Fairy-Tale Ba Na Hills Day Trip: Things to Know Before You Go
Ba Na Hills is one of the most magical out-of-Da Nang day trips. A French-looking resort on the top of Chua Mountain, just a 20-kilometers drive from Da Nang.
In a very unexpected, but fascinating way, day trips from Da Nang to Ba Na Hills can be either a relaxation or a thrill or a spiritual journey. Or all at the same time.
For me in particular, it was more than I had ever imagined.
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission from that website at no extra cost to you. Learn more: Disclosure policy.
Planning your Ba Na Hills Trip
The French Resort seen from above
Ba Na Hills is partly resort, partly themed park located at 1500 m above sea level, way beyond clouds, on the peak of Truong Son Mountains. It was built by the French colonists back in 1910, but it is constantly growing with new and entertaining additions.
It is connected to the base of the mountain through a record-breaking cable car system, one of the longest and most complex in the world.
Somehow, due to the heights and spiritual-fairy-tale setting, Ba Na Hills is embraced in a completely mystical atmosphere.
Ba Na Hills Guide Map – Download Official iPhone App, Android App
- ⏰ Opening hours: 08:00 am to 05:00pm;
- 🎟️ Cable car ticket: 850,000 VND or 1,140,000 VND (lunch included), Book now.
What to Do & See in Ba Na Hills
The way I see it, Ba Na Hills is split into three main levels, following the mountain slope. Plenty to explore not just for one, but for many days in a row.
🚡 Ground Level: Tickets, Gardens, Cable Car Stations
Ba Na Hills Entrance, Vietnam, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com
The ground level of Ba Na Hills is the place for getting your tickets, enjoying a walk in the lush gardens, and eventually, following the hallways that recreate Hoi An’s traditional setting towards the cable car stations.
This area at the bottom of the hill is primarily made up of multiple buildings, each housing a different station. They are connected through open-air walkways and stairs. And lavishly surrounded, by some amazing gardens, often overlooked by visitors.
We’re talking about a lovely Vietnamese village replica, serene paths with koi fish ponds and tiny bamboo forests.
Ba Na Hills Ground Level Gardens, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com
Added to that, there are also some magical-vibe stone bridges that rise above the tiled roofs, reminding me of the fantastical landscapes I’ve seen in Chinese immortal movies. These almost secret passages replicate that unmistakable connection between the mortal and immortal realm. Such a peaceful escape among orange trees and above all those tourists rushing towards the cable cars.
However, the other two levels of Ba Na Hills are the most fascinating. They are located well above the clouds, offering magnificent views of the surrounding otherworldly natural landscape.
🚡 Middle Level: Golden Bridge, Gardens, Linh Ung Pagoda, Wine Cellar
Golden Bridge & Gardens & Ba Na Hills, Da Nang, Vietnam, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com
The middle level of Ba Na Hills is all about nature and striking scenery.
A 15-minutes journey with the cable car over the mountain greenery can land you at the Marseille station. Just steps away from the place where Da Nang’s symbol, the Golden Bridge, is lifted by two giant stone hands above the clouds. Only this alone makes your day trip to Ba Na Hills worth it.
Even so, the bridge is placed closely to the theatrical setup of Jardin d’Amour. This is a collection of nine exquisitely-manicured gardens, scattered with almost-living flower statues and classical sculptures. From towering tree walls of lush labyrinths to mesmerizing reflective play spaces, the gardens are a bit mystical, and equally glamorous.
Debay Wine Cellar, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com
The final garden, the Vines Yard, is a peaceful and idyllic place dedicated to the celebration of grapes. Probably aims to imitate a vineyard landscape of Southern France.
This place is associated with the 100-year-old Wine Cellar, made up of a series of caves, still preserving French wines from the colonial era. Additionally, it features a lovely bar for a quick wine tasting or a delicious steak.
Ling Unh Pagoda Gate View
Last, but not least, is the Linh Ung (wishes answered miraculously) Pagoda with a 27-meter white Shakyamuni Buddha statue, sitting on a huge lotus. Another spot you can’t take your eyes off.
The Buddha Hall is located down the stairs adorned with bell-shaped peach blossoms. In front of it, a Tree-Arched Gate opens to an immense and breathtaking vista. Statues of meditative monks and surrounding alleys are soaked in a dense mist. And mystery.
