In this trip, I have my sister, a native from Danang, ‘Duyên’, to show me around. Some said that there are 3 popular mountain resorts in Vietnam – Sapa, Dalat, and here, Bana Hills. This place was discovered over a century ago by the French, and now is the famous entertainment complex. We have to take a cable car to the top which is around 1,500 metres above sea level. Up there, we’ll explore French village, pagoda, amusement park, and French Gardens. It’s like a big French town. You call it ‘French Village’, right? Um. Hum. So here, you can see replicas of beautiful buildings from Europe, especially from France. Like behind us, it is like a big Cathedral, and the Chateaux, castles, and some European architectures from different regions. It’s not only big up there, but downstairs is a huge town. Underground…with a lot of machines. It is like an amusement park. So, I think it’s good for families and kids. I can’t believe we’re in Vietnam. We’re in Asia because the weather is quite mild. It’s cool in the morning and in the evening although it’s a little warm during the daytime. But, it’s really nice. Located only 7 kms of Danang downtown, Marble Mountains consist of 5 mountains representing 5 elements – Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Soil. The mountain of water is the highest one and the main attraction. It has many caves and buddhist temples, many dating back to the 17th century. At the top, there is a beautiful observatory spot, The River View Tower built by emperor Minh Mang, offering a breathtaking view. These five limestone and marble mountains are Vietnam’s well-known pilgrimage site. (Breathing sound) Ah…the air is so fresh this morning. Yeah. Thank you for taking me here. We’re on a big mountain away from the city. Are we still in Danang? Yes, of course! But, just not far from the city, we have this kind of mountain. Yeah. They call this ‘Son Tra Mountain’ Son Tra Mountain Actually, it’s ‘Son Tra Peninsula’ U-huh…. Peninsula? Yes, but people usually call that ‘Monkey Mountain’ because on the way up to the top of the mountain, you can see some monkeys. Ah! I see this, The Statue of Monkey. But actually if the weather is clear, what can we see from here? We can see the whole city and the sea with the mountain right there. Ah! we can see the sea from here! Beaches…around… Yes! People said that there are two philosophers playing chess together. But for several days, they could not conclude who was the winner. And one of them loss because he got distracted from a beautiful fairy who’s taking a bath in the sea. So, he lost the game and became angry. Then, he threw everything into the sea and went back to heaven. Later, local people created this place to tell younger generations about this story. This place is huge! Yeah. I never knew before there was such a place near the sea on the mountain, here in Danang. I thought it was just a small place. This is the biggest pagoda in Danang city. Oh! And it’s on the mountain. Yes. What do you call it in Vietnamese language? Jua-Ling-Ung Uh-huh. And our old president, he built this pagoda, hoping that it will protect the city from typhoons and natural disaster. Built in the site of 12 hectares in the Son Tra Peninsula, ‘Linh Ung Son Tra Pagoda’ is the largest in Danang in terms of scale and artistic architecture. The pagoda is famous for its beautiful 67- meter tall ‘Goddess of Mercy’ statue or ‘Guan Im’ standing on a lotus-shaped platform. A large courtyard containing many statues leads visitors to a giant 3-door gate. From here, visitors can relax their minds by gazing across the boundless sea below the numerous boats bobbing underwater and to the Marble Mountains in the distance. Locals believe that this ‘Goddess of Mercy’ statue which faces the sea will take care of fishermen and give them the strength to deal with any storms and high waves. Voted as one of the world’s most luxurious beaches by Forbes Magazine, Danang beach has beautiful clean white sand. There are leading types of accommodation along the beach. And, it offers various choices of activities such as fishing, water sports, swimming, or just chilling on the beach. The beach is located in the city, so is really convenient to travel here. During your free time, you can come here to relax. There are plenty of zones where you can enjoy listening to soft music, reading books, drinking fruit juices, chatting with your friends, or just feeling the sea breeze. Just a short walk from Danang Government Office is a brand new hotel, famous for its service and very friendly staff. It is really convenient to go to any main attractions in Danang from here, including the beach and many nice local cafes. The view from top floors is wonderful. It’s my first time here in Danang. I’m very impressed. Uh-huh. I mean… it’s such a modern city. It’s a big city with cultures. I think the government has a vision to develop this city. Especially when I see this building, I think is a world-class building. Really modern. Right. And just next to the building is here. The museum, right? The museum. It’s almost 200 years. Almost 200 years! This place used to be a place to protect the city and it was built by a King. Alright. And, what are we going to see inside? This is Danang Museum. There are 3 floors in total, and each floor has information about history of Danang. Yes. From the past up till now. So, Danang is actually a very old place. Yeah. With lots of rich history. Wow! Tiger prawns! They have this kind of ceremony in Danang? They pray for the fish! Um-hmm. OK. What is it about? This is ‘Fish Praying Ceremony’. It happens annually. Every year. What do they do? They’re singing, performing, and praying for the good season of fishing. (Laugh). And the merit that is used to pray is ‘Whales’. Whales? Ah, so they have whales around the sea here in Danang. This one is…. they’re trying to replicate what happens during the ceremony, right? Museum of Cham Sculpture was built in 1915. The building houses the world’s largest collection of artifacts representing ten centuries, from the 5th to the 15th of the evolution of Cham Sculpture, and the rise and fall of the Champa Kingdom in central Vietnam. Grounded in various themes of symbols of fecundity to Hindu and Buddhist deities, and mythical animals. The objects on display express significant cultural values of the Cham people. During the 13th century, there were a lot of sand stone sculptures in ‘Tap Mum’. And this one beside me is… they call it ‘Elephant Lion’. because the head is an elephant. The body is a lion. In this room, actually, there are many mythical animals. This one has the head of dragon, the horns of macara, the body of lion and the tail of Naga. Really beautiful. It’s in good conditions now. All of the things here in this museum are in good conditions. There are some highlights that you must see in this museum. The objects found are divided into four sections – Tra Kieu, My Son, Dong Duong, and Thap Mam. The objects are as old as the 7th century. Fly to Danang with Bangkok Airways. Stay tuned for the next episode. Please subscribe!