Marble Mountains Da Nang weren’t actually planned in our original itinerary. Kshipra wanted to do Scuba diving but since we were flying to HCMC tomorrow, the idea was vetoed by me as well as the guy from the Scuba Diving company. For those who aren’t aware – It’s not considered safe to fly within 24 hours of scuba diving, mainly due to the high pressure variations.
Since, today was my wife’s and Kshipra’s birthday we slept pretty late yesterday night. I had to stay awake till it was 12 AM in India. In the morning we hatched the plan to visit Marble Mountains Da Nang in the first half and then visit My Son Sanctuary after lunch.
Marble Mountains Da Nang – Getting there from Hoi An
If you have been following my blog you would know that Marble mountains lie somewhere between Hoi An and Da Nang and can be reached via public bus but as our plan was to do Marble mountains Da Nang in the first half of the day and then head to My Son Sanctuary, we rented out a scooter.
Now, here’s the most interesting thing & I wouldn’t recommend anyone to do what I did. I had not taken out an IDP (International Driving Permit) for the trip. I had also forgotten my Indian license at home. So basically I was going to travel 50 kms either side of Hoi An without a valid license.
Here’s the final route:
- Tribee Bana –> Marble Mountains
- Marble Mountains –> Tribee Bana (for lunch & some rest)
- Tribee Bana –> My Son Sanctuary –> Tribee Bana
The Scooter Rental & Other Costs
We rented out a scooty from the hostel itself.
- The rent – 100000 VND (4-5$)
- Full tank of petrol – 70000 VND
- You need to pay a deposit, but since we didn’t have enough cash back then, the hostel waived off the deposit. Such nice people 😊
We entered Marble mountains on google maps & off we went. It takes around 1 hour and most of it is on a very smooth 4-laned highway. So driving wasn’t taxing or hard at all. As soon as we were close to the entrance, a local lady asked her to park our vehicle outside her shop. I knew she was expecting us to shop at her shop later, but I decided to park there anyways because the main parking lot was on the other side.
TIP – Whenever you rent a bike/car irrespective of the country, do a proper inspection of the vehicle for dents/damages. Either click photos or create a video both before taking charge of the vehicle and after handing it over.
Marble Mountain Da Nang – Ticket Charges
Marble mountains are actually a group of 5 mountains and represent the 5 elements of nature – metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. The other 4 mountains are not accessible to the public. As the name suggests these mountains are made from marble & limestone. There are a few shops selling these marble souvenirs right outside the entrance.
As soon, as you enter you need to make a choice – Lift or the stairs?
- We paid 55000 VND/person for the entry ticket & the lift.
- I think the breakup was 35000 VND (Entry ticket) & 20000 VND (Lift one way).
- You can also climb the stairs but frankly speaking it does get very hot and sweaty and the steps are somewhat steep, so we would recommend the lift.
The complex is big and not very properly marked in terms of the directions. But as long as you stick to known attractions you should be good. We were a bit adventurous though and we climbed through a cave to reach a viewpoint with stunning views of the Da Nang coastline. However, we had to find a different route while coming down, because the original route was not suitable for climbing down.
The Pagoda’s & The First Cave
As soon as you exit the lift, you see a tall, beautiful temple (Pagoda). There are quite a few of those in this complex. After that we climbed some stairs and reached a small cave entrance. We decided to explore the cave and climbed out of the roof of the cave. This brought us to the viewpoint I talked about earlier. We could get a panoramic view of the surroundings specially the coastline. Almost all the stones are marble so it gets a little slippery and caution must be exercised while climbing down.
The biggest cave of the complex
After this, we walked ahead and went into another cave. This cave was enormous in size and had some idols, a small temple and it was cooler by almost 2-3 degrees. We could immediately feel the drop in temperature.
After coming out of the cave we rested for a while, it was almost mid day so it was pretty hot. After that, we went around the complex and then finally made our way to the parked scooty. We also went into the shop to see if we could find anything reasonably priced, but it was all pretty expensive. So then we bought some coconut juice and snack from the lady (As a way to pay for the free parking).
Heading back to Hoi An for Lunch
The return journey took us another 45-50 mins and we asked our hostel for lunch recommendations. They suggested a place which was famous for its Hoi An Chicken Fried Rice. We went there and OHH MY GODDD….I am not exaggerating this 1 bit, the fried rice was out of this world.
It was so good, I had 3 plates of the same fried rice. It wasn’t spicy at all but the flavours were lip-smacking. Both me & Kshipra barely spoke for 20 mins, that should give you an idea about the taste of the food. I can write a whole chapter on that fried rice…BEST FRIED RICE EVER…period.
Here are the restaurant details – Com Ga Ba Buoi, Hoi An. Its a small restaurant and they just serve fried rice and cold drinks. Simple menu but amazing flavours. After the lunch we came back to the hostel, took a bath and slept till 3:30 PM and left for My Son sanctuary at 4 PM.