Location: Son Tra Peninsula, Da Nang city
Ideal for: Hiking
Height: 693 meters
Time to summit: 1 to 3 days
Difficulty level: Very Easy

Monkey Mountain was a prominent observation base during the American-Vietnam War, housing two radar domes that are now taken over by the Vietnamese military as well as a helicopter pad, which makes for a cool lookout point.

The winding and inclining roads surrounding the mountain is a popular spot for motorcycling, but a powerful vehicle is required to reach the top. However, the journey is well-worth the effort as you’ll be greeted with panoramic views of Hi Van Mountain, Cham Island, Da Nang City and Son Tra Peninsula.

Meanwhile, hiking enthusiasts can enjoy the verdant jungle trails and also spot rare species such as rhesus macaques, long-tailed macaques, pygmy slow loris, and red-shanked douc langurs. It takes about four hours of moderate hiking from Bai Bac Beach to the mountain summit.

A prominent attraction in Da Nang is Linh Ung Pagoda, which is also set on Son Tra (Monkey) Mountain. The stunning pagoda was built during the 18th century and houses a 67 metre-tall white statue of the Goddess of Mercy, which is set atop a lotus-shaped platform. Hailed is the tallest statue of the deity in Southeast Asia, there are 17 levels within the structure and a total of 21 miniature Buddha sculptures. Entrance to Linh Ung Pagoda is free of charge, though it’s known to get crowded with pilgrimages during special occasions.

  1. Highlights of Son Tra Peninsula
  2. Things to Do in Son Tra Peninsula
  3. What to Eat in Son Tra Peninsula?
  4. How to Get to Son Tra?
  5. Tips on Visiting Son Tra

1. Highlights of Son Tra Peninsula

With its sea-oriented appearance, Son Tra acts as a giant screen protecting Da Nang from storms and cyclones coming from the sea. Son Tra is put under the national protected forest regulation since it is a natural preservation area. The Peninsula is famous for its plentiful plants and fauna as well as the attractive scenery. It is said that fairies used to come here for singing, dancing and playing chess so Son Tra is also called Tien Sa (Fairies’ landing place).

On Son Tra, there still remain more than 30km² of natural forests, nearly 300 types of plants and several hundred kinds of fauna, including rare animal. From the top of the mountain, you can see the overall view of Danang City, Marble Mountains, Ba Na – Mount Chua, so interesting!

There is also Suoi Da (Stone Stream), which lies by the side of the foot of the mountain, fine sandy surfaces run round the peninsula, several breaks of waves are running steadily up and down and washing up on the stones heaped up around the seaside.

All are attractive spots for tourists. It is so majestic, so romantic, so wide and really beautiful.

2. Things to Do in Son Tra Peninsula 

2.1. Explore the monkeys path

In the past, US Troop named Son Tra peninsula Monkey Mountain, since there were so many monkeys in the mountain. In fact, most of the monkeys live far inside the forest, therefore it is rare to see them on the green trails.

At present, Son Tra Nature Reserve are strictly protected under the national regulations due to its invaluable natural advantage. Nearly 60% of the forest on Son Tra peninsula are primeval jungles, including thousands of endemic tropical species.

source: binstarhotel.com

Another one of a kind highlight of the Son Tra Nature Reserve is the presence of almost 12 groups of brown-legged langur (an old species of monkey). This is a greatly uncommon species with only 200 individuals currently living in Vietnam. Additionally, there are also some other uncommon species such as the red-faced monkey, yellow monkey, muntjac, musk-deer and wild pig; 106 species of birds and 23 species of reptiles, not to mention countless insects.

2.2. Linh Ung Pagoda – the destination for tranquility

If you are a person of religion, or simply someone who’s looking for a quiet and tranquil place, then Linh Ung Pagoda (Bai But) might be the perfect place waiting for you.

source: vilandtravel.com

Linh Ung – Bai But Pagoda stands on the 20-hectare land of Son Tra mountain with many items: the main hall, the lecture hall, the ancestral house, the road halls, the library, the cafeteria, and the Arhat statue garden. The pagoda is a combination between the contemporary style and the traditional style of Vietnamese temples.

The most important and visible highlight of the Linh Ung pagoda is the Lady Buddha statue – the tallest one in Vietnam (67m high). It is also placed on a 35m-high lotus diameter, making the total height over 100 meters, equivalent to a 30-floor building.

