Not far from the coast in Đà Nẵng lies a well-known pilgrimage site with caves, tunnels, temples, and viewpoints. The Marble Mountains are a cluster of 5 majestic hills made out of marble and limestone. Each hill representing 5 different elements: Kim (metal), Moc (wood), Thuy (water), Hoa (fire), and Tho (land).
They have been a place of Buddhist worship for centuries, with some of the statues dating back 400 years. They were also a significant role in the Indochina War and the Vietnam War. Today, it is possible to hike up Marble Mountains and have a great view of Đà Nẵng city.
Getting to Marble Mountains
Located 20-minutes South of Đà Nẵng, there is a lot of local transportation from Đà Nẵng that heads that way towards Hội An.
- Taxi – Usually costs 50,000 – 70,000 VND from Đà Nẵng to Marble Mountains. Use Grab/Uber to avoid being overcharged.
- Motorbike – Rental in Đà Nẵng is about 100,000 to 150,000 VND for 24-hours. The drive to marble mountains is easy and straightforward.
- Tour – Joining a tour cost about US$20 which is not worth it after I’ve been there.
- Local Bus – It’s easy to catch a local Bus #1 right outside Đà Nẵng Cathedral. The fare is only 10,000 VND.
Best time to go
We visited on a cloudy day. Luckily it didn’t rain if not the stairs are gonna be slippery. Though there’s no sunlight to help enhance our photos, at least it was a cool hike. If you’re visiting on a hot day be sure to wear a hat, sunscreen, and breathable clothes.
The marble mountains are open from 7 a.m to 5:30 p.m daily all year round. Best if you can do it early morning to avoid the heat and tour crowds.
Admission fee to Marble Mountains is 40,000 VND per person, purchase at Gate No. 2 at the base of stairs. Be prepared to climb 156-steps to the top.
If you plan to go up by elevator, there will be an additional 40,000 VND. As tempting as it may be, the elevator only takes you up to the first landing which isn’t very high. You still have to climb yourself up all those stairs the rest of the way.
Even though these mountains houses religious shrines, however, there is no certain dress code that you need to wear. So you can just dress light and airy clothing as you’re going to sweat a lot.
Some of the locals did wear clothing that showed respect but I think this is because they were there to pray. Be respectful if people are praying and try not to get in there ways taking photos of the caves.
What to expect
Thủy Sơn (Water Mountain) is by far the largest with the most concentration of visitors. There are several different viewpoints you can climb to, temples and pagodas to see, and caves to explore. Take a photo of the map before the climb, so you won’t miss out any place.
Marble Mountains are situated on the coast so you can see amazing views including the sands of My Khe beach. We climbed to the highest point and the views are stunning.
Lastly, if you want to keep a track of all my photos and travels, remember to follow @wanderrsaurus on Instagram!