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Wonders of Thuy Son: The Largest Marble Mountain in Da Nang

March 19, 2024
12 Min Read
VietnamTemples
The seven story Xa Loi Tower at the Marble Mountains in Da Nang, Vietnam
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Wonders of Thuy Son: The Largest Marble Mountain in Da Nang
Written by 
Karla
Updated On 
March 22, 2024
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Tucked away along Da Nang’s extensive coastline lay five clusters of towering limestone and marble peaks – the Marble Mountains!

Named after the five elements: Kim (metal), Thuỷ (water), Mộc (wood), Hoả (fire), and Thổ (Earth), the largest and most accessible Marble Mountain for tourists is Thuy Son, also known as Water Mountain.

From the intricately carved marble statues, to the ancient pagodas, mysterious caves, and viewpoints, find out if Thuy Marble Mountain is worth visiting in this comprehensive guide.

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Marble Mountain Highlights

Here's what you can expect to see when you visit the Thuy Marble Mountain in Da Nang. This list includes sights you should not miss, as well as suggestions on what to see to make the most of your visit.

A shrine decorated in mosaic art and sculpture next to Linh Ung Pagoda

Entrance

There are two entrances to Marble Mountain: gate 1 and gate 2. We recommend starting from gate 2. The stairs are not only easier to climb up, but the elevator is also nearby.

The stairs at gate 2 are steep, high, and uneven. You'll notice some slippery stones on the steps, so be mindful. Luckily, there are stone railings for support. 

A girl walking up the stone steps of Marble Mountain in Danang

An impressive dragon statue greets you as you reach the top, staring right at you. It is surrounded by tree branches and roots that appear to be emerging from the mountain. Past the dragon statue lies a large square overlooking Da Nang Beach.

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Dragon sculptures in the Marble Mountains in Danang, Vietnam

Linh Ung Pagoda

Next to the square is a big gate leading to Linh Ung Pagoda, also known as Chùa Linh Ứng. The gate is adorned with many small details and mosaic art.

The temple itself is small but decorated with beautiful details. It features enormous pillars in the front encircled by mosaic art, green tiled roofs, and other intricate designs.

Read: Discover the Best Pagodas in Southern Vietnam

Beautifull decorated Linh Ung Pagoda in Thuy Marble Mountain in Danang

Tang Chon Cave

Right behind the Linh Ung Pagoda, you’ll find the Tang Chon Cave (Động Tàng Chơn), with an intricate dragon carved out of stone near the entrance.

Dragon sculpture carved out of stone

There are a few things to discover inside the cave. The most prominent one is a small temple with a sitting Buddha inside as you enter. If you walk behind it, you’ll find a bigger Buddha statue tucked in the corner.

Buddha statue in a cave in Marble Mountain Danang

Xa Loi Tower

After visiting the cave, ascend the stairs next to Linh Ung Pagoda to reach a higher level. If you take the elevator, you will get out at this area, which is next to the Xa Loi Tower (Tháp Xá Lợi).

Xa Loi Tower has seven stories in a hexagonal shape and stands roughly 28 meters tall. Some people believe that the number seven is lucky, so the tower has seven levels. Look around at the intricate details on the pillar gates of the tower. You will find carvings that resemble birds, deer, flowers, and trees.

Close to the tower, there are lots of unnamed grottos and smaller towers. Keep an eye out for the deer-surrounded marble Buddha statue. From here, the pathway turns into more stairs, overlooking the Linh Ung Pagoda from above.

Green tiled roof with dragon sculptures of Pagoda

Viewpoint

After reaching the top of the steps, there’s a small pathway on the left that will lead you to a viewpoint. It starts off as a small incline with a few wooden benches to rest on, and then turns into another set of stone stairs. There's a small shed at the top overlooking Da Nang City.

The viewpoint at the summit mainly offers a view of high-rise buildings, and we found it not that spectacular.

Read: Chieu Lau Thi, The Best Viewpoint in Ha Giang

Van Thong Cave

The Van Thong Cave consists of two levels. First, there are steep stone steps you have to take to get to the entrance. When you first enter, there is a sitting Buddha in the center, and behind it are more steeply stacked marble stones leading to a higher level.

Be careful as you climb up the slippery stones. At the top, you’ll see an empty cavern with a small hole in the roof where light comes through. The climb down from here will be more slippery, so watch your step.