As time goes by, Linh Ung pagoda has become a famous place of worship, a place for the monks and nuns living and studying, as well as an interesting and peaceful sightseeing place for visitors. Once you come here, this spiritual destination will leave an unforgettable impression. You will have a chance to understand more about Vietnamese belief and rituals, as well as fully immerse yourself in the culture as a remarkable experience in your life.

2.3. Dong Dinh Museum – The Garden of Memory

Located on the steep upstream terrain of Hoang Sa Street, Son Tra Peninsula in Da Nang, Dong Dinh Museum – The Garden of Memory – has become a unique cultural site for tourists, vividly reproduced the ancient values ​​with the harmonious combination between the security of forest ecological space and cultural and artistic space.

source: baodulich.net.vn

Dong Dinh museum is 10km far from downtown, on mountain-side of major road up to the peak. This was founded by Mr. Doan Huy Giao, and it is actually the first private museum in Danang. Inside the museum, there are a lot of artifacts that dated back to 100 – 2500 years ago. A few examples are: belongings of ancient cultures like Sa Huynh, Dai Viet, Cham Pa… – most of these things were collected from central and highlands tribes.

2.4. Giant Banyan Tree

In the northeast of Son Tra Peninsula, particularly Hon Nghe point, there is an amazingly unique giant banyan tree with many big roots that are spanning down to ground. In fact, the real age of the tree still remains a mytery up until now. According to locals, the tree is probably 1,000  years old now, as it is really big – 20m height, with 9 root-clusters.

source: justgola.com

This Banyan tree is 17km far from the city center, locating in a winding and hilly roads. It is a favorite place for tree lovers, especially during the hot summer days. Moreover, on clear days, you can also enjoy the overview of Danang, Cham Island and Son Tra main path – all from the location of this tree.

2.5. Son Tra View Tower and Army Radar Station

source: vatm.vn

Standing 580m high compared to the sea level, Son Tra View Tower offers a wonderful panoramic view of the whole Da Nang city, Son Tra Beach and the surrounding forest. Nearby, you can also visit the army radar station which dated back from 1960s. This radar station is considered as “Mat Than Dong Duong” – “Indochina Miraculous Eyes”.  From the top head-quarter of the station, you will have a very broad view towards the ocean through the microscope.

2.6. Enjoying the Nature

In a one-day stay at Son Tra, visitors can enjoy living in the resplendent flow of dawn and the quietness of twilight on this fascinating landscape. And that is a time for them to realize the value of each and every moment and the true calling of the hearts. 

You can also swim in the cool sea and enjoy the fine view of the sandy banks run round the peninsula. The quiet Bai But beach offers you relaxing times sitting in small nice houses to hear the sound of waves and look swallows fly to the mount cliffs. The colorful coral reefs at the foot of the mountain is an ideal condition for the development of diving tourism.

3. What to Eat in Son Tra Peninsula?

source: chudu24.com

A day trip around the stunning Son Tra Peninsula will not be completed without a stop for tasty food. Near Son Tra, there are numerous great restaurants serving different kinds of dishes for tourists to enjoy. It can be listed as Madame Hanh Restaurant, Citron Restaurant, Barefoot Restaurant and Son Tra Retreat-Garden Lounge & Eatery. 

4. How to Get to Son Tra?

In order to reach Son Tra Peninsula, it is better if you depart at Yet Kieu Road. Go straight forward to Tien Sa Resort. Now, there are 3 routes available for you to choose: the Banyan Extension, the Inland Route and the Coastal Loop. Whichever way you go, you can still get to Son Tra Peninsula.

It is ideal to explore Son Tra with a bicycle or motorbike. Then, you can feel a sense of independence and freedom to go anywhere you want to wind up your mind. Nevertheless, a taxi or a car is still possible.

5. Tips on Visiting Son Tra

  • The best time to visit Son Tra Peninsula is between March and September, when the nature and atmosphere are the most wonderful to enjoy
  • When exploring Son Tra, a taxi may cost much more expensive than a motorbike so if you want to save money, a motorcycle ride is highly recommended
  • Taking sunscreen and wearing shoes rather than flip flops are recommended, since you might have to ‘fight’ some sand and rocks to take photos of the magnificent views.
  • Around Son Tra Peninsula, the signal is not very good, so it’s better if you have map of the area, plan the trip ahead or go with a local tour guide.

Son Tra is a special gift of the god to Danang. It can be seen from every place in the city. And from the top of the mountain, the vista is so enjoyable and peaceful…

Source: vietnamdiscovery.com

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