Two giant stone-looking hands, aged, weathered, and ancient looking, lift a glistening bridge that sparkles in the sun as though made of pure gold.
Cau Vang, which means gold bridge, near Da Nang in central Vietnam was conceived by architects from the TA Corporation for Sun World, which owns Ba Na Hills Resort. The bridge is in the Thien Gardens, a part of the resort.
The resort has been around since 1919, but these giant fiberglass and mesh hands and the stunning bridge they hold debuted in June 2018, when the attraction opened to the public. Cau Vang became an instant success and started drawing tourists from all over the world.
The bridge is meant to give pedestrians the feeling of walking along a golden thread stretched out in the hands of the gods. Wedding parties have gone there for stunning photos, honeymooners stroll along it in newly wedded bliss, and families thrill over the unique visuals of the bridge, the hands, and the beautiful surroundings.
Investors put about $2 billion into enticing tourists to the area to see this stunning bridge, and though they haven’t made the money back yet, it certainly has done its job of drawing more visitors to the area than ever before.
Where Is The Golden Bridge?
If you look up the bridge on Google Maps, you’ll see a lot of green surrounding it, with the Sun World resort, a few restaurants, and scattered tourist attractions in the area, too. But when you zoom out, you’ll see that the bridge is smack dab in the middle of Vietnam, near the South China Sea coastline.
In terms of major Vietnamese cities, the Golden Bridge is closest to Da Nang — about 90 minutes away — but is also reasonably accessible from Hoi An, which is about two hours away by car.
The bridge is 4,600 feet above sea level and stretches 500 feet long, combining eight sections together into one gloriously bright vision with the stunning backdrop of the Truong Son Mountains.
Ways To Get To The Golden Bridge
There are two journeys most visitors take to get to the Golden Bridge. They’ll either get there from Da Nang or Hoi An using varied means of transportation.
The most convenient option is taking a tour to the Golden Bridge. Tour companies operating out of both Da Nang and Hoi An offer visits to Sun World and its gleaming Golden Bridge. This is probably the easiest and most convenient way for larger groups or families to travel to the attraction. Most tours cost less than $100 per person for the day trip.
Coming from Da Nang, you can also journey to the Ba Na Foothills via cable car. The area’s cable car system is extensive. One of the lines is actually the longest nonstop cable car track in the world, running from Da Nang base station to the peak of the neighboring Vong Nguyet Hills in the Ba Na-Suoi Mo tourism area. It’s a short 15-minute ride with luxuries you wouldn’t expect, like drink service.
If you prefer the longer route, you can take a taxi from the city of Da Nang. This is also the best option if you want to go at your own pace. Taxi pricing laws have set the price per kilometer so you won’t need to haggle over the price, either, which some travelers consider a very nice perk.
You can choose to take a motorbike taxi instead, which has a charm of its own, but price regulations do not apply here and you will have to bargain for the best deal.
You can also rent a car or motorbike yourself, plug in your GPS coordinates, and make your way up the mountains. There are private car services available for those who prefer the less haphazard jaunt than some taxis may offer.
Once you reach the Ba Na Foothills, you’ll purchase a ticket to Sun World and board a cable car that will take you up toward the bridge. Tickets to the park — which include access to the Golden Bridge — generally cost less than $40 per adult and around $25 for children.
Once you’ve made it to Sun World, you can visit the Golden Bridge right away — which is highly recommended to avoid the crowds — and enjoy the park afterward. The cable car takes you to various locations in the park, so you may either exit directly onto the Golden Bridge platform or at any of the other stops along the way.
What Is There To Do Around The Bridge?
The hotel at Sun World is an attraction in itself. The original founders of the resort were French colonists who constructed a beautiful French village where guests may stay in any of 200 villas. The park is loaded with restaurants, amusement rides, and more. Most impressive are the French village’s recreated French castles, churches, and cobbled streets. The park is home to a three-story indoor entertainment complex with dance games, computer games, car games, 4D and 5D cinema.
If you prefer a more relaxing, low-key day while visiting the bridge and park, you’ll find the area is rich with stunning gardens. There’s also a spa that offers a variety of relaxation and beauty treatments.
There are many cultural attractions as well, such as the recreated Linh Phong Zen Monastery, Linh Tu Pagoda of the Holy Mountain Mother, Holy Mother Shrine, and the Rain Sheltering Teahouse.
You could spend all day at the Golden Bridge and Ba Na Hills Resort and park without question, never seeing everything, so you may want to book a hotel room and stay for a couple of nights.
What Is The Crowd Situation?
Because the Golden Bridge is both new and absolutely wonderful — it became a viral sensation almost instantly — the crowds can be overwhelming. You may well want to stay overnight at the resort to help avoid the crowds that throng there from Da Nang and Hoi An during daylight hours.
If you do stay, you can glide out to the Golden Bridge entrance as early as 7 a.m. and beat most of the crowds traveling in from the city. You’ll also likely experience the ethereal fog that overtakes the bridge in the early mornings — often even on clear days.
Even in the off-season and midweek, you’re likely to have to contend with thousands of tourists equally eager to see the stunning bridge and the incredible views of the coastline and city below. Weekends and the peak tourism season are, of course, much more crowded. Peak season in Vietnam tends to be between March and May and again from October to December.
Of course, if you want the full experience of this splendid attraction, you’ll want to stay all day and revisit the bridge a few times throughout the day. You’ll notice the dramatic differences between clear skies, sunset views, and the morning fog wonderment.
Photography Tips For The Golden Bridge
Because you’ve come all this way and want to remember this beautiful place forever, you might find a few of these tips to be very helpful in framing and timing your photos of the Golden Bridge.
First off, if you’d like to avoid the crowds in your photos (for the most part) a lot of travelers have noticed that if you take photos by the first hand on the bridge — nearest the stage area in the cable car station — you will have greater success. For some reason, people don’t stop to linger here as much, but continue onward to find the second hand.
Secondly, in the early hours of the day, crowds are smaller, so getting people-free images will be easier anywhere along the bridge. This will be especially helpful for snagging some shots of the family without crowds huddling around with selfie sticks of their own.
There’s also a designated viewpoint that’s at the furthest end of the bridge. This viewpoint can be a great spot for taking stunning Golden Bridge photos. If you stop in the flower garden at the train station, you’ll have some beautiful views of the hand and bridge that make for more great photos, too. And if you have the right seat on the cable car, you may even be able to snap a winning picture when the cable car is between platforms.
The Linh Un Ba Pagoda also offers some great shots of the bridge. The pagoda is less crowded than other areas of the resort, so you’ll have plenty of time to take those perfect shots without bumping into others.