Hoi An to Marble Mountains Motorbike Day Trip

Marble Mountains in Da Nang, Vietnam comprises of five limestone hills with caves and temples carved into them. It is a mysterious and cool place that we enjoyed visiting. Read more about Marble Mountains here. Our bus itinerary in Vietnam this particular time did not include a stop in Da Nang so we when it came to visiting Marble Mountains and Ba Na Hills we had to no other choice but to have motorbike day trips to Da Nang from Hoi An.

Of course, we could have opted for pre-organized tours such as those offered to us in our hotel in Hoi An, but as explained in my previous post about visiting My Son Sanctuary these seemed really poor value.

Pagoda in Marble Mountains Vietnam
A beautiful pagoda in Marble Mountains – Photo by Andrius – March 2019

Marble Mountains by Motorbike versus a Tour

What we have been consistently finding during our travels is that it is very easy to make travelling easy. There is always a travel agent with a big smile waiting to sell you a tour (and make a commission of course). Everything is arranged for you and everything is included! The catch is that you need a lot of money to keep paying these agents for the little amount of useful work that they actually do.

What we prefer is to keep that extra money in our pocket to make sure our travels last longer.

The good news was that once we arrived in Hoi An and started looking into our options it was clear that our most economical option will be visiting attractions such as Marble Mountains by motorbike.

With Marble Mountains being only 19km (less than 30 min motorbike ride) away from Hoi An we knew we could do it quite easily. Below is our breakdown of costs for visiting Marble Mountains.

  • 40k VND per person entrance (optional 15k extra for a lift – we chose to use the stairs)
  • 130k VND motorbike rental
  • 20k VND for fuel
Buddha Statue inside a cave of Marble Mountains in Vietnam
Buddha Statue inside a cave of Marble Mountains – Photo by Andrius – March 2019

Note: A grand total for visiting Marble Mountains by motorbike for us was around 230k VND. At our hotel we were offered a tour for 450k VND per person which would have meant our budget for a simple day trip would have to quadruple.

The Ride

Although I would not necessarily recommend motorcycling through Vietnamese roads to people who are not comfortable with Asian traffic, anyone with a bit of experience will be able to do it no problem. The ride from Hoi An to Da Nang is on a motorway-like road so by the time you leave Hoi An you will have done the most complicated bit. It took us around half an hour to reach Marble Mountains by motorbike.

When we had a couple of minutes of riding left we were approached by a very nice lady who (while still riding a bike) started chatting to us. She suggested we can park next to her shop and she would keep an eye on our bike. We felt there was an expectation of us to buy something from her shop for the favour but she did not make a fuss when we explained we did not want anything. It seems this is how parking near Marble Mountains works anyway.

The one last thing that is worth keeping in mind is that you will want to start the journey to Marble Mountains no later than noon to make sure you come back to Hoi An by the time it’s dark. Riding a bike at night is not difficult or unsafe, but I always try to avoid if I can anyway.

Shrine in Marble Mountains Vietnam
Marble Mountains – Photo by Andrius – March 2019

Another Easy Choice for Budget Conscious Travellers

For anyone who is able to ride a motorbike and has some familiarity with Asian traffic this will surely be an awesome day trip. You will not only have the freedom to go whenever you want and stay for as long as you want (and potentially even sneak in a nice lunch in Da Nang – Taco NGON is my recommendation) but will save a bit of money too. Vietnam is not an expensive country but when you are on the road for several months or even years every little helps.

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