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Published: March 18th 2008
All that is left of this French home is the concrete floor and fireplace.
Ba Na Hill Station and Hai Van Pass
Two of my goals while in Danang were to visit the Ba Na Hill Station and Hai Van Pass. Ba Na was founded in 1919 by the French Colonial Government. It was suppose to be the “Dalat of Danang.” The reason: It is cool. When it is 36 degrees C on the coast it might be between 15 and 26 degrees C at Mt. Ba Na.
To accomplish their goal of a pleasant retreat they had to construct a road to the top. They did and today it is a very good, well maintained road. Until WWII the French were carried the last 20 km by sedan chair.
The developed around 200 odd villas at the station before WWII and then the Viet Minh put a stop to their fun. Today, only a few remains are left of the villas. The only thing that survived is a French Wine Cellar. It is worth the admission price they charge to tour the cellar and you get two samples of wine at the end of the tour. Touch the walls and you will be surprised how cool they are!!
are trying to revive the hill station as a resort area. There has been considerable construction done at the station. Some of it is kind of funky architecture but
If you go there and spend the night be prepared to listen to karaoke music. A word of caution. You best sign up with legitimate tour group to go to Ba Na. I tried to go by motorbike and they will not let you enter the park. I ended up having to rent a minibus to the top. You are better off starting in a minibus in Danang.
The have a museum for the Ba Na area. I went to the building marked Ba Na Museum. The lady told me it wasn’t there but across the street. I went across the street and the lady said it was down the street. I went down the street and the lady took me to the original place I started which was the museum. Sometimes I have days like that.
Then the museum was not very good. I wanted to see a lot of photos of how it was in its prime. They had very little artifacts or photos of
On the way to Ba Na I saw this beautiful Church
that. It is like Booker Hill Station in Cambodia. I challenge anyone to find a photo of it in its prime.
Going to Hai Van Pass is an incredibly beautiful journey. Although, after Ba Na it was sort of more of the same. Unfortunately on my bike trip two years ago I did the puny biker thing and opted to put my bike on a bus and go through the tunnel. I should have gutted it out and walked my bike up the mountain. The tunnel saves you one hour from Danang to Hue. You miss one of the most scenic roads in Vietnam.
Only thing bad about the trip is when you get to the top you are attacked by souvenir sellers. Again, you are better off on an organized tour.
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