Are you in Da Nang and craving some outdoor adventure? You will be delighted to find out that Da Nang is not only an urban zone but an urban zone surrounded by nature. One such zone is the magnificent Marble Mountains, that seemingly just pop out on the southern tip of Da Nang! These majestic formations rise proudly, seemingly appearing out of nowhere, creating a breathtaking sight that will leave you in awe.
Marble Mountains are one of the famous attractions in Da Nang for locals and tourists. It is known for its great historical, spiritual, and cultural significance. I’m talking jaw-dropping peaks, mind-boggling tunnels, awe-inspiring caves, and temples that will make you go "Whoa!".
Moreover, the entrance fee is less than 2 dollars! For all those reasons, Marble Mountains attracts more and more tourists and promises an increase in visitors in the following years.
Fellow adventurers! Buckle up, as in this awesome guide, I will introduce to you everything you need to know before visiting the Marble Mountains in Vietnam. I will cover things such as the best way to get there, dress code, must-have items in your backpack, and of course – all the incredible sights that you can’t miss. Let’s dive in!
Getting to Marble Mountains
Marble Mountains are located about 11km from Da Nang city center and 18 km from Hoi An. Getting to the Marble Mountains is a breeze from both Da Nang and Hoi An. You can go by bike, by bus, and by car.
Bus Da Nang - Hoi An: 15.000 VND/one-way ticket/person. From the Bus Station at Da Nang city center - Marble Mountains.
Car: Price depends on where you want to be picked up. Here is a link to a trustworthy car service that organizes transportation both in Hoi An and Da Nang. You can negotiate prices with them. Car service link:https://hoiantourservices.com/
Once you get to Marble Mountain, there are many parking lots. The parking fee is approximately 10,000 VND to 20,000 VND. Moreover, try to avoid visiting Marble Mountain during the rainy season or the hottest time of day as you will be hiking steep hills. The hike is not for young children, elders, or people in wheelchairs.
Entrance and Visitor Facilities
Here's the scoop, Marble Mountains are open from 7 am to 5:30 pm so plan accordingly. To fully soak in the awesomeness of the Marble Mountains in Da Nang, set aside at least two hours of your time. The entrance fee is 40,000 VND per person, and using the lift costs 15,000 VND per person. And if you feel brave and extra adventurous, tickets to The Am Phu Cave cost 20,000 VND per person. The attraction has everything you need such as restaurants to satisfy your cravings, gift shops, public bathrooms, and elevators for those who don’t want a long hike.
Activities & Experiences in Marble Mountains
While Marble Mountains are not a huge place – they offer plenty of interesting outdoor activities to give you a dose of escapism from the urban jungle. From adrenaline-fueled rock climbing to exploring mystic caves, I’m sure Marble Mountains won’t disappoint!
Are you looking to experience rock climbing in Da Nang? Marble Mountains are the right place for you. Below I attached some rock climbing tours that you can book and experience. Before starting climbing activities, you will be trained by the coach in some basic skills such as using ropes, safety equipment, and climbing techniques. Does overcoming the height of nearly 30m with your coach while enjoying a spectacular view and feeling the freedom sound like something you want to do? Let’s go then!
The Marble Mountains have many caves in their network. There is a mysterious cave complex here with different names such as Huyen Khong Cave, Am Phu Cave, Linh Nham Cave, Van Nguyet Cave, and Lang Hu Cave. Each cave has its personality and is viewed differently by people.
Huyen Khong Cave: the largest cave among the rest, offering a mesmerizing underground experience.
Am Phu Cave: a mysterious cave with an unearthly atmosphere and fascinating formations.
Linh Nham Cave: stunning stalactites and stalagmites creating a natural wonderland.
Van Nguyet Cave: with enchanting rock formations that unveil the beauty of Mother Nature's creations.
Lang Hu Cave: offers serene, tranquil vibes and a peaceful retreat within the mountain.
Meditation and Spiritual Retreats
Marble Mountains are a popular destination known for its Buddhist statues, caves, stunning views, and monks' monastery. If you are a spiritual person, that’s one more reason to visit the Marble Mountains. The mountains are adorned with marble statues, while ancient caves serve as serene meditation spaces and sacred shrines.
The monks' monastery offers a glimpse into their daily lives and religious practices. With breathtaking views of lush landscapes and the South China Sea, the Marble Mountains provide a harmonious blend of spirituality, natural beauty, and cultural exploration.
Visiting Sculpture Workshops
Don’t skip sculpture workshops while you are at Marble Mountains in Da Nang. The sculptures represent both Buddhist and Christian mythologies. Visitors can admire carved statues of Jesus, Mary, Buddha, Lady Buddha, and more made by Vietnamese sculptors. These sculptures showcase the rich cultural and religious diversity found within the region. Down at the base of the mountain, you will stumble upon a truly special place - a fine art stone village. Prepare to be amazed!
