Just a short distance from Hoi An, we rented a motorbike to get to Ngu Hanh Son better known as the Marble Mountains. In fact, this isn’t just a nickname – the mountains are truly made of marble.
The village at the foot of the mountains is tightly packed with workshops where the sound of hammering and chiseling can be heard. Enormous marble statues spill onto the streets making the village look like a fantastical wonderland of sorts. But that’s just the beginning of this venture in the Marble Mountains of Vietnam.
There are five mountains only one of which is open to the public (the entrance fee is less than $1). Two options are available to reach the top: either by walking up several winding flights of stone steps or by taking a very modern, glass tubular elevator which looks totally out of place against the naturally lush marble mountain. I strongly recommend taking the stairs because the walk up is full of surprises.
Out of nowhere there seemed to be yet another pretty pagoda looming over us. There were several Buddhist sanctuaries scattered all over the mountain each with its own distinct style. At times, I felt like I was trespassing but the monks were very welcoming if not tolerant. There was also a Buddhist temple carved out in one of the caves. The grounds were spotless with lush vegetation growing everywhere. And to finish off, the view from the top of an adjacent marble mountain and of the town below was equally worthy of a few pictures.
Ngu Hanh Son is so much more than just about marble – it’s a spectacular site with unexpected goodness at every turn!
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Have you been to the Marble Mountains of Vietnam?