Honest Review and Guide to Da Nang Golden Bridge, Vietnam
Are you ready to find out everything you’ll ever need to know about one of the most famous attractions in Vietnam? If the answer is yes, scroll down to find my complete guide on the Da Nang Golden Bridge in Ba Na Hills. You might expect to find long queues and massive crowds here, but no worries, this guide will offer some clever tips on how to skip all that!
Get ready to find out all about the story behind this Insta-famous bridge, the ticket price, the best times to visit it, how to get there and much more. Plus my raw, 100% honest impressions about our experience there and whether it is WORTH IT OR NOT.
Quick info about Da Nang Golden Bridge
Did you know that, although you might’ve seen countless gorgeous pictures of this bridge online before, this attraction is actually pretty new? The Golden Bridge (also known as Cau Vang) has become one of the top tourist destinations in Vietnam, even though it was only opened in June 2018. The Golden Bridge and its two giant hands have been on the top of social media platforms ever since it was constructed, which has brought tens of thousands of visitors over the years. Why, though?
But what’s so special about this bridge, after all?
I mean… you must look at the pictures to understand! The bridge’s structure is impressive – and that’s not an overstatement at all, considering the construction only took 1 year to complete. Two giant hands that seem carved in gorgeous stone (they’re actually made of metal and fiberglass) suspend a beautiful, gold railing frame – a pedestrian bridge among the lush Ba Na Hills.
The bridge is 150 metres long and it is suspended at 1.400 metres above sea level. If you visit the bridge very early in the morning, you’ll see it’s surrounded by thick fog and golden light, making for unique photo opportunities… but you’ll find more details about When to visit in this special section.
Is there a story behind it?
The bridge was designed as the newest addition to the Sun World Resort, an interesting entertainment complex at Ba Na Hills. The aim was to create a symbol of Da Nang tourism – and, if you ask me, the entire idea was an immense success. So successful that it actually got plenty of rewards at multiple architecture contests worldwide.
I think that one of the best things about this bridge is the fact that it combines both architecture and nature in a really harmonious way. And the striking contrast between the stone hands and the elegantly curved bridge is also something to remember.
Where is the bridge located?
Okay, enough with admiring the Golden Bridge from an ever-romantic point of view (guilty!), let’s get to some practical information.
As I mentioned before, the Golden Bridge is at the top of Ba Na Hills. More specifically, it’s in the Thien Thai Garden at Sun World.
The catch: Sun World Resort at Ba Na Hills
Here’s the catch: because the Golden Bridge is part of this big entertainment complex, it can only be accessed through Sun World, a theme park resort built to resemble a European village during the French Renaissance era.
You’ll need to pay quite a high entrance fee considering that most visitors solely come to the park to see the Golden Hands Bridge. However, tickets cover the entrance to all areas of the park (and they do offer a lot of attractions!), if that is something that interests you. The park has quite a few zones, so you could choose to spend a whole day here if you wanted to explore and participate in the activities they offer.
Some of Sun World’s top attractions include:
- Jardin D’Amour – a complex of flower gardens divided into 9 little gardens, each with a different architectural style
- Linh Un Ba Pagoda – a beautiful pagoda that is worth seeing!
- Fantasy Park – based on the iconic novels “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”, this section of the park has arcade games, 4D and 5D adventures, 360º movies in 3D, and more.
- Museum of Wax Figures – Displays wax figures of celebrities
- The Mercure French Village Hotel – An insane 4-star hotel located in the resort’s French village. It has 494 rooms, a spa, gym, indoor swimming pool, restaurants, bars, and much more.
FUN FACT: Sun World welcomes more than 1.5 million visitors per year!
I’ll tell you right from the start: once you get to the park complex, you’ll see that the Golden Bridge is only accessible via cable car. More on this below, but first let’s find out how to get there from Da Nang. The Golden Bridge is located around 30km West of Da Nang City.
If you’re taking a car, you should get from Da Nang to the bridge’s location in about 30 to 40 minutes one way, depending on traffic, especially at mid-day. If you go there super early in the morning, the ride can be as short as 20 minutes.
TIP: If you want to access the location using Google Maps, you have to add “Sun World Ba Na Hills” as the destination, otherwise you’ll only get the wrong directions. Do not choose “Ba Na Hills” unless you aim to reach the top of the mountains instead of the bridge.
1 – PRIVATE TAXI & GRAB
The easiest way to travel to Sun World is by taxi. You can book a full trip where the driver takes you, waits for you and returns you to your hotel for a negotiated price. – Depending on the wait, this should be about 800,000 VND (35 US$).
In case you want to arrange your transportation online beforehand, I have found this private transfer for the same price as the taxi.
OUR EXPERIENCE: On our visit, we asked a Grab driver that we met the day before how much he would charge to take us to and from Sun World. We worked out a price that suited us both, took his phone number and he was on our doorstep at 6 AM the next morning to start the journey. This is a great way of building connections and bringing down the cost. He ended up being our driver to most of the sites around the city – how awesome is that?
2 – SCOOTER RENTAL
In case you’re adventurous enough to take a scooter or motorbike, you’ll be happy to find out that this is definitely the cheapest option – and maybe even the most fun. The price should be around 150.000 VND (6.50 US$) for an entire day.
TIP: If you are using Google Maps to get there with your scooter (and I’m 100% sure you’ll use it), you should add “Ba Na Cable Car Service Parking Lot” as your destination. This spot is exactly at the park entry.
