5-year journey of Golden Bridge, a Vietnam's tourism phenomenon

By Thy An   August 16, 2023 | 08:00 pm PT
Golden Bridge in Da Nang has become a global phenomenon and internet sensation since it was opened in 2018.

The giant hands that appear out of the mountainside to cup the bridge are weathered, giving the feeling as if they were constructed by an ancient civilization. Tourists around the world have been amazed by the sky-high walkway, which looks like a scene in a fantasy film and adds a mysterious vibe to the city.

The Golden Bridge in Da Nang at sunrise. Photo by Tran Tuan Viet

The Golden Bridge in Da Nang at sunrise. Photo by Tran Tuan Viet

Reaching new heights

The bridge, suspended 1,400 meters above sea level, is a stunning architectural masterpiece in central Vietnam. Originally created to connect Marseille Station to the Garden of Eden and the Le Jardin D'Amour (The Garden of Love), it resembles two giant hands pulling a golden thread from the mountainside.

The bridge gained fame in 2018 when Malaysian travel blogger Jason Goh shared a photo of it on Instagram, which has since been widely shared among travel enthusiasts. With over 80,000 followers, Goh has pinned the image at the top of his profile as an unforgettable milestone in his life.

Sun World Ba Na Hills has welcomed visitors from 54 countries and territories. Photo by Tran Tuan Viet

Sun World Ba Na Hills has welcomed visitors from 54 countries and territories. Photo by Tran Tuan Viet

A Google search of "Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills" produces nearly 90 million results, and the Vietnamese keywords "Cau Vang" draw 152 million results.

There are almost 420,000 videos showcasing the Golden Bridge across news reports, websites, forums, and social media networks worldwide, including many of the world's leading news agencies such as AFP, Reuters, BBC, CNN, Time, and The Guardian.

It has been voted one of the world's 10 most striking pedestrian bridges by The Guardian, "the coolest bridge ever" by The Huffington Post, and one of the top 10 most incredible bridges in the U.K. by the Independent.

In March 2021, the Daily Mail listed the bridge as one of the new wonders of the world. Bored Panda and Unilad also compared it to "The Lord of the Rings."

Elevating Vietnam as a destination

Since opening, Golden Bridge has exceeded in its role as a celestial pathway in a mountainous realm. It is now one of Vietnam's most recognizable landmarks and a global icon that has elevated Da Nang as a must-visit destination.

A representative from Sun World Ba Na Hills revealed that the attraction has welcomed visitors from 54 countries and territories. Within three months of the bridge's opening, Da Nang welcomed four new international flight routes.

Between 2018 and 2019, two out of every three international tourists booked on tours expressed interest in visiting Golden Bridge at Ba Na Hills. The number of international flights to Da Nang increased by 22.5%, reaching over 3.5 million arrivals.

Sun World Ba Na Hills above the clouds. Credit: Nguyen Van Minh

Sun World Ba Na Hills above the clouds. Photo by Nguyen Van Minh

In 2016 and 2017, prior to the launch of the Golden Bridge, Sun World Ba Na Hills welcomed over 2 million visitors. However, this number soared to nearly 4 million in 2018, showcasing an impressive growth rate of 31%.

In 2019, the growth rate stabilized at 22%, with approximately 5 million visitors.

South Korean visitors also accounted for over 30% of international arrivals at Ba Na Hills in 2018 and 2019, followed closely by tourists from Thailand, China mainland, Taiwan, and India.

European tourists are also increasing. Adrian Scholer, an Italian tourist, visited the Golden Bridge with his girlfriend in August 2018. He said that even though their country has many magnificent architectural structures, the Golden Bridge managed to arouse unique and strong emotions within me.

"When I first saw its images on YouTube, I was absolutely astonished, as I believed such a breathtaking landmark could only exist in fantasy movies. Yet, here we are, faced with this very real and truly spectacular scenery."

Cho Il-sang, a South Korean traveler, said Sun World Ba Na Hills has become a renowned Instagram spot in his homeland. He remarked that The Golden Bridge is immensely impressive.

"Visiting Vietnam, we absolutely couldn't pass up the opportunity to witness this remarkable feat of architecture."

After five years, Golden Bridge has remained a cultural phenomenon.

After five years, Golden Bridge remains a cultural phenomenon. Photo courtesy of Sun Group

After the pandemic, the allure of the Golden Bridge has been instrumental in helping tourism in Da Nang and Vietnam bounce back.

In July, Luxebook magazine from India acclaimed the bridge as one of the world’s most iconic bridges, sharing the spotlight with well-known bridges in the U.S., France, and Australia.

The bridges featured on this list are all recognized for their architectural genius and intricate design. They are also hailed as national symbols and lauded around the world by tourists and travel writers.

During the first half of 2023, the overall number of visitors to Da Nang is estimated to have exceeded 3.5 million, a surge of 116.6% compared to the same period in 2022. There were 930,000 international visitors, an 11-fold increase year-on-year.

go to top