The Marble Mountains are technically a cluster of five limestone and marble mountains in Da Nang. However, there is only one mountain that is designed to be a tourist and local attraction, being a limestone and marble mound that houses temples and lookout points all over its peak. Marble Mountain is spectacular, and I highly recommend going to anyone looking for things to do and see in Da Nang, Vietnam. You pay a small fee to be allowed up, and then another fee if you would prefer to take the glass elevator up rather than walk.
We had just gotten off our fourth plane in under 48 hours…so we chose to take the elevator up and walk back down. The panoramic views from the peak of the mountain are unforgettable in and of themselves, and something that you should absolutely tick off your list of must-dos when you are in SE Asia and find yourself in this part of Vietnam.
There is actually a pretty amazing story about the origin of the Marble Mountains. Ancient folklore says that thousands of years ago, a dragon rose from the ocean off Non Nuoc Beach (today known more commonly as My Khe Beach) and laid an egg. After a thousand days and a thousand nights, the egg hatched to reveal a beautiful girl. The fragments of the dragon’s egg were left on the coast, and evolved to become the five marble mountains that today boast limestone and marble features, and temples and views that overlook all, from the ocean to the mountains and the cities and towns in between.
As well as the origin story, there is rich history laid into the limestone and marble of this natural wonder. Bullet holes from the Vietnam wall are ingrained into the stone and marble at points, and the temples are beautiful and intriguing — especially if you have never seen temples before. There are roughly ten major viewing points laid into the mountain, and sprinkled in between are vendors selling fresh coconuts, other drinks, ice creams, and incense — something that is useful as you can light one and leave it at the entrance to several of the temples and buddha statues as a mark of respect.
We walked back down the mountain and came out onto a street of various marble sculpture businesses and stalls. While we did not see the entire selection of temples and structures in our visit, we will most definitely be going back and exploring more thoroughly — when we are not exhausted from flying so much and so far in such a short time.
Marble Mountain has it all — history, legend, natural beauty, and adventure. While it is not Vietnam’s capital city, Da Nang is home to many spectacular sights and attractions — all of them with their own character and allure.