Last Updated on 3 years by Tam Le Van
Ba Na Hills and the Golden bridge, they’re one or two different places? Just one among many popular questions made from travelers about Ba Na Hills. It’s a mountain resort set up by French colonists to serve for leisure need of upper classes and army mens in 19th century. Today for everybody when they left. Actually, the Golden bridge opened in 2018 is in this celebrated destination and itseft, the best known site to global visitors on social medias. No doubt to say that lots of people have knowledge of it more than the greater one.
In the fact that most tourists staying in Da Nang and Hoi An are willing to visit Ba Na Hills, not only because of world-famous Golden bridge. It also boasts of ideal weather, harmonious beauty of mountains, forests and human additions, interesting activities that await you to appreciate and participate. Spending one day in this legend is feasible within beautiful days. However, the information about it is vast now and sometimes mainy for business advertisements. A full neutral guide including advices is necessary.
So, Hoi An Life outlines everything about Ba Na Hills Mountain Resort in this article to inform you comprehensively for the trip ahead and to save time in researching.
Location, opening hours of Ba Na Hills and how to get there
Ba Na Hills is a world-class mountain resort in Central Vietnam. It situates on the altitude of around 1.400m above sea level and its base is about 25 kilometers away from Da Nang center. In general, this must-see destination consists of two specific zones as “Ba Na By Night” and French Village. Both are well-connected with each other and foot of the mountain by a cable car system that recorded as the longest one of their kind around the world. Business hours daily of Ba Na Hills is from 7:30 a.m to 9:30 p.m.
For many consecutive years, Ba Na Hills Mountain Resort of the Sun World is hornored as the best tourist attraction in the country. In 2019, it drew eight million visitors.
To get Ba Na Hills, all of vehicles (except the public bus) is convenient from Da Nang and its major transportation hubs like airport. If like to participate an organised tour or transfer, local travel agencies are able to offer day trips with competitive price. Furthermore, online booking sites’re also popular to tourists. Due to changing weather, keep in mind to check carefully the forecast once make any reservations of ticket. Read our article about how to get Ba Na Hills from Da Nang for further details.
Cable car cabins in the light of sunset
Getting Ba Na Hills from Hoi An
With a distance of 45 kilometers, it takes you around one hour to move from Hoi An to Ba Na Hills’s cable car stations by car and bus. Because of good traffic facilities of both cities, your experience will be smooth. No difficult to look for a private car, join-in-group and private tours all over Hoi An. Additionally, being on the motorcycle and bicycle (should get mountain or hydrid ones) to get it is also suited. To know the best rental shops of motorbike in Hoi An, check out our article through http://hoianlife.net/the-best-hoi-ans-motorbike-rental-shops/ and top motorbike tours here. If do not have your own bicycle, get in touch with the best local cycling tour operators for a rental. They offer both long-term and short-term. We have an article just for sharing you how to get Ba Na Hills (Golden Bridge) from Hoi An, read it for detailed information.
Impressively designed lobby way leads to Hoi An station
Weather and the best times to visit Ba Na Hills
During the most moderate weather periods, you will experience four seasons only in a day at Ba Na Hills. Spring-like in the morning, high temperature with lots of sunshine during midday, cool and pleasant in the afternoon and cold like winter by night. This makes the mountain resort become a climate pearl that under strong attention of French formerly.
The best times to visit Ba Na Hills during the year is from March to September when the weather moderate and ideal for sightseeing. Outdoor activites like carnival also occurs more frequent in this period than remaining months of the year. By contrast, rains and fogs will block all views of buildings and landscape that nobody expects. Kids, aged persons and disablities feel not easy to walk around on wet roads as well. Sometimes electricity-used modern facilities such as the escalator stop working because of high humidity. In addition to, open-air things to do will be not operated to keep your safety, roaster coaster for example.
Check weather forecast before start your Ba Na Hills trip to select proper clothes. Because you mainy have to walk to visit its attractions, trainers or shoes are necessary.
Times between morning and early afternoon are good to start a trip to Ba Na Hills. If stay overnight in Hoi An, you should leave before midday to have more time to do everything. Especially, it’s a must do during high tourist seasons when you have to wait quite much in cable car stations and each sites within the mountain resort.
The French Village in a beautiful day
@the highest point of Ba Na Hills
Ba Na Hills ticket
You will pay 750.000 VND (about 32.5 USD) for a Ba Na Hills ticket. This price covers the cable car up and down the mountain resort and between its specific two zones, transport on the furnicular, entry to all buildings except Wax museum and the bulk of games in the amusement park. In addition to, 20% off (600.000 VND-26 USD) for childrens from one to 1.4m in height and free of charge for childrens/kids under 1m. Keep in mind that Ba Na Hills ticket validates within business hours from 7 a.m until 10 p.m.
