Towering up in the middle of the route between Da Nang and Hoi An are the Marble Mountains. It’s a popular tourist destination so you can book a tour or get there yourself with an Easy Rider or public bus like me! It cost 30,000VND in March 2016 from Da Nang (takes about half an hour) although the woman who collected the money on the bus tried to charge me 50,000VND! Luckily a couple of backpackers warned me about this and told me to have exactly 30,000VND ready to give and to just take a seat. Which is EXACTLY what I did to the surprise and frustration of the woman who still followed me to my seat and kept shoving her hand in my face (proud of myself lol). But I diffused the situation by offering her some bread I bought at a bakery just before. Bitches love bread.
That’s another tip – try to find out the costs of things before you get there. Not only will it help you budget but it’ll save you from scammers left right and centre.
The bus stop is along the main road and a few hundred metres down one street you’ll be at the entrance. You’ll see stores with gigantic marble statues of Buddhas and mythical beasts – exquisite artistry. You can also purchase smaller marble trinkets as souvenirs. You’ll have to buy an entrance ticket which I think was about 20,000VND?
TOTALLY worth it! The complex is quite large and there are several grottos and caves that house shrines which are so beautiful, as well as small gardens, pagodas, and traditional Buddhist buildings. One of my favourite places was the top of the highest peak of Marble Mountains – the “Heaven Gate” sign shows you the way! Basically you clamber up chunks of slippery smooth marble until you get to the summit, where you have a 360 degree view of the coast on one side and the other peaks and city line on the other.
This place was saturated with peace and beauty – at every turn there was something pleasing to the eye, and plenty of little fauna about too. The splashes of colour on a spectrum of vibrants greens were so refreshing to the eye. Definitely recommended to visit for a few hours!