50% of visitors to Da Nang plan to visit Ba Na Hills in their itinerary. It’s larger for first timers who may know about its inspirational Golden Bridge, world-record cable car, huge French Village or theme park. Due to usually launching new attractions, entertainments or even cable car lines, this hill station becomes the most happening attraction. No doubt that it draws lots of people who come to see new interests. So, the repeaters are the first timers again. Thanks to an elevation of around 1,500 meters, French colonists established it to enjoy cool temperatures. Now, tourists from all over the world love to stay over in its classy hotels and resorts. Besides what the French liked, avoiding the crowds is one of the main reasons. This article we aim to inform everything a first timer needs to know about Ba Na Hills.
- Ba Na Hills Cable Car
- Golden Bridge Da Nang Travel Guide
- Ba Na Hills Weather
- Ba Na Hills Accommodation
- Transport from Da Nang to Ba Na Hills
- Hoi An to Ba Na Hills
Ba Na Hills Introduction
Ba Na Hills (Sun World Ba Na Hills or Ba Na Hills Mountain Resort) is a far-reaching reputable hill station sitting atop mountains, not far from Da Nang downtown. Not just cool weather all year round, fresh environment and awe-inspiring landscapes which convinced the colonists to leisure at it, this attraction has more than that. Now, it’s famous for its huge entertainment complex reached up by the world-recorded cable cars, including the longest. Visitors often spend at least a half of day here to sightsee, take photos, participate in fun activities and enjoy outdoor celebrations.
One of its newest additions, the Golden bridge, is a new icon of Vietnam in social media. That made it become better known to European and American tourists, and so that, attracting them to the hills. Because of being owned by a professional group, restaurants are many to choose from. It’s possible to find a hotel to stay over, but only luxury options are available.
In general, Ba Na Hills includes 3 zones: foot of the mountain, the Flower gardens and French village in order of altitude. The first zone is the base of cable car stations, parkings, ticket counters, a huge three-arched gate and services followed by. Formerly the visitors could walk to see a 700-meters-tall waterfall but now, the beauty is seen from the cabin only.
After around 15 mins, travelers can land in the Flower gardens or the French village, depending on different cable cars. If the ride stops in the gardens, the world-famous Golden bridge is closest ever. Walk further, colorful landscaped gardens and a giant Buddha are awesome to see. In the other cases, the French village leads visitor’s way to explore the Ba Na hills. It houses a stained-glass church, paved streets lined by tall medieval-styled buildings, a theme park, temples, restaurants, hotels, coffee shops and souvenir stores.
Ba Na Hills Elevation and Location
Foot of Ba Na Hills is 25km west of Dragon bridge in Da Nang center and 45km northwest of Japanese bridge in Hoi An. If getting a car or taxi, it takes travelers over one hour from Hoi An and only 45 mins from the other. After arriving, travelers will purchase a cable car ride to the hills, at an elevation of 1,500 meters. Thanks to being in Da Nang’s highest peak, its weather is always cooler than the plains below.
Name of Ba Na Hills: Ways to Explain
The most popular way to explain the name of the Ba Na Hills is related to the discovery history by French. When the colonists came to the area, they saw many wild banana trees living by the streams, so then they called like today. Historians believe that this is a fun story, and give some hypotheses. The first is from K’tu hill tribe agriculture. In which, the group of people divided the mountain into three “Na” (upper, middle and lower) and shortly called “three Na or Ba Na” as a whole. The next hypothesis is linked to Cham people who built a temple for Ponagar goddess here. When arriving, Vietnamese spelled the name wrong, and it became Ba Na up to date.
Enblem of Ba Na Hills
Ba Na Hills emblem is hoa dao chuong, a pink bell-shaped peach blossom. This Vietnam’s native flower blooms in every spring, from January to March. If you travel in the period, come to the paved roads near the French village church or step down to Linh Ung pagoda. In addition to tourists, lots of photographers also visit to create art pictures.
Ba Na-Nui Chua Nature Reserve
Ba Na Hills mountain resort is surrounded by Ba Na-Nui Chua nature reserve. It’s official established in 1986 but protected under the law during French colonial times. Its name is combined between Ba Na (a famous tourist attraction) and Nui Chua, the summit of the range. According to the most updated survey, it harbours 795 flora species, 61 mammals, 17 amphibians, 178 birds, 33 fishes and 126 butterflies. Fauna collection includes 40 endangered species and one of the rarest primates of the world, red shanked douc. Towards the north, rich forests of the conservation zone continue with Bach Ma national park. Around its boundaries, native K’tu people are still living.
