A rugged hunk of rock in the middle of flat land off the coast -- Marble Mountains include 5 such "hills". Each one is named after an element: metal, fire, wood, water, earth. Supposedly these 5 formations are from the 5 pieces of a hatched dragon's egg that was being kept safely here. We visited 'water' (the largest one) which is called Thuy Son.
|view from Thuy Son of the other 4 - which also have caves|
|view looking the opposite direction - towards China Sea|
|This little soul prayed as soon as she saw the statues with palms together.|
"dear God, thank you for daddy, mommy, sister, eempa"
The next photo is not mine - it's from inhoian.com and it captures this cave:
I'm no history buff, but I learned that local folklore says these caves were used as a VietCong hospital as well as hiding spots during the Vietnam War. Right next to the American 'Marble Mountain Air Facility'.
Throngs of people converged on us as we entered the area and then again as we descended the long marble staircase to sell us trinkets and all sorts of things carved out of marble, stone, and rock. Stretching along the streets below are strings of family-run shops known for their exquisite carvings. These get shipped all around the world. I saw crated sculptures marked for Melbourne Australia and San Francisco.
|A small marble pestle weighs a couple pounds - imagine a large sculpture!|
|they found one that reminded them of Jake-Pup|