Welcome to Central Viet Nam. The cradle of emperors and the cultural heritage of Viet Nam. At the same time, an area strongly experienced by the forces of nature. Typhoons, floods or landslides are, unfortunately, everyday life in this part of Viet Nam when the rainy season changes to dry.
It is also a very good starting point for exploring the country. 900 km north and we have Ha Noi, and Sapa. 900 km south and we are in the Mekong Delta.
Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An - these are the three icons of Central Viet Nam. Each of these cities is an interesting tourist destination in itself.
My journey to this area lasted six days and began in Dong Hoi, a visit to the land of the most beautiful caves in Viet Nam. Hidden in the 1,100 km long Truong Son Mountains, it attracts millions of tourists from all over the world. They will be the subject of a separate article. I have already written my memories from my stay in Hoi An in the article about the lantern festival.
Today's story will be about one of Da Nang's main attractions, the Ba Na Hills. In addition to beautiful beaches, the ruins of My Son tower temples, saved by the famous Polish architect Kazik, and the famous Dragon Bridge, it is one of the greatest attractions of Da Nang.
Yes, you know the profile picture of this article well - this is also a place known for the "Golden Bridge" observation bridge, which is placed on two powerful hands.
The Ba Na Hills are only accessible by cable car. There is a road for cars, but it is currently used only for official use.
The cable car base station is a huge building complex next to the Linh Ung Pagoda. The drive from Da Nang city center, 42 km away, takes approximately 50 minutes.
However, before we enter the cable car to an altitude of 1,485 m above sea level, let me give you few handful information.
The work on the development of the hills was started by the French who opened a tourist station in 1919.
The temperatures at the top are 10-15 degrees lower than the beach level. It's worth having a warm sweatshirt with you.
From the top you can enjoy the view of the South China Sea and the surrounding hills.
The cableway was launched on March 29, 2013 and it holds the honorable title of the "Longest Cableway in the World" - the length of the rope is 5801 meters.
Before going to the hills you should choose how you will spend your day there. There are several options. An individual trip, a trip with a group organized by the hotel or joining one of the groups as part of the online offer of travel agencies. All group options are offered by all hotels in Da Nang.
In the individual option, the cost of the ticket is 750,000 VND, a dinner buffet upstairs is another 270,000 VND and a taxi ride, within the limits of 300,000 VND - in total it is about 1,300,000 VND, or about 56 USD.
In hotels, they sell the same offer for 900,000 VND, including a guide, which, as it will turn out later, is quite a valuable addition to this package.
My recommendation - go to the hills with an organized group. Despite the time discipline required in such a case, the help of a guide will allow you to visit all attractions within the appropriate time frame, thus avoiding certain pitfalls.
The second important thing is the weather. The weather conditions at the summit have a colossal impact on the overall satisfaction with the trip and the final impression. Not only in terms of views or temperature upstairs. The weather also determines the number of people going to the hills.
The preferred season is from November to April. As for the day of the week it is definitely weekdays. It is also worth checking the calendar of Chinese and Vietnamese holidays because numerous trips effectively "scare" you from visiting these days.
As for the time of day, I definitely recommend the morning hours. This will naturally be offered by travel agencies and hotels. 7.45am or 8.00am are the standard hours when you will be picked up from your hotel lobby. When you set off on your own, leaving after 10.00 is pointless.
Once you've made up your mind, it's time to go to the hills.
Arriving at the valley station of the cable car, you will see a large complex of buildings. Everything is very well marked, the lines of tourists line up in shaded arcades and move quite lively. All areas waiting for wagons are shaded, ventilated and the security services make sure that tourists move smoothly.
The cars come one after the other, each is entered by about 12 people so the queue is unloaded very quickly.
The entrance to the hills takes place in two stages. The first stage is a cable car from the bottom station to the transfer station, located at an altitude of 800 m above sea level. There are tourist attractions here that are worth leaving for the second part of the day. Why? It is very easy.
Tourists going up the mountain, delighted with the view of the "Golden Bridge", the one on two hands, stay there for a longer time creating a crowd.
In addition to the bridge, there is also a Greek garden on this level, a Chinese garden, there is also a Buddhist temple with a massive stone Buddha. Also, the observation decks with beautifully arranged vegetation delight with their beauty, allowing you to admire the panorama of the city and the surrounding mountains.