Read also: Hoi An Ancient Town Travel Guide
Ba Na Hills opens daily from 7:30 a.m to 9:30 p.m. However, visitors often just stay in this attraction until around 5 p.m because after that time, cable cars to get down the mountain may not be operated frequently anymore. The last tickets are sold before 5 too, so in common, only travelers sleeping over in its hotel reach up later than 5. While in the cabin to return to the city, you can see them on the opposite ride.
Price and Extra Prices (Updated)
Ba Na Hills entrance fee (ticket price) is 850,000 VND for adults and teenagers above 1,4 meters in height. It’s 700,000 VND for childrens from 1 to 1,4 meters, and free to smaller ones. Its inclusions are entry to all sights, outdoor activities, cable car, funicular, games in theme park. Lunch, photography, wax museum, and some games in theme park are excluded. If you would like to have a buffet lunch, travelers pay an extra 250,000 VND and to visit the wax museum, 100,000 VND will be charged.
Where to Buy Ba Na Hills Ticket?
Ba Na Hills entrance tickets can be bought in the counters right near cable car stations, in tour operators or online, with the same price. For promotions, some places and sites offer cheaper deals and combos. No matter where to buy, visitors still need to exchange the booking for a physical ticket, so anyway have to come to official counters. In recent times, several large sellers are treated the same to travel agencies, and their reservation-ers can go to separate counters to get tickets. Long lines are skipped in the high season. Remember to check booking confirmation to show the guardians (to walk in the travel agency’s room). Validity of Ba Na Hills ticket is one day, the day visitors purchase only.
Should Reserve Ba Na Hills Ticket in Advance?
It’s not really necessary to reserve a Ba Na Hills ticket in advance in low or rainy seasons. But if aiming to save from promotions, you should do it. During the high seasons, ticket reservation-ers may be allowed to skip the line, therefore read the policies carefully to check its availability.
Read also: Da Nang Entry Ticket
Ba Na Hills entertainment complex is around the top of mountains, and to get there, visitors will experience a cable car ride. In good weather, it takes about 15 minutes. The first lines were built in 2009 and now, they have three other siblings. The most-recently constructed one holds four world records, including the longest and the largest elevation between terminals. The scenery seen from the cabin is definitely stunning, pretty as a picture. Wooded undulating mountains, white-water falls, huge outcrops and clouds are the main outstanding things to see. Don’t forget that Ba Na Hills entrance fee covers these impressive engineering works.
Read also: Ba Na Hills Cable Car
Ba Na Hills Weather
One day in Ba Na Hills features “four seasons” weather: spring in the morning, summer-like in midday, autumn in the afternoon and winter at night. Generally, temperature in this hill station is always around 20oC and decreases after it’s dark or in the rainy season. Plenty of travelers love to stay overnight here, for that reason. For further information, read our article about Ba Na Hills weather in centralvietnamguide.com/ba-na-hills-weather.
Best Time to Visit Ba Na Hills
Finest months to visit Ba Na Hills are from March to September. During it, there are many sunny hours and rainfall is low, which is really ideal to sightsee around and join outdoor activities. Because of being the best, visitors will face crowds and long queues if traveling in this period. April and May are peak months. For more pleasant weather, should arrive in early morning or late afternoon.
For first timers, morning is better because there are many interests around the mountain to explore. If being a repeater, the afternoon may be your choice to see new things, see sunset and wander around French village at night. If staying overnight in Ba Na Hills, you may be the first walker in any attraction there, for example Golden Bridge.
Wet months are from October to December in Da Nang. During it, Ba Na Hills weather features high humidity, dense midst and lots of rains. So, the scenery is often hidden away in clouds in low elevations but is blocked in higher ones. Performances of dancers are held indoors or canceled due to decreasing tourists. High humidity causes escalator breakdown and makes the steps always wet, so be careful when visiting this time.
In typhoons, the cable car is closed to ensure visitor safety, check the news or weather forecast carefully. The best time to make your trip is sunny days and in the ticket counters, the cashiers will show the weather at the time to you before any purchase.
What Should I Wear?
Temperature in Ba Na Hills is cool, lower than anywhere else in Da Nang, so casual wear is what you should prepare. Choose items that you feel comfortable while walking around the hill station. Because of the many steps, don’t forget proper shoes for trekking and waterproofing on rainy days. Sunglasses and sun cream are necessary to bring also.
