VIETNAM TRAVEL

 

Central Vietnam

Demilitarised Zone - Dong Ha - Lao Bao - Quang Tri - Hue - Around Hue - Suoi Voi Bach Ma National Park - Lang Co Beach - Hai Van Pass Tunnel
Ba Na Hill Station - Suoi Mo - Danang - Around Danang - Hoi An - Around Hoi An My Son - Tra Kieu - Tam Ky

BANA HILL STATION

IDD Code:(+84) 511
It's easy to see why the French would run to the hills at the first opportunity, and why the Vietnamese were less keen. As you climb the winding road to beautiful Ba Na (admission 10,000d, per motorbike/car 5000/10.000d) you can feel the temperature and humidity dropping away. When it's 36°C on the coast, it's likely to be between l5°C and 26°C up the mountain. Rain often falls in the section between 700m and 1200m above sea level, but around she hilt station itself, the sky is usually clear, the view is truly spectacular, and the air is fresh and cool. Mountain tracks lead to a variety of waterfalls and viewpoints. Founded in 1919, of the 200-odd villas that originally stood, a few tattered, atmospheric ruins remain. Until VVWII the French were carried up the last 20km of rough mountain road by sedan chair. Near the top, the Linh Ung Pagoda (1999) is a supremely peaceful spot, with a 24m-high white seated Buddha visible for miles around. Near the pagoda a cable car (return ticket 35.000d) whisks visitors up to the hill station. The vistas are huge. The provincial government has high hopes of once again making Ba Na a magnet for tourists - branding it 'the Dalat of Danang province" and developing the site to suit do-mestic visitors. This has led to a variety of accommodation and restaurants, but also lots of karaoke, a loud PA and litter. There are no ATMs up here, but there is a small post office (tell: 791500) near Le Nim restaurant.
Sleeping & Eating
Le Nim (tell; 791504; r200,000-400,000d) For sweeping views look no further than Le Nim, situated near the top of the cable car. Many of the rooms have beautiful wood panelling and there are a number of freestanding stone bungalows. The restaurant serves up terrific fresh seafood dishes.
Ba Na By Night Resort This has probably the best choice of rooms at Ba Na, set in rang houses (thatched-roof houses on stilts) or various villas, but you miss out on the views. Facilities include a popular bar and tennis courts. The remnants of a colonial-era wine cellar and French villa arc interesting to check out, and from here it's an easy walk down the stairs to the giant Buddha of Linh Ung Pagoda and the bottom of the cable car.
Getting There & Away
Ba Na is 42km west of Danang along a beautiful winding road that can be dangerous on a foggy day. Pay the admission fee at the Reception Centre at the bottom of the access road. From here it's a steep climb uphill, and many motorbikes won't attempt it. Shuttle buses, leaving when full, take passengers up the mountain for 20,000d (30,000d return). Otherwise you can hire a Ba Na local with a high-powered motorcycle for the trip (60,000d).