Visiting Son Tra Mountain is a must-try experience on a trip to Da Nang, the biggest city in Central Vietnam. Favored by nature, this city possesses many large and small beaches, a diverse flora and fauna ecosystem, and an extremely peaceful atmosphere in both day and night, promising to bring you many unforgettable experiences. If you are interested in discovering more fascinating details about these well-known destinations, read on!
1. Where is Son Tra Mountain? What is its other name?
Son Tra Mountain is in Tho Quang Ward, Son Tra District, Da Nang City. This mountain is located about 10 kilometers to the northeast of the city center. It is a breathtaking national park in Da Nang that stands 693 meters above sea level and covers an area of 60 square kilometers, with a length of 13 kilometers and a width of 5 kilometers.
This mountain is a primordial woodland with breathtaking vistas and diverse ecosystems. There are about 1,000 plant species and 120 animal species that can be found in this old forest, which covers an area of 4,500 hectares. 21 of which are in Vietnamese and international Red Books. Hence, the majority of people that visit the mountain desire to observe the wildlife and plants here.
- Other names
Before the 15th century, Son Tra was an island amid the sea with three peaks. Later, however, a sand isthmus connects it to the mainland, attributable to the Han River's delta creation and coastal sedimentation. The north, east, and west sides of the mountain are still bordered by water. Geographers refer to this mountain as "Son Tra Peninsula."
Few people know that Son Tra Mountain is also referred to as Monkey Mountain. This is due to the fact that more than 100 types of endangered animals, like the brocade python and red-faced chicken, which are classified in Vietnam's Red Book are preserved on this mountain. In particular, the arrival of more than 400 brown-shanked douc langurs, known as the queen of primates, further increases the value of the Son Tra conservation area.
2. Things to experience on Son Tra Mountain Da Nang
Among a wide range of activities on the Son Tra Mountain tour, some notable things to do when you visit this mountain include:
Hiking in Son Tra Mountain can be enjoyed along two primary routes:
- The lower route: The journey is longer, allowing you to tour along the awe-inspiring coastline of the mountain.
- The upper route: The journey leads to the peaks where the most panoramic views with lots of photo opportunities are provided.
It takes an average of 30 kilometers to walk the length of each route to fully explore them. Hikers may take in the lush jungle trails and spot endangered species, including pygmy slow lorises, rhesus macaques, and red-shanked douc langurs.
Exploring the wild habitat of monkeys
Coming to Son Tra Mountain, there is nothing more interesting than watching golden monkeys swing around, find food, and interact with each other.
Taking pictures of lovely monkeys
Although Son Tra Mountain is full of beautiful scenery, do not forget to capture the interesting moments of the monkeys here. To get the greatest close-ups, carefully approach them so they can sense that you are not dangerous.
You will have a chance to see the monkeys more clearly as you feed them. Fruits, bread, and cakes are typically the favorite foods of the monkeys. However, you should not give them too much food, as they will spill the food onto the ground, leading to fights between other monkeys. Additionally, some foods can even make them sick.
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3. TOP 3 places to visit when you travel to Son Tra Mountain
There are lots of interesting spots you can visit while you are on Son Tra Mountain. Below are the top three must-see attractions:
3.1. Linh Ung Pagoda
A prominent attraction in Da Nang is Linh Ung Pagoda, a stunning pagoda built during the 18th century on a 20-hectare plot of land on Son Tra Mountain. The pagoda is a hybrid of contemporary and traditional Vietnamese architecture.
Here, the Lady Buddha statue, the tallest statue in Vietnam, is the most important and visible feature of Linh Ung Pagoda. Being 67 meters tall and supported by a 35-meter-high lotus-shaped foundation, it is hailed as the tallest statue of Buddha in Southeast Asia.
3.2. Ban Co Peak
“Ban Co Peak” means “chessboard mountain”. According to legends, two fairies descended from heaven and came to this place to play Chinese chess together. Getting to Ban Co peak is challenging due to the narrow winding path. However, as you reach the peak, you can enjoy the clean air and stunning view of the mountain and coastal city.
3.3. The ancient banyan tree
A banyan tree stands at the end of the south-east coastal road, which is located 17 kilometers away from the city center. According to locals, this ancient tree is at least 1,000 years old. From here, you can see Da Nang, Cham Islands, and the whole Son Tra Mountain. It was recognized as a heritage tree by Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature in 2014.
4. The ultimate guide for your journey to Son Tra Mountain
4.1. The best time to explore the mountain
From March to September, with the dry weather, gentle sunshine, and calm sea, visitors can enjoy the gorgeous view of Son Tra Mountain without worrying about storms. This place is especially beautiful from April to June, as the forest blooms with a profusion of vibrant flowers. In winter, it may get foggy and quite challenging to navigate around.
4.2. The recommended ways to get there
Son Tra Mountain is only a 35-minute ride away from Da Nang. Therefore, it is easy to get here. There are two routes you can take to quickly reach the mountain:
- From the city center: Take one of the bridges among Dragon Bridge, Han River Bridge, and Tran Thi Ly Bridge to get to the coastal road and head northeast along Vo Nguyen Giap Road.
- From Hoi An: Travel to Da Nang from Hoi An, then, take Truong Sa Road – Vo Nguyen Giap Road – Hoang Sa Road – Son Tra Mountain.
There are various means of transportation for you to choose from, also:
- Taking a taxi: With a taxi, you will not have to drive yourself and will be able to fully contemplate the highlights of Son Tra along the way.
- Riding a motorbike: Going by yourself, you can freely adjust your schedule and itinerary to go wherever and whenever you want.
- Renting a shuttle bus: If you travel in a large group, especially with children, it is best to rent a shuttle bus with 4-16 seats. It will take you to your favorite destination safely.
4.3. Extra useful notes for your perfect trip
- If you rent a motorbike, make sure that the gas is full and the brakes, lights, horns, and other components are in working order
- You should bring sunscreen and wear shoes rather than flip-flops, as you may need to climb across sand and rocks to get stunning views
- Bring a map, make travel plans, or hire a local tour guide if possible, as phone signals in Son Tra Mountain are not stable
- Do not engage in activities that could threaten the monkeys as well as other local wildlife
- Do not litter
There are not many hotels on Son Tra Mountain, therefore, you should stay at a hotel in Son Tra District or Da Nang city center to conveniently move between attractions. It is highly suggested that you stay at Vinpearl Resort & Spa Da Nang, which consists of 122 luxurious villas with neoclassical architecture. With top-rated facilities and services, this resort will surely make you feel at home.
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Traveling to Son Tra Mountain is an experience that you totally should not miss out on! It is magnificent that there are a great number of golden monkeys and dozens of other exotic creatures here. During your visit to the mountain, take your time exploring to get a better feel of the habitat that Nature Mother has bestowed on this place.
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