At this point, you probably have to have been in a bunker or a cult (or both) not to have seen the much-lauded golden bridge in the mountains behind Danang, Vietnam. It’s Instagram worthy image is everywhere in the travel inspiration/bucket list world. The problem with that is that it’s become one of, if not THE most popular tourist attraction in Vietnam. Read any real article on the place and they tell you that it’s heaving and the only way to get a second of time on the bridge is to make sure you’re on the first cable car of the day (7.30 am) which means getting up hours before to get up there from your accommodation. After that, it is, unlike in all the lovely pictures – covered with hundreds of people all day every day.
I am not an early morning person. To be honest I’m not even a mid-morning person so I decided in order to best experience the bridge we should cough up and pay the extortionate prices to stay for a couple of nights – that way you can get to it before those not staying on the mountain. I normally lose interest in things that are that popular or trouble-some but I have to confess I really wanted to see that bridge.
The trip up to Bana Hills is in itself an experience, going up the mountain for maybe 20 minutes in the worlds longest cable car. I hadn’t realised that and that itself was one of the most incredible experiences of my life (and not for the faint hearted!).
The bridge is a let down to some extent. It’s way smaller than you think and it’s not really a bridge and it doesn’t really bridge anything. But it is still frankly cool and unique and the backdrop of the bizarre fake French village although overpriced and weird – is certainly an experience. It was made even odder for us as the majority of the eating establishments and shops were closed, nobody told you anything about anything and we were stuck a REALLY long way up a mountain with corona nipping at our heels and I was rather paranoid that we would get quarantined up there.
Beside the bridge, or maybe more than the bridge, the toboggan in the in- house, or rather in-faux-village small amusement park was an utter highlight. Not adrenalin-inducing, but whizzing down the calm mountainside was a bit of a treat – the adrenalin-inducing bit is the final pully back up to the end where you realise if anything snaps you plummet to your death. But what a location and way to go!! There’s such a contrast of twisting and turning through the countryside, to the mostly indoor amusement park area – full-on neon colours, bright lights and whacky noises purvey.
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