The mountain-top resort of Ba Na Hills is like Vietnam’s Disneyland. A hill station and resort on top of a mountain, its replica of a medieval French village is a great day out for anyone who fancies a change from the Old Town and the beach.
You’ll find the 3-floor Sunworld Amusement Park alongside street performances, gardens, cafes and eateries. Add to this a climbing wall, dinosaur park and much more, all set within a fairytale wonderland of turrets. Combine a host of things to do with a mountain location and some of the best views you’ll find in the whole of Vietnam, and Ba Na Hills is a day out that’s not to be missed!
Where is Ba Na Hills?
The resort is in the Truong Song Mountains, with Da Nang the nearest city at around 40km away. Heading west, it forms the third point of an imaginary triangle stretching from Hoi An to Da Nang.
How Far is Ba Na Hills from Hoi An?
Ba Na Hills is around 62km from Hoi An, in a north-westerly direction. You can take a tour from either Hoi An or Da Nang, or make your own way there by motorbike or public transport.
How High is Ba Na Hills?
Ba Na Hills stretches up to 1487m above sea level. As access on foot is prohibitively long and quite arduous, cable car is really the only sensible option.
Not only is this ultra-convenient, the views are simply amazing and not to be missed. Plus, in this 30-minute ride you’ll get to experience the longest and highest cable car in the world at 5,801m in length!
How to Get to Ba Na Hills from Hoi An
Hoi An Tours to Ba Na Hills
It can be a little tricky to navigate your way to the attraction – which is why many tourists take a Ba Na Hills tour from Hoi An. You’ll also find plenty of day trips from Da Nang.
The organized tours usually include:
- Pick-up and return to Hoi An
- Park entrance fee
- An English-speaking guide
- Bottled water and lunch.
Ba Na Hills by Motorbike & Public Transport
If you’re making your own way there, you’ve a number of options. But be sure to leave early – this way you’ll stay ahead of the crowds and also give yourself ample time to enjoy the resort before setting off for home.
The journey is pretty straightforward and the roads are largely good. So if you’re an experienced rider in Vietnam, this is a great option. When you reach the base, parking attendants will direct you towards the covered – and free! – parking lot.
By Taxi or Private Car
A metered taxi is around 700,000 VND (30 USD) one-way (90 minutes). But if you’re just doing a day trip from Hoi An, you’re better off negotiating a flat rate with a private driver – including driver waiting time. Private drivers are quoting around 500,000 VND (2.15 USD) one-way and 800,000 VND (34.50 USD) return (including 4 hours waiting time) with a little extra for a 7-seater. For larger groups or two families traveling together a great option is a 16-seater which is 700,000 VND (30 USD) one-way and 1,100,000 VND (47 USD) return. Overall a private car for most is the fastest and most convenient way and the best value for money too.
By Public Bus
There’s no public bus to Ba Na Hills from Hoi An, but you can catch the #1 yellow bus from Ben Xe station, which departs for Da Nang every 20 minutes and costs 30,000 VND (1.30 USD) . After you arrive in Da Nang (around 90 minutes), you’ll need to get a taxi to bring you the remaining 40km (350,000 – 420,000 VND (15 – 18 USD) for one-way and between 500,000 and 600,000 VND (21.50 – 25 USD) for return – standby time is 4 hours). There is a mini bus available from Da Nang (book through Da Nang Green) but the times probably won’t work out unless you’re already in Da Nang. Overall the bus option is long and involved, not that much of a saving and not recommended.
By Shuttle Bus
A less painful alternative would be to catch the Hoi An Express shared minivan to Da Nang. On the upside, they have air con, they’re faster and they can pick you up from your hotel. Downside is, you’ll most likely still need to get a taxi to Ba Na Hills. The shuttle costs 110,000 VND (4.70 USD) one way.
When is the Best Time to Visit?
Ba Na Hills is best avoided at the height of the rainy season (October/November), although if you’re lucky enough to catch a dry day, you may well enjoy smaller crowds.
February and March are generally a little quieter than the summer months, with crowds beginning to swell from April onwards. But don’t let that put you off – an early start is all it takes to make the most of the day.
Whenever you go, remember that you’ll be climbing high above sea level, so you might be leaving a sweltering climate behind for one that feels almost chilly – even at the height of summer. Make sure to pack an extra layer or two, plus some rain gear if necessary, so you won’t get any nasty surprises once you emerge from your cable car.
Top Things to do at Ba Na Hills
Ba Na Hills Highlights
The sprawling Golden Bridge (aka the Hand Bridge) is a must-see, as is Linh Ung Pagoda with its 27m-high seated Buddha. The French village is an utter delight to wander around, hosting a beautiful cathedral and romantic atmosphere. And of course, there’s plenty to keep the kids entertained!
The Alpine Coasters: you control the speed of your car while whizzing around raised tracks for epic views.
The Fantasy Park: Vietnam’s largest indoor video arcade is great for kids and grown-up kids alike. Don’t miss the Drop Tower, if you’ve got the stomach for it! There’s also the highest indoor climbing wall in Vietnam; the biggest indoor floor for bumper cars, the first dinosaur park in Vietnam; the biggest indoor amusement park in Vietnam and the first cinema in Vietnam to show 3D, 4D and… yes, 5D movies! … and a wax works too!
Le Jardin D’Amour: giant chess, themed sculpture gardens, and a maze to get lost in.
Funicular Railway: travel to the Flower Gardens in style on Vietnam’s only Funicular railway.
Accommodation at Ba Na Hills
The Mercure Da Nang Hotel resides in the French village. It’s a great place to stay for those unable to make a day trip to Ba Na Hills. And of course it gives you the perfect early start at the park, before the day trippers arrive.
Ba Na Hills History
Even if you’ve never heard the name ‘Ba Na Hills, it’s likely you’ve seen an image from it somewhere – perhaps one of the giant’s hands holding a golden bridge, or a gigantic seated Buddha.
But long before the selfie queens and the insta-snappers appeared, Ba Na Hills has been welcoming guests – from as far back as 1919, in fact. The region was used by French colonialists as a hill station to which they could retreat during the warmer months.
Back then, the resort included hundreds of villas and restaurants, most of which were destroyed during the wars of independence. You can still see some ruins but in general, the theme park you see today is an entirely modern phenomenon.
Other Great Day Trips
Other great day trips in the Hoi An – Da Nang area include My Son Sanctuary, Monkey Mountain, Lady Buddha and the Marble Mountains.