Bana Hills — Iconic Golden Bridge & Best Amusement Resort in Vietnam

Sun World Bana Hills (Vietnamese spelling: Bà Nà Hills) is one of the top tourist attractions in Vietnam. It’s just 25 km outside of Danang among the cool misty Son Tra (Sơn Trà) hilltops. Previously a French colonial retreat, it’s now a French-themed entertainment resort.

The original Bana Hills cableway is still the longest sky-ride in the world. There are now an additional four cable routes. The most iconic attraction is the giant hands of the Golden Bridge. Bana Hills is not just an amusement resort with rides and attractions, but also a place with beautiful gardens and pagodas to uplift your spirit.

What to Expect at the Bana Hills Resort

French Village of Bana Hills
French Village of Bana Hills
[ by Sandip Roy from Unsplash ]

Bana Hills is not a resort in the typical sense of the word. It’s a combination of a theme and amusement park built in a mock-up of French Parisian architecture. Most visitors are day trippers, but you can also stay overnight.

Attractions and rides include an Alpine coaster, Funicular train, wax museum, and an amusement center with games, rides, and rock climbing. There are also a couple of pagodas, a quart cave, numerous restaurants, cafes, and even street performances.

Ba Na Hills Cable Car Price and Entrance Fee

Tickets to Bana Hills are not cheap, but they are reasonable. There’s only one ticket choice regardless if you choose to stay a full or half-day. Most attractions are included in the single price.

  • Adults: 750 000 VND (33 USD)
  • Children from 1 m to 1.4 m: 600 000 VND (23 USD)
  • Children below 1 m: Free

Note: You have to buy the full-priced ticket even if you just go to the Golden Bridge.

To avoid standing in the queue for tickets at the ground station, you may want to organize a ticket via your hotel or a tour agency. The official online ticket site tends not to work so well. Two large tour bus agencies include Sinh Tourist and Legend Travel

Ticket options can include a buffet lunch and a pass to the wax museum or some other attraction. They have seasonal specials for events like Halloween, and there is also a special ‘Discover Ba Na at Night’ deal.

Getting around Bana Hills 

There are three ground cable stations that will take you to different areas and elevations of the Bana Hills. If you go to either of the two mid-sections, there are further cableways to the upper section. There’s also an interconnecting Funicular train (tàu hoả leo núi) between the two mid-sections.

Which Bana Hills Cable is the Best Route?

Longest Single Cable Line in the World
Longest Single Cable Line in the World
[ by Roger Shitaki from Tripadago ]

It really depends on what you enjoy or see and how much time you have. Most people spend an entire day in Bana Hills — which is recommended for the price of the ticket.

Don’t Miss Bana Hills Golden Bridge

The most unique and splendid attraction is the Golden Bridge (Cầu Vàng). If you only have half a day to spare, make sure it’s on your list. For a full day out, plan to either go to the Golden Hands in the morning on the way up, or in the late afternoon coming down.

The late afternoon towards sunset is one of the best times to photograph the bridge with the light of the setting sun. There are also fewer people around at this time.

Going To Bana Hills with Young Children

If you’re going with children, then go to the Golden Bridge first. Once you’re on the top section, your kids will get engrossed in the theme park and game attractions. Inevitably, it may be difficult to drag them away. Or, they will tire out by the time you want to see the Golden Bridge, which now won’t interest them.

The Longest Cable Ride in the World

If you really enjoy cable rides, then you will want to take the longest cable in the world from Suoi Mo Station (ga cáp treo Suối Mơ) going up. L’Indochine Station is the corresponding station coming down.

The Ba Na Cable Car opened in March 2013 and still remains the world’s longest non-stop single-track cable ride. It covers some 5 801 meters, a near 6-km ride to 1 485 meters above sea level.

Three Main Recreational Areas of Bana Hills

Bana Hills attractions are grouped around three main areas that are linked via cable cars and a Funicular train.

Be Wowed at the Golden Bridge

The famous Golden Bridge is located in the lower mid section. You can get there from the base Hoi An Station, which is also the Bana ticket office. You can then walk around and through the hands and then take another cable car to the upper level.

Golden Hands at Bana Hills
Golden Hands at Bana Hills
[ by Andreea Popa from Unsplash ]

Golden Bridge is about 150 meters long and sits around 1 000 meters or 3 280 feet above sea level. The weather changes quickly and constantly, so if it’s very cloudy, just wait a while for things to clear. There’s also a pathway below where you can take that perfectly awesome ground shot.

Once walking through the hands, Bordeaux Station connects you to the upper section with Fantasy Park and the French Village. Alternatively, you can swing right and walk to Le Jardin Station. Here you can enjoy a light Funicular ride to romantic attractions around the French Gardens.

Be Romanced in the Garden of Love 

For a more relaxed time, or to express the passion in your heart to another, take a stroll through Jardin D’Amour. You can disappear into the hedge maze, or play peek-a-boo among the pillar rows in the rolling mist. The ‘Garden of Love’ also hosts the annual Spring Flower Festival running from 20 January to end March.

French Gardens at Bana Hills
French Gardens at Bana Hills
[ by Roger Shitaki from Tripadago ]

Below the garden is a French wine cellar serving snacks and wine by the glass or bottle. This cellar dates back to 1923 when Bana Hills was a French hill station. There’s also the Doumer restaurant nearby — the food is kind of average but not too bad.

