The Marble Mountains is a set of five rocky outcrops that rise up and dwarf Da Nang. Nestled within these marble and limestone formations are tunnels, caves and Buddhist sanctuaries. Embark on a tour of this popular pilgrimage site, where each mountain is named after a natural element. So there is Wood, Metal, Earth, Fire and Water.
Thuy Son (Water) is the largest of the Marble Mountains and also its most visited. Climb to the top via the stone stairs for incredible views or for a small fee, take the elevator. Then explore the mountain's caves and religious sites.
Stroll through Ong Chon Gate and look closely for the bullet holes, reminders of the Vietnam War. Behind the gate are caverns where you can see concrete Buddha statues. Make your way to Van Thong Cave and view the large concrete Buddha opposite its entrance.
Walk into Linh Nham Cave and marvel at the effect created by rays of light passing through tiny holes. At the vast Huyen Khong Cave, examine the Buddhist and Confucian shrines. During the Vietnam War, or American War as it is known in Vietnam, this cave was used as a military hospital by US Forces.
Save some time to explore the four smaller Marble Mountains. They also feature caves, shrines and pagodas, such as Quan Am Pagoda on the mountain of Kim Son (Metal). Behind the pagoda is a grotto of stalactites and stalagmites that have formed fascinating shapes.
You will need to pay a small fee to gain access to the mountains. Purchase a map with your ticket, which includes details of the peaks and the locations of caves and shrines.
The Marble Mountains are situated approximately 11 kilometres (7 miles) southeast of Da Nang’s center. Arrive by bus, rental car or taxi. Being a popular Buddhist attraction, the mountains attract lots of visitors, particularly at the weekends. Come on a weekday to avoid the biggest crowds.