Located nine kilometers from Da Nang city center in South East Vietnam, The Marble Mountains or Ngu Hand Son in Vietnamese are a group of five marble and limestone outcrops topped with pagodas. Each Mountain is named after one of the five natural elements it is said to represent: Kim (metal), Thuy (water), Moc (wood), Hoa (fire) and Tho (earth).
Thuy Son (mountain of water) is the largest of the five outcrops and the only one accessible to tourists. Entrance to Thuy Son costs 15,000 dong and takes approximately five minutes to summit. At the top of the stone staircase stands the Ong Chon gates which are scared with bullet holes from the American War. Through the gates stand several pagodas, remnants of the Champa civilization and a number of natural caves to explore which housed Hindu and later Buddhist sanctuaries, making the mountain a popular place for pilgrimage and spiritual retreat.
TRAVEL HINT: At the ticket counter they will try to sell you a map for 15,000 dong but you do not need to purchase this as there is plenty of signage and a big map as you walk in.
If you feel as though you have seen enough pagodas and spiritual sites while travelling around Vietnam I would still recommend a trip to the Marble Mountains, as the Thuy Son summit has two viewpoints that offer spectacular panorama views of Da Nang city and the other four outcrops that make up the Marble Mountains and the coast with the China Sea in the background.
Opening Hours : 7am – 5pm Daily
Public transport is an excellent way to gain personal experience, talk to locals and get direct insight in the daily routines of the local Vietnamese people, it’s also 80% cheaper than other means of transport (taxi, scooter). To get the most out of your time in Vietnam and save money use public transport when its available.
Marble Mountains via Bus: The number one (yellow bus) runs between Da Nang and Hoi An departing every 30 minutes. The bus stops directly in front of The Marble Mountains and it’s a 2 minutes walk to the base of Thuy Son. The public bus costs 20.000 dong per person, make sure you have the correct amount of money as it’s not uncommon for the driver to try and overcharge foreigners or not give change (Overcharged price is about 10000 dong so don’t let this discourage you from taking public transport if you are unwilling to negotiate).
TRAVEL HINT: To find your closest bus stop in Da Nang use Google Maps and search your Guesthouse location to ‘Marble Mountains’ via bus.