🚡 Top Level: French Village, Castle, Fantasy Park, Linh Phong Stupa
French Village at Ba Na Hills, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com
The very top level has the resemblance of a charming, colonial French village. Narrow, cobblestone streets are margined by old inns and 4-star hotels under the Mercure brand, reuniting themselves in a main square with a Gothic-style cathedral, and even a castle.
If you arrive to Morin or Louvre stations, you will be right in the middle of the fun. From here, you can explore the vintage alleys soaked in the aroma of freshly baked bread and coffee. Plenty of restaurants serve all kinds of cuisines.
Linh Chua Linh Tu Temple, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com
More to the right, on the outskirts of the French Village, on the highest grounds, stands a small, Buddhist temple complex (Linh Chua Linh Tu Temple) with pagodas, statues and lily ponds. Nice observation point over the whole Mount Chua and resort.
In the center of the French Village, not far from the main square and the Cathedral, there is a lovely greenhouse-like, delicate dome masking the Drop Tower of an underground, indoor amusement park.
Underground Fantasy Adventure Park at Ba Na Hills, Vietnam, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com
Therefore, the next best thing you can do at Ba Na Hills after taking lots of Instagram-worthy pictures, is to have fun in the many attractions, well hidden inside the mountain. The Fantasy Park seems like an work of art inspired by Jules Verne and his famous ‘Journey to The Center of The Earth’. There are also a Wax Figures Museum, a Dino Park and 5D cinemas.
And, if you turn to left, at 0.5 km from the French Village central plaza, stands the mighty Luna Castle, an incredible medieval fortress wannabe, just a bit more fancier.
This is a new fairy-tale corner in the Ba Na Hill where worlds of legends of mighty fire dragons and guardian wolves come to life. A 4D cinema, live performances and ancient magic books.
Getting Around Ba Na Hills
Ba Na Hills Cable Car System & Buildings Housing Multiple Ground Floor Stations, Da Nang, Vietnam, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com
An advanced cable-car system with 6 routes connects the 3 levels at different touchpoints up the hill, taking you from the ground level up to the top of the hill or to the intermediary level.
If you want to see first the Golden Bridge and the Gardens, you should take the cable car from Hoi An Station, which first of the four stations at the ground level, heading towards Marseille. And from there, after you’ve visited everythinf, you can choose one of the two: Bordeaux – Louvre or Debay – Morin to take you further to the French Village.
If you want to go first to the French Village, Toc Tien Station from the ground floor is connected to L’Indochine Station, at the post office, in the center of the village. If you want to go from ground floor to the highest peak to see the Buddhist complex, there is a new line from Champa to Taiga.
After that, you can come down on one of the 4 routes, depending on your position.
Separately, from the cable car system, there is a train connecting the French village and the Lunar Castle at the top level. And a funicular connecting the Golden Bridge to the Wine Cellar Area at the lower level.
🚡 Cable Car System
Usually, this operate from 08:00 to 17:00. However, you must check in advance because sometimes, due to weather conditions, some routes might be stopped.
- Hoi An Station (1st of the 4 ground level stations) – Marseille Station (middle level, next to Golden Bridge)
- Bordeaux Station (next to Marseille Station, at the middle level ) – Louvre Station (top level, next to restaurants area )
- Suoi Mo Station (2nd of the 4 stations at the ground level) – Ba Na Station (middle level – Debay Cellar & Jardin D’Amour Area)
- Debay Station (next to Ba Na Station, at the middle level ) – Morin Station (top level, next to Fantasy Park & Main Plaza )
- Toc Tien Waterfall Station (3rd of the 4 stations at the ground level) – L’ Indochine Station (Hotel, restaurants and Buddhist Complex area)
- Champa Station (4th of the 4 stations at the ground level) – Taiga Station (highest peak on the top level, next to Buddhist complex)
One Day Itinerary for Ba Na Hills
With so many attractions and activities to experience, it can be overwhelming to plan a visit to Ba Na Hills. Having a pre-determined itinerary like the two ones below can help ensure that you make the most of your time there, see all the things you want to see, and avoid missing out on any must-see sights or experiences.
📌 Optional Itinerary 1
- 08:00 – 08:45 – leave from Da Nang;
- 09:30 – check in at Hoi An Cable Car Station (ground level) and transfer to Marseille Station (middle level).
