If you find yourself in Hoi An, you simply must include a visit to Ba Na Hills and The Golden Hands Bridge. It kept on coming up in conversations with locals when we asked where they’d recommend visiting. From our tour guide in Ho Chi Minh to a traveling priest on top of a rock. Everyone told us that Ba Na Hills and the Goldens Hands Bridge couldn´t be missed. And, for the first time in a long time, the reality met the recommendation.
For other suggestions on what to do: 5 awesome things to do in Hoi An, Vietnam
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Ba Na Hills
Ba Na Hills is a mountaintop resort complex that looks like a medieval castle. It is actually one of the newest projects in Vietnam and it recently went viral for its amazing architecture. More importantly, it has become a major tourist destination the last couple of years. This is probably due to its unique projects such as Ba Na Cable Car, the French Village, the Love Garden etc. And let me tell you – the cable car ride alone is worth the trip to this fantasy amusement park.
The cable car is the longest in the world with its impressive 5 km, and takes approx. 15 minutes from the bottom to the top. Your jaw-drop and picture spamming will begin instantly. You will pass gorgeous scenery as you move above the forest-covered mountains, offering views of the valley below. Switching between mystical fog, and insane green scenery is nothing but mesmerizing. It truly is the perfect start to your day at Ba Na Hills!
Kindly note that this place is insanely popular, and you need to prepare for hordes of people. The lines aren’t too bad, as they have a very good system in place for managing the queues. However, we highly recommend getting there as early as possible before the bus groups arrive. As you all know, we are not huge fans of over touristy places. But seeing that the bridge itself was on our bucket list it was worth it to us. We were also pleasantly surprised that there was much more to the park than the actual bridge it self!
Opening hours: 7 am to 22pm, open all days
Entrance ticket: 750.000 VND per person (buy online, or at the entrance to the park)
Pro Tip: bring a jacket! Its windy and somewhat cold at the top 🙂
THE GOLDEN HANDS BRIDGE
We were super excited to see what everyone was roaming about! And oh my, what an amazing sight that met us at the end of our cable car ride! Total loss of words. The Golden Hands Bridge is truly spectacular, and should be on your bucket list when in Da Nang or Hoi An. What impressed us the most was the giant hands covered in moss, holding the bridge. The hands are so realistic, and the view from the top makes the experience even more magical.
The weather changes every second up there, and we had everything from fog and rain, to clear blue sky and sunlight. This makes the experience even more mystical, and it actually created an even better atmosphere. If you are one of the early birds, you are guaranteed to hit the fog. Just be patience, and wait for the sky to clear up. Have your camera ready, and start shooting! The sky moves super fast up there, so you might only have 2 seconds 🙂
As you can see, we had everything between sun, fog and rain. And I wouldn’t have been surprised if it started snowing either haha! We walked back and forth across the bridge, taking what felt like a million photos. Once we were satisfied, we decided to follow the crowd further into the park. And yes, I am not going to lie. You need to prepare for hordes of people.. And the food. Honestly not the best we have had.
Ba Na Hills, The amusement park
There are a million other things to see in the Ba Na Hills park other than the Golden Hands Bridge. If you only want to see the Bridge you can plan to spend half a day here. However, if you want it all, we recommend spending the entire day exploring this place. There are different adventure rides, an impressive Buddha Monument, other cable cars to take you further up the mountains, uniquely designed villages, love gardens and much more.
Sun World, cable car number 2
Once you have had enough of the Ba Na Hills park, you may catch one of the other cable cars. They have two cable cars taking you further up the mountain. This is where it starts to get chilly by the way, so grab that jacket of yours. And if you´re like us, who didn’t bring a jacket, you can always purchase a scarf at one of the overpriced(!) souvenir shops 🙂
The top of the Mountain is referred to as “Sun World”. This fantasy park is a mix between restaurants, food stalls, beer tasting places, different games etc. I wasn’t a huge fan of this specific area, and we didn’t spend too much time here either. I was very happy about this by the way, seeing that I was freezing to death at this point haha!
TIP! This is where all the restaurants are, so you might want to wait until you get here to have lunch. However, the food really isn’t the best, but the choices are many and I am sure you will find something to your preferences 🙂
For those of you who are planning a visit in the future, or already looking for a return visit; the designers of the Golden Hands Bridge are currently working on a new project in the park. They are planning a silver Bridge which will look like a God´s strand of hair. This will be epic, and I for one can’t wait to see it!
How to get there from Hoi An
You have three options of getting to the park from Hoi An;
- Local taxi
- Shared transportation (public bus)
- Private driver (we opted for this alternative)
- Renting a scooter for the day
We got picked up at our hotel by our private driver around 8am. We then began the 2-hour drive to Ba Na Hills (which is located approx. 20km outside of Da Nang). We were happy to go for this alternative, as it was really comfortable and we were very tired at this point. However, renting a scooter or going by local bus is the cheapest options. The roads are very nice to drive on, and the traffic is fine.