For Da Nang residents, the price wil be downed to 450.000 VND (19.5 USD) for an adult, 350.000 VND (15.2 USD) for childrens between one and 1.4m and no charge for children/kids under 1m. Through this action, Sun World (the owner company of Ba Na Hills) wants to say thank you for local people. Bring your household registration book and identificication card to receive the discount.
At sometimes, Ba Na Hills ticket’s used for accessing the restaurant you booked alongside the cable car entry. Read carefully all information shown on it.
Ba Na Hills cable car
Up to the present, you have three choices of cable car to approach zones of Ba Na Hills from its base. The first one in history (built in 2007) starts from Suoi Mo station, transits at Debay station (for Flower gardens) and ends at Indochina station in French Village. En route, you have the chance to see Da Nang’s best waterfall, rocky creeks and big old trees from above. Lots of blooming forest flowers are seen within the spring.
Second cable car system was established in 2013, from Toc Tien station straightaway to Indochina station. This’s recorded as the longest non-stop single track cable car in the world at the time by Guiness World Records. Thirdly, the newest one, from Hoi An station, transits at Marseille station (near the Golden bridge) and stops at Bordeaux station. It features the largest capacity of a cabin (10 people) and offers scenic giant rock outcrops.
Due to height difference, you may get tinnitus, headache and other effects on health. Sudden change of temperature between the resort and its base also has the influence on your kids, especially in summertime. Take note!
Business hours of Ba Na Hills’s cable cars is between 7:30 a.m and 9:30 p.m. Depending on different factors, the engineers will decide which cable car serve you first. As a very professtional company, Sun World gives you thoughtful instructions when you’re there. In general, total time of cable car ride is around 15 minutes. During high seasons and Vietnamese national holidays, you have to stand in long line at each station. You’re advised starting your trip early to receive more comfort. In case of a self-guided trip, book online Ba Na Hills ticket to skip the line in the ticket counter.
Visit maps in English are available in each cabin, take it for your self-guided trip.
Ba Na Hills history
Why call Ba Na Hills?
Many local people share that Ba Na is a short word of banana, the tree living lushly at foot of the hills. When French came, used this easily-recognized feature as its official name (like the way American did with the Monkey Mountain).
However, don’t forget that Vietnamese has the punctuation. Meaning of a word may change to another when switch it. Right verson of Ba Na is “Bà Nà” (Bà means Lady). So, there are some things inconsequential that urge culture scientists step in researching. Recently, they pointed out its relation with Cham people who settled down in past centuries. At that time, it was called as Mount of Po Nagar (“Mother Goddess”) due to being the largest mountain. Po Nagar turned into “Ba Na” when Vietnamese took over the region from 14th century. Nowadays, the bulk of site names with first word as “Ba” around Central Vietnam are understood in this way. Visit Cham Museum or My Son Sanctuary if you like to know more about the kingdom and its splendid culture.
Magnificent mountains of Da Nang seen on the way down of Ba Na Hills cable car
Discovery and establishment of Ba Na Hills by French
During first years of their colonial period in 19th century, French traveled around Vietnam’s high mountainous areas to find ideal places to establish summer resorts. In Central region, Ba Na Hills was discovered in 1901 and then Bach Ma in 1932. According to scientists, these ecological gems are endowed by Mother Nature great conditions for leisure and recreation. Above all, the weather is the most precious factor what make . Time after time, the colonists added private villas, Christian church, bar, restaurant, gardens and more transformed each one of them into a little town. More than that, the wine cellar’s made as well, to serve their great need.
Because of unconvenience in traffic from Hue former capital (mainly caused by the rough of Hai Van Pass), people visited Ba Na Hills were French and Vietnamese rich mans. They spent many days (especially in summertime) to relax and moved on a human-powered palaquin during hours to get it from the base. Even, the mountain resort was the must-stop on every travel journey between North and South of Vietnam (and past Indochina Federation also). Unfortunately, prosperity of this land nearly ended after French left the country in post-WW2 years. In the course of Vietnam war, American army used some its area as landing sites for helicopter. Leisure purposes were not noticed much.
