About 8 kilometers southeast of Da Nang city center, Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountains) is a cluster of five mountains possessing the beauty of nature containing charming spaces of sea and mountains, with profound historical, cultural and spiritual values. It seems that those who once came to Da Nang know the Marble Mountains. It was so popular that some people wish to consider it as the symbol of this land. The Marble Mountains, with dreamlike space, pagodas and caves, which is not far from the city center, has long been a heavenly realm for visitors.
Travelling along the coastal road towards Hoi An, tourists will surely be attracted by that giant “rockery” name Ngu Hanh Son. These mountains are names after the five-element theory, Kim Son (Mountain of Metal), Moc Son (Mountain of Wood), Thuy Son (Mountain of Water), Hoa Son (Mountain of Fire), and Tho Son (Mountain of Earth); each mountain has its own legendary mysterious beauty.
Due to its geologic formation, Ngu Hanh Son is a complex of fanciful and beauty caves. Among the caves, From Quan Am (On mountain of Metal), Huyen Vi (on mountain of Fire) to Am Phu, Hoa Nghiem, Linh Nha, Van Thong, Huyen Long, Thien Phuoc Dia (on the mountain of Water), perhaps the most beautiful and famous is Huyen Khong cave on The mountain of Water, a dry and airy open-cast cave; on sunny days, the effect of sunlight from the interstices and crevices of rocks above makes Huyen Khong cave fanciful and dreamy.
The alternation between the systems of caves and ancient pagodas is also an interesting thing during the journey of discovering Ngu Hanh Son. Leaning against the mountain side, the pagodas of Quan Am, Linh Son, Pho Da, Long Hoa, Hue Quang, Tam Thai, and Linh Ung, which seem to mingle with nature, possess a deep and sacred look which rarely found anywhere else.
Nearly 200 years ago, Emperor Minh Mang came here and gave the manes to the mountains, caves and temples. No one knows how to much time it took the Emperor to think of such names as Ngu Hanh Son, Huyen Khong, Hoa Nghiem, Lang Hu, Tang Chan, Van Nguyet, Thien Long, ect…; but it is certain that while worrying about national welfare and the people livelihood, the Emperor still spent time thinking of the beautiful landscapes in the Southern land, among which Ngu Hanh Son took an important part.
Before the 15th century, Ngu Hanh Son was a place to worship Cham gods. During the process of southward march, the Vietnamese people brought Buddhism to the new land and built pagodas everywhere, notably in Ngu Hanh Son. The caves and pagodas in Ngu Hanh Son, which are both natural and man-made, created a harmonious beauty with charming but unobstrusive attraction, which aroures tourist’s unexpected emotions during the tour.
Like many other places, these mountains were covered with different legends. The poetic landscapes and fantastic stories of Ngu Hanh Son have produced a meaningful significance that hardly anywhere else possesses. In Chinese philosophy, fives elements, namely Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, Earth, compose everything. The figure “5” is also extremely important in Oriental thoughts. Coincidentally, the five mountains Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth themselves seem to contain mysterious things.
After long hours of visiting the legendary of Ngu Hanh Son, tourists can stop for a short while at the Non Nuoc stone carving village located at the foot of the mountains. As one of the traditional villages in Da Nang, the more than 200-year-old Non Nuoc stone carving village is famous for beautiful and sophisticated stone artworks created by the hands of skilled craftsmen.
Visiting the sculpture facilities at Non Nuoc stone carving village, tourists can not (cannot) help admiring the richness and liveliness of the items for sale. There are all kinds of products of various sizes made from stone that visitors will hardly refuse to buy one as a souvenir or a gift for their relatives and friends…
There are some statue gardens, which lean against the mountains, dispersing in the village; and, due to outdoor scenery, their owners skillfully arranged the overall art space for their statue gardens. Tourists will certainly be very interesting (interested) and amazed by the works exhibited there. There are elaborate statues, lively animals, or small but sophisticated gifts of various motifs which will be present almost all over the world with tourists.
The craftsmen of Non Nuoc stone carving village have turned lifeless stones into lifelike art works. Actually, that creative process takes place in several stages, and even the extremely hard stage. The happiness of completing a work, the admiring attitude of the audience, and the benefits from their work have helped the villagers there increasingly attach to their work.
A day in Ngu Hanh Son visiting and shopping would certainly be a great opportunity for everyone….
Address: 81 Huyen Tran Cong Chua Street
Phone: (+84) 236.3961114 (Ticket Division).
Opening hours: 07:00 – 17:30 on weekdays.
+ Thuy Son Cave: 15,000 VND / person.
+ Am Phu Cave: 15,000 VND / person.
– Pupils and Students: 5,000 VND / person.
– Lifts: 15,000 VND / person/trip.
+ Can catch the yellow bus no. 1 from the Da Nang – Hoi An to Marble Mountains at the price of 25,000 VND / person; it takes about 15 minutes.
+ At the foot of the mountain is a village of art sculpture. You can buy stoneware products, jewelry, etc. as souvenirs and observe the artisans creating products.