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Sun World Bà Nà Hills, Da Nang, Vietnam

9 min read
Amusement ParksAsiaDa NangKidsSun WorldViet Nam
Article author: michael
michael
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Cover Image for Sun World Bà Nà Hills, Da Nang, Vietnam

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Bà Nà Hills is a theme park/resort located high up in the mountains west of the city of Da Nang, in central Vietnam. It’s located 1500 meters above sea level, and as such it’s a lot cooler than the city below. Due to it’s elevation, there’s a lot of fog and mist that comes and goes with the winds, so you’re very likely to find yourself surrounded by clouds at some point during your visit!

Quick Nav

Bà Nà Hills Info

  • Address: Sun World Bà Nà Hills, Hòa Ninh, Hòa Vang, Da Nang, Vietnam
  • Hours: Daily, 08:00 - 22:00
  • Time needed to visit: Half to full day
  • Entrance fee:
    • Adults: 900,000 VND (non-discounted)
    • Children: 750,000 VND (non-discounted)
  • Official website: banahills.sunworld.vn
  • Booking links:
    • Directly On-site
    • Online via the official Sun World

Bà Nà Hills Brief History

In 1901, the Governor-General of French Indochina wanted to find a place to build a resort, convalescence, and medical treatment area for French soldiers, officers, and officials. The captain who was assigned to the task found a flat area on the top of Bà Nà Mountain, with a climate similar to that of Da Lat, and so the location was chosen.

After further research to determine the feasibility of the location, in 1919, a road was completed to connect Ba Na to national highway 1. Later that year, the 1st motel was built in Ba Na. It wasn’t until 1928 however that the road to the top of the mountain was completed.

Later, in 1945, the area was eventually deserted after the August Revolution, making it fall into disrepair. Then, during the Indochina war, the French used the top of the mountain as a military observation point.

In 2000, a new eco-tourism resort opened, however due to mismanagement, it lost popularity, and was eventually transferred to Sun Group in 2007. After another 14 months of construction and preparation, the new Sun World Ba Na Hills opened in 2009.

In 2013, the new Ba Na cable car, developed by the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group, opened to the public. It holds the world record for longest non-stop single track cable car at 5,801 meters in length.

Getting to Bà Nà Hills

By Car / Motorcycle / Scooter

There are of course a number of ways to get to Ba Na Hills, including simply driving there yourself like my wife and I did in 2019, which can be cheap if you rent a motorcycle or scooter.

Driving to Ba Na Hills

The drive there from central Da Nang is about 45 minutes, and the roads are pretty good. If you’re using Google Maps like I did, make sure you look for Sun World Ba Na Hills, and not just Ba Na Hills, because they’re not the same location in Google Maps!

The more common route though would probably be to take a bus there, and there are plenty to choose from.

GetYourGuide

GetYourGuide.com is one of my favourite travel companies, and have many options to choose from. I’ve used them across Europe and Asia, so I can vouch for their reliability and authenticity.

Bus Transfer Option

If you only need a transfer service, they have a cheap bus transfer, which transfers you to and from your hotel/hostel in Da Nang to the Ba Na Hills entrance.

Note that this is a bus transfer only, and doesn’t include the cable car lift ticket, which is basically the entrance fee to Ba Na Hills.

All-day Tour Option

If you’d prefer to just go the all-day tour route, where the hotel/hostel transfer, lift ticket, and lunch are all included, then you can check out this all-day tour option instead.

Sun World Free Bus Shuttle

Now of course, the cheapest option will always be the free one, if you can find it, and Sun World does actually offer a free shuttle!

But, there’s a caveat. It only runs from Little Ba Na Hills – 36 Bach Dang Street (next to Novotel Hotel), and unfortunately only runs daily as of 4pm. So, if you’re already in Da Nang, and can get yourself to 36 Bach Dang Street, and you’re willing to wait until 4pm to go to Ba Na Hills, then this is a great option.

And Ba Na Hills at night is gorgeous - it’s actually what we did this time around.

The Park

Ok, first off let’s get one thing out of the way … yes, Ba Na Hills is a tourist trap. It’s a theme park, and it’s a resort, but as far as I’m aware, any original French architecture is long gone. What’s there now is beautiful, but not historic in any way.

It’s still a lot of fun though (even for kids), has stunning views of the surrounding area, and it’s a great way to spend a day, or even just an evening.

Ba Na Hills Views

But if you’re not into theme parks or tourist traps, then Ba Na Hills is probably not for you.

Park Entrance

The Park entrance is pretty massive. There are some places to buy food and drinks, and there are some shops, but it’s mostly just a massive open area with a lot of people.

If you didn’t pre-purchase your tickets online, you can buy them here on-site. Even if you did purchase your tickets online, I believe you need to go to the ticket counter to exchange your online ticket for a physical ticket anyway, which is what we had to do.

