Marble mountain has long been praised for its impressive tourist attractions with unique features and highlights from numerous fascinating caves. Therein, Am Phu Cave is one of the longest, broadest, and most mysterious cave in Da Nang tourist destination.
The long road to the underworld
Am Phu cave is a curiosity and a little scary place for visitors from the very first moment you set foot inside. Visiting Marble mountain area, not everyone is brave enough to go down Am Phu cave because of the myths and mysterious stories. Despite all that, this place is still one of the most popular destinations in Vietnam tours.
Magnificent features of Am Phu cave
Legend has it that, in the early 19th century, King Minh Mang was credited for discovering the mountain range when he came across here. The nature of the Marble Mountains is reflected in the mysterious cave system.
In order to enter the cave, visitors must go around the mountain. Then, crossing the Yin Yang Bridge at the mouth of the cave. Accordingly, this is the northern bridge that bestrides on Nai Ha river, where the soul of the dead come across.
There are two roads divided into two reclining, one leads to the heaven (celestial) and one to the hell (hades). The pathway to the underworld is dark and cold, sometimes tourists can even hear a few bats start flapping wings to break the silence while the heave path is progressed in light with bright colors.
The center of the cave is the statue of Bodhisattva. In the Buddhist view, this is the Bodhisattva of beings in the land of the dead, saving sentient beings in the reincarnation of samsara. Going deep inside, there are statues of the rulers who governed 9 levels of hell and 12 dungeons.
The statue of Bodhisattva
The entrance to the 12 gates is quite narrow, visitors have to slightly lean. Visitors can be frightened and startled when encountering reliefs, lively statues embossed demon face (buffalo head, horse face, …) executing those who bring evil deeds to hell with many horrible punishments like cooking oil, being tied to the fire pole …
A masterpiece of nature
With the combination of a tectonic creation and the feat of stone artisans, nowadays, Am Phu Cave has become a tourist attraction of private tours in Vietnam.
Headway of the vaults is high, up to 45 – 50m, so traveling inside the cave, visitors will feel like going through a tunnel crossing the mountains. The ceiling has hundreds of years old stones and planches. On the right hand is the way down the underworld, with small flagstones placing through the crooked corners, twisty to the bottom of the cave. On the left is the road to the Heaven with a cliffy pathway, sometimes steeping. Along the road to celestial, visitors will encounter quite a lot of pantheon and Bodhisattva status as Bat Tien, Bodhisattva Kwan Yin, the Tathagata Buddha, …
The last stop is the vent where tourists can see upon the sky, embracing the entire landscape of Marble mountains and Tam Thai Pagoda, Linh Ung. Below at the foothill is the traditional stone carving village of Da Nang and many other pagodas.
The vent on the cave’s ceiling
Lessons about human livelihood
In the theory of Yin and Yang, human and living beings always have opposite sides. Therefore, there is an ascension in the Am Phu Cave, just as the resolution between evil and good. Unlike the way down to hell, the road to the heaven is the steps covered with natural light.
The tectonic nature of Am Phu cave
Am Phu cave is perhaps the only place for people to learn and realize meaningful lessons of life and karma in the tour to Vietnam. Each person will have a chance to recognize the right and the wrong thing to do and the path toward the good-natured in life.
At the bottom of the cave, visitors will also meet a Buddha who has been handed down and imparted for thousands of years about the filial duty of Moggallana Bodhisattva. Accordingly, after the cultivation, Moggallana went down to the realm of the dead to look for his mother. However, his mother did so many crimes that she cannot be rescued from being punished, so he devoted himself to the practice of atonement the sin on every full moon day of July.
The story is passed down to this day so that on the full moon day of July every year, people will celebrate the Vu Lan festival to honor and show gratitude to ancestor and parents. This is the reason why Vu Lan Festival is also known as Mother’s day in Vietnam.
Am Phu cave with its unique and magnificent features along with folk legends has become a popular tourist attraction both in Vietnam private tours and in the world. Visiting Am Phu cave in Marble mountains, visitors not only admire the tectonic nature but also find many interesting folklore stories, penetrating the deep wisdom of the Buddha.