Just behind and above the garden is the giant seated Buddha and Linh Ung Ba Na Pagoda (chùa Linh Ứng Bà Nà). It can get quite misty in this section, which adds a sense of mystery and danger to the whole escapade.

Misty Staircase to Linh Ung Pagoda
Misty Staircase to Linh Ung Pagoda
[ by Roger Shitaki from Tripadago ]

You can get directly to Jardin D’ Amour from Toc Tien Ground Station (ga thác Tóc Tiên) just past the big souvenir shop at the bottom. The cable line takes you to Bana Station at the gardens and then you can take the cable up to Morin Station and the Alpine Coaster (xe trượt ống).

Taking the Toc Tien and Bana cable to the top is kind of pointless unless you’re doing half a day and just want to enjoy the French Gardens, shoot up to the Alpine Coaster, and the Golden Bridge after. It’s a good choice though if you suffer anxiety and hate long cable rides.

Be Thrilled at Fantasy Park and French Village

The upper section of Bana Hills includes the French Village, Fantasy Park amusement center, and Spiritual Landmarks.

From Suoi Mo Station you can get here directly via the world’s longest cableway. The way to Suoi Mo Station is a walk through Toc Tien Ground Station along the pedestrian rampway.

French Village at Bana Hills
French VIllage at Bana Hills
[ by Trần Quốc Phi Hải from Facebook ]

Once on the top, most attractions are free. The Wax Museum (Bảo tàng Sáp) costs an extra 100 000 VND. It’s not exactly Madame Tussauds and may not be worth a long wait. The not-to-be-missed Alpine Coaster is near Fantasy Park next to the Morin Station.

Alpine Coaster at Bana Hills
Alpine Coaster at Bana Hills
[ by Aiden Lee ZJ from Facebook ]

Fantasy Park is built around the themes of ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea’ and ‘Journey To The Center of the Earth’, by the famous French author Jules Verne.

Big attractions include Drop Death Tower (tháp xoay rơi tự do), 5D Shooting Cowboys, 4D Death Race, 3D-4D-5D cinemas, and daredevil rock climbing. There’s a whole basement area with games for younger kids and also Back to Jurassic dinosaur park.

A unique attraction is Quartz Cave which is 60 sq meters and 3m tall. It displays 5 tons of unprocessed quartz mined in France.

Death Drop Tower at Fantasy Park
Death Drop Tower at Fantasy Park
[ by Jordon Opal from Unsplash ]

More Recent Additions to Bana Hills

Newer spiritual attractions now include Linh Tu Pagoda of the Holy Mountain Mother (đền Lĩnh chúa Linh Từ). This pagoda and Holy Mother shrine takes you to the highest point of Danang at 1 487 meters.

The other is the Linh Phong Zen Monastery (Linh Phong Thiền Tự) and its nine-storey Stupa. It’s built in the style of northern Buddhism. Another place to find peace is the Rain Sheltering Teahouse which features traditional tea ceremonies.

On the culinary side, there’s the Beer Plaza Restaurant covering some 400 sqm. Numerous dining options include two buffet restaurants, a Brasserie among others, and Kavkaz Baku Restaurant with Russian cuisine and outdoor barbecue grills.

How to Get to Bana Hills from Danang

From Danang, it’s about 25 km or 45 minutes by car. Despite being one of the leading domestic tourist destinations, there’s little in the way of cheap public transport to get you there. Tours are convenient but don’t leave you much in the way of doing your own thing. 

The best way to go is with a private shuttle service. Often larger hotels in Danang will have their own shuttle service. These, however, will probably not get you to the cable station for an early morning 7 AM ride.

For early birds, you will have to organize a taxi or a Grab Car. A round shuttle service is about 130 000 VND per person.

How to Get to Bana Hills from Hoi An and Hue

Taxis are not the best option for a long journey. Apart from costing more, drivers may not speak English and there are various taxi scams. Grab Car can also be expensive at peak times. Private vehicle hire or a tour service is, therefore, the best choice.

Private vehicle hire from Hoi An can range from 600 000 VND to 1 500 000 VND. Prices depend on the type of vehicle, the number of passengers, and whether it’s a one-way or return trip. It’s about 65 km and the ride is usually 1 hr 15 min to 1 hr 30 min.  

For a half-day at Golden Bridge, the grand finale is often a stopover at Marble Mountain before checking into your Hoi An hotel.

Hue is a longer trip around 100 km or 2 hrs 30 min. It usually includes a scenic stopover at Lang Co Beach, which then takes you along the Hai Van Pass. For most people coming from Hue, the next stop after Bana Hills is either Danang International Airport, a hotel in Danang, or directly to Hoi An.

Protip: There is ample storage space for luggage at the Bana Hills ground station area. 

Where to Stay in the Bana Hills

If you want to stay the night and enjoy more of the fresh cool air of Bana, the main establishment is the award-winning Mercure Hotel. It’s an excellent hotel with various activities for children. There’s also a small library, art gallery, jacuzzi and swimming pool, and recreation center.

Other hotels are still under construction as of late 2021. An alternative stay is the Ebisu Onsen Resort. It’s part of the Nui Than Tai Hotspring Park. It’s about an hour or so by car as the road circles to a lower elevation of the same Son Tra mountains.

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