Besides the beautiful and outstanding landscape and sculpture workshops, there are also extremely valuable natural stone stores. Five mountains stand for different colors and therefore; there are different stones with many veins and different colors such as:
Thuy Son: pink
Moc Son: white
Hoa Son: red
Kim Son: aquamarine
Tho Son: brown
Marble Mountains are the birthplace of immense artistic prowess – that has nurtured a vibrant stone craft village. Skilled artisans weave magic with their hands, creating masterful works of stone art.
There are a lot of vendors there and a variety of goods from jewelry, statues, clothes, etc. Bear in mind to bargain while you purchase something there. I would recommend purchasing jewelry made from natural stones or gems at Marble Mountains as they boast both authenticity and affordability. Take advantage of this opportunity at Marble Mountains to acquire unique and reasonably priced accessories.
There are several trails and treks to reach viewpoints overlooking Da Nang City. The Thuy Son (Water Mountain) Trail is the largest and most popular, featuring Buddhist temples and panoramic vistas. The Tam Thai Pagoda Trail leads to a beautiful temple through caves and tunnels.
The Huyen Khong Cave Trek explores mystical rock formations and hidden sanctuaries. Finally, the Linh Ung Pagoda Trail takes you to a pagoda with sweeping views of Da Nang's coastline and bridges. You can buy a map at one of the shops down at the base of the mountains as an ultimate guide as well!
Is there a dress code for the Marble Mountains?
Here is an important tip when visiting Marble Mountains: it is essential to dress modestly, considering the presence of pagodas, encounters with monks, and potential engagement in prayers and meditation. Moreover, make sure you wear comfortable walking or hiking shoes as you will be walking uphill a lot. Must-bring items that you should have in your backpack are water and sunscreen.
Exploring the Marble Mountains
Get ready for an enchanting journey through the Marble Mountains. In this informative section, I will share some of the most captivating spots and sights to explore. From ancient caves and temples to breathtaking viewpoints overlooking the city, prepare to be awed by the beauty and cultural richness.
Thuy Son (Water Mountain)
Thuy Son Mountain is a total visual treat with a massive mountain covered in lush greenery surrounded by breathtaking landscapes.
Besides that, Thuy Son Mountain holds some historical significance. It's been a popular pilgrimage site for centuries, attracting both locals and tourists. There are several pagodas and temples inside the cave, offering a peaceful and spiritual atmosphere. People come here to pray, meditate, and find inner peace.
You should add this to your bucket list. Not only is it a beautiful place, but it also gives you a chance to immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture and spirituality. The highlight of a visit would be exploring the pagodas and soaking in the peaceful vibes surrounded by stunning views!
If you are up for a tranquil escape, Thuy Son Mountain is the place to be at. Trust me, you won't be disappointed!
Am Phu Cave (Hell Cave)
Hell Cave is one heck of a place to check out! This underground wonderland is visually stunning, with all sorts of stalactites and stalagmites that make you feel like you've entered a different world. A dark and mysterious world.
In Vietnamese beliefs, Am Phu is considered the underworld, where souls are judged when they move on to the afterlife. You'll find all sorts of sculptures and artwork inside the cave, depicting mythical creatures and the journey of souls.
Why should you visit this cave? Well, it's a chance to dive into Vietnamese culture and get a taste of their spiritual beliefs. Plus, it's a unique and mind-blowing experience that teaches you about the story of the afterlife.
Down to experience Hell? Hell Cave is a place for that.
Huyen Khong Cave (Heaven Cave)
A slice of paradise is how I describe this place! Entering a massive cave filled with towering stalactites and stalagmites that make you feel like you're walking through a dream. Does it sound satisfying?
Huyen Khong Cave holds historical and cultural importance just like other caves. It's been a sacred site for centuries to worshippers. Inside the cave, you will find ancient Buddhist statues and intricate carvings that tell stories of Vietnamese spirituality.
Besides that, Huyen Khong Cave offers a chance to explore Vietnamese culture and religion. It's a peaceful spot, perfect for some introspection or simply soaking in the unique atmosphere.
Huyen Khong Cave was a mesmerizing otherworldly experience. It is a place you won't want to miss!
Tam Thai Pagoda
For centuries, Tam Thai Pagoda has stood as a revered symbol, dedicated to Buddha and offering solace to locals seeking inner peace. It Is like something out of a fairy tale.
Tam Thai pagoda is considered one of the most important pagodas in the region. It's dedicated to the worship of Buddha and is a place where locals come to pray and find inner peace or blessings from God.
Tam Thai Pagoda not only is a visually stunning spot, but it also offers a glimpse into Vietnamese spirituality and traditions. Explore the intricately designed pagoda and soak in the serene atmosphere.
If you are down for some tranquillity and peace, Tam Thai Pagoda is the place for you! I left the pagoda feeling refreshed and inspired by the beauty and spirituality of this wonderful spot. So check this place out!
Linh Ung Pagoda
It is nestled on the eastern side of Thuy Son - one of Da Nang's majestic Marble Mountains. This ancient site holds a fascinating history, originally named Ung Chan and was later renamed by King Thanh Thai in 1841. Restored over time, it stands proudly as an integral part of Da Nang's breathtaking landscape.
