According to my tour guide, the King of Dad Jokes, the resort at Ba Na Hills was built in 1901.
Other sites suggest it was 1919.
The French built villas at the top of the mountain, which is about 10-15 miles outside of Da Nang and around 10-15 degrees cooler that the city, to escape the Summer heat.
Now it’s a mountain top resort.
It’s a surreal experience – a French village in Vietnam.
As you can see, the mists could have convinced us we were in the French Alps.
I was there to see the Golden Bridge but, the cheapest way to get there when travelling alone, was as part of a tour to the theme park for the day.
This did include an impressive buffet lunch and transport and I do enjoy a good rollercoaster… though rain did stop play regarding this aspect.
The Golden Bridge was constructed in 2016, according to the King of the Dad Jokes, and opened in 2018. According to everyone else it was 2017 for construction.
Whichever year it was constructed, the Gilden Bridge is stunning. Apparently, the design represents two enormous hands that symbolize the mysterious hands of the Mountain Genie “drawing a strip of silk from the rocky hillside to help the travelers come to the paradise garden”.
As well as the Bridge, there are a number of other sites to visit at the resort, even if the rollercoasters weren’t operational.
The Linh Ung Pagoda is one of the three famous Linh Ung Pagoda of Da Nang city.
This is also known as “spiritual triangle Linh Ung” (with Linh Ung Pagoda Ngu Hanh Son, Linh Ung Pagoda).
The Pagoda is the destination of many Buddhists and has a statue of Buddha, 27m high.
The Linh Phong Bao Thap consists of nine floors. At each of its four corners are guardian deities… and of course, Buddha isn’t too far away.
A highly entertaining part of the resort is the indoor Fantasy Park which bore more than a passing resemblance to the Gateshead Metro Centre’s indoor theme park.
For readers who remember the heady days of Metroland (is it still there?) Fantasy Park is better than that. It has three levels.
I wasn’t inclined to join the queues for the rides but I can always be lured in by a good dinosaur exhibit.
Plus, there were buttons to press!
What do you mean: “how old am I?”
43, going on 7 as far as dinosaurs are concerned.
Apparently, pushing the glowing buttons would bring the dinosaurs to life… well, one of them waged its tail.
The allosaurus and tyrannosaurus appeared to be having a discussion – the waggling of their fore legs made me think of Waldorf and Stadtler from The Muppets.
Meanwhile, the triceratops nodded its head, reminiscent if a certain nodding dog from a British insurance advert.
I was highly entertained.
All too soon, the King of the Dad Jokes announced that it was time to return to Da Nang.
If it sounds like I was exasperated by our tour guide, please be assured that I really wasn’t. He was great fun.