“When we arrived everything was full of tourists, we had to wait a long time until we could actually go on the cable car”
This is Ba Na Hill Resort, just 45 minutes from Da Nang city. With the opening of its new attraction ‘The Golden Bridge’, it’s fast becoming the victim of its own success – especially at weekends. Because the only way to enter the resort is by cable car, the many (and I do mean ‘many’) large tour groups mean lengthy queues in the heat at the cable car stations.
I wrote these words in August 2018, and six months on has anything changed?
Well, not really!
If anything, some aspects of visiting Ba Na Hills, its Golden bridge and the wonderful cable car ride have worsened – only because of the increasing number of visitors attracted to this mountain top attraction and its capacity to move thousands of people up and down the cable car system, and on-site itself.
I love Ba Na – it’s a beautiful place to visit in good weather, the Golden Bridge has become top of many visitors ‘things to do in Vietnam’ list – a must-see attraction in central Vietnam. The views are to-die-for and for many of my clients it can be one of the highlights of their visit to my amazing country. And for Da Nang and its many businesses dependent on tourism, it’s helping to put Vietnam’s 3rd city on the radar of our international visitors, especially those from the Asian Pacific Rim countries who now enjoy short direct flights into Da Nang’s ever-growing airport.
I recently wrote a short piece on visiting Ba Na, mostly for my adult clients who travel without children and include the resort in their Vietnam itinerary, and I reproduce it here and hope it helps in understanding the Ba Na ‘effect’:
“Ba Na Hills is ‘the‘ central Vietnam attraction that many want to visit as part of their Vietnam tour. It includes the Ba Na Hills Resort itself, its cable car experience plus the now-famous Golden Bridge. Entry to the Resort by cable car must be paid-for to view the bridge – it is not a stand-alone attraction.
With its popularity has come problems, mostly uncomfortable overcrowding at weekends/holidays and long cable car queues of group tours in the morning after 9am. My clients tell me that families with children can easily spend a full day within the resort, but most adults are happy with a half day visit.
Remember also that at 1487m (4890ft) above sea level, views of the resort from the cable car and of the bridge are subject to weather conditions. When its light rain or overcast in Da Nang it can be almost zero visibility in very heavy rain and cloud towards the top of our Trường Sơn mountain range.
I’ve designed a 50/50 Da Nang ‘Highlights’ & Ba Na Hills Full Day Private Tour to address many of the issues with Ba Na for my clients who travel without children. It includes an early afternoon arrival at the cable car station once queues have reduced, a chance to enjoy an authentic Vietnamese lunch in Da Nang rather than resort mass-catering, plus a cost-effective day which includes Da Nang city ‘Highlights’.
So, there are right days and wrong days to visit this amazing place, and whether you are a family or adults travelling without children there are right & wrong times too – it’s certainly become a real art form in knowing the very best day and times to visit Ba Na during your Vietnam holidays!