Photo by Stefan K / Unsplash
Leave behind the summer heat and the bustle of the urban metropolis for a day, give yourself a cool escape to the mountainous serenity of Bana Hills. Located at an altitude of 1,489m on the Nui Chua mountain, Bana Hills is a hill station that houses many world-class resorts, amusement park and many awesome man-made attractions such as French architecture buildings, Flower Garden and, of course, the Golden Bridge – a worldwide phenomenon. In this article, we’ll give you a detailed guide on how to visit Bana Hills and all the essential tips to have a day full of laughs and enjoyments here!
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Ba Na: A brief history
Bana Hills began as a hill station and resort made by the French in 1919.
Ba Na was stumbled upon by a French captain named Debay who was looking for a suitable site to build a resort. After that, the colonial government invested heavily in the place, turning it into a top holiday destination.
However, when Vietnam was convulsed in wars, Ba Na eventually fell into oblivion. It was not until a decade ago that the “Sleeping Beauty” awakened again to great fame.
According to some sources, “Ba Na” means “my mountain” in the Katu language, the tongue of the local ethnic tribe. Some other explanations are less convincing but funnier. For example, it is claimed the place was full of banana plants when the French first found it so they called the place “banane”, the French word for banana. The Vietnamese then rendered it into Ba Na.
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How to get to Bana Hills from Da Nang?
The funicular tour will carry you to D’Amour flower garden, old Debay wine cellar, and Linh Ung Pagoda.
Located just 20 km west of downtown Da Nang city, Bana Hills features breathtaking natural landscapes, lush green mountains, and awe-inspiring architectural buildings. You can get there by any means of transportation.
Catch a bus
The easiest way is to go by bus with a two-way ticket costing between 120,000 VND and 150,000 VND (~US$5-7). Local buses always run on a fixed timetable, so make sure to keep the schedules in mind!
Book a taxi or Grab
Another option is to take a taxi which is more convenient but also costs you three or four times as much as going by public transport. You can also use Grab, a ride-sharing app that is extremely popular in Vietnam, to book a car. This is much cheaper than taking a traditional taxi.
Rent a motorbike
Meanwhile, if you are looking for a real adventure or a true test of your driving skills, renting a motorbike at your hotel is an interesting choice. It only costs about 80,000 VND to 150,000 VND (~US$3.5-6.45) and offers total freedom of traveling as long as you can navigate Vietnam’s notorious traffic.
Served by a private transport
Alternatively, it is also possible to book a Danang private car charter that will help you travel conveniently without having to worry about how to get from places to places. All you need to do is just come up with an itinerary and be ready for adventure, our air-conditioned, high-quality fleets are always ready to serve you at any time.
If you’re interested in a hassle-free and well-organized trip, join a local insider on a guided Ba Na Hills and Danang City Private Tour which includes round-trip transfer, handcrafted itineraries and many other extra services exclusively offered by Inspitrip!
Entrance tickets and where to buy them
There are two ways you can get a ticket to Bana Hills:
You can just buy tickets directly from the ticket booths or kiosks at the entrance. This would be quite simple, except for the fact that there are often long lines of people waiting at the counters. Even if you are lucky enough not to stand in line forever, buying a ticket this way is still unadvisable because you have to pay the ticket price in full which is VND 750,000 (~US$ 32) for adults and VND 600,000 (~US$26) for children 1-1.3 meters tall.
The second option is to book online tickets at home via official resellers of Sun World Group. Say goodbye to the long queueing lines, you’re invited to go straight to the checkpoint of Cable Car Terminal with an e-ticket ready on your phone. However, there are two types of ticket fares of Sun World Ba Na Hills: for visitors and for Danang locals. It would not be a great bargain if you could get a ticket that is as cheap as the one for local Danang people (~US$19). Therefore, be very mindful of this common scam.
Ba Na Hills and Da Nang City Private Tour
Inspitrip is one of the best platforms to purchase online tickets with discounts regularly being offered, making your experience more affordable and pleasant than ever.
Read more: Entrance ticket to Ba Na Hills with Inspitrip.
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Best time to visit Bana Hills
One of the most terrific things about Bana Hills is its unfailingly glorious weather. Whenever you get the chance to visit, you can always expect a fair day with fog and cool air. However, Bana Hills is at its most crowded from April to August which is the peak season. Therefore, you may consider planning a trip between September and March. An umbrella in your suitcase would be nice if you choose to go there in September and October when it is likely to rain.
Top things to do in Bana Hills
1. Enjoy panoramic views of the lush forests from the cable ride
The Bana Cable Car has, among other things, the widest gap between stations and the greatest change in elevation according to the Guinness World Records.
It is believed that a cable car system always mars the natural scenery and makes a destination less aesthetically attractive, isn’t it? Not the one in Bana Hills which is a spectacular record-breaker. The Bana Cable Car, which was built according to European standards, is 5,801 meters in length and reaches an astonishing height of 1,368 meters. These achievements have remained unrivaled to this date. Taking a cable car, you will be rewarded with the spectacular coastal landscape along the way.
2. Marvel at the exquisite Golden Bridge: A silk strip floating in the white clouds
Walking on the Golden Bridge is likened to “walking through the hands of God”. Instagram: @findingdeema
Your trip to Ba Na Hills wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the iconic Golden Bridge. Opened in June 2018, it took many years to build but only a few days to take the spotlight on social media and become a must-visit spot for travelers to Danang.
