Ok let’s start with the reason you probably landed here – the Golden Hands Bridge in Vietnam located at the Ba Na Hills Theme Park. The recent darling of Instagram travel bloggers, the Golden Bridge looks like it appears on a jungle covered mountain in the middle of nowhere. It somehow seems ages old, spiritual, undiscovered and like it takes a good few hours hike to reach.
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That is, until you actually visit. It’s crowded, part of a bonkers theme park, was built in 2018 and is the least spiritual I have felt during the whole of this trip to Vietnam. Don’t let that put you off though. Visiting the Ba Na Hills Theme Park, Sunworld including the Golden Bridge was one of the highlights of our visit to central Vietnam.
You can read this ultimate guide to visiting Sunworld at Ba Na Hills for all the tips you need to make the most out of your visit.
The Golden Hands Bridge and How to reach it
I read so many blogs on the Golden Bridge before we visited, all recommended visiting the bridge either as soon as the park opens or at 5 pm when it gets quieter. Well traveling with my jet lagged daughter and coming from outside of Da Nang meant we were never going to get there for opening so end of day it was.
We did walk past earlier in the day and it was packed, they weren’t joking! When we did return, as you can see from the picture, it really wasn’t any quieter closer to sunset. I would love to have waited around for the deserted insta worthy shot but it would have been no fun for Piper (or me), and I’m just not that dedicated I’m afraid!
Just to be super clear because I struggled to find this information – you cannot visit the Golden Hands Bridge without going through the Ba Na Hills Theme Park. You’ll need to purchase tickets to Sunworld which costs 750,000 VND whether you just want to pop up to the bridge or spend a whole day wandering the park and trying out the rides.
Fun Fact – The purposefully weathered two hands of God were designed to look like they are pulling a strip of gold out of the mountainside.
Where is the Golden Bridge in Sunworld
The Golden Bridge is located on the top of the mountain at Ba Na Hills. To reach it you need to take the cable car for around 20 minutes over jungle covered mountains to 1,400 metres above sea level. You can see the hands sticking out of the mountain from the cable car.
It does get a bit confusing at the first cable car – there are three to choose from and each will land you in different places. If you head to Hoi An Station at the bottom and take the cable car up to Marseilles Station, you’ll be right at the entrance to the bridge. This is harder than it sounds though as there doesn’t seem to be a queuing system for any of the three routes, you’ll just be ushered on to whichever is easiest. Don’t worry though, you can easily walk to the bridge from wherever you end up.
What else is there to do at Ba Na Hills
Oh my goodness, so very much! There are rides, arcade games and beautiful gardens. The park is set out with various themed sections and numerous cable cars and funiculars to transport you between each.
We began our visit by heading straight up to the flower garden – taking one cable car then straight onto the funicular. This is pretty close to the Golden Bridge if you want to quickly check out the crowd levels. The gardens were simply beautiful with many quirky additions, foliage covered cable cars and a huge flower peacock.
We also walked down to the Big Buddha and the Linh Ung Pagoda, the spiritual section of the park. From here you can take in some amazing views of the surrounding mountains. In this area It can be pretty tough going on little legs, paths are steep and there are many steps – probably not suitable with a buggy.
We also stopped into the Bar Debay wine cellar, wandering past many miniature models of bars and hotels, ending at a wine bar where we enjoyed a cold drink.
Next for us it was another cable car ride across to the main section of the theme park. Where you’ll find fake Europe and the rides and arcade games. Apart from the Golden Bridge, this is the busiest area of the park and was quite a shock after the calm of the gardens.
Fun Fact – The Ba Na Hills Theme Park cable car is the longest cable car system in the world.
When you exit the funicular you’ll know you’re in the right place, surrounding the huge Sunworld ball is the French/European village. The European village is a great insight into how the Vietnamese see Europe. There’s fake Notre Dame, a French Florist shop and loads of European Style Buildings. It’s also here that you’ll find the German Beer plaza, serving – you guessed it, beers and sausages. There’s live music (hilarious) and a great party atmosphere.
Best rides for kids at Ba Na Hills
Walk around the village and you’ll come to Fantasy Park where you’ll find some more rides and loads of arcade games. This area felt a little tired, some of the rides and attractions were out of action and we couldn’t work out what type of game each one was but we still had plenty of fun. Piper tried her hand at basketball, tested her reaction times and rode a tiny big wheel.
