mountain Vietnam. Instead, you will have to pay about 10,000 VND to park at a local shop. We typically ride closer to the ticket office to avoid a long walk. Remember, unless you’re taking the elevator you will have some steps to climb!
If you buy something from one of the stores you won’t have to pay to park. Just know that these marble sculptures and trinkets aren’t so cheap! Even just a small marble box will run you 500,000 to 700,000 VND. Still, they can be a special gift to bring someone back home.
Elevator Ride or Climb Up Marble Mountain?
Now that you’ve parked you’ll have to decide how you’re getting up the limestone mountains. First, you should know that there’s only one peak that is accessible to tourists. Thuy Son Mountain is the largest of the five and there are two ways to get up it.
At the time of our visit, the entrance tickets themselves cost 40,000 VND. Then you can choose to either pay 15,000 VND (each way) for the quick elevator ride or climb the stairs to the top.
The stairs to the first level of monuments only takes 5 minutes, but know that it’s steep. If you’re older or less mobile you may want to opt for the elevator and save your energy. Even after the elevator, you’ll need to go up more stairs to get to the Huyen Khong Cave and the highest summit.
Marble Mountain is also fine for those looking to take the elevator and explore a few of the ancient temple sites. There’s plenty to see without climbing too high, and the view right at the top of the elevator is still beautiful.
Must-See Sites of Marble Mountain Vietnam
Linh Ung Pagoda: When coming up the stairs this is the first site you’ll see! The Linh Ung Pagoda and temple were built in 1825. There is a remarkable Buddha Statue sitting in the garden that you can’t miss. Just passed that you will find the Tang Chon Cave.
Xa Loi Tower: To the right of Linh Ung Pagoda is the impressive Xa Loi Tower. It stands at almost 100 feet tall and has over 200 different religious statues within its 7 floors.
Tam Thai Pagoda: Continuing around water mountain, there is an ancient site from the 17th century. This 400-year-old pagoda is mind-blowing to experience. It’s easy to see why this is one of the many holy places for Buddhists in Vietnam.
Huyen Khong Cave: You will eventually make your way up past the stone sculptures to find the largest cave of Marble Mountain. Inside there is a small temple and two amazing Buddhist shrines. Revolutionaries actually used this as a base to strategize during French Colonial times, and it was again used in similar fashion during the Vietnam War.
Am Phu Cave: There’s one more cave to see on Marble Mountain! Also, known as “hell cave,” this represents just that to the Buddhists that came before.
Ding Thuong Thai: You’ve made it to the highest peak of the Marble Mountains in Da Nang. Take a moment to enjoy the views and all that you’ve seen on your way up.
Is Marble Mountain Worth Visiting?
Yes! This is one of the best things in nature to experience in Central Vietnam. It’s an easy half day trip from Da Nang or Hoi An and can be seen in just a few hours. This means you’ll have plenty of time to hit My Khe Beach or explore Hoi An afterwards.
The combination of historic temples, wild caves, and epic views make for a fascinating visit. For history lovers, you may also want to consider a trip to the 4th century temples at My Son Sanctuary.
Have any questions about this article or want to share your own experience at Marble Mountain in Vietnam? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
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Where To Stay In Da Nang Vietnam
Ultra Luxury – InterContinental Danang – Although it’s outside the main city, the InterContinental is one of the nicest beachfront resorts in all of Vietnam. The ultra luxury bungalows are nestled into mountainside boulders and feature private pools with balconies facing the ocean. It doesn’t get much better than this!
Beachside Boutique Hotel – Prana Boutique Hotel and Apartments – After many visits to the city this is our favorite place to stay! The family who owns Prana is extremely kind and helpful with information, tours, and motorbike rentals. Enjoy beautiful rooms that are modern and spacious. We also loved the rooftop pool with views of Da Nang!
Beachside Hostel – Light House Hostel – Fun hostel near the beach in Da Nang Vietnam. Everything is clean and new, plus they also have private rooms to accommodate couples.
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Vietnam Travel Planning
Transportation: 12Go is what we use to book ferries, trains, buses, and transfers while traveling through Vietnam!
Tours: Get Your Guide is an amazing place to find fun activities all over Vietnam! There is everything from a Hanoi Cooking Class and market tour to a Mekong Delta Pagoda & rowing boat trip, and even the Phu Quoc Cable Car Ride with three island snorkeling tour!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without insurance. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years and they are always there when we need them.
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