June 12, 2013

Central Vietnam trip – Danang (Marble Mountains & Cham Museum)

Danang is Vietnam’s fourth largest city and an important seaport in Central Vietnam.  The city itself has nothing much to offer except for a handful of attractions, and some beaches.  We checked out from Hoi An and stopped by to visit the Marble Mountains and Cham Museum on our way to Hue.

Marble Mountains is a series of large marble and limestone formations, which have acquired mythical significance over the centuries as the locals liken the mountains to the shape of a dragon at rest.  Each peak is named for an element: fire, water, wood, gold and earth.  Only the Water Mountain is accessible to visitors, and instead of climbing the 156 steps up the mountain, we took the easy way out by taking the elevator J  Can’t imagine climbing all those steps with five kids and two grandmothers in tow.  The caves of the Water Mountain contain a number of Buddhist shrines, and served as sanctuaries for the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.

Xa Loi Pagoda

Linh Ung Pagoda

Huge white marble Buddha statue

Numerous Buddha statues in the various caves and grottoes

Rare shot of the two of us :-)

Van Thong Cave

Climbing the Van Thong Cave, with a narrow and steep climb up toward the light

Just to give you an idea of how narrow the passageway is (photo borrowed from here)

Our reward – view from the top of the mountain

Yiu Yiu followed me on the climb up Van Thong Cave.  This little lady is shaping up to be as adventurous and daring as her mummy

The humongous Huyen Khong Cave.  The children are pictured here for comparison of height.  This cave was used by the Viet Cong as the military hospital during the Vietnam War.

Sunlight streaming into Huyen Khong Cave

Tam Ton Pagoda

The Cham Museum was established in 1936 to house the relics of the Champa empire, and has the largest collection of Cham sculpture in the world.  The more than 300 pieces of sandstone artwork and temple decorations were largely influenced by Hindu, and later, Mahayana Buddhism.

After lunch, we continued our journey to Hue, about three hours drive.  The children were happy to have some time at the pool before we headed for dinner.

Saw this gigantic truck on our way to Hue.  The front part of the truck looks like an American war truck.


Small Kucing said...

Yiu Yiu certainly adventurous and have energy. I dont think I can go up so high

A Mom's Diary said...

It was quite a difficult climb. Luckily the guide helped me with carrying Yiu Yiu at some steep areas.