The 150-meter-long bridge has drawn admiration as it is skillfully built in the middle of the mountain and graciously covered in attractive gold. What is even more special about the bridge is its huge supporting columns deftly created in the shape of colossal, godlike hands. Indeed, standing on the bridge, you can touch white clouds and behold the surrounding rugged mountains and the beautiful landscape down below is an exhilarating feeling.
3. Lost in Le Jardin d’Amour – The Paradise of Flowers
Le Jardin d’Amour is literally translated as the Garden of Love. Instagram @misameng
Stepping out of the Golden Bridge, you will arrive at the Paradise of Flowers, or Le Jardin d’Amour, to be an à la mode. As suggested by its name, this place is truly a heaven for fans of beauty and fragrance.
The Paradise of Flower is divided into 9 gardens, each of which has its own architectural style inspired by Occidental or Oriental mythologies. Some of the most attractive gardens are Suoi Mo Garden with numerous local brilliant flowers, the Sacred Garden which has witnessed many couples’ exchange of vows, and the Mysterious Garden whose tree maze has amazed a lot of adventurous visitors.
The Garden is also dotted with beautiful life-like statues, increasing the glamor of the site.
4. Travel to Europe right at the picturesque French Village
Morning at The French Village of Ba Na. Instagram @baiitongny
While modern feats of engineering have brought fame to Ba Na Hills, the site doesn’t lack historic attractions that can invoke a strong sense of nostalgia. One such place is the French Village which is situated on the top of the mountain.
When the French transformed Ba Na from an untouched hill into a holiday destination, they put up a lot of French style houses and buildings. Those still stand today, as if indifferent to the passage of time.
Ba Na Hill French Village in Da Nang ,Vietnam.
At the heart of the village is the gorgeous St. Denis Church whose design was inspired by the Denis Cathedral in France. There are also many medieval bars and restaurants around where you can have a meal in style. After that, it would be great to stay at the nearby high castle resort to both relax and enjoy a panoramic view of the city. Walking on the cobblestoned alleyways and savoring the fair weather that Ba Na is blessed with, you can start imagining that you are somewhere else in Europe.
5. Linh Ung Pagoda: In the shadow of the statue
The solemn statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. Instagram @linarghhhh
Many excellent food stalls and restaurants throughout Ba Na are ready to satisfy your insatiable appetite, but where to find food for soul? It would be a great idea to visit Linh Ung Pagoda, a remarkable pagoda and one of the top attractions in Vietnam. Located above an elevation of 1,500 meters, the pagoda is an ideal place to relax and meditate. Remember, though, that there are up to three pagodas called Linh Ung but only the one in Ba Na Hills has the giant statue of Buddha. The statue is 27 meter high, almost on a par with Christ the Redeemer, the famous statue in Rio de Janeiro.
6. Fantasy Park: Let your imagination run wild
Ba Na Hills Fantasy Park.
Adults can easily get immense pleasure out of Ba Na’s scenic view and architectural marvels, but how about restless kiddos? Fear not as the Fantasy Park is there for the whole family. A theme park inspired by Jules Verne’s classics, the Fantasy Park allows children to have fun by indulging in their imagination. The activities include the 4D Death Race, the 29-meter-high Drop Tower, and several 5D cinemas.
7. The first wax museum
The wax figures are created by Italian sculptors and artists.Instagram @nanh.is_meee
Imagine being able to tightly hold Captain Jack Sparrow or Queen Elizabeth II in person? At Bana Hills Wax Museum your dream will come true. The museum, which displays various wax figures of some of the world’s most famous people, is the first of its kind in Vietnam. In fact, visiting the museum has become one of the most interesting things to do in Danang. However, the ticket to the museum is not covered by Ba Na Hills entrance ticket. Therefore, you have to pay an extra of VND 100,000 (~US$4.5) to visit the site.
8. Ride the Alpine Coaster
Ba Na Hills Alpine Coaster. Instagram @nidawannida
Though the Fantasy Park has plenty of rides, the Alpine Coaster that spans over the dramatic mountainous landscape is definitely worth trying. At a speed of 40km/h, the coaster would give you a really thrilling experience with fresh mountain breeze grazing your face. Each ride comes with a hand brake that allows you to control your own speed, so you can choose to go faster or slow down according to your liking.
Festivals in Bana Hills
If you’re working on the itinerary at the moment, note down some of these exciting festivals happening in Bana Hills:
- The Flower Festival from February 10th to September 3rd
- The Carnival Festival from April to September
- The Wine Festival from May 5th to May 20th
- The Beer Festival from the first day of June to September 5th
- The Halloween Festival during October
- The Winter Festival in Christmas
Essential tips from Inspitrip
- Tickets are available on a specified date.
- The entrance ticket includes admission to the complex, round trip transfer by cable car, most games in the Fantasy Park and excludes admissions to the Wax Museum, Teddy bear grips and Fantasy Park indoor sports.
- The last cable car is at 9 PM.
- It takes you roughly 7 hours to fully explore Bana Hills.
- Don’t forget to have a light jacket and an umbrella in your backpack in case of unexpected rain.
Is Bana Hills worth a visit?
Absolutely yes. Imagine a beautiful mountainous landscape with an otherworldly beauty, architectural marvels, mechanical feats, and historical settlement – that is Ba Na Hills. It lies in the majestic Truong Son Mountains that guard Vietnam’s coast, waiting for you to explore its charm. That is the one place where you can see four seasons come and go within one day or have a European experience in the Vietnamese setting. So what are you waiting for?
See more top things to do in Danang:
Keyword: Bana Hills and the Golden Bridge: All You Need to Know about Danang’s Most Famous Attractions (Updated 2019)