It’s also here we found the dinosaur museum “Jurassic Park” – not really an essential visit.The exhibits weren’t great quality but it’s just another example of how Sunworld has thrown absolutely everything at this Theme Park. If you can think it – it’s probably here!
They also have a wax museum which costs a bit more to enter. We didn’t bother as have been to many others.
Yes, it’s hard to navigate the park, I recommend giving yourself plenty of time and trying not to be too structured.
The best ride in the park is the Alpine roller coaster, it’s fast, it’s a little scary and if you can open your eyes you’ll get some great views. You are in control of the speed of the rollercoaster, ideal for screaming kids! You’ll also find some others in Fantasy Park, we tried out the carousel and wheel. The 29-meter-high Drop Tower is another great choice for little thrill seekers. All the rides are included in your ticket price and good for little kids.
How to get to the Ba Na Hills Theme Park
Sunworld at Ba Na Hills really is in a beautiful location – surrounded by lush vegetation and towering mountains. It probably is exactly how you imagine the Golden Hands Bridge to be minus the Theme Park.
We ordered a Grab Taxi which arrived at our hotel in a couple of minutes and breezed through the hours drive from Da Nang to Ba Na Hills. It cost us around 500,000 VND and seems to be the easiest way to travel around Vietnam.
You could of course take a private taxi from your hotel or anywhere in town. It will be more expensive but you won’t need an internet connection to hail one.
Ba Na Hills has plenty of parking and if you’re confident, it seems pretty straight forward to self-drive to. You can easily hire a car or even a scooter in town. I wouldn’t recommend a scooter if you’re traveling with kids though. The condition of the roads are good and the views constantly changing.
I also love that you can arrange transfer and tickets in one go with Klook where they will pick you up from your hotel and drop you off at the end of the day. It also includes a yummy Vietnamese style buffet lunch. All for under £40 per person.
Once you arrive at the carpark, head towards the covered waiting area for the bus. There didn’t seem to be any signs when we arrived so we just followed the crowds and hoped for the best. The picture below is what you’re looking for.
The bus is free and will drop you off at the entrance to the Theme Park. If you don’t already have tickets head to the right, past the small food hall and you’ll find the ticket office. Luckily there weren’t any queues when we arrived and we were able to pay by card. You’ll also find toilets and baggage storage here if you need it.
Once you have your tickets, it’s down a few walkways, past a couple of shops and some Hoi An style bridges and decorations, up an escalator (there’s a Starbucks here should you need a fix) and you’ll get to the first cable car of the day. The views as you head up the mountain are absolutely breathtaking, although probably not ideal for anyone with a fear of heights.
On leaving Ba Na Hills, there are loads of taxi and Grab drivers waiting at the main entrance – they will approach you, try and get you to use them to get you home. I probably wouldn’t recommend this, I don’t like getting in any car I haven’t arranged myself. We prearranged a pick up with our Grab driver on the way to the park and he was able to call me once outside. It made me feel much safer.
How long to spend at Ba Na Hills
This really does depend on what you want to see when you get there. If you only want to visit the Golden Bridge then you’ll need to factor in an hours travel in the park – cable cars and walking and probably half an hour walking the bridge and getting the perfect shot.
But I’m guessing you’ll want to get your monies worth and experience the rest of the theme park too so give yourself a full day to enjoy all the crazy activities they have on offer.
Where to stay to visit Ba Na Hills
If you fancy an early start to see the Golden Bridge free of crowds then a stay at the Mecure hotel in the French Village is a great option. It has a pool, bars and loads to keep the kids entertained. You’re just a short stop away on one cable car and there’s loads to do around your hotel.
The people at Sunworld
As we found everywhere in Vietnam, the people are super friendly and very helpful. It’s rare that they speak much English but we didn’t need much to communicate. This however is a hugely popular tourist spot and the most intense place we visited for people wanting to touch, talk to or take photos of Piper. This is not uncommon in this part of the world but it did go a bit far here. This family made all their children pose with her and it felt like we made friends for life with the Chinese group we met in the cable car – we spent our first hour being directed around the park by them.