- 10:00 – explore Golden Bridge;
- 10:30 – have a stroll around the gardens of Le Jardin D’Amour, visit Linh Ung Pagoda & Debay Wine Cellar;
- 11:45 – check in at Debay Cable Car Station (middle level) and head up to Morin Station (top level) for lunch;
- 12:00 – Vietnamese lunch buffet at Arapang Restaurant (if you bought the combo ticket with lunch included); if not, any restaurant you like at the open food court;
- 13:00 – Explore the French Village and get to the Buddhist complex on the highest peak;
- 14:30 – Play games at the Fantasy Park, buy some souvenirs; OR visit the Lunar Castle;
- 16:30 – head towards the closest Cable Car Station and back to the gates.
📌 Optional Itinerary 2
- 08:00 – 08:45 – leave from Da Nang;
- 09:30 – check in at Toc Tien Station (ground level) and transfer to L’Indochine Station (top level).
- 10:00 – explore the French Village & get to the Buddhist complex on the highest peak;
- 11:30 – Vietnamese lunch buffet at Arapang Restaurant (if you bought the combo ticket with lunch included); if not, any restaurant you like at the open food court;
- 12:30 – Play games at the Fantasy Park OR visit the Lunar Castle;
- 14:30 – check in at Louvre Cable Car Station (top level) and head down to Bordeaux Station (middle level);
- 14 45 – visit the Golden Bridge; have a stroll around the gardens of Le Jardin D’Amour, go to Linh Ung Pagoda
- 16:00 – visit Debay Wine Cellar and stop for a drink at the bar – “glasses of bubbly buoyant wine are served with grilled pork skewers“;
- 16:30 – head towards Ba Na Cable Car Station, transfer to Suoi Mo Station and back to the gates.
Ba Na Hills Restaurants
Le Petrin Bakery, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com
Regarding food, there are lots of vintage-air restaurants and bakeries to choose from inside the French Village. Thai, Vietnamese, American, Italian, French cuisine, you name it. One fascinating sight is at Le Petrin where their huge windows allow you to see how they make the bread inside.
Depending on your ticket type, you can have lunch included at specific restaurants in this area – Arapang Restaurant is one of them. In case the lunch is not included with your ticket, the buffet costs around 300,000VND.
On the lower level of Ba Na Hills, Jardin D’Amour area, there are multiple fast-food stalls.
Where to spend the night in Ba Na Hills
Ba Na Hills Architecture, Courtesy of Ba Na Hills
In case you’re looking for a place to stay overnight in Bà Nà Hills, the only hotel on the premises is the Mercure Ba Na Hills French Village. A 4-star luxurious and very romantic accommodation. The colonial-style hotel, a replica of the old French villages from the 19th century, has elegantly decorated rooms with classic furnishings. And the atmosphere is quite unique as guests can enjoy views of the French Village or the surrounding Ba Na mountains from their rooms.
It is split in in 7 majestic buildings, each named after renowned cities of France such as Hotel de Paris, Hotel de Lyon, Hotel de Bordeaux, and so on.
Choosing a hotel outside the resort means paying each day the ticket for the cable car to get to the top.
How to get to Ba Na Hills
Ground Level Parking at Ba Na Hills, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com
When you’re traveling from Da Nang to Ba Na Hills for day trips, you can comfortably get there by taxi (Vinasun or Malinh Group) or Grab. Always be careful on scams and significantly higher fees when using the taxi.
However, the safest and cheapest alternative to get to Ba Na hills is riding the shuttle. You can book your roundtrip ticket here.
🚘 By Private Car
The first and most preferred option to arrive at Ba Na Hills Main Entrance is to book a private car. One way takes around 50 minutes. You can either drive a rented car (600,000 VND / day) if you have an international driving permit.
Or you can hire a Vietnamese driver with a car. This offers many benefits such as flexibility in managing your time better, round trip (pick you up and return you to your hotel), free water. But does not include the tickets for the cable car taking you up on the mountain.
The private car service will wait until you have completed your exploration.
Tip: A private car hired through an agency is much cheaper than what the hotels are asking for this trip.
🚍 By Tour Operator Shuttle Bus / Mini Van
A second and more price convenient way is to join an agency tour minivan.