Once you step into it, you will be greeted by the presence of the three Buddhas - A Di Da - the Buddha of the Past; Thich Ca Mau Ni - the Buddha of the Present; and Di Lac - the Buddha of the Future. Marvel at the statues of revered deities like the Goddess of Mercy and the eighteen arhats, each evoking a sense of deep spirituality.
Additionally, Linh Ung Pagoda displays two valuable golden boards. One commemorates its national pagoda status during the reign of King Minh Mang, while the other honors its new name bestowed by King Thanh Thai.
Linh Ung Pagoda is where tranquillity and spirituality intertwine. As you wander through the grounds, take a moment to contemplate the profound spiritual symbolism that permeates the air. Also, don't miss the opportunity to ascend to the Vong Hai Dai, where panoramic vistas of Non-Nuoc Beach unfold before your eyes. Let the breathtaking views leave an indelible mark on your soul.
If you are looking to enjoy the Da Nang beachfront, make sure to check out our guideon the best beaches in Da Nang. Or, if you fancy surfing, we also have a handy guide for you.
Geographical and Cultural Features of the Marble Mountains
Located between Da Nang City and Hoi An, the Marble Mountains stand tall as a remarkable blend of geographical wonders and cultural heritage. These five limestone hills are adorned with intricate caves, Buddhist temples, and awe-inspiring sculptures. Marble Mountains are a captivating destination for tourists when it comes to its unique geography and richness in history and stunning beauty.
How were the Marble Mountains formed?
The Marble Mountains were formed millions of years ago through the process of erosion and geological uplift. They are mostly made of limestone and have this cool marble-like look. The rock type here is called "marble" because it's limestone that got superheated and squashed.
How big is Marble Mountain?
This attraction covers an area of approximately 2 square kilometers. The mountains are home to numerous caves, each with its unique features and characters. Visitors can discover the awe-inspiring Huyen Khong Cave, the stunning Am Phu Cave, and the spiritual Linh Ung Pagoda. Additionally, there are marble sculptures, ancient Buddhist temples, and breathtaking viewpoints.
How long does it take to climb Marble Mountain?
The time it takes to climb the Marble Mountains depends on individual fitness levels and the chosen route. On average, it takes about 1-2 hours to climb. There are approximately 156 steps to reach the main entrance of Thuy Son Mountain. However, exploring the entire complex and reaching the highest peak may require traversing over 1,000 steps in total. So you should prepare yourself for this!
Is Marble Mountain hard to climb?
Climbing Marble Mountain can be challenging but manageable for most people. The paths are well-maintained and there are resting points along the way. However, it is always recommended to wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for some uphill sections and uneven terrain.
What is the legend of the Marble Mountains?
According to the myth surrounding this attraction, there was once a dragon who came out of Non-Nuoc beach and laid an egg. After a thousand days and nights, this egg finally hatched and a girl came out of it. The hills of the five mountains you see nowadays are believed to be the shell fragments that were left behind. What an interesting story, isn't it?
What is the cultural significance of the Marble Mountains?
Marble Mountains hold great cultural significance, particularly about Buddhism - the most-followed religion in Viet Nam. The mountains are home to numerous Buddhist temples and pagodas, such as the Linh Ung Pagoda and Tam Thai Pagoda. Moreover, the Marble Mountains serve as a venue for religious festivals, such as the annual Quan The Am Festival, which celebrates the goddess of mercy. This festival draws a large number of devotees who come to pray, make offerings, ask for blessings, and participate in traditional rituals.
What is the historical background of the marble villages in this area?
These villages have a rich history of marble sculpting and artisanal crafts and are renowned for their high-quality marble. The craftsmanship of these artisans is evident in the beautiful sculptures, showcasing both traditional and contemporary designs. Visitors can visit workshops and galleries to witness the process of marble carving and even purchase handcrafted souvenirs. Make sure you don’t skip this part.
Visit Marble Mountains for a Unique Outdoor Experience in Da Nang!
Indulging in the stunning view overlooking the sea and exploring Vietnamese traditional culture at the Marble Mountains is a must when you visit Da Nang. Marble Mountains are not simply just a sightseeing place, they hold a significant part of Vietnamese richness in culture and religion.
It is where you find inner peace and happiness. Hopefully, you found some useful and informative information for your visit here! May your adventures will be filled with wonder at the Marble Mountains!
Want to explore Da Nang further? Check out our 3-day itinerary to maximize your time!
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Abigail is a Vietnamese content writer. She spent five years living in Da Nang and relocated to Hoi An in April 2023. Her passion is for life, culture, and people. Besides writing and reading, Abi enjoys surfing, singing, and exploring nature. Her favorite book is called Good vibes good Life, written by Vex King. The most important thing for Abi is to share her life experience and spread positivity with people. Her favorite quote is: In a world where you can be anything, be kind. Lastly, she wants to leave you with this: Trust your current self to build your future self, as your life is 100% your responsibility. Love yourself as you are, and keep on improving yourself every day. The future is an illusion, the past is history, but today is a gift! So live to the fullest and make the best out of today.