Ba Na Hills has over 200 years of history @from Morin Hotel
Resurrection of Ba Na Hills
Following a long time forgotten, ideas about recovering “golden era” of Ba Na Hills were discussed in 1990s. To gain this target, an ecotourism area was established by Da Nang authority in 1997, namely Ba Na-Suoi Mo. Since then, the hills’ve better known by different classes of Vietnamese people instead of rulers and richmans like in the past. However, the unconvenience in traffic and shortage of breakthrough factors, Ba Na still not drew a lot visitors as expected.
Eight years later (2005), Sun Group took over and invested numerous large-scale facility projects along with proffesional management into the site. Its face changed spectacularly, especially after operation of first cable car in 2007. Glorious buildings of French architecture simulation, themed park, flower gardens, Buddhist temples, restaurants and hotels also were constructed in succesion during the later time. Due to increasing tourists yearly, two more cable car systems’re added to bring the best service. Today, Ba Na Hills stands as a leading destination with about 5.000 visitors everyday (over 20.000 people in peak seasons) and its images reached beyond the boundary of Vietnam.
The latest cable car system in Ba Na Hills
Ba Na-Nui Chua National Nature Reserve: A green pearl of Da Nang
French designated greater Ba Na Hills as a nature reserve right after found it in the beginning of 20th century. In 1986, Vietnam government officially established and recorded this area in the list of “national special-use forests”. According to scientists, it is the home of over 550 plant species and 266 animal species including a large number of endangered ones. Among them, bell-shaped cherry blossom (hoa dao chuong) is selected as the enblem of whole resort. When visit during January, you have the chance to see it nearby Buddhist temples. Thus, Ba Na Hills altogether with the Monkey Mountain and Hai Van Pass (of Bach Ma Range) create precious green masses surrounding Da Nang city and shelter for the live of its inhabitants. At the moment, tourists are not allowed to access (including moving on car roads) but trekking/hiking routes in the jungle are on the roadmap.
Fact: Ba Na Hills Mountain Resort covers the highest zone of Ba Na-Nui Chua reserve. To reduce air and noise pollutions, transport by cable car is the best way to protect this priceless gem.
What to do in “Ba Na By Night”?
Visit Golden Bridge and its nearby flower gardens
All you need to know about the Golden Bridge
Golden Bridge (Cau Vang) is a “booming” of Vietnam tourism industry quickly after it’s opened to the public in 2018. Its images appear impressively and with great frequency on most social medias worldwide. This famed 150-meter-long pedestrian bridge is held by two stone-like hands and constructed by fibreglass and wire mesh positioned around steel supports. From altitude of 1.414m ASL it stands, panoramic view of Da Nang city, mountains and sea can be captured. The best time to visit the Golden Bridge is the morning when harmonious sunshine can help to create awesome pictures. You may see rains and densed cloud in late afternoon in many days.
Note: Prepare personal selfie stick if you like to own good pictures from little above. In peak times, the bridge is packed and you have not much comfortable spaces to do the job. It will be helpful.
The Golden Bridge and Marseille station from above
Ba Na Hills’s flower gardens: Le Jardin D’mour
“Ba Na By Night” composes of nine glorious flower gardens designed basing on ancient time architecture and legend inspirations. They own different features but harmonious to each other as a whole and to natural landscape around them. Furthermore, fanciful clouds, romantic French music and other artistic additions create a true paraside on the Earth. This complex’s named as Le Jardin D’Amur to honor the love and beauty.
Garden of Uyen Uong “the couple” stands as the central part of Le Jardin D’Amur. Next to its every side, you’re able to walk in another beautiful land. To the North, it’s “Grape Garden” where street music bands base during the morning. On the right hand side, there are Vuon Than Thoai famous for elegant white Greek temple columns, Italian style Vuon Ky Uc garden as well as creative cable car made by trees. This group’s the favourite of Instagrammers. You’ll also easy to see a small maze, Vuon Suy Tuong with big marble chess pieces just behind.
If like to capture photos of Da Nang outskirt from above, make sure you know two gardens to the left hand side, namely Dia Dang and Suoi Mo gardens. Keep in mind that one free-of-charge photo is always availably offered to group of over 10 people as a gift from Ba Na Hills company. The photographers stand near the maze, on the main road leading to Linh Ung pagoda. Two more impressive gardens (Nha Tinh Tam and Vuon Thieng) locate on top of the hill where wine cellar and its bar stand.
Annually, the Sun World holds a flower festival in these colorful gardens (in French village as well but main stage here). Different years go with different themes. From January to March of 2020, 1.5 million tulips brought from many countries globally were added. For that reason, the area became one of the most sought-after destination for visitors. Update the latest information of the festival on Ba Na Hills’s webpage through https://banahills.sunworld.vn/en.
