Marble and Marble Mountains

– by ChiChai@Empire –
featured photo by Chris@Empire

After a couple of days in Chris@Empire’s dad’s hometown, we travelled towards central Vietnam to his mom’s hometown: Da Nang. Chris’ mom told us that Da Nang is known for its beaches so we were excited to breathe in fresh ocean air after days in Saigon’s urban landscape. However, although we expected a chillin-on-the-beach type of itinerary, our tour took us on an opposite route. Rather than visiting shorelines, we spent our days up high in Da Nang’s mountains.

We didn’t mind. I mean… this view tho.

Our first mountainous sight was Linh Ung Bai But Pagoda.

Not only is Linh Ung Pagoda on top of a mountain, it is bordered by the sea.

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From the architecture to sculptures, Chris and I marveled how Linh Ung Pagoda displayed Vietnam’s wide-ranging artistry.

One of the things Chris and I learned about Da Nang during our stay is its abundance of marble. We began to see how abundant while visiting Linh Ung Pagoda.

A major example of Da Nang’s marble is the pagoda’s sculpture of Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara aka Qua Am or Lady Buddha. Visitors from all over the world come and give their respects to her.

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The statue leans on the mountain, facing the sea, the kind eyes looking down, a hand exorcizes while the other hand is holding a bottle of holy water like sprinkling the peace to the offshore fishermen

Following the Linh Ung Pagoda was a visit to an actual marble mountain. Within the Ngũ Hành Sơn District, five marble and limestone giants arise from the flat landscape. Each one represents five elements: Kim (metal), Thuy (water), Moc (wood), Hoa (fire) and Tho (earth).

We visited Mount Thuy.  In one marble mountain visit, we explored caves and admired  shrines and statues.

My favorite among all the sculptures we saw was Buddha giving guidance to monks and his animal followers. The way this marble set interacted with the landscape felt as though we were seeing a real scene in Buddha’s life.

Chris and I enjoyed roaming around Da Nang’s art-filled landscape. But, as the sun descended, so did we.

This concludes the first half of our Da Nang mountain adventures. Stay tuned for the next one! For a sneak peek:

photo by Chris@Empire

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