Reluctantly we left Hoi An (old town) to explore the beaches of Da Nang. Da Nang was only about an hour away and the trip passed the fabulous Marble Mountain, which we also wanted to visit, so we decided on taking a taxi that would wait for us so we could stop and do some exploring.
Awesome move. Marble Mountain is a cluster of five mountains named after the elements and the main tourist one, Thuy (water), contained some jaw dropping caves full of Buddhist carvings and icons. Get your walking shoes on and allow a couple of hours to explore the multitude of caves, walking trails, temples and gardens scattered across this mountain. Huyen Khong cave was my favourite as the scene opens up before you on entry, hugely expansive and high with a beam of light coming down from a hole in the top to illuminate majestically the sculptures and temples within.
|The view from the top|
Just a few words of warning, The lady selling the tickets for the elevator ride up tried to tack on an expensive map without telling us, but we had been forewarned, and she quickly retrieved it once we complained. Also the famous cave here is the Am Phu Cave and it costs money to get in and is not that good, very ostentatious and fake looking with bright lights done up for tourists. If you make it to Huyen Khong cave and only have limited time I would skip it.
Time to move on to one of our longest journeys so far, an overnight train to Hanoi, followed by a long bus ride to Sapa and the highest mountain in Vietnam.