Explore Debay old wine cellar
This 100m long wine cellar was built in 1923 by a group of French to preserve premium wine brought from their country. They designed a zigzaging layout to maintain the temperature always around 20oC with different inner spaces. In other words, it has a bar in the center with capacity not more than 10 people (to keep the warmness moderate), dining room for people from upper classes, a couple of racks, heater and caves used for private wine collections. In the nearly end of your journey underground, you’ll see a full set of utensils to make the rice wine (Ruou gao) what replaces the wine in times of shortage.
Vietnam and imported wines are always on sale, both bottle and glass upstairs. Additionally, you also have many outdoor seatings with a view of colorful gardens and choices of barbecues.
Have a fun time with Ba Na Hills maze
There is a small maze near Doumer restaurant named as Vuon Bi An (“Secret garden”). Its inner roads are walled by lush green ferns and paved by small stones. The entrance and exit gates’re next to each other that face other beautiful gardens. Not only a good place to have fun time with friends or family, this part of Le Jardin D’Amour is ideal for taking Instagram pictures.
Linh Ung Pagoda: a peaceful corner inside Ba Na Hills
Linh Ung Pagoda of Ba Na Hills is built in 2004 on a mountain slope near the main road reaching Nui Chua summit. It served as must-stop on the travel itenerary of every tourist before cable cars operated. More than that, accommodating in this place was also allowed (today very limited, often for monks only). In 1st and 15th date of each Vietnamese lunar month, vegetarian foods’re made to serve for Buddhist followers and persons like to taste. Because of no long history, festivals absent but daily chanting Buddha teachings and ceremonies still occur.
Fact: The initiator for building another Linh Ung pagoda in Da Nang is Thich Thien Nguyen who’s also leader monk of first one in the Marble Mountains.
At the moment, Linh Ung Pagoda of Ba Na Hills includes a main Buddha hall decorated with traditional and Buddhist patterns, living rooms for monk, a Mountain god temple, 27m height white marble Great Buddha statue and staircase lined with main figures of “Journey to the West” . Its main entrance faces very appealing sceneries that labeled as “heaven gate”. There are a lot of Instagrammers willing to have pictures there.
Experience the Furnicular
Used to carry tourists from Debay cable car station to The Flower Gardens when it’s inaugurated in 2014. This first furnicular of Vietnam was designed by Swiss architects and engineers. Today, offers experience on down way only (most often run in the morning because of large number of tourists). Come to its upper station (between the Golden bridge and garden zone) if like to get.
Outdoor music and art performances
Sun World usually arrange outdoor music and art performances around gardens and cable car stations, especially during high times. These additions make the atmosphere more lively and entertaining. Diffirentiate to anywhere else all over the country, the artists are “white people” who also bring “European vibes” to the mountain resort.
Things to do in Ba Na Hills’s French village
Meander around streets of French village
Streets and buildings in French Village are stunning places to create Instagram photos. They’re connected with temple zone on higher altitudes and Central square where the most featured events held. The most outstanding one is Saint Denis Church aka Ba Na Hills Church. It’s newly established (not dated back from colonial time) and very grand in the architecture as well as decorations. The interior is also not inferior, gorgeous and made of colorful stained glass. This church is well-liked stage for wedding photographers. No dresscode regulated here.
If you lost something around Ba Na Hills, no worried. Let any staffs near you know and wait for good result. In case you notice the problem when back home or in hotel, contact asap to receive the help from company. In 2017, 100 million VND was returned successfully to the owner.
Visit Nui Chua summit and its Buddhist temples
To the left of Ba Na Hills church, there is the stone-paved way and steps leading Nui Chua summit (1.487m ASL), the highest point of whole area. Its name tells us the same, means “king of mountains”. Over there, a cement memorable mark’s established and bell pavillion is built to provide tourists picteresque sweeping views. Immense forests of Ba Na nature reserve and French village are covered. If you accommodate in a Ba Na Hills’s hotel, come here in the early morning to witness sunrise and the freshest atmosphere of the hill station.
Once get the summit, you can visit coffee shops lining the road, Tru Vu Tra Quan tea house, Buddhist temples (Linh Phong Thien Tu and Chua Bac behind it) and a white tower. These are not only beautiful buildings to see, but also good places to pray for local people. Monks are living and practicing Buddha teachings daily.
