Are you traveling in Vietnam and looking for just a fun day out? Ba Na Hills near Danang is fun for kids of all ages. Whether you want to see the Golden Hands Bridge or just have fun eating, drinking, riding the rides, and enjoying a fair-like atmosphere, there’s something for everyone!
During our six months living in Vietnam, we have had the opportunity to do so many fascinating things like exploring Ho Chi Minh, taking boat rides in Ninh Binh, marveling at breathtaking temples in Ha Nam, and yes, totally acting silly and letting our hair down at Ba Na Hills.
In this article:
- How to Get to Ba Na Hills Golden Bridge
- Best Way to Get Photos on Golden Bridge
- Other Things to Do at Ba Na Hills Amusement Park
- Getting to and From Ba Na Hills
- Our Experience
- Best Time to Go to Ba Na Hills
- How Much Time Do You Need?
- What to Eat
- What You Need to Bring
- Where to Stay
- The Absolute Best Tour Options to Ba Na Hills
How to Get to Ba Na Hills Golden Bridge
The Golden Bridge is an Instagram sensation. Everyone wants to get their photos atop this stunning bridge suspended on a mountaintop with the supports being sculpted hands. To be honest, this was also our primary reason for heading to Ba Na Hills. So how do you get there?
To reach the Golden Hands Bridge, you need to take a cable car on the highway that leads to the beginning of the bridge. It is essential to know that there are five roadways and multiple stations, as they cross each other. There is a funicular, and you will find a station after every few meters. Even though they provide a map with the ticket, it’s better to pay attention to the stations you pass.
You can get maps with your ticket when you are on the cable car. However, when we tried using the maps, they were just about worthless, even though it did not seem like they would be.
Luckily, they do have information booths regularly placed around, so you could walk up and ask a question if you want to go to a particular place. For example, we wanted to find some crepes, as this is a French village and they are famous for it, but unfortunately, there were no crepes. However, the person at the information booth directed us to a quieter bakery cafe out on the terrace where we could sit comfortably.
The Best Way to Get Photos on Golden Bridge
I believe the best way to avoid as many people as possible in order to get some photos of just you, is exactly what we did. We woke up early in the morning and got there at 8 o’clock when the main gates opened. By taking one of the first gondolas up the mountain, we beat the crowds.
We only had around 20 to 30 people on the bridge. However, there were still some folks up there who were there to get a shot out of 200 or so, and had picked a prime location. Other people would just go around them and take their own shots.
As more gondolas made it to the top with tourists, some of the brassier people would ask others to move out of their picture. However, at that point, it’s impossible not to capture other people in your photo, and it came across as being quite rude. Please don’t expect to take a photo without others in it because it’s just not always possible.
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Another Way to Beat the Crowds at Golden Bridge
During our trip, we met some Thai girls whose family had spent the night at the Grand Mercure Hotel. They paid 22 million Vietnamese Dong (2.5 million per person) for their stay. The rate was reasonable, at about $30 per person.
However, the hotel is located in the middle of an amusement park, so dining options were limited. The hotel restaurant may have been open, but we didn’t confirm. Everyone at the hotel had to be up by 6 o’clock in the morning to go to the bridge.
When we arrived, there were at least 20 people already on the bridge, and they had the bridge to themselves since their group was the very first to arrive. The Thai girls had an easier time getting a photo without anyone else in the frame. If you want to take a photo without any other people, I suggest spending the night at the hotel.
Other Things to Do at Ba Na Hills Amusement Park
At the top of the amusement park, there are not many rides. However, there are a few alpine slides that are a lot of fun, a Funicular ride, a round and round swings type thing, and a couple of smaller kiddy rides.
The museum and park are also great options to explore the gardens and smaller areas. While there are a few rides at the carnival, the indoor kids playground is the highlight. It caters to various ages, and if you get there early, you can take your pictures on the bridge and still have time to enjoy it.
When we arrived, there was nobody in the playground, so the kids had the whole place to themselves. The wait times were minimal on a Wednesday. We were able to do everything we wanted, including the Alpine slide, and we only had to wait around 15 minutes.
The best part was that there were so few people in line that we could go as fast as we wanted and do it over and over again. This was a pleasant surprise since the Alpine slides in Vietnam are usually very busy, and you have to slow down because of the large crowds.
They had a section dedicated to Jurassic dinosaurs, which you could walk through. They had standing models of dinosaurs with informative markers. I’m not sure what they’re called, but they were very cool. Most of the information was in Vietnamese, but it was still enjoyable to walk through.