I booked a driver through a local Da Nang agency. Found Danang Green, which was the first option in search and contacted them on WhatsApp. They knew English which was a great plus. I chose a combined ticket with shuttle bus and cable car included (this one). This saved me the hassle of getting into the crowds and also came with a small discount.
And the service was satisfactory: the minivan was clean, they took care of our ticket, explained the options. They did come to pick us up, but only because we were located next to My Khe Beach. Otherwise, they probably have a pick up point.
However, multiple packages and options are available here. And I would recommend choosing the best that fits you.
- ⏰ Pick-up hours: 08:00 – 08:30;
- ⏰ Drop-off hours: 16:30 – 17:00;
- 🎟️ Combo ticket van & cable car: ~ 940,000 VND. Just minivan booking: ~150,000VND round trip.
🚖 By Taxi
Da Nang Taxis, Copyright © Mai Linh Taxi
As expected, the costs for booking a taxi (from Da Nang to the foot of Chua Mountain) are higher than those of the other mentioned means of transport. About 350,000 VND – 450,000 VND one way. Or for up to 900,000 VND for a round trip, which includes a long waiting time.
Local trusted taxi companies:
- VinaSun taxi – Phone: 022.214.171.124.68
- Mai Linh taxi – Phone: 0126.96.36.199.56
In the case of a round trip, you should check in advance how many hours are included in the package.
When to Visit Ba Na Hills
Buddhist complex on the top level | Picture taken beginning of May, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com
The best time to visit Ba Na Hills is between March and the middle of October. At this time, temperatures are mild, ranging between 21°C and 26°C. It is advised to avoid the rainy season, which runs from mid-October to mid-February. This period can experience heavy rainfall due to its high altitude of 1,500 meters above sea level.
However, the most beautiful time for a visit to the mountain resort is from March to April. The place can become crowded during the peak season starting in May. To bypass long wait times, try to avoid national holidays such as Lunar New Year and Reunification Day, as well as weekends. Lastly, the months of June to August can become quite hot and obviously coincide with summer holidays..
I planned my trip on a weekend around Reunification Day. Unluckily, a time when many Vietnamese take time off and rush to Da Nang for sea and fun. So I found myself waiting for more than 40 minutes in a massive cue.
Go to Ba Na Hills early in the morning and try to choose a clear-sky day. Obviously, not like the day in the picture.
🌦 Weather at Ba Na Hills
Above the clouds at Ba Na Hills, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com
Spending a day in Ba Na Hills will make you feel you experienced all seasons in just hours. Being on top of the mountain, the resort has the moodiest weather in the area.
If 15 minutes ago the mist, followed by a light rainfall, had enveloped the entire resort, now the sun shines again. And the Buddha at the top didn’t even stop smiling. Hot sun, chilly rain, misty pathways. Be ready for anything: a jacket, an umbrella, maybe a hat, sun cream.
Quick Tips on Visiting Ba Na Hills Resort
Crowded Golden Bridge, first days of May, 02:00 p.m., Copyright © Cooltourismical.com
And to wind up, here are some great tips to help you have the best possible experience while visiting Ba Na Hills:
- Book tickets in advance: If you don’t choose a tour, book your tickets online for a specific date, as the ticket line can be long. The ticket includes access to the cable car, train rides, wine cellar, French village, and most games in the Fantasy Park.
- Arrive early: To avoid long wait times for the cable car, aim to arrive by 8 am.
- Avoid peak season and national holidays: With almost 20,000 visitors per day during peak season, the crowds can be overwhelming.
- Pack light & wear comfortable shoes: You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so try not to carry much r choose shoes that will hurt your feet.
- Dress appropriately: It’s not too cold on the hills, a light jacket or coat will suffice. Many Vietnamese women visiting are really elegantly dressed. No matter what you choose, it will be perfect.
- Don’t forget your umbrella and your sunglasses!!
- ⏰ Opening hours: Mon.-Sun.: 08:00 am to 05:30pm;
- 📌 Main Gate: Google Maps;
- 🎟️ Cable car ticket: 850,000 VND or 1,150,000 VND (lunch included); discounted for children; Book now;
- 🚍 Shuttle bus ticket: 150,000 – 170,000 VND roundtrip; Book now.