On our way from Hue to Hoi An, we stopped off briefly in Danang, a bustling city on the banks of the Han River. The city is home to a majestic golden Dragon Bridge, which apparently breathes fire and sprays water. Sadly the weather was atrocious the day we visited and with the gloomy clouds and lashing rain, it was hard to get a good photo of the bridge (above). It also sadly didn’t breathe fire or spray water while we were there!
After taking a couple of photos of the bridge, we headed across the road to the Museum of Cham Sculpture. The Cham people are an ethnic group who lived in the region for millennia and built the nearby ancient complex of My Son, among others. I was set to visit My Son in a few days so I was intrigued by the prospect of seeing some Cham sculpture before my trip.
The museum was fascinating and I loved the sandstone sculptures, especially the dancing figures (above), which were captured in lots of different poses. There was lots to see and it was great there were so many statues in seemingly good condition, given that much of the Cham art was destroyed during the Vietnam War, as well as by vandals over the years. I was really glad we visited.
After a good hour or so exploring the museum and looking at all the artefacts, we moved on to our next stop – the Marble Mountains, a series of magnificent limestone rocks on the outskirts of the city. As we arrived the rain began belting down again, so I bought a fetching luminous pink poncho from a vendor nearby before climbing a long series of steps up the mountain. At the top, there were a number of attractive ornate shrines dedicated to Buddha and we spent a bit of time looking around them all.
We then wandered down a series of steep steps into an enormous cavern inside the mountain. The cave was home to a series of shrines, as well as another statue of Buddha. I was amazed at the size of the shrines and you could even walk around one of them, which was essentially a small temple within the cave.
Before heading back down the mountain, we stopped off to admire a tall green pagoda (above) and then made our way to a viewing platform, which looked out over the city below, to take in the views. Despite the appalling weather, it was an interesting way to spend a couple of hours in Danang.