Friday, January 20, 2012

Vietnam 9: The Long Climb Up Marble Mountain

Marble souvenirs' village at foot of Marble Mountain
by Pa Rock

Marble Mountain is just what its name implies, a mountain composed almost entirely of marble.  It is located on the edge of Da Nang with a view of the ancient city of Hoi An and the famous China Beach where US GI's would go to swim, surf, and relax as they took a few welcome days away from the war.

Murphy prepares to stride up the mountain.
Tourist sits down waiting to die.
Marble Mountain and a couple of other big hills sit by themselves on a dusty plain.  There is a long flight of stone steps (mostly slick marble) that ascend the mountain, and there is also an elevator that appears to go about two-thirds of the way to the top.  I took the "steps" option - and that was a huge mistake.  Every time I felt like we must be at the top, I would step around a corner or a building and discover...yes...more stairs!

I thought I would die!

There is a Buddhist temple at the first landing, and several smaller monuments on up the mountain.  There are also several caves, many of which house Buddhist shrines.

This first post on Marble Mountain will go just as far as the Buddhist temple.  There will be more from Marble Mountain in the next post.

A view from the steps
Female Buddha overlooks a deconstruction
Enjoy the climb!

Mosaic lion guards entrance to Buddhist temple

Archway (from inside) leading to temple
Me in front of temple
Front pillars of temple
Interior shot of Buddhist temple
Murphy and our guide, Tran, discuss
finer points of Buddhism

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