Ba Na Hills Resort – A Victim of its Own Success?

Categories Musings, Vietnam Travel AdvicePosted on

“The golden bridge is amazing but is very very crowded. A million people trying to take selfies for Instagram. The cable car was also cool but the park itself was so random nothing made sense and was hard to figure out how to get to places”

This is Ba Na Hill Resort,  just 45 minutes from Da Nang city.  With the opening of ‘The Golden Bridge’, it’s fast becoming the victim of its own success.  Especially at weekends and Asian holidays.  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.

I wrote these words in August 2018, and six months on has anything changed?

Well, not really!

Some aspects of visiting Ba Na Hills, the Golden bridge and wonderful cable car ride have worsened.  Because of the increasing number of visitors its ability to move thousands of people up the cable car system, and on-site itself can mean long queues and overcrowding.

I love the mountainous area around Ba Na – it’s a beautiful place to visit in good weather, the Golden Bridge has become top of visitors ‘things to do in Vietnam’ list.  Because the views are to-die-for and for many clients, it can be one of the highlights to central Vietnam.

For Da Nang and the many businesses dependent on tourism, it’s helping to put Vietnam’s 3rd city on the radar of our international visitors.  Especially those from Asian Pacific Rim countries who enjoy short direct flights into Da Nang’s 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.  I reproduce it here and hope it helps in understanding the Ba Na ‘effect’: 

“Ba Na Hills is ‘the‘ attraction many want to visit as part of their Vietnam tour. It includes the Ba Na Hills Resort itself, its cable car experience and 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.  These are 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 at 1487m (4890ft) above sea level views of the resort from the cable car and of the bridge are subject to weather conditions. When light rain or overcast in Da Nang it can be almost zero visibility in heavy rain and cloud towards the top of 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.  Especially 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, whether you are a family or adults travelling without children, it’s certainly an art form to know the very best day and times to visit Ba Na during your Vietnam holidays!