Ngu Hanh Son is about 7km northeast of Da Nang City. It is famous nationwide for its serene and beautiful landscapes. It has become one of the “must see” destinations for those who want to discover the wilds of nature and escape from the busy life in urban areas.
Ngu Hanh Son is a cluster of five marble mountains like five fingers lying close to the sea. In the 19th century, King Minh Mang named the five mountains according to each of the five elements of the planet: Kim Son (gold), Moc Son (wood), Thuy Son (water), Hoa Son (fire) and Tho Son (earth).
Kim Son Mountain is located in the southeast, near the Co Co River where the Ngu Wharf existed for the boat of the king to dock when travelling to Ngu Hanh Son. At the foot of the mountain there is a mysterious cave, over 50m in length, nearly 10m in width, and 10-15m in height. The path leading to the cave was created by natural stone steps and in the cave layers of stalactites form a delicate statue of the Goddess of Mercy.
Moc Son Mountain is close to the sea to the east. To the east and south of the mountain is a sand cave, while to the north are fields and to the west are hamlets. The top of the mountain is split into saw-tooth shapes that look like a cockscomb. For this reason, it is also called Mong Ga Mountain. On the mountain is a piece of white marble that looks like a sitting person, called Co Mu or Ba Quan Am by the local people.
Among the mountains of Ngu Hanh Son, Thuy Son is the highest. It has three peaks like three Tam Thai stars at the end of the Constelation of the Great Bear so it is called Tam Thai Mountain. The highest peak in the northwest is Thuong Thai. The lower peak in the south is Trung Thai and the lowest eastern peak is Ha Thai. Many beautiful caves, such as Linh Nham and Van Thong and pagodas such as Tam Thai and Linh Ung, are located on the mountain. From Vong Giang Dai (the River-Viewing Pavilion) on the mountain, tourists can contemplate the charming and romantic rivers of Cam Le and Han. The mountain also fascinates tourists by its diverse flora, such as Thien tue ( cycas revoluta), Thach truong sanh, cung nhan thao (amaryllis), canh thien (Crassule) and other plants and herbs.
Hoa Son consists of two mountains that are linked together by a stone path. The western peak on the bank of the Co Co River is called Duong Hoa Son. Here, there is Pho Son Da Pagoda and some caves. The eastern mountain is Am Hoa Son with many inclined marble slabs. The mountain is covered with green trees.
Tho Son, the lowest but longest mountain, is located to the north of Kim Son Mountain and to the west of Thuy Son Mountain. It looks like a dragon lying on a sandy beach. To the west of the mountain is a stretch of the Ba Cha River and the mountain has two layers with many steep cliffs. The mountain still has many preserved, ancient bricks from the Chiem Thanh Dynasty.
On Ngu Hanh Son, the marble has five colours and the colour depends on each mountain. For instance, pink marble is seen onThuy Son, white marble on Moc Son, red marble on Hoa Son, water-coloured marble on Kim Son and brown marble on Tho Son. To take advantage of the marble’s potential, the local people have deloveloped the craft of using the marble to create various fine art pieces to sell to tourists.
Ngu Hanh Son is considred a giant rock-work near the city of Da Nang. Visiting the mountains, tourists will surely be interested in the beautiful natural landscape, pure atmosphere and serene pagodas.
By Vu Cong Dien – Thong Thien – Hoang Giap