The Marble Mountains are among the most beautiful natural attractions you’ll find in Vietnam. These are a cluster of five hills made from marble and limestone. Located in Da Nang, the Marble Mountains are also a popular pilgrimage site. Aside from their stunning peaks, the mountains are also home to a number of caves, tunnels, and temples. The mountains are named after five different elements, earth, fire, water, wood, and metal.
If you are thinking of visiting the Marble Mountains on your trip to Vietnam, then here’s everything you need to know.
All About the Marble Mountains
Exploring the caves in the Marble Mountains is a popular activity among tourists who are looking for a one of a kind adventure in Vietnam. Inside, you’ll find several bullet holes, which dates back to the Vietnam War. It’s been said that this is where the Vietnamese troops would spy on the US soldiers who are relaxing at the nearby My Khe Beach.
Nowadays, the Marble Mountains are home to Buddhist sanctuaries, temples, and several places of worship. You’ll also find a unique circular cave, which leads to a summit where you can marvel at the stunning views across Non Nuoc beach.
The Mountain of Water is where you’ll find 17th-century pagodas and several caves. It’s one of the most frequently climbed mountains with steep stone steps that lead towards the Tam Quan Gate. Right next to the gate is the Riverview Tower, a tower that was built in the 18th century during the time of Emperor Minh Mang. Right beside it is the Van Nguyen Grotto, which is a beautiful relaxing spot.
The Lantern Cave is also a great spot to visit. It’s a small but deep cave and is filled with lava while the Am Phu Cave snakes towards a scenic viewpoint.
How To Reach the Marble Mountains
The Marble Mountains are in the city of Da Nang. To get to Da Nang, you can take several flights coming from the major cities of Vietnam, such as Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. A much cheaper way to get to Da Nang is to travel by bus. There are frequent buses every hour coming from Hoi An and Hue.
Another cheaper option is to take the train. Da Nang is an important stop for both South and Northbound trains. The travel time is much longer, but most of these trains are sleeper trains allowing you to sleep comfortably all throughout the duration of your trip.
The Marble Mountains are 8 km. away from the city center of Da Nang. Once you reach Da Nang, you can rent a motorbike and drive your way towards the mountains. Simply cross the bridge at Han River and head to Ngo Quyen Street. From here, drive towards Le Van Hien and finally, cross the street of Huyen Tran Cong Chua.
For those who are not comfortable with driving a motorbike, your best bet is to rent a car with a driver that can drive you all the way to the Marble Mountains. There are also travel agencies and tour operators in Da Nang that organizes tours towards the site.
Fees and Opening Hours
The site is open from 7 AM until 5:30 PM daily. For Mount Water, the entrance fee is 40,000 VND or around $2. The entrance fee for the Hell Cave is also the same. If you’re going to take the elevator going to the top, it will cost you 15,000 VND. There are also guides available for you to hire and it’s for 50,000 VND.
It should take approximately four hours to explore all of the Marble Mountains so it’s a good idea to start early when the weather is still not too hot and when there are still not too many visitors. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes and shoes. If possible, bring a torch especially if you want to explore the caves.
When Is the Best Time To Visit?
The Marble Mountains enjoy wonderful weather all year round so you can visit any time of the year. However, the most ideal season to explore the site is during the summer, which is between the months of June and August. Take note that you will be climbing steep stairs when going to the top so you should wear comfortable clothing.
If possible, avoid visiting during the stormy season, which is around September until November. The weather is very unpredictable at this time of the year and the stairs could get very slippery.
The beautiful town of Hoi An is nearby so if you are visiting the Marble Mountains, you might as well continue to Hoi An. You can also choose to stay in Hoi An and make a day trip to the Marble Mountains, which is only less than an hour away.