If aiming to have a full-day visit in this well-known tourist attraction, put more layers in your bag. The temperature may decrease quickly at the end of the day. In the wet season, raincoats or umbrellas are a must have. Each is sold in shops near cable car stations or up the mountain. How about the Buddhist temple Linh Ung? Sarong is available for free by the main door, take it if wearing garments not covering airmpit, navel or above knees.
All road vehicles are convenient to get to Ba Na Hills from Central Vietnam cities, particularly Da Nang and Hoi An. A private rental is easy to find anywhere, but looking for a seat only, Da Nang’s tour operators provide more options than Hoi An. Lots of travelers choose to ride a motorcycle by themselves, because it is cheaper. Guided day trip is another smart choice, often including round trip transfer from hotel, guide, entrance fee and tickets, cable car and lunch. Being aware that a Ba Na Hills tour always covers a visit to Golden Bridge and vice versa. For further details, should read our articles How to Get From Da Nang to Ba Na Hills and Hoi An to Ba Na Hills & Golden Bridge.
Parking lots are plentiful in the foot of Ba Na Hills, visible from the cabins. If riding your motorcycle, leave it in the area near the second traffic cirlcle. Easier, when you can’t ride further, the staff shows you where to park the bike. There is no fee charged.
Da Nang Golden Bridge Area
The Golden Bridge
Near a cable car station, this Ba Na Hills’s must-see has a prime location, overlooking a breath-taking landscape and glamorous look. Holded by two giant hands, it features a length of 200 meters, designed with the wood floor and gold-plated handrails. There are many wonderful photo opportunities here, a reason to make it become phenomenal in social media right from it’s opening.
See full details in Golden Hands Bridge Travel Guide
Le Jardin D’Amour – The Garden of Love
Known as “Ba Na by night” in colonial time, Le Jardin D’Amour is often the next attraction visitors will come after Golden Bridge. It’s made up of 9 gardens featuring different ideas and styles: the Grape, the Mythology, the Love, the Thought, the Mystery, the Memory, Suoi Mo, Eden and the Sacred. The largest is the Love garden where visitors often take pictures with blooming flowers and a couple of butterfly ladies. Nearby, it’s fun to move around to find out the right way to exit in the Mystery (maze) or enjoy nice music from a live band in the Grape. One of the most photographed spots is white columns in the Mythology. If looking for some climbs, the Memory or the Sacred in the hilltop are the right choice. In the lower terraces, the Eden and Suoi Mo provide a scenic view over the plain of Da Nang.
Linh Ung Pagoda Bana Hills and Gautama Buddha
This is the second Linh Ung pagoda built in Da Nang, after the Marble Mountains. It stands on a lower terrace than flower gardens and wine cellar. Tourists can visit a 67-meters-tall Gautama Buddha, halfway to the main Buddha hall where local prayers have to come and view beautiful panoramic sceneries. Find out all interests here and detailed description in our guide via centralvietnamguide.com/da-nang-mountain-temple.
Debay Wine Cellar
Entrance of this historic site is to the left of the main path leading down to gardens from Golden Bridge. It’s built by 12 French men in the early 20th century, to preserve their own wines to drink at parties. Along its 100-meters length, visitors will see 12 holes varying in size, depending on the investment of the owner. Two largest ones are owned by sir Morin who constructed the first hotel in hill station and his best friend. Although information about owners of the holes were lost because of wars, in Morin family’s library, some papers revealed this fact. In the middle of the tunnel, there is a bar where only 10 people maximum are allowed to be in. Main aim is to keep the temperature always ideal for wine preservation. Today, the Debay cellar role stops due to too many visitors.
In the end of the Debay wine cellar, walk upstairs and there is the location of Debay bar. Both local and imported wines, bottles and glasses are for sale there. Lots of visitors love to buy a glass and savour barbecued meats (pork, beef, crocodile, ostrich and sausage) while viewing down to pretty gardens.
Ba Na Hills French Village
French village is a hilltop village featuring a classy church overlooking a large square, stone-paved streets, hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and souvenir stores. It also owns an underground themed park, Buddhist temples and host of featured events during the year.
Saint Denis Church
This grand newly-built church is an icon of architecture, in the heart of the Ba Na Hills French Village. It is a work of art inspired from a well-known French cathedral (same name) and boasts of its impressive decorations. Here, lots of local couples visit to take photos for their wedding album, most often before the entrance. In the interior, beautiful stained-glass paintings and the Jesus altar with many long wood chairs in the front, are added. In the evening, the church becomes romantic, a favorite place for travelers who stay over thanks to fairy lights dressing on classy architecture. If coming during Christmas and New year, the best decorations will be brought and impress visitors. The paved street to its left leads further inside the village and the right one is to Ba Na hills’ summit.