Lovely as it is, this can definitely get quite overwhelming. A polite no or just not making eye contact with the people who are staring should do the trick. I would never have allowed Piper to have her photo taken if she didn’t want to do so. She’s nine now, old enough to make that decision. Not that anyone asked but I also wouldn’t share details of where we are staying, how long etc. It’s just not worth the risk. And of course, I never let Piper out of my sight in the park.
There were some very rude people walking along the Golden Bridge, watching their phone screens instead of looking who they’re treading on. Even pushing people out of the way for the perfect shot. It really is a shame but I suppose it’s to be expected at location made famous by social media. Try not to let it get you down.
Best time to visit Ba Na Hills
I don’t think you’ll be disappointed whenever you visit Ba Na Hills. Most days will have some cloud free hours. It’s definitely busiest during peak season which is April to August. The rest of the year is considered low season although it’s pretty much always busy at Sunworld.
If you’re hoping for less crowded shots of the Golden Hands Bridge then avoid weekends and Vietnamese holidays. I think to be sure, you’ll need to arrive to the bridge at 7.30am, factoring travel and cable cars, you’ll need to leave Da Nang at around 5.30/6am. Not ideal if you’re visiting Sunworld with kids.
The Ba Na Hills theme park is open from 7.30 am until 9pm however we did find that a lot of restaurants and attractions, especially around the Golden Bridge area started to shut their doors around 5pm. The first cable car leaves the ground at 7am.
Where to eat at Sunworld
We grabbed a quick snack at the entrance – there were plenty of baked goods, fresh fruit and smoothies.
There are loads of restaurants dotted around the park and you’ll be able to find something to suit every taste. We also popped into one of the grocery stores on our way out to stock up on cereal and bread for next days breakfast.
Buy tickets to Sunworld at Ba Na Hills
If you know which date you want to visit then you can pre book your tickets to Sunworld on Klook which will save you a bit off the walk up price. It also means you can head straight into the park without having to queue for tickets at the counters.
You can also buy tickets when you arrive at the ticket office near the main entrance to the park. It’s 750,000 VND for an adult and 600,000 for a child. If you want a child ticket they’ll ask the kids to stand next to the measuring stick – they need to be under 1.4m to secure the lower price.
What to take with you
Being so high up, Ba Na Hills is a lot cooler than the rest of Vietnam – although most definitely not cold! You’ll need to bring a light jacket or pashmina to cover up. That said, as in the whole of your holiday to Vietnam with kids, you’ll need plenty of suncream to keep applying. You’ll also be doing a lot of walking at the the theme park – we clocked up well over 20,000 steps so comfortable shoes are an absolute must.
Bring lots of water, although it’s not mega expensive to buy when you’re there, you’ll want some for the journey and to encourage you to stay hydrated in the tropical climate. I also like to take plenty of hand sanitiser, the kids will want to touch EVERYTHING and, being such a crowded place, the last thing you want is to get sick.
I highly recommend bringing a back pack to easily carry all your supplies. One with a hidden pocket for valuables is a great idea in crowded places. We didn’t experience any crime in Vietnam but it’s always good to be cautious.
Finally, a camera or your phone. You’ll want to take loads of pics as you go around the park. Make sure you have a portable charger, the last thing you want is your battery dying as you approach the Golden Bridge at the end of the day.
Ba Na Hills Theme Park Information
Website – be warned this can be very slow to load and sometimes doesn’t at all!
Open 365 days per year
Cable car operates between 7am and 10pm
Most attractions open at 7.30 and close around 6pm.
Address of the Ba Na Hills Theme Park:
An Son Village,
Hoa Ninh Commune,
Hoa Vang District,
Da Nang City,
Ba Na Hills Theme Park video
Take a look at this video of our visit to Sunworld at Ba Na Hills. We absolutely loved our visit as you can probably tell. It’s well worth the ticket fee and has plenty to entertain the whole family.
If you’re looking for more things to do in and around Da Nang then check out this ultimate list of 30 amazing things to do in Da Nang. You might also like this post on everything you need to know for planning a family trip to Vietnam.
Make sure you pin for later to plan your visit to the Ba Na Hills Theme Park and Golden Bridge.