Marble Mountains

16/06/2016 21:53

The Marble Mountains, located at Hoa Hai Ward, Ngu Hanh Son District, are a major tourist attraction in Da Nang and are alongside the Da Nang-Hoi An roads, 8 km to the southeast of the central area of Da Nang. They consist of 5 mountains with many mysterious caves, Buddha statues and beautiful pagodas. Each mountain is named after the natural element it is said to represent: Thuy Son (Water), Moc Son (Wood), Hoa Son (Fire), Kim Son (Metal or Gold) and Tho Son (Earth).

Thuy Son is the largest and most famous of the five mountains, with the most caves and pagodas.  It has Hoa Nghiem Cave, Huyen Khong Cave, Linh Nham Cave, Lang Hu Cave, Van Thong Cave, Thien Long Cave, Ban Co Cave, Tang Chan Cave, Chiem Thanh Cave, Vong Hai Dai, Vong Giang Dai, Tam Thai Pagoda, Tam Ton Pagoda and Linh Ung Pagoda.  The 106-metre high mountain has three peaks.  Of the two paths leading up the mountain, the one closer to the beach (at the end of the village) makes for a better circuit. 

At the top of the staircase is a gate, Ong Chon.  This leads to Linh Ung Pagoda.  Behind it, a path heads through two tunnels to caverns that contain several Buddhas and Cham carvings.  A flight of steps also leads up to another cave, partially open to the sky, with two seated Buddhas in it.  For those who want to avoid the steep steps, there is now an elevator from the village up to Linh Ung Pagoda.

Immediately to the left as you enter Ong Chon Gate is the main path to the rest of Thuy Son, beginning with Xa Loi Pagoda, a beautiful stone tower that overlooks the coast.  Stairs off the main pathway lead to Vong Hai Dai, a viewing point that would yield a brilliant panorama of Non Nuoc Beach.  The stone-paved path continues to the right and into a mini-gorge.  On the left is Van Thong Cave.

Exit the gorge through a battle-scarred masonry gate.  There is a rocky path to the right leading to Linh Nham, a tall chimney-shaped cave with a small altar inside.  Nearby, another path leads to Hoa Nghiem, a shallow cave with a Buddha.  Left of here is Huyen Khong Cave, lit by an opening to the sky.  The entrance to this spectacular chamber is guarded by statues of two administrative mandarins (to the left of the doorway) and two military mandarins (to the right).

Back on the main path, just to the left of the masonry gate is Tam Thai Pagoda.  A path heading obliquely to the right goes to the monks’ residence, or take the stairs on the left to Vong Giang Dai, which offers a fantastic view of the other mountains.

A plan has been prepared by the city to develop the Marble Mountains into the Ngu Hanh Son Cultural Park.