Published On: Sun, Mar 3rd, 2024

I visited Vietnam’s mountain resort styled to look like a French town | Travel News | Travel

When thinking about the things tourists typically see on a trip to , it is easy to imagine such as the stunning limestone islands of Halong Bay or the whizzing around the palace-like Ho Chi Minh City Hall.

One thing that I certainly did not imagine seeing whilst on a recent trip there was a tourist resort styled to look like a French village. However, that is exactly what Ba Na Hills is.

Located high up in the Annamese Mountains, around a 45-minute drive from the city of Da Nang, Ba Na Hills is a resort that aims to recreate the feel of a .

First opened in 1919, Ba Na Hills was a built for the benefit of the French colonists who wanted to escape the high temperatures and humidity, with 240 luxury villas built for the country’s officials.

However, following the August Revolution at the end of World War Two which made Vietnam an independent country, Ba Na Hills was left derelict, with most remnants destroyed during the Vietnam War.

Today, things are incredibly different, something that is painstakingly obvious by the time you set foot in the car park.

Whilst tourists can take a road up to the resort, the main way to travel is via the longest non-stop cable car in the world, taking around 20 minutes to go 5,800 metres into the air.

The views of the tree-covered mountains on the way up were stunning, if a little scary, however they were nowhere near as beautiful as what awaited me at the top.

Upon arriving at Ba Na Hills, the first thing tourists see is the Golden Bridge, a 150 metre long platform seemingly held up by two massive hands, made from fibreglass designed to look like stone.

First opened in 2018, the bridge attracts many tourists from all over the world, so be sure to make plenty of time to walk over it to get the best views and watch out for any pickpockets.

Hopping on a much shorter cable car and I soon arrived at the main attraction: the French village itself. The main part of the ‘village’ is a market square featuring a large fountain and busts of well-known French figures, again made from fibreglass.

The whole village is not exactly what it seems, feeling at times more like I was on a Paramount set, rather than Pays de la Loire.

However, everything I could imagine to find in a French village was present. A Catholic church complete with confessions booth, a string of quaint restaurants offering wine stored in a cellar deep in the mountain, even a number of vintage French cars that have been covered in bouquets of flowers.

In all honesty, the day I spent at Ba Na Hills was by no means enough. It is incredibly easy to see why there are a number of hotels dotted across the resort.

Whilst the village is the main attraction, there is also a full-size golf course, a massive underground theme park, a wax museum of famous figures and a 27-metre tall statue of Buddah in a spiritual garden.

Admittedly, the site can get incredibly crowded, however it is a day that few are likely to forget, and, with an entrance fee of 850,000VND (£27) for adults and 700,000VND (£22), is incredible value for money.

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