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The Marble Mountains

Activity

2 hours

Thanh Khê, Da Nang, Vietnam

The more prosaic Vietnamese name for the Marble Mountains is Ngu Hanh Son (Five Elements Mountains). The five peaks consist of limestone in different hues and overlook the East Sea 8km from Danang.

Emperor Gia Long, founder of the Nguyen dynasty and builder of Hue’s Citadel, decreed that the five mountains named after the five elements of nature: Kim Son (metal), Moc Son (wood), Hoa Son (fire), Tho Son (earth), and Thuy Son (water).

The small range is probably a fragment of a much larger limestone karst system that has decayed over untold millennia. Thuy Son is the largest, and consideredRays of lights from an opening in the roof give the Ling Ong Pagoda a mystical quality the most beautiful, of the five mountains. It’s actually three peaks covering around 16 ha and, like its smaller neighbours, is riddled with caves and grottoes, many of which house shrines and sometimes complete pagodas. For visitors, its highlight is the Ling Ong Pagoda, a shrine within a cave.

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