The second part of the ascent is a cable car to the top of the hills, where you will spend half the day.
There is a wide selection of restaurants and bars here, giving you the chance to eat a good, tasty buffet lunch. The buffet offer is really wide. Everyone will find something they like.
The buildings that cover the entire gable area reflect the architecture of the French cities of Provence. I also found a little Harry Potter atmosphere in them.
Walking between the buildings you will find the small Notre Dam cathedral, hotels, and wandering among the gastronomic gardens you will reach the very top, where there is an active Buddhist temple. It is constantly inhabited by monks that you can meet and talk to. There is also a tea house near this temple. There you can drink tea prepared by specialists, beautifully served, using exquisite ceramics.
It is worth taking a walk along the path marked out around the temple. You will find there not only interesting species of plants, trees and shrubs, but also lots of insects. For example, cicadas, which can be seen sitting on a trunk, and which rub their abdomen with their wings, make very loud sounds. It is strange that such a small creature can produce such a loud, powerful sound.
The jasper Buddha statue, the scent of incense, the temple pagoda and relaxing music - you will find it all in this part of the hills.
There is an amphitheater at the main entrance to the building complex - here you can spend a moment watching a performance based on Disney productions. During my stay it was a performance dedicated to the film "Frozen". The show takes place every 3 hours.
After about an hour for lunch, if you don't have any particular passion for buying souvenirs and admiring the artificial French architecture, your visit to this part of the Ba Na Hills complex is over.
So we take a railroad, similar to the one in Budapest or Lisbon, to the bridge - the Golden Bridge.
From my point of view, "He" is actually the main attraction of this place.
The bridge makes an incredible impression. The enormous hands that support him are truly breathtaking.
However, when comparing the photos taken for folders, postcards or a website, I can say that the bridge is actually smaller than the photos would suggest.
Either way, it's impressive and makes a great backdrop for your photos.
The walk on the bridge is adjustable in one direction, so if you want to take some pictures of yourself, don't go too fast. After you get off the bridge, you cannot go back to it.
The part of the park in the hills that we enter is devoted to the subject of Greek gardens and the history of Buddhism in Viet Nam.
You will find here beautiful fountains, well-kept gardens, a Buddhist temple and a Mediterranean-style wine bar. I recommend the chilled Sangria, which is tasty and refreshing at the same time. In the humid and hot weather here, a glass of wine will allow you to breathe a bit after an intense exploration of the hills. This place was designed mainly as a background for taking nice photos.
After visiting all these attractions, we have to take the cable car to the starting station.
It seems to me that the tourist center on the Ba Na Hills, whose dominant feature and attraction is European architecture, is a bit boring for us Europeans.
We will like the "Golden Bridge", Buddhist temples, Pagoda or tea house more.
However, it should be taken into account that 80% of tourists visiting this place are Asian.
For them, this type of architecture, completely unique in Asia, is something extraordinary.
It is an attraction because they can see and feel, in a sense, the atmosphere of France, Greece or Italy without leaving Asia.
The hillside resort is still under construction. I expect new attractions worth seeing each year.
Ba Na Hills is a place worth seeing. Attractions for Europeans are of course the "Golden Bridge" and Buddhist temples. Attractions for Asians include European architecture, Greek gardens, but also a bridge.
The views from the hills are wonderful. If the weather is good for you, you will capture the panorama of the hills, the city panorama and the shots on the "Golden Bridge" worthy of the title "photo of the day" on Instagram.
Due to the altitude and lower temperature, the hills are also a great moment for the inhabitants of East Central Asia to take a break from the heat. Sometimes the hills pierce the cloud ceiling. So the weather is sunny at the top, with a beautiful blue sky, while the valleys are obscured by clouds and you can't see anything.
I definitely recommend this place. This is a day trip, and if you decide to go on a group trip, you must get up early in the morning. Thanks to this, you will have the opportunity to see the beautiful sunrise over the Da Nang beaches.
Spending a nice day actively, seeing a few unique attractions and a moment of rest from high temperatures are worth the effort you put into visiting another interesting point on the tourist map of Viet Nam.
cảm ơn và chúc may mắn !
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