Sunday, 1 July 2018

Marble Mountains

The coastal city of Da Nang has played an important role in Vietnam's history. During the 16th century, it was a key port for European and Asian merchants. It was where the French landed in the 19th century; the start of French colonisation and rule. Further, it was where US troops landed in 1965 to join the Republic of Vietnam's war efforts.

Fast forward to present day, the city is a bit of a strange place. But more on that later.

After arriving at the airport, we walked the 4km from the airport to the hotel as there weren't any public buses and we didn't want to pay for a taxi. A cold shower and some food later, we headed to our first attraction: Marble Mountains.

Marble Mountains consists of five limestone mountains with each mountain representing one of the five elements: water, wood, fire, metal and earth. We caught our first and only taxi ride (100k) which deposited us outside the Am Phu cave. The cave represented the afterlife - heaven and hell. There was a very steep staircase carved into the limestone ascending to "heaven" and also steps leading further underground to "hell".

Carved into the stairs

The descent back to hell.

As we descended into hell, at one point, it was quite dark and eerie (the instrumental music definitely did not help) and we were the only ones there, surrounded by scary looking figures / demons. But we enjoyed the cooler temperatures.

After the cave, we climbed to the lookout, exploring pagodas and caves, and got really, really, really sweaty. I mean really sweaty.

You can see the construction of a new resort. This was what most of the coastline looked like.

Day 5 - 15 May 2018

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