Why you should visit the Disneyland of Vietnam
THE “Golden Bridge” has become an instant tourist attraction in Vietnam and for a good reason.
The impressive golden-painted structure juts out the mountainside at 3,280 feet above sea level, and while the views are impressive (when there’s fog), it’s the giant stone hands supporting the bridge that make it truly unique.
The hands feature painted-on moss and are made to look weathered, even though they’ve only been out in the elements since June 2018.
Walking across the bridge is a surreal and unique experience as it’s the only one of its kind in the world.
“It creates a walkway in the sky, among the foggy and fairy-like lands of Bà Nà mountain [Hills],” design principal at the architecture firm behind Golden Bridge, Vu Viet Anh, told Reuters.
The bridge has been posted a cool 64,000 times on Instagram, with this number growing by day.
Because Bà Nà Hills is so close to the tourist hotspot of Da Nang, just a 40-minute drive to be exact, it makes the mountainous terrain the perfect place for a day trip beyond the beaches of Da Nang.
But if you think “hills” and “mountains” only mean hiking and jungle, think again.
Perched nearly 5,000 feet above sea level on top of lush mountainscape is the SunWorld Bà Nà Hills theme park with adrenaline-inducing rides, arcades, and a massive French-style town.
The French-style buildings look so authentic, they’ve been known to fool visitors into believing the complex was a town built during the 20th-century occupation by the French.
But just a few knocks on each of the structures, which include a church, multiple chateaus and castles reveal that the town is made from a combination of plasterboard and fiberglass.
Yet the building materials don’t detract from the grandeur and Instagram-worthiness of the fake town.
One of the “castles” homes a plush Mercure hotel and spa which imports French wine and cheese for its guests. Others are used as quaint bakeries, bowling alleys, and restaurants.
Le Louvre Restaurant is highly recommended for its affordable all-you-can-eat buffet for around US$13 (VND300,000) per person.
However, the hot dog stands are a great option for those on a tighter budget, but realistically, no visitor needs to worry about penny-pinching at SunWorld Bà Nà Hills because all the amusements are included in the cost of the ticket.
That means every game and ride in the three-story Fantasy Park are completely free for visitors. From classic Pac-Man and futuristic Star Wars simulators to the House of Horrors train or the gravity-defying drop tower, is all free to enjoy.
When you’ve got your fix of the hundreds of iconic games in Fantasy Park, head outside to the Alpine Coasters which allow visitors to ride toboggans down a looping-track.
The easy-to-use toboggans operate on a brake lever and can pick up some serious speed.
The ride operators urge you to keep 25 meters behind the person in front, so it’s worth waiting a while after you get the green light, so that you can whizz down without the risk of collision.
SunWorld Bà Nà Hills also offers multiple daily live performances such as cultural dances, acrobatics, and scenes from Disney movies, with visitors regularly encouraged to get involved in.
And that’s not all.
Bà Nà Hills has one of the most impressive cable car network systems in the world holding several Guinness World Records, including the greatest change in elevation.
To access SunWorld Bà Nà Hills, visitors need to journey on one of the cable cars that leave from either Dream Spring Station or Toc Tien Station, both accessible from SunWorld Bà Nà Hills Gateway.
Here, you can purchase tickets for the cable cars and entry to the theme park at US$28 (VND650,000) per person.
The cable cars start at 7am and getting there early means missing the queues, especially during Vietnamese holiday times and on weekends.
While it’s pricier than other attractions in this part of Vietnam, it’s well worth it. You get to say you’ve ridden one of the world’s most celebrated cable cars, “visited” France, operated your own rollercoaster, and walked through the “hands of God”, all in one day.