You’ll find some vendors selling drinks and chips in front of the cave. There are some plastic chairs on which you can sit and rest.

Read: Explore Tu Lan Cave in Phong Nha Ke Bang

Path under a cave tunnel in Marble Mountain

Heaven’s Gate

Heaven’s Gate is the highest peak of Thuy Marble Mountain. The ascent to the peak involves a long and difficult climb, particularly towards the summit, where the trail becomes steep and challenging.

The path is surrounded by trees and begins with stairs and railings on both sides. Towards the top, the trail vanishes, giving way to larger marble stones that are incredibly slippery and have some rough edges. You will need to use your hands to hold the railings as you walk.

There is nothing too special about the summit. The viewpoint is quite small and cannot accommodate a lot of people. Aside from that, it is not flat but rather a stack of marble stones. It was really windy while we were there, and with the small space, we didn't stay long to enjoy the view. 

From the summit, you’ll find another pathway that leads down to the relaxation area.

Read: Hang Mua Viewpoint in Ninh Binh

Lush karst mountains in Danang

Linh Nham Cave

Next to the relaxation area is a flight of steep steps that leads to Linh Nham Cave's opening. The cave is the smallest cavern on Thuy Mountain. There is a small Buddha figure and several smaller tables set for offerings.

Huyen Khong Cave & Hoa Nghiem Cave

Huyen Khong Cave is Thuy Mountain's largest cave and one of the must-see sites when visiting the Marble Mountains. We recommend viewing the cave last because, in comparison to the rest, this is the most impressive one, and it can make the others appear small and indifferent.

To get there, you'll walk along a brick pathway with flags and palm trees. From there, a stone gate with lush vegetation surrounding it appears. This is the entrance to the Hoa Nghiem Pagoda, where a sizable, illuminated statue is waiting for you in the center of the cave caverns.

Lit up statue in a cave in Marble Mountain

As you continue on, you will find a small opening on the left. This will take you down to the larger cavern and the entryway to the Huyen Khong Cave.

The Huyen Khong Cave stands out for having a large chamber and two holes in its roof that allow light to enter the cave. On either side are small temples that are lit and adorned with statues of Buddha inside. In the front center of the cave, a large sitting Buddha is prominently displayed.

Interested in exploring more caves in Vietnam? Head to Phong Nha Ke Bang and discover the biggest cave systems in the country!

Cave in marble mountain with roof holes

Tam Ton & Tu Nham Pagoda

Tam Ton Pagoda and Tu Nham Pagoda are two single-story temples right next to each other.

The Tam Ton Pagoda and Tu Nham Pagoda feature dark wooden interiors and tiled roofs adorned with dragon carvings. Both pagodas have a beautiful garden in the front courtyard, lined with flowers and bonsai trees.

A short distance away from the Pagodas is another viewpoint where you can climb up to a small shed that overlooks the city. 

A stair lined by flags leading to a gazebo temple.

Tam Thai Pagoda

Tam Thai Pagoda is the final pagoda to visit. Tam Thai Pagoda is a breathtaking sight, with vibrant blue walls and colorful dragon figures attached to its orange roof. The pagoda is surrounded by a courtyard with multiple trees and a big statue of a sitting Buddha.

From Tam Thai Pagoda, there are stairs leading down to Gate 1. The stone steps are uneven and slippery, so descend with great caution. It's recommended to avoid visiting the Marble Mountains on rainy days due to the slippery marble surfaces.

A temple with blue walls and red lanterns hanging in the front

Am Phu Cave

We completely missed the Am Phu Cave when we visited, as the entryway is on the ground level. However, we've seen interesting photos of it online, and it is worth checking out if you’re already in the area.

Am Phu Cave is the second-biggest cave in Marble Mountain. It is located next to the elevator and has a separate ticket fee.

Read: Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Vietnam

A statue at a temple at the Marble Mountains in Da Nang

Our Experience

We visited Marble Mountain in February and had pleasant temperatures. The cool and windy weather made climbing up the steep stairs more enjoyable.

Apart from that, we arrived around 3pm, and it was not too crowded. We encountered a few tour groups that tend to move quickly, so if you wait, you can find more space for yourself.

