The champion climbing Americans in Da Nang

Our second trip to Da Nang, Viet Nam to see family was quite a bit nicer due to the relatively cooler timing of late April.  It was still hot – 32 degrees Celcius – but at least there was a breeze by the ocean!  As opposed to July when it’s hella hot, April gave us sunny days and breezy nights.  My only advice is to book flights and hotels at least 2 months or more in advance since the Annual International Fireworks competition is held in Da Nang during this time every year and everything is fully sold out way in advance.  Because of my late booking, we had to split our time at two different hotels.  Thankfully, they were right next to one another, nonetheless, it was a hassle to move a family of five.

View from our Ocean Front balcony at the Vinpearl Luxury hotel. Gorgeous landscaping and the pools were almost an electric blue color! Beautiful tile work.

Infinity pools.

Noah finds the pool water temperature to be just perfect. It is a little warmer compared to ocean water.

During this time of year, we were able to get some waves thanks to the wind. The ocean water was cool enough to actually cool you off!

Wave jumping Hayley-style.

You know you're in Viet Nam when ...

The kids got to visit their other Great-Gram, who is 87. She doesn't recognize or remember who anyone is, but she is just as happy to see them just the same.

My wonderful family made a great meal for us. "1, 2, 3 ... YOH!" This front part of their house is a motorbike dealership. We just moved them to the side to make room for the occasion.

The grace of a girl wearing an 'ao dai', the traditional Vietnamese dress. It helps that she is so lithe!

Find the mistakes here. Do you think this is real fertilizer? A farmer keeps these in my aunt's house. I'm going to have to Google and find where "Innedosia" is and see if it's worth the trip! 🙂

The view from my aunt's bamboo bed. Grains drying in the foreground. Mountains in the background. This is my beautiful cousin Ngan on her iPhone.

After visiting my 85-year-old aunt, we took the kids to see the Marble Mountains, right in Da Nang, and conveniently located across from our hotel!

Two of the five Marble Mountains "Ngu Hanh Son". All marble and seemingly rising out of nowhere.

Making our way up the Marble Mountains.

Those silly Americans!  We travel like typical Americans with backpacks full of necessities:  mosquito spray, sunscreen, water, and emergency meds.  We were prepared with our running shoes!  See the locals’ footwear?  They didn’t make it very far …  🙂

Limestone and marble steps.

The steps were quite high and uneven, but my kids were troopers, especially Hayley who really had to step up big to make it up the mountain.  My kids love going up steps!

Inside these caves were various statues of Buddha.

One kid through, two more to go!

This cave was so good to climb the kids decided to do it twice. It was truly using your hands and feet to make it up through the crevice.  We only encountered one group of three adults who made it through this cave above.  We did not see anyone make it to the summit that day.  The local guides were very impressed with our kids!

Our reward for coming out of the previous cave -- the view!

An equally steep and awkward way down.

Way to another cave on Marble Mountain.

The scale and steepness of most of these steps!

One cave led us to another deeper cave. It was like a cathedral.

The result of bombs on this cave from the civil war.

Massive Buddha in the background.

This was inside the cave.

The last leg to the top. This section totally made my thighs feel the burn!

Ethan looking at the view from the summit.

Totally worth the climb. The Vinpearl (center) is right across from the Marble Mountains.

The kids were great and lead us the whole way.  They were good for the first 2 1/2 hours but the last 15 minutes was pure meltdown.  Sharing a little bit of Orange Fanta and 7-Up alleviated it somewhat, but the meltdown was only cured by some more swimming in the ocean.

Back to the ocean after the climb!


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