On our first visit to Hoi An, we skipped Marble Mountain because we thought it wouldn’t be worth seeing. After we drove past Marble Mountain from Da Nang to Hoi An, the image of the metal elevator against the side of the mountain cemented our perception that it would be boring.
This trip, we decided to give it a try.
And boy, were we wrong about it!
While the older folks and the toddler went up in the clear glass elevator, the remaining four of us climbed up the stairs carved out of the mountain. We came upon the first small temple barely 5 minutes into the climb.
After exploring it for a bit, we spotted the entrance to a cave tucked behind the pagoda. It was home to a tiny temple, with sunrays lighting the small space from a huge hole at the top.
Boo, we thought to ourselves. After seeing all the gorgeous photos of a cave with the temple being lit by a ray of sunlight, the sight in real life wasn’t as spectacular.
We left the cave slightly disappointed.And saw a line of kids waiting for their turn to rappel down into another cave. We walked past them and followed the path to a cramped dark tunnel. The only way through?
Climbing up the narrow space surrounded by slippery marble.
So that was what we did, and each step we took was with utmost care as it was extremely slippery! What if we fell backwards and started a domino effect? Yikes!
We left my sandal-clad mother behind and clambered up to the peak to see cacti surrounding us. Cacti!
It was quite strange to see them on a mountain. I always thought that cacti only grew in deserts. Guess not…
And apparently we were not on the highest peak of Marble Mountain either. We spotted an even higher one right across.
Getting down was trickier than climbing up. One wrong step and you could slip and jab yourself with sharp marble edges! The safety railings at the side were extremely rough too. If you grab them to stop your fall, you’ll probably leave with bloodied palms. But I’d pick raw palms over a crushed tailbone any day!
After exploring the area near a ‘Chinese’-looking gate, it was time to start climbing up to the highest peak!
And it was worth it. We were rewarded with a (very windy) 360-degree view of the surroundings, including the sea! There was also barely anyone up there so we got the place all to ourselves!
After we regrouped with the rest of our family after getting down the mountain, we realised that we’d missed out on the most photographed cave of Marble Mountain. Turns out the disappointing cave we first went in to wasn’t the right one!
But since we didn’t have time to go back, we can only wait for the next time we return to Da Nang or Hoi An! Till then, we’ll just have to live with the disappointment!