Ngu Hanh Son: The Marble Mountains of Vietnam

with 19 Comments

 

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.

 

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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.

 

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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?

 

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  • We are visiting Vietnam this summer! I have just started researching places to visit. This place looks really cool (except that elevator… it’s gotta go!)

    • Lydia@Lifeuntraveled.com

      haha…..agreed the elevator is killing the vibe! Enjoy Vietnam – it’s a wonderful country.

  • Claire Summers

    I don’t know how I have never heard of this place before. It looks like a really interesting place to visit. That final image of it from a distance is great. Can’t believe that its just there in the middle of all of the houses. Its somewhere I will make sure I add to my itinerary.

    • Lydia@Lifeuntraveled.com

      Not many people know about it – glad you’re adding it to your itinerary! 🙂

  • Kathy James

    I really enjoyed Hoi An and my visit to Marble mountain. We hiked up it back in 2010. Amazing views from the top. Thanks for sharing.

  • Clíodhna Ryan

    The Marble Mountains looks like an interesting place to visit. I’m hoping to visit Vietnam this year so I’ll definitely keep it in mind. I love the look of the Pagodas!

  • Have never been to Vietnam but looks incredible, especially these Marble mountains! Sure are quite a few steps, I must say! Looks beautiful on this post – but I can imagine it was even more incredible to see in person!

  • Jennifer Morrow

    Beautiful spot for hiking, and those marble statures are very cool! I love geology!

  • Lydia@Lifeuntraveled.com

    Hi Kreete! Thank you so much – I can’t help but put a creative touch on my blog. I know the trend is mostly leaner blogs but I find them generic and sterile (which isn’t to say they’re not interesting). The Marble Mountains were very interesting and I loved Vietnam!

  • Marble Mountains was one of those places we hadn’t read about before visiting Vietnam and wish we had!! That lift really does look out of place and very unsafe. I love how there are so many gorgeous random things on the walk up!

    • Lydia@Lifeuntraveled.com

      Hi Katie! I don’t remember how I found out about the Marble Mountains but I’m glad we went. The ride there was also very nice with the mountains as a backdrop. There are hundreds of steps to climb so I understand why they put that lift but it just doesn’t fit in…lol!

  • Lydia@Lifeuntraveled.com

    It’s not very popular among travelers (we were the only ones) but I was so surprised by everything there was to see on the way up. The site is immaculate and the views are breath-taking. Hope you make it there one day! 🙂

  • Lydia@Lifeuntraveled.com

    Hi Hope! So happy you enjoyed this post enough to add the Marble Mountains to your bucket list. 🙂

  • Lydia@Lifeuntraveled.com

    Vietnam was the first Asian country I visited so it holds a special place in my heart. And don’t miss Hoi An – it’s just so charming!

  • Interesting place to visit! The street full of statues looks a bit creepy, but I’m sure it is an unique experience. I haven’t been in that part of Asia yet so everything I learn about it is very interesting. Pagodas are just beautiful!

    • Lydia@Lifeuntraveled.com

      I was very surprised at how beautiful and full of surprises the climb up was. Don’t worry, the statues aren’t scary at all. 😉

  • I’m heading to Vietnam in May but I only have a week there 😪 I’m not sure I will make it to Hoi An this time as there is so much to do! I’ll keep the marble mountains in mind if I am in the area.

    • Lydia@Lifeuntraveled.com

      Lucky you – I love Vietnam (and Hoi An in particular)! Enjoy!

  • Lydia@Lifeuntraveled.com

    It really was! I didn’t expect to see anything more than just marble but I was surprised at every turn.