An abundance of wildlife, incredible scenery, lush greenery, a huge statue overlooking the city of Da Nang and of course monkeys, welcome to Monkey Mountain!
Son Tra Mountain, also known as Monkey Mountain, is a beautiful national park that is about a 35 minute drive from Da Nang and stands at 693 meters above sea level. When we first arrived into Da Nang, the presence of a huge, white statue amongst a sea of green jungle in the distance caught our attention and we knew that we would have to visit it. It even glowed at night time!
One morning in Da Nang we were walking along the pathway near the beach when we spotted a group of drivers. We approached them and asked for a spontaneous drive up to Monkey Mountain, one of the drivers happily agreed and we boarded this golf cart like vehicle and made our way. The drive was slow but the view along the way was really nice as we went past the beaches and up through the jungle.
When we reached the top the driver was happy to wait around for us to return. Although full day and half day tours operate on Monkey Mountain where you can journey through the jungle to spot wildlife or see the sights via jeep we decided we were only going to spend about an hour there to see what we could find on foot.
Although we had to pay the driver, entry to Monkey Mountain is free. At the entrance you will see a small shop where you can purchase drinks, light snacks and souvenirs. We passed by a pagoda or two and then we entered this open spaced courtyard filled with massive bonsais and right in the middle of it all, a white statue towering at an amazing 67 meters tall!
This statue is called the Goddess of Mercy, was built during the 18th century and 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. To enter the statue you must be dressed appropriately with shoulders and knees covered and footwear must also be removed prior to entering. When we went there we saw many people in prayer in front of the a shrine with many offerings.
Now there's a very good reason why this place is called Monkey Mountain, there is no shortage of them! Down the lower part of the courtyard near where it's overgrown with trees you will more than likely come across and spot some of the resident monkeys. These monkeys should not be approached as with any wild animal, they can be unpredictable. They are use to visitors throwing food down to them but I would probably advise against this as it makes the monkeys quite aggressive towards each other as they fight over the food and that aggression could be turned onto an unfortunate nearby person, admire these beautiful monkeys from a distance and everybody will be happy.
There is actually quite a lot to see and do at Monkey Mountain and if I were to find myself there again I would definitely look into doing the wildlife spotting tour! For those short on time, allow yourself an hour or two to see some of the highlights of the amazing location. Opening hours: 6am - 9:30pm