Ba Na Hills Entrance

After sorting out your tickets, you continue on to the main entrance of the park, which is a massive Asian-style gate, to make your way towards the cable car. Warning - it’s quite a walk from the initial ticket area to the cable car! 😮‍💨

Ba Na Hills Entrance

Ba Na Hills Entrance

Cable Car

The main cable car ride up is the longest of the various ones at the park (there are 5 cable car routes, and 2 funiculars), and one of the longest in the world. I don’t recall the exact time it takes to get to the top, but it’s a good 20 or so minutes!

It’s a really nice relaxing ride though, and the views are amazing. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride up into the clouds!

Ba Na Hills Cable Car

Ba Na Hills Cable Car

Ba Na Hills Cable Car

Golden Bridge

The Golden Bridge, or “Hand Bridge” as I call it, is one of the newest instalments at the park. It’s a massive bridge that’s held up by two giant hands, and looks pretty damn cool!

Ba Na Hills Golden Bridge

You’ll get some great views of the surrounding area from the bridge, or you can just take some cool photos of yourself in it. 😎

We got lucky this time around, as it was later in the day and it had just stopped pouring rain. So the bridge was virtually empty.

Compare that to when we visited in 2019

This year:

Ba Na Hills Golden Bridge

2019:

Ba Na Hills

Fantasy Park

Fantasy Park is the indoor amusement park at Ba Na Hills. It’s a massive indoor area with a ton of rides, games, and activities for both adults and kids, but I’d say it probably appeals more to kids really.

Ba Na Hills Fantasy Park

You do have some adult attractions though, like the free-fall ride, that shoots you up ~30m in the air, and then drops you back down again.

Ba Na Hills Fantasy Park

Ba Na Hills Fantasy Park

There’s also a climbing wall right next to the free-fall ride, as well as an arcade section to the side.

Ba Na Hills Fantasy Park

Ba Na Hills Fantasy Park

Ba Na Hills Fantasy Park

Apart from that, there’s a train ride for kids, a bumper cars section, a 4D cinema, and a bunch of other stuff. If you bring kids to Ba Na Hills like we did, be careful they don’t make you spend most of the day there. 😑

French Village

While there’s no actual deep history to this part of the park, it’s really well done. When I was here in 2019, I was sure some of the buildings here were the actual ones built during the French occupation of Vietnam, but nope. It’s just a really well done replica.

Ba Na Hills French Village

As I noted at the beginning of the post, you’re likely to be surrounded by clouds at some point during your visit.

Ba Na Hills Fog

Ba Na Hills Fog

Generally, when that happens, the temperature cools quite a bit, and it’s when you might want your jacket handy.

While the clouds were passing by though, we headed to another section of the French village, and found that the place was deserted!

So of course we spent a good 10-15 minutes acting crazy while no one was around. 😂

Ba Na Hills French Village

Ba Na Hills French Village

Restaurants

Like any theme park, Ba Na Hills has a bunch of restaurants and food stalls.

Now I don’t have experience with most of them, but our friends wanted to try Beer Plaza, so we ate there for dinner.

Ba Na Hills Beer Plaza

Ba Na Hills Beer Plaza

The place is pretty huge, and has tons of wooden picnic-style tables and benches for the seating. It’s a buffet restaurant, and has a pretty cool vibe to it.

That said, I’m not a huge fan of seafood, which is mostly what they serve. I do love fish, crab, shrimp, lobster, and the like. But not calamari, octopus, or anything else that’s slimy and chewy, which are the exact things Vietnamese people love. There are some other options though, like chicken, pork, and beef, so I was able to find something to eat.

But all in all, I wasn’t a huge fan of the food and I’d say it was just ok, but nothing special. Even my wife and our friends, who do like seafood, said it was just ok.


And that was pretty much it for our time in Ba Na Hills this year.

Ba Na Hills French Village

Being there later in the day was a nice experience, because we got to see the park at night, all lit up, and it’s really gorgeous at night.

Ba Na Hills French Village

Things to Note

They famously say that you can experience all 4 seasons in a single day at Ba Na Hills, and they’re not joking!

It can be a lot cooler up there, and it’s very likely that you’ll be surrounded by clouds at some point during your visit. So make sure you bring a jacket or sweater, and maybe even an umbrella if you’re visiting during the rainy season.

While we were there this time, we went from feeling really cold one moment and putting our jackets on, to feeling really hot like 5 minutes later and having to take our jackets off again. And this happened several times throughout the day.

Final Thoughts

As I’d already been before, there wasn’t much new for me to see or do, but it was the 1st time our kids and our friend’s kids got to visit Ba Na Hills, and they really had a blast.

So I think Ba Na Hills is a great place to visit and experience if you’re in Da Nang and haven’t been before, and it’s worth checking out at least once. But certainly once you’ve seen it once, you probably won’t need to go back again.

Until next time,
michael 😀

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