@Thap Linh Phong Thien Tu @Linh Phong Thien Tu pagoda
Games and Wax museum in the Fantasy Park
Fantasy Park is the largest indoor amusement park around the country. Its all three underground flats are designed basing on the inspiration from novels as Journey to the Center of the Earth and Twenty Thousands Leagues Under the Sea”. There’re around 90 games included in your ticket and just some not. Additionally, near its entrance, you also have the chance to do outdoor roller coaster (the longest of its kind in Vietnam). Keep in mind that the game’s for adult only and you may stand in long line to experience during peak times.
Wax museum is the most special part of the Fantasy Park. From the main entrance, go straight ahead until the end and get the escalator to approach it. It houses nearly one hundred wax-made famous figures worldwide like sport legends, singers, actor/actresses, politicians, scientists and more. You can meet Messi soccer player, Obama American president or Angelina Jolie actress with exact real sizes. Ticket price is 100.000 VND (4.3 USD) for adult and childrens above 1.4 meter height, free of charge for childrens under 1.4m.
When it rains, Fantasy Park is a fantastic place for hiding and having funny time with family members.
Outdoor roller-coaster of the Fantasy Park
Have a tea time at Tru Vu Tra Quan
Tru Vu Hoi Quan locates in the most serene section of French Village, the temple zone. It serves different types of tea and style during the day. If not a fan of coffee, this chilly corner is suitable to you. Moreover, great to take a break when walk on hundreds steps around pagodas.
Featured carnivals in Ba Na Hills
Vibrant carnivals often occur on the Square of Ba Na Hills day to day and carried out by European artists living in Vietnam. Their duration is around 30 minutes to an hour. Not wow like of Brazil or Spain, this is still colorful, varied in performances that worth-it to see. Ask staffs of the mountain resort near you to know the exact time of its operation in your travel day. Keep in mind that tourists give tipping for taking pictures with actors and actresses in the carnival.
Restaurants and coffee shops in Ba Na Hills
In “Ba Na By Night” (Flower Gardens)
Doumer is the largest restaurant in “Ba Na By Night” area. It opens daily from 8 a.m to 5 p.m and offers a Vietnamese&international a la carte menu. If like to have lunch with privacy or near multicolored gardens, this place to eat is proper. Beside that, you also have other choices of barbecues in Debay bar (upstairs of old wine cellar) and fast foods at mini stores along main roads.
In the French Village
French Village houses the most restaurants in Ba Na Hills. Almost all of them serve the international buffet what you can make a reservation online in advance. Lunch time generally stretches from 10 a.m to 3 p.m depending on different places. Pricing often is around 250.000 VND (10 USD). Popular restaurants are La Lavender (behind the church), Arapang (near Bordeaux station), Beer Plaza (in the end of street to the right hand side of the church).
You have no difficulty to look for a coffee shop in French Village as well. And both traditional and western styles over there. Because buffet restauants do not serve coffee or other cafein drinks, suited to sit down and relax with good weather, have chat with friends or just stay longer in one of Da Nang’s must-see attraction.
In the base of Ba Na Hills
Along mai roads, you will see numerous food courts, coffee shop (including the Starbuck) and Vietnamese small restaurants. These places to eat are nice to stay before or after the trip up the mountain. In the course of high seasons, great to sit, break and relax after “long journey” with long queues. You can find delicious foods taken from regions of Vietnam, local classic desserts or fruits.
Hotels in Ba Na Hills
Very worth it to spend at least a night in Ba Na Hills. Its atmosphere is at its best in the evening and morning in the day after, when without crowds of tourist. You can visit everything with a tons of freedom and comfort for that reason alongside weather values. Hoi An Life has an article about this topic, read it via http://hoianlife.net/where-to-stay-in-da-nang/ to know the advantages and disadvantages when stay in Ba Na Hills.
Mercure Hotel is the best place to stay in Ba Na Hills
Shopping in Ba Na Hills
Souvenir shops are many in Ba Na Hills Mountain Resort and you have varied choices to choose from at each place. Necessary items for traveling like mosquito repellent, sun cream, umbrella, selfie stick, rain coats are regularly available. However, you’re advised bringing your personal ones before departure. Higher price than common is one of reasons explaining for this advice.
Ba Na Hills Golf Club
Located in the foothills of well-known Ba Na Hills, this 18-hole golf course features world class facilities and professional management from IMG. It’s awarded as “Asia’s Best Golf Course” in 2018. It also provides the golfers a balance of challenges, excitement and enjoyments that suited to every level and ability. Browse the official webpage of Ba Na Hills golf club through https://banahillsgolf.com/ and its Facebook page for further information.
Fact: Ba Na Hills golf course is only mountain one in Da Nang.