They also had a live show that is put on by workers from all over the world, many from Eastern Europe. The show is very Disney-esque with singing and dancing, fire, and a waterfall. It’s loud and fun, and everyone loved it.
Getting to and From Ba Na Hills
You can take a tour, a taxi, and of course Grab cars. We chose to take a Grab, since it’s our favorite way to get anywhere in Vietnam.
Taking a tour would not get us to the park as early as we wanted, and we would have been vying for spots on the Golden Bridge. This was not ideal, however, if those photos are not the reason you’re going, a tour makes it easier to get there, get your tickets, and just start having fun.
Taxis are run by the meter, but the problem with a taxi is they will just drop you and leave. If you hire a Grab, it’s normal to just have them wait for you and you don’t have to worry about your return trip.
So, we decided against the taxi or the tour. The Grab wasn’t that expensive. It did cost about 375,000 dong (around $15 US) each way, and considering it’s about 20 km outside of Danang, it was well worth it.
After exiting the park, we were approached by several drivers offering rides, because if their fare didn’t ask them to wait, they would still wait for someone to leave. It’s too far out of town not to have a fare both ways. We, of course, had our driver waiting for us as planned, and we hopped in and off we went.
Overall, we had a much better time than I was prepared for. As I said, we mainly went to take the iconic Golden Bridge photos, but we really had fun on the rides, enjoying the flora in the gardens, and seeing all the happy people from every corner of the globe.
The only issue we encountered was the loudness. Everything about the place was noisy, and finding a quiet spot was rather challenging. However, we eventually stumbled upon a cozy café that had music playing, but it wasn’t too loud, which made us quite happy.
Leaving the Park
Finding our way around, in general, was a bit confusing due to the train and cable car stations which made it easier to navigate at the top of this mountain but nothing was more confusing that trying to find the way out when we were ready to go.
We checked the map, and it really didn’t help, so we had to ask at an info booth. They told us to follow the signs that say “Da Nang City.” It was pretty straightforward from there, but a lot further than I expected. The signs led us straight down the cable car, through a series of escalators and corridors, and back to the parking lot, which was quite a distance.
However, it wasn’t like we were stranded in the middle of nowhere. I think whoever designed it had in mind that when you’re finally finished, you just want to get out of there, and they executed it quite well.
Pro Tip: There are plenty of beautiful places to take photos of your kids, if you’re interested in a little photoshoot for them, along with playing and enjoying the park.
Best Time to Go to Ba Na Hills
You can easily visit Ba Na at any time during the year. Summer is a bit busier, but it will still be a great visit no matter what the season is.
However, there was a lot of construction taking place. They’re building another cable car line, which I believe will make it even more crowded in the future.
The most important thing to remember is to visit midweek instead of on weekends and to arrive as early as possible in the morning unless you are spending the night.
Buying Tickets to Ba Na Hills
We woke up early to visit the Bana Hill Golden Bridge. We wanted to arrive as soon as it opened to avoid crowds. We left our hotel at 7:15 am and arrived at 8 am, which was perfect timing as the bridge is 20 km outside of town and tickets can only be purchased at the travel agent.
We couldn’t find any other ticket booth, so we assumed there was only one way to purchase the tickets. Our Grab driver went to get the tickets while we waited. We arrived at the turnstile just before 8 o’clock and noticed that only people with the “Wow” pass were being let through. We had bought tickets for 900,000 each, which is roughly $30-$40 per person.
The good thing about it is that it’s not a bad deal at all, as you pay to access both the amusement park and the famous bridge that you often see in pictures. This is a great deal for families, in my opinion.
It seems like the amusement park’s admission fee is more affordable than most US parks. Although children don’t have to pay as much as adults, the good thing is that almost everything is included in the admission fee once you are inside the park. They were even passing out free beer coupons on the day we went!
Aside from food and drinks, I didn’t notice anything that required additional payment. Some of the carnival games might have extra charges, but all the rides and attractions are included in the admission fee.
Is Ba Na Hills closer to Danang or Hoi An?
Ba Na is much closer to Danang, but it’s still about 20 km. away. I believe Grab would be the most suitable mode of transportation to take there. The usual thing to do is have your Grab driver wait for you and he’ll get a round trip out of the deal. It’s well worth it.
We saw many such drivers waiting for their fares, but there were also some that didn’t commit to waiting so they were available if we needed one.
Money: There were a few ATMs at the base of the hill, but we didn’t see any more once we rode the cable car up. If you have to get money, do it down below.