Vietnam’s First Wax Museum
With an extra cost of 100.000 VND, visitors have the chance to meet real-size wax statues of over 50 world-famous people around the world here. It opened in July 2013, in the highest underground floor of the Fantasy Park. See more information in centralvietnamguide.com/da-nang-museum.
Temples in Summit of Ba Na Hills
At the highest elevation of Ba Na Hills, 1,487 meters, there is a Buddhist temple constructed with the name of Linh Phong Thien Tu. After hundreds of steps from the church in the French village below, picturesque scenery, nice architecture and cool temperature are rewardings to the travelers. On many days of the year, it’s hidden in the fog. See its history and what to expect in our guide centralvietnamguide.com/da-nang-mountain-temple.
Tru Vu Tra Quan Teahouse
Standing aside the steps leading up to Nui Chua summit, this place has an elegant traditional architecture and a calm, chilly interior with zen-styled seatings. Thanks to that, travelers can enjoy good-quality teas and an escape from crowded areas outside.
Ba Na Hills French Village History
Standing on the helicopter ground of American air forces in the Vietnam war, French Village was built in 2013. Its major buildings opened to tourists in 2015, and now many constructions are still ongoing. Many people say that this village dates back from French colonial times, but not.
Ba Na Hills Fantasy Park – Ba Na Hills Theme Park
This is Vietnam’s largest underground or indoor amusement park. Walking downstairs from the Morin cable car station, travelers can find the main entrance. It provides 100 fun games and short 3 to 5 dimentional movies, just to ensure that all family members can keep entertained during the visit. All are arranged in 3 floors, designed with an inspiration from two novels: Journey to the Center of the Earth and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Almost all of the things to play and watch here are free, but some require an extra fee and minimal height. Staff will let you know what should and shouldn’t do before starting an entertainment. Coffee shops, souvenir stores and rest rooms are available around. See details in centralvietnamguide.com/da-nang-amusement-park.
Ba Na Hills Roller Coaster
This is the highest roller coaster in the country, in case of location. The track can be seen from the cabin of cable car line 2 and line 5. Its entrance is next to the one of Fantasy underground theme park, downstairs from French village square. Two people are allowed to sit in the same car but if would like to enjoy riding with only you, tell the staff to let him know. Minimum height and weight of the visitors are regulated, shown clearly with other regulations in the board at the entrance. Should put small or valuable items in the bag, instead of bringing them with you on the ride.
Outdoor Celebrations and Festivals in French Village
There are numerous outdoor celebrations and performances occuring around the French village. Everyday in tourist seasons, the carnival is held in the Central square, with an involvement of plentiful dancers and singers in a vibrant music. Visitors can watch when the procession moves and take photos with the well-dressed figures in the end. A small tipping is required, put it in the box nearby.
Not only one time in the morning, it’s possible to expect a couple of others in later hours too. Should ask the staff near you about when outdoor performances are held, because their reschedule may be changed between days. Recently, in different seasons, Ba Na Hills French Village also is the host of big shows and exciting festivals for free, for example beer festival, flower festival or international food festival. Thus, travelers get so many opportunities to see, taste and photograph all year round.
Ba Na Hills Flower Festival
Golden Bridge area is the host of Ba Na Hills Flower Festival several times during the year. Depending on when it’s held, the kind of flowers will be different, to adapt to the season, weather and theme. During this celebration of multiple colors, travelers have the chance to see a variety of flower varieties, both from Vietnam and the outside. No matter which time, its duration is at least a few weeks, giving a long enough time to allow travelers to attend. The best-known festival is dedicated to tulips that are imported directly from the Netherlands. Millions of individuals in 50 species are planted around the gardens (in French villages too), making it really mesmerizing. Lots of Vietnamese and foreign tourists repeat their visit to Ba Na hills just to admire this beauty. Performances of live music bands and European dancers are accompanied with blooming flowers.
Vietnam’s First Furnicular
This rail transport allows tourists to get the quickest reach from the arrival station of #1 cable car line to the Flower gardens, only 1,5 mins. Inaugurated in 2014, 80 passengers can sit and stand in it at the same time. Balcony is available, highly- recommended to those who like to see pretty landscapes in the surrounding. In the high seasons, long lines of queue often occur and travelers have to wait for around 30 mins for their turn to experience. Like anywhere in the resort, the staff try their best to make the waiting time of the travelers shortest. Because of being the first funicular in Vietnam, Swiss engineers are responsible to construct it at all stages.
