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Ngu Hanh Son – a masterpiece of marble mountain in Da Nang

Ngu Hanh Son, Marble Mountain was formed by five mountains Metal (jīn), Wood (mù), Water (shuǐ), Fire (huǒ) and Earth (tǔ) which are covered by a lot of different myths. This is a masterpiece of natural, fanciful and dreaming landscapes that the Creator has endowed Da Nang. With the system of caves, ancient Buddhist temples and traditional villages, Ngu Hanh Son is attractive stopover on the journey to discover Central Heritage.

Marble Mountain - Ngu Hanh Son
Marble Mountain – Ngu Hanh Son


Located about 8 km to the southeast of Da Nang city center, Ngu Hanh Son has the beauty of convergence: sky, sea, mountain and river with values of the history, the culture and the spirit.

Ngu Hanh Son - Da Nang city
Ngu Hanh Son – Da Nang city

The beauty from the Creator

Ngu Hanh Son or Marble mountain is the common name of a beauty spot including 6 limestone mountains knob on a coastal sands with approximately 2 km2 area, including Kim (Metal) Mountain, Moc (Wood) mountain, Thuy (Water) mountain, Hoa (Fire) mountain (2 tops) and Tho (Earth) mountain. Every mountain has a particular beauty in shape, position, rock material, about caves and inside Buddhist temples.

Hoa Nghiem cave - Ngu Hanh Son
Hoa Nghiem cave – Ngu Hanh Son

Among mountains, Thuy Mountain is the largest mountain and the most beautiful one. It is 106 m high of mountain, with 3 tops in 3 levels like 3 stars (Tam Thai), this mountain is also a gather place of many caves and Buddhist temples. Ngu Hanh Son is located right on the route Da Nang – Hoi An, Hoa Hai ward, Ngu Hanh Son district.

Huyen Khong cave - Ngu Hanh Son
Huyen Khong cave – Ngu Hanh Son

If you look down from the high place as Hai Van pass, Ba Na Hill, Ngu Hanh Son looks like a “The gigantic natural rockery” emerged at the heart of the city, a precious gift of nature given to the city. Also here, the historical and cultural markers have been retained in each Buddhist temples early nineteenth century, on each Cham sculptures of century XIV, XV, the poetic writings of Le and Tran dynasty also imprinted on the mossy rocks in the cave.

Inside of the caves
Inside of the caves

Tho (Earth) mountain

As one of five clusters Marble Mountain, located in the northwest of Ngu Hanh Son, local people often call Da Chong Mountain or Ghenh Mountain. This is a soil mountain, the lowest mountain but also the longest one, looks like a dragon lying on the sand. Mountain itself has a thin layer of colored grass cover; some parts show up the color of red clay. There are many ancient bricks on the mountain, remnants of the Cham architecture which were left by Cham people.

Long Hoa Pagoda is at the foot of the mountain, Hue Quang pagoda and the remains of a tunnel according to poet Quach Tan, beside the foot of the mountain has the wharf called Ben Ngu (Nguyen dynasty wrote Hoa Que dock), because in the past, every time the king visited Marble mountain, the boat was parked there. However, someone have argued that this dock was at Kim Son Mountain.

In the mountain, there is a cave with the entrance gate to the southwest; the entrance way is very narrow, it is longer than about 20 m with M shape just enough space for one person get through. The cave is through up to the top of the mountain with a small hole named Coc cave or Bo De cave. During the resistance war against the French, our army and people used this cave as a place to avoid the enemy.

Thuy (Water) mountain

Thuy Mountain is in the north of Marble Mountain, this is largest and most beautiful mountain for tourists visiting and sightseeing.

Thuy Son is located on a wide area toward the northeast, about 7 hectares, 106 m high, with three peaks located at 3 floors like three stars (Tam Thai) of the constellation of the Great Red Star tail (folk name is Cay Star), so also known as Tam Thai mountain.

In order to go up the caves and temples in Thuy mountain, you have two ways: the western gate of the mountain consists of 156 steps leading to Tam Thai Pagoda or the eastern gate consists of 108 steps leading to the Linh Ung Pagoda, the majority of tourists go up the mountain in the West Gate and go down in the east gate.

Thuy mountain uplink is natural stone steps, which are arranged in terraces, with two sides railing height of about 0.6m, width of the road is between 3m – 5m so despite many tourist go up and down at the same time also easy. Stairs have gentle slope, with a total length about 80 meters altitude compared to sea level and guests just take about 10 minutes to climb all the way.

Am Phu Cave

At the tops of Thuy mountain has an ultra-mysterious and murky caves since the name – Am Phu cave. Crossing the bridge Nai Ha, visitors will step into a world of the afterlife, where the penalties of the kind of sins are done. In Am Phu cave has many nooks and alley goes deeply into the layers symbolize for levels of the hell. Guests here can see Dai Anh Linh, Phan Quy palace, Ming Vuong palace, Avici Hell, Giai Oan springs…

Am Phu cave - Ngu Hanh Son
Am Phu cave – Ngu Hanh Son

Tam Thai Pagoda

Located at the southwest of Thuy Mountain, with Tam Quan gate which is mossy ạnd old, Tam Thai Pagoda is located on a flat site, with a circumference of 200 meters. This is the ancient temple was built long time ago. According recording Bibliography and inscription, the temple was built in the period of ancient town of Hoi An had just formed, by Zen Master Hung Lien of China went to here and became the abbot to build ashram before the year of the end of  16th century. In 1825, the temple was King Minh Mang ordained “Quoc Tu”, so far it has gone through 12 lifetime temple abbot.

Tam Thai pagoda - Ngu Hanh Son
Tam Thai pagoda – Ngu Hanh Son

The ancient and mossy Tam Quan Gate in front of the temple consists of 3 ports, according to feudal rules, the main gateway is the highest and most solemn gate just for monks go in, left port for the man go in (male left), right portal for the woman to go in (female right).

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About the author

Hi, I'm Ho Lam! That's me, the boy who wants more experience each day. I'm slowly but surely working my way, travelling and sharing is my taste. The articles of this blog are not only from me, but also from my friends and the travellers mailed to me.

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