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A Golden Bridge in Vietnam

We are in the center of the country on the Mandarin road from Hue to Dà Nang. It is spectacular, crossing through the appropriately named Clouds’ Pass. From the pass, the view of the turquoise waters of the Sea of China to the south, as well as on the Gulf of Tonkin to the north, is jaw dropping.

Dà Nang is a relatively modern city with a fast-growing tourism infrastructure, mostly due to its beach and location exactly between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. It is at an extraordinary site at the bottom of a large bay surrounded by lagoons and beaches that have unfortunately attracted dozens of hotels and upscale apartments, pushing away the traditional fishing villages it was once known for.

A golden ribbon crossing through the mountains

Suddenly, there appears more proof of development that cannot be missed. Perched 1,400 meters above sea level, there is a spectacular architectural work that required an investment of no less than US$2 billion: The Golden Bridge (Câu Vàng).

The 150-meter footbridge overlooks the Dà Nang Mountains in the new Sun World Ba Na Hills tourist area. It appears to be a golden ribbon held by two giant stone hands emerging from the hill. Blue chrysanthemums planted along the trail on the bridge help highlight this striking piece of construction.

After the glare

In addition to the Golden Bridge, Dà Nang is a popular destination because of its 70 km of beaches, pagodas and the peninsula of Son Trà, which acts as a huge wall that protects the city during the stormy season. Several eco-tourism projects are being planned on the 4,439 ha natural reserve of a virgin forest peninsula.

Nearby is Hoi An, a small city with old-fashioned charm, nestled on the Thu Bon River. The little town shows very few traces of its past as an important commercial harbor and of the diversity of the exchanges and the influences the Japanese and Chinese had on Vietnamese culture.

Classified as a UNESCO cultural heritage site, its narrow pedestrian streets are bordered by houses, some shabby, some impeccably neat, sheltering clothing and shoe boutiques where modest artisans, cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops abound. The city is entirely dedicated to tourism.

Historical sites have been identified throughout the city, and an itinerary, sometimes closed to traffic – which our motorcycling friends seem to ignore – has been suggested. A tour itinerary pass needs to be purchased at the beginning of the itinerary and a map is provided.

At the animated public market along the river, you will be offered flowers, spices, fresh products and fish that are still moving; this is a place for many discoveries to be made and, in our opinion, constitutes the very interesting heart of Hoi An.

The International Green City

In 2018, 132 cities from 23 countries around the world participated in the "International Green City" competition, an initiative of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Dà Nang and Hoi An passed the qualifying round and continue to participate in the final round with 21 cities around the world choosing the one that will win an "International Green City" award. These cities are committed to taking action and moving towards an environmentally friendly planet, and to implementing ambitious plans to reduce the impact of climate change.

We are hoping that this commitment also includes a commitment to harmonious tourism development for Dà Nang!

Christiane Théberge

Clouds' Pass

The Golden Bridge

Chrysanthemums along the path

Hôi An market