Destination Travel Rambles Travel Tips Vietnam ~ A Different Orient

Danang’s Marble Mountains & My Shredded Vanity

Are ladies inclined to disregard our looks as we grow older or is it just me? In recent years, it seems that I have slowly adapted to a lazy man’s routine where the subject of grooming is concerned. While others my age splurge relentlessly on beauty tools, I doggedly save my money for travel purposes or photography tools.

Don’t get me wrong though! I do take the tiniest effort to look like a harmless human but there’s definitely a time when I was more feminine. In fact, I was vain crazy enough to climb a mountain in a sundress, which of course I live to regret till this day. In my defense though, I was under the impression that the climb involves mere steps.

Paranoma View, Danang
(Part of the view surrounding the Marble Mountains, Danang, dated 2008)

Rule of thumb: Throw out the vanity to dress appropriately during travel!

Somewhere in Danang (Central Vietnam) lies a cluster of five marble and limestone hills, known otherwise as the Marble Mountains. Named after the Five Elements of I-Ching, the five marble hills are known as the Mountain of Metal, Mountain of Wood, Mountain of Water, Mountain of Fire and Mountain of Earth. The only mountain accessible to visitors is the Mountain of Water, also known as Thuy Son. Needless to say, that was the mountain that I attempted to “climb” in a dress.

156Steps, Marble Mountain
(Climbing part of the 156 steps, oblivious of the “Road to Heaven”)

Most travel guides will tell you that the Mountain of Water (Thuy Son) is accessible via a staircase of 156 steps, whereby a beautiful panoramic view of the other marble mountains awaits you. Well, technically speaking, that is not wrong…

Buddha Statue

BUT the magnificent scenery at the peak can only be savoured after you passed through a number of pagodas, caves and most importantly – the “Road to Heaven“. Trust me when I said the “Road to Heaven” is not easy (at least not when you are wearing a dress!) because it involves navigation through this narrow pathway that requires one to cling to the rocks! Did someone mentioned that the road to heaven (or hell?) is paved with good intentions?

road to heaven, marble mountain

They say, “the road to heaven is paved with good intentions”…

At the end of the pathway, there is a one-meter diameter hole at the top of the cave and you will need to hoist yourself up this space in order to be treated with the beautiful panaroma view. Unfortunately, this “Road to Heaven” is not very friendly to people who are “horizontally-challenged”. Thus, if you intend to “climb” the Mountain of Water (of the Marble Mountains), do remember to shed some weight and wear something appropriate! I assure you that the awesome scenery and the sense of accomplishment are well-worth your efforts!

CIMG1593
(Another view from the peak of Thuy Son that includes a glimpse of the South China Sea.)

The above information has been complied based on various sources, including my own experience and should only be used as a reference.

From Me to You:
A Simple Reference Guide For Your Travel In Vietnam

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