The enchanting world of Ba Na Hills presents a different side of Vietnam. Nestled in the high mountains near the city of Da Nang, this is a tourist amusement park that resembles a piece of Europe. From one of the longest cable car rides globally to the renowned Golden Bridge, Ba Na Hills offers plenty to provide you with a spectacular day.
Ba Na Hills is an amusement park atop a mountain. You could somewhat compare it to visiting Disneyland on a mountain. Within the park, there are a few attractions, like a carousel, but you won't find roller coasters here. It's more of a themed park with features like French-style cottages.
The place of Ba Na was discovered around 1919 by a French captain searching for an ideal location to build a resort. Ba Na was deemed the perfect spot. French settlers then constructed a resort destination for French tourists. Situated at 1,500 meters above sea level, it offers stunning views of the sea and mountains.
There are different speculations about the origin of the name Ba Na Hills. Some believe Ba Na means 'my mountain' in the Katu language, the original language of the local tribe. Others think the place was abundant with banana plants and the French named it 'banane,' the French word for banana, which the Vietnamese then translated to Ba Na.
After Vietnam gained independence, efforts were made to attract tourists, eventually leading to the establishment of Ba Na Hills in the 21st century.
From Da Nang and Hoi An, you can take a taxi to Ba Na Hills. From Da Nang, a one-way trip costs between 15 and 20 dollars. Hoi An is a bit farther from Ba Na Hills, and here you'd pay around 30 dollars for a one-way trip. You can negotiate a deal with the taxi driver for both the journey there and back. Due to the distance, many taxi drivers are available to wait for you at Ba Na Hills.
Another option is to join an organized tour, often inclusive of transportation. The advantage of a tour is that everything is arranged for you, often including lunch, and the cost is usually the same or less than if you organize everything separately. However, a downside is that during the park visit, you'll be accompanied by a guide, even though exploring the park on your own is also quite feasible.
Adults pay 35 dollars for an entrance ticket. You can arrange online tickets via the Sunworld Ba Na Hills website, which is the official site. Day tickets and evening tickets are available. When purchasing a ticket through the website, online payment is required. We attempted to pay using our Visa and MasterCard, but were unsuccessful. An alternative is to purchase tickets at the park. Generally, this process is relatively quick, and you won't experience excessively long wait times. The entrance ticket includes the cable car ride to and from Ba Na Hills, access to the Golden Bridge, activities in the Fantasy Park, and various shows. However, additional fees may apply for food, beverages, and specific special activities within the park.
Ba Na Hills is generally open from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
Ba Na Hills is situated high in the mountains, and it's often cool in the park. Clouds frequently envelop the area, leading to frequent rain. It's advisable to bring along a sweater and long pants. Additionally, having an umbrella or rain gear would be useful.
The rainy season in Da Nang spans from September to December, increasing the likelihood of rain at Ba Na Hills. However, the park tends to be less crowded during this period as the peak season typically falls between April and August.
As a tourist amusement park, Ba Na Hills attracts many visitors. It's advisable to arrive as early as possible to experience quieter surroundings.
To reach the mountain park, you'll need to take the cable car—a highlight in itself! It's one of the tallest and longest cable car rides globally, lasting about 15 minutes to the first station. During this journey, you'll enjoy stunning vistas of lush green mountains. Quite impressive! Ba Na Hills boasts a total of five cable car lines throughout the park, as the park's attractions are situated at various elevations.
The Golden Bridge is one of the park's highlights, and chances are you've seen it in photos. It opened in 2018 and quickly gained popularity due to its striking design. The golden bridge is supported by enormous stone hands that cradle the structure. Perched at 4593 feet above sea level, it offers breathtaking views on clear days and an enigmatic feel when shrouded in clouds.
Visiting the bridge early in the day is recommended to avoid crowds. Later on, it tends to get crowded, making it more challenging to stroll peacefully. The Golden Bridge is located within Ba Na Hills Park. Access to the bridge is included with the park's entrance ticket, and it's not possible to purchase a separate ticket solely for the bridge.
The French Village is a unique phenomenon within the park. It feels like wandering around a European mountain village. The village is designed based on French and European architecture and ambiance. You'll find a large square, colorful flowers, and a cathedral. In the French Village, you can stroll through charming streets and among colorful buildings. To add an extra touch, there are beautiful medieval castles, creating a fairy tale atmosphere. When it's cloudy, the mist adds an extra magical feel. There are various restaurants in the French Village where you can try French dishes or enjoy a good glass of beer.
In the park, you'll find a toboggan run, also known as Alpine Coaster. Here, you can race around the mountain in a cart. You control your speed, so you can go as fast or slow as you'd like. There are two toboggan runs in the park. One is included in the admission ticket, but the queue might be longer. Signs indicate the approximate wait times. There's also a toboggan run where you have to pay extra, but the queue is usually shorter.
Ba Na Hills also has a wine cellar, created by French settlers in 1923. The wine cellar is built into a rocky mountain, where the temperature ranges between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius (61-68 degrees Fahrenheit), perfect for wine. The wine cellar is one of the few activities in the park that is not artificially replicated. Inside, you can enjoy various wines and learn about the winemaking process. Previously, admission to the wine cellar was included in the park ticket, but now there's an additional fee for this experience.
There are various festivals throughout the year at Ba Na Hills, such as the Flower Festival. This makes a visit to the park even more special. It's best to check the Sunworld website for updates on new events.