Ba Na Hills Golf Club
Located in the foot of Ba Na Hills, this world-class 18-holes golf course features international standard facilities and services. Its opening hours are from the morning until 9 p.m. It won two awards “Asia’s best golf course” and “Vietnam’s best golf course” for 5 consecutive years, from 2016 to 2021.
Fast foods, barbecues and snacks are sold in small stands around the Ba Na Hills. It’s possible to expect imported hot dogs, grilled skewers with different meats, doughnuts, banh mi sandwiches, green bean balls and more. Beers, wines and non-alcoholic drinks are for sale in the same stall also. Generally, the price is more expensive than usual but the taste of the food is nice to try if don’t eat much in the mountains.
Ba Na Hills Buffet
Visitors in guided tours often are recommended to have buffet lunch in Ba Na Hills. Its benefits are a variety of dishes (from both East and West), plenty of seats, quick services and lively performances from live music bands. Same to Ba Na Hills entrance ticket, a buffet ticket can be bought in any official counters, restaurants, tour operators or online and at the same time with the admission fee. For those who spend a full day, a buffet lunch is better than finishing the trip soon to return to the city for eating.
However, you should book in advance because buffet restaurants often serve in a particular period of time and during it, they’re overflooded by tourists. If coming and buying there, travelers may have to wait to be catered. Sometimes, online booking is cheaper. The price is often around 250,000 VND for adults and teenagers above 1,4 meters in height. No matter where the tickets are booked, the reservation-ers will change their confirmation to a physical ticket. Name of the restaurant and what time it serves are clearly written.
Ba Na Hills Restaurant
In the upper floors of Morin cable car station, this classic and elegant restaurant serves a la carte menu in a cozy atmosphere. If looking for a table to enjoy delicious dishes and be away from crowds, it’s your choice.
Located near the Louvre station in French Village, Arapang restaurant’s buffet serves up to 70 dishes. Its opening hours are between 11 a.m and 3 p.m, and capacity is up to 4,000 people. The ticket price is 255.000 VND for one adult and if you like to savour Korean-style barbecues on the fourth floor, 70.000 VND is surcharged. Live music performances are not available here, but French music is always melodious.
Beer Plaza Restaurant Ba Na Hills
Opened in 2019, this buffet restaurant is in a glass dome, in the end of an alleyway to the right of French Village church. Serving food and beaty live music and dances from 11 a.m to 3 p.m, it has many seats in its two floors.
La Lavender Restaurant
This uphill restaurant opens from 11 a.m to 2 p.m daily. Its buffet covers many choices of barbecues, sold with a price of 255.000 VND. To find, following up the road to the left of French Village church. Many times of the day, its staff stands nearby to introduce their restaurant buffet.
Dominating a separate corner of French Village square, the Club has Hoa Sen, Hoa Lan and Hoa Hong restaurants. Its opening hours are between 11 a.m and 3 p.m, and capacity is 2,200 people. The buffet caters Vietnamese, Asian and Western foods, in a variety of ingredients and recipes. Ticket price is 255,000 VND per adult.
Read also: The Best Vietnamese Restaurant in Da Nang
First hotels in Ba Na Hills were built by French colonists in the early 20th century but abandoned after their owners left. Today, travelers have a couple of hotels to choose for their stay in the coolest area of Da Nang, all newly-built and fully furnished. Mercure French Village provides rooms with the highest quality, some available for hourly rental. Morin and Debay hotels are other choices. Read our article centralvietnamguide.com/ba-na-hills-accommodation to know further information. In the near future, more hotels and resorts will be added into Ba Na Hills soon.
Read also: Where to Stay in Da Nang?
Ba Na Hills was established by French colonists as a hill station in 1919, to avoid the heat in the delta and for recreational activities. Many private villas, hotels, wine cellar, and functional buildings were built, making it become one of most famous destinations in entire Vietnam. Meanwhile, lots of tourists plan to visit it in their itinerary. However, only French, senior officials, military generals, richmans and Vietnamese emperor have the chance to travel this weather gem. To know how they get to Ba Na hills in our article centralvietnamguide.com/da-nang-to-ba-na-hills.
After World War II, the French left and their buildings were abandoned. The most visual remains visitors can see nowadays are ruined villas and wine cellars near Golden Bridge. Later the American army only used this place for military activities, because of its strategic location. In the 1990s, Da Nang people committee gave first efforts to ‘restore” tourism in the hills and especially, it has been a top attraction throughout the country after Sun Group group’s investments.
Read also: The Marble Mountains in Da Nang
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