How Much Time Do You Need at Ba Na Hills?
How much time you spend at Ba Na Hills is really dependent on what you like to do. If you are taking the kids, or you love taking the rides, drinking and having a really fun, let-your-hair-down kind of day, you will want to get your money’s worth and stay for at least six hours. There’s so much to do.
If, like us, you want to check out Golden Bridge, take in some of the amusements, eat some fun food, and just take a day off from the regular tourist grind, you will probably want at least 3 or 4 hours. We stayed for about 3 and a half hours, and we were happy to head back to Danang and find a good dinner for some quiet relaxation.
What to Eat
There are plenty of options for food at this place. You can find grilled kebabs and Vietnamese and Thai food, as well as French and buffet restaurants. The food was good and reasonably priced. The place had a very Disney-like feel to it, with carnival games and rides. The French Village in particular gave off a Disney vibe.
Just like any amusement park, there are plenty of places to eat. There are plenty of themed restaurants as well as a few stands around the various areas. Since it is a French Village, we weren’t surprised to find that French food was on offer, except for crepes that is. We were looking for them, thinking they would be a must, and it was a no go.
After asking at an information booth, the docent told us she loved the L’Etable. It is really more of a café than a full-on restaurant, but we did love the ambiance, the view, and the pastries. The total cost of our order was a bit high, at $44 for two coffee lattes, two sweet pastries, and two savory pastries (one with bacon and ham) but it was all delicious.
The best part was being able to watch the staff bake through the windows. They baked everything right there on-site in front of the customers. The lamination on their pastries was impressive too. Overall, it was a cute place to visit, but we didn’t expect to spend $20 each.
Many of the workers are coming from Russia and Eastern Europe to work there, so along with the French options and some Asian options, there were also Russian and Georgian options. Meat skewers, pieroshki, and the like. We thought it was rather humorous, but boy were they doing a business.
The other thing they had was a German-type beer hall. In fact, as you enter the park, you’ll receive a coupon for a free beer. The German section, which is located near the top of the castle, is a must-visit spot. The kids loved it, especially the little girls who were all dressed up as princesses.
What should you bring to Ba Na Hills?
Vietnam is always hot, sometimes wet, and really sunny. I always suggest bringing a good water bottle, wide-brimmed hat, and wear good hiking sandals. If you plan to spend some time in the buildings, sometimes the air conditioning is too much so it’s also a good idea to bring a light sweater or long-sleeved shirt, just to keep the chill off.
Where to Stay for Visiting Ba Na Hills
While most visitors will stay in nearby Danang, there is a hotel right in the park at the top of the mountain. These are beautiful, themed rooms that will cater to every whim, including having the park to yourselves after (and before) normal operating hours.
Ba Na Hills Hotels
- Grand Mercure French Village – They’ve thought of everything down to the last detail to recreate a mountaintop French village in Vietnam
- Furama Resort Danang – Five-star, beachfront resort right there on the famous Danang beach.
- Lavencos Hotel My Khe Beach – Budget option with clean, comfortable rooms but still near the beach and all the action.
Best Tour Options for Ba Na Hills
- BaNa Hills – Golden Bridge Luxury Group From HoiAn/DaNang from the world heritage city of Hoi An.
- From Da Nang/Hoi An: Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills Full-Day Tour – the most popular option!
- Da Nang: Ba Na Hills Tour with Cable Car Ride – A great deal!
More Amazing Things to Do in Vietnam
- Enjoy the chaos and city life of Ho Chi Minh
- Visit the World Heritage City of Hoi An and make your own Hoi An Lantern
- Learn how to make the real egg coffee
- Take a tour of the amazing handicraft villages around Hanoi
- Do a motorbike tour of Dalat
- Have a fun foodie adventure in Ho Chi Minh
- Sleep on the Night Train to Sapa
- Gawk at the Ban Gioc Waterfalls on the Chinese Border
- Get romantic in Halong Bay
This place is perfect for families, Instagramers, and anyone who loves pretty things. Even before you reach the first cable car, you’ll come across a garden, quarters, and lanterns that are all stunning.
I think if we spent about three and a half hours at Ba Na Hills. We’re not that interested in amusement parks, but it was a lot of fun and we did love the Golden Bridge, the Alpine Slide, the swings, and of course the food and beer.
SunWorld is a huge franchise, and we’ve been to quite a few of its locations. It’s always touristy, a bit expensive, and maybe a bit quirky…but it’s always worth it! They keep the area clean. They know what people like and need and provide it. I have to admit they really know what they are doing.
Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.