We didn't experience getting hassled at the entrance or having to wait to visit any caves or pagodas. However, there was one incident in Tang Chong Cave where a man who appeared to be a caretaker was pressing us to buy incense from him. When that didn't work, he started to continuously beg for money, which was unpleasant and disrupted the peace inside the cave.

Overall, we enjoyed visiting the Marble Mountains!

Interested in seeing more historical sites like Marble Mountain? Travel to Chau Doc and visit Sam Mountain and its incredible temples!

A temple with Buddha statue in a cave at the Marble Mountains, Vietnam

Marble Mountain Location

The Marble Mountains are located in Non Nuoc Stone Village in Da Nang, Vietnam. It is around 8 km from Da Nang city center. Find the exact location here!

How to Get to the Marble Mountains

There are many ways to get to the Marble Mountains, also known as Ngu Hanh Son, in Da Nang. 

From Da Nang

If you’re staying in the city center, the cheapest way is to book a taxi through the Grab app. The drive takes around 15 minutes.

Additionally, you can arrange a private transfer that will take you to the Marble Mountains and back to Hoi An. This way, you can take your time without worrying about your transport. Book your private transfer here!

From Hoi An

If you’re coming from Hoi An, the drive takes about 30 minutes. The most common way is to rent a motorbike at your accommodation or take a taxi.

Read: Guide to Visiting Hoi An, Vietnam

Marble Mountains Tours

While you can easily explore the Marble Mountains on your own, there are many tours available for added convenience that also provide a local guide. There are numerous choices for both private and group tours, as well as visits to nearby Da Nang tourist destinations, including the Linh Ung Pagoda and Monkey Mountain.

Here are the most highly rated tours to the Marble Mountain:

Thuy Son | Marble Mountain Ticket

Entrance Fee: 40,000 VND

Elevator Fee: 15,000 VND

Thuy Son Mountain has two gates, and tickets can be purchased at the booths at each entrance. Once you've paid, present your ticket to the staff at the bottom of the stairs.

If you want to take the elevator, buy your ticket at the counter near gate 2. It’s only one way, so you'll need to buy another ticket on the way down.

A blue temple at Marble Mountains in Da Nang, Vietnam

Opening Hours

Thuy Son Marble Mountain is open daily from 7am to 5pm. The best times to avoid the crowds and heat are early in the morning and late in the afternoon, particularly during the summer months.

Mosaic decorations at the Marble Mountains, Vietnam

Best Time to Visit

The Marble Mountains can be visited all year, but avoid going during the rainy season, which normally lasts from September until December.

The best months to visit are February through May. You can expect pleasant weather, which is ideal for hiking to the peak of Thuy Son, as well as fewer crowds compared to the high season.

Read: When Is The Best Time to Visit Vietnam?

A big white Buddha statue at Marble Mountains, Vietnam

Dress Code

When going to the Marble Mountains, it is important to dress comfortably but modestly. You will climb stairs, but there are also religious sites to visit.

You have to cover your shoulders and knees if you wish to enter the temples. Also, you need to remove your shoes and hat before entering. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and bring water for the climb.

How Long to Visit Marble Mountain?

Thuy Mountain is huge, and there is plenty to see. You need to allow at least 2 hours to see Marble Mountain's main attractions.

Read: Top Vietnam Travel Tips for First-Time Visitors

Tam Thai Pagoda at the Marble Mountains in Vietnam

Is Marble Mountain Worth Seeing?

Absolutely! Visiting the Marble Mountain is one of the best things to do when in Da Nang. You'll have the opportunity to explore beautifully decorated pagodas and fascinating caves. It is not only easily accessible, but also reasonably priced.

To make the most of your visit, ensure you choose a day with good weather and arrive early in the morning or late in the day to avoid crowds.

Plan your trip to Vietnam with our guides on visa requirements and tips on getting around!

Where to Next?
Hoi An
Colorful lanterns in front of a coffee shop in Hoi An, Vietnam.
Song Cau
A birds-eye view of Tu Nham beach in Vietnam
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And that’s the guide to visiting the Marble Mountain in Da Nang, Vietnam!

Traveling to Vietnam for the first time? Read our ultimate 1-month itinerary that will take you to Vietnam's highlights. Discover Con Dao Island's most beautiful beaches, Ninh Binh's serene beauty, and the breathtaking scenery of the Ha Giang Loop.

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