Thursday, 4 October 2012

Marble Mountains

Arriving in Da Nang we made a short stop off at a few places on the way to Hoi An. First stop was the Museum of Cham Sculpture. I have to say they had some nice pieces, but after coming from the temples of Angkor Wat they were a little underwhelming. Next was a quick look at 'China Beach' then onto the Marble Mountains.
At the base of the mountain we were first dropped off at a modern marble carving tourist trap shop. This happened a few times and was a little frustrating. The we went up the actual mountain, where they use to mine marble. Now days the marble is all imported. The Marble Mountains are home to several Buddhist and Hindu grottoes.
I liked the type of decoration on these: a lot of mosaics, using old plates, and beer bottles. All applied by a skilled craftsman, taking into consideration the curves and contours of the objects to add dimension to the murals and embellishment on the temples. Above is a little bat, and below a dragon.
A beer-bottle tree.
There were also some beautiful characters made from old china plates. Fun typography.
One of the most interesting temples was actually inside a cave. The cave has natural light, and was used as a Viet Cong field hospital during the Vietnam War.
View from the lookout at the other mountains.

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