The Golden Bridge
That Famous Bridge with the Hands: not what you’d expect.
So we’ve all seen the famous “Hands Bridge” from Vietnam on the interwebs. I personally had about 10 people remind me to check it out before I left., so I did as I was told, and checked it out. Here’s what I have to say about it:
My first impression on seeing pictures was:
“Okay this looks really cool; must be like a scenic viewpoint on one of the famous loops I’ll be riding in Vietnam.“
While the bridge is cool in theory, the reality disappointed me. So much of Vietnam is genuine, amazing, and naturally beautiful. I mistakenly assumed this would be the same. Now my intention isn’t to prevent you from visiting if it’s your dream, but I’ve gotta give you the facts, so you can make your own decision.
That being said, the best comparison I can make would be:
It’s like someone promised to take you to the Eiffel Tower, and then just take you to the one in Vegas.
Here’s how it goes:
You ride about 45 minutes west of Da Nang. Park your motorbike. Pay a pricey entrance fee of 700.000 VND (pricey for Vietnam at least). You get inside SunWorld Ba Na Hills. Follow the masses to the cable-car. Ride it up the mountain. Disappointment sets in as you see the fingers in the distance. Get off the cable-car. Now you’re herded with the other tourists over a curved and crowded walkway that appears to be held up by two stucco hands. With painted-on moss. And deliberate cracks. Try to take a picture without other people.
Once Chase and I laughed the pessimism off, we explored the rest of the park. The only way to describe it (and I mean this in the best way possible) would be:
A strange Chinese tourist trap in the mountains, reminiscent of an unfinished Six Flags, but instead of rides, they have a mall arcade.
While it was disappointing compared to our expectations, making the best of a situation is one of those things we do pretty well. We showed that mall arcade who’s boss and questionably got our money’s worth in laughs.
TL;DR - Just know what you’re getting into beforehand. This bridge isn’t about culture, it’s about Instagram. But hey, maybe you’re into that kind of thing.