The ticket to enter the park runs $33. If you opt for a driver to take you there that’s another $33 per person. If you stay the entire day you will likely spend another $15 on lunch, drinks, and snacks. If you stay for the entire day you can double that.
I preface with cost as it is not cheap. I was fortunate to have a motorbike and Raheem was a chance encounter I had as we were both returning our bikes the night before. He was American but living in South Korea teaching English and in Da Nang for vacation. I mentioned wanting to visit Ba Na Hills and he was game. It was a longer ride and further out of town than I had ridden my first day so I was planning to take a professional bus company but Raheem stated the obvious: let’s ride the bikes out there!
My second exciting challenge on motorbike just arrived. We agreed to meet at 7am to get a jump on the day. Tragically for me I couldn’t fall asleep until past midnight so I woke up feeling like I did back home before work wanting to stay in bed forever.
We grabbed the bikes. One tip is to have your motorbike company install a phone holder on the handlebars so you can see exactly when your next turn is coming. Excellent investment as you don’t need to ride risky holding your phone or stopping periodically to check your location.
The ride out of Da Nang was crowded which took my bike game up a notch. After the crowds disapated we hit a long stretch of 4 lane open road which only we were on. That was fun. That feeling of being on a wide nicely paved straightaway on a motorbike is a special feeling.
If you put directions into Google Maps it will tell you it’s 2 hours from Da Nang. The truth is it’s about an hour. The reason being is you arrive at the bottom of a mountain and take a 15 minute gondola ride to the top. If you actually drove all the way up the mountain it probably would be another hour incline. I was happy we arrived after 1 hour!
We went straight for the Golden Bridge. If you like taking photos and videos this place is heaven. The Golden Bridge is less impressive in person yet more impressive behind the lens.
Ba Na Hills is building out an entire theme park that’s made to feel like a posh Swiss town on top of a mountain. They also have actors which go around like characters during the day taking photos with guests and they put on an impressive dance performance to modern music. It’s a fun little big show.
The food they serve caught us off guard. They had skewers of crocodile and ostrich! Be prepared to spend some good coin there as you are the walking definition of a captive audience.
Like many activities in the SE Asia most ambitious people show up early and fight the crowds then find a hideaway during the sun scorching 11-2PM hours then get after it to close out the day.
We took so many damn photos by the time the sunset we some final shots. Raheem spotted a drone flying overhead so I whipped mine out for one last flight and boy am I glad because it turned out to be the best shot of the day.
I left feeling what every photographer after long long day of shooting must feel: exhausted. But I also knew the feeling of capturing that perfect moment at the end of a long day. That felt amazing.
The ride home was fun. We hopped on our mopeds and blasted down the straightaway and out of the town in the dark of night. I know what my french friend Mark was trying to communicate to me when he mentioned he liked riding at night. It’s something different. Daytime riding is scenic and exhilerating but nighttime riding is spiritually peaceful in nature.
What an amazing day. Raheem ended it with a seafood dinner to cap off an incredible day end to end. I’ll remember this day for so many reasons, many due to the fact that we took so many damn pictures to remember the place by 🙂