The Marble Mountains are one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam. There are so well known that they have become a symbol of the area. The subtle, poetical ambience of the pagodas, grottoes, trees and bushes, the mixed sounds of pagoda bells, murmuring waves and mysterious legends of the sea are all not far from the city center, and they have made the mountains a fairy land for tourists for ages.
Like other landscapes, these mountains hold many different mysterious legends. The poetical ambience and the echoes of mystery give the mountains a special character difficult to find in other places. In the ancient oriental philosophy, metal, wood, water, fire and earth were five elements that created the universe. Five is a number of paramount importance in people’s thinking and lives.
The Marble Mountains are also home to quite a few Buddhist sanctuaries, which are some of the greatest attractions of the area. The mountains were used by the war lords in the past to store their wealth, and it was the responsibility of the monks to safeguard the wealth, the caves and the passengers. No one knows for sure how much wealth was hidden in these mountains. Only the monks as the custodians had the information and they were the only people who knew the various ways inside the mountains.
The natural grottoes and pagodas on the mountains combine both heaven-endowed and man-made creations to confer the place its harmonious beauty. Their attractive character keeps the tourists constantly surprised and touched during their travels.
On hot summer days, it’s easy to imagine you and your friends going up the 108 steps to Linh Ung pagoda, sitting in Vong Giang tower to look at green Truong Giang murmuring slightly in the sunset, or standing on Vong Hai tower to look far at sandy beaches flirted by the sea waves. In the late afternoons, city dwellers rush to the seaside, fishermen group by group patiently push their boats offshore, and on the greasy paths leading to the grottoes and inside pagodas the sandalwood exhales its fragrance
Beside the monasteries the area is prominent for stone sculpture making and stone cutting crafts. These are traditional practices and the ones at the Marble Mountains are renowned for their excellence. In the mountains lies the village of Dong Hai, which has around 600 families involved in the business of stone engraving. The villagers are also skilled in jewelry and art work, and Vietnam exports stones extracted from the Marble Mountains.