3 – THE CABLE CAR RIDE
As I mentioned above, the only way to access the bridge is by taking the cable car from inside Sun World, at Hoi An Station. The gondola starts at the bottom of the hill and will take you to the very top, where the resort is located. The entire ride takes about 20 minutes to the top of the mountain.
OPENING HOURS: the cable car runs from 7 AM to 10 PM.
FUN FACT: The cable car at the Golden Bridge holds not 1, but 4 Guinness World Records, did you know that? It’s the longest cable car system in the world (5.771m), as well as the longest cable roll (11.587m), it has the heaviest cable (141 tons!) and it also has the highest altitude from its starting to its ending point (1.369m). Now that’s impressive!
I already said the entrance fee to Sun World is quite pricey and that you HAVE to pay it if you want to see the Golden Bridge, so it’s now time to tell you exactly how much it will cost.
- Adult: 750.000 VND (33 US$)
- Child: 600.000 VND (26 US$) – this is determined by height – from 1 to 1.4m
This ticket includes everything except the entrance to their Wax Museum, some games in Fantasy Park and the buffet lunch.
You can buy tickets on arrival from their ticket office or online at the official Sun World website.
NOTE: Please note that the tickets must be used on the day you purchased them.
TIP: Their ticket booths often have long queues and a slightly higher price, so I would recommend buying online before going.
Best tours of the Golden Bridge
In case you don’t want to arrange transportation yourself, a very good idea would be to take an organised tour. These types of tours usually include transportation, entry fee, lunch, and a tour guide included in the price.
Here are my recommended, hand-picked options:
When to visit
Usually, visitors are able to avoid queues and crowds if they visit sites early enough. However, we quickly learnt that a visit to Sun World does not work that way! Feeling clever, we arrived at 6 AM and thought we had beat the crowds. Once we turned the corner and saw the queue for the gondola, we realised how wrong we were. It was already so ridiculously crowded. There seems to be no real quiet time to come and see this attraction.
We arrived at dawn during the lowest season of the year and the site was still so crowded. We ended up waiting until 7 AM for the cable car to open and then another 30 minutes in the queue to get on the cable car. I dread to think how busy it must be during peak hours or on local holidays (save yourself some angst and avoid!)
Basically, my advice would be to come early, bring a load of patience and expect long queues.
Some other reviews online mention that you’ll find no queues if you’re there at 7 AM to catch the first cable car ride (and, trust me, I have read lots of them!) and, even though I hoped this would be true, it actually wasn’t. Needless to say that by 9 AM the visitors are already forming a MEGA crowd.
Okay. Time to get down to what I really thought about the whole experience.
Was the Golden Bridge incredible to see? – Yes.
Did we get stunning photos? – Yes.
Would I recommend you go? – HELL NO!
To be blunt, the park was kitschy, tacky and overpriced. Experiencing the Golden Bridge was overcrowded and uncomfortable. Yes, we got good photos – but this was literally down to luck and with much thanks to Photoshop.
As for Sun World, there was not an ounce of authenticity about the place. It was like a sh*t Disneyland with no rides… and for a country like Vietnam that is overflowing with so much natural, cultural, authentic beauty, Sun World was an overpriced eye-sore that I would highly advise all to avoid.
I know that this is a super harsh review, and I don’t often leave such harsh criticism here on the blog because I usually feel that experiences are opinion based. But the theme park is everything I dislike about travel. Not only is visiting Golden Bridge not worth it, but it goes against responsible travel.
For me, the experience of seeing the bridge was in no way special enough to justify the cost, but I completely get that many will want to see it for themselves, just like I did. Just wanted to be 100% transparent with you about my thoughts during this write-up.
My top tips for visiting the Golden Bridge in Danang
I know I’ve been quite harsh with my opinion about the bridge’s popularity, but if you still want to get to the location and experience everything yourself and, basically, test your luck, here are some precious pieces of advice and tricks to keep in mind:
WHERE TO TAKE THE PERFECT INSTAGRAM PHOTO.
Once you arrive on the bridge, make sure you don’t waste much time at the first hand (the right one, closest to the gondola station). That’s where 99% of visitors stop to take photos. Instead, you can take a couple of quick snaps and then proceed to the next one (the left hand), which, supposedly, will be less crowded.
You also have some pretty nice photo opportunities at the train station, where the flower garden is located.
TIP: If the bridge is too crowded to take any good photos, just proceed to Linh Un Ba Pagoda and shoot some images there. The other travellers will be so concerned with the bridge, most will even forget there are other spots around them.
CHECK OUT SOME OTHER NEARBY ATTRACTIONS.
If the bridge sounds as disappointing to you as it was for me but you still want to go see Sun World, let me offer you some interesting alternatives around:
- Jardin D’Amour Flower Garden
- French Village
- Debay Wine Cellar
CHECK OUT THE HOTEL.
If you really like this bridge and want to spend the night as close to it as possible, you can book a room at the Mercure French Village, which is located inside the French Village section of the theme park, not far from the Golden Bridge. If you stay at the hotel and wake up early enough, it will be easier to get to the gondola first… but you surely won’t be THE first person in line if you ask me. So the decision is yours.
BONUS: Recommended packing list
Here are some really useful things to take with you to the Golden Bridge:
This was my complete, utterly honest guide and review of the Golden Bridge in Da Nang, Vietnam. I’ve told you literally everything I know after going there – price, where to take the best photos, how to get there and particularly if it is worth your time and energy to see the giant “hands of the Mountain God” emerging from the mountains… or not.
If you’re on the search for other more amazing places to visit in Vietnam, I recommend checking out this section on the blog where you’ll find all my posts and stories about this wonderful country.