|Only in heaven: Beautiful, misty scenery unfolds after climbing to the nearby pagoda. — VNS Photo Thúy Hằng|
Viet Nam NewsBy Thúy Hằng
Charming, passionate, romantic, and poetic – many people use those words when they talk about France. Those who haven’t had a chance to set foot in France yet, or the ones who want to recall some memory of this European country, may want to visit the French Village within the Ba Na Hills Mountain Resort in the central city of Đà Nẵng. Instead of getting on a plane for at least 12 hours [from Hà Nội to Paris], and paying costly air fare, Đà Nẵng is just about one-hour flight from Hà Nội and the air ticket definitely won’t make much of a dent in your wallet.
|Fairy tale: The Mecure Ba Na Hills French Village Hotel look like a castle.— VNS Photo Thúy Hằng|
From Đà Nẵng airport, we took a 45-minute car ride before getting on a cable car to go up to Bà Nà. On the way up to the height of more than 1,400m above the sea, watching the green carpet of the woods below us, and breathing the air that got fresher the higher we went, was a treat. The breathtaking views, gushing waterfalls and verdant mountain slopes explains why Bà Nà cable line has been praised by The Telegraph and CNN as one of the top 10 most impressive cable car lines in the world.
|Romance: A green corner in the village which is a nice backdrop for pre-wedding photo. — VNS Photo Thúy Hằng|
Bà Nà resort was established in 1919 by the French colonials and once held more than 200 villas, but only a few ruins remain. However, the whole area has a fresh new look since real estate developer Sun Group took it over a few years ago and transformed the place. The complex consists of the cable line - the world’s longest at 5,772m; the French village; a mid-scale hotel designed in European 19th century style, which looks like a castle; and a Buddhist pagoda compound.
|It’s also very exciting to see the mist and cloud sometimes covering the village.— VNS Photo Thúy Hằng|
Having been to France several times, my one-day visit to the French village called up strong memories.
The beautiful realistic miniature village is charming, romantic, and poetic – as only the French know how to do. The village consists of a square with a fountain, a Gothic-style church, shops, restaurants, coffee shops and several other buidlings. The architecture was inspired by old European buildings. The cool mountain air added to the sense of a European getaway. The further I walked along the village’s stone road, the more surprises awaited. Everything in this village, from stone statues, wooden-framed windows, bronze water fountains, conical grey roofs, was a re-enactment of France. The mist and cloud that occasionally envelope the village add to the perfection.
|Gothic-style church in the French village. — VNS Photo Thúy Hằng|
During my walk to discover the village, I saw some couples having pre-wedding photos against the varied backdrops.
Visitors can also stop by one of the four restaurants in the village, including La Lavande, Brasserie, Le Jardind , and La Crique&Café Postal to complete their “journey” to France with a meal featuring French dishes.
|Charm: The architecture of all the buildings was inspired by old European buildings. VNS Photo Thúy Hằng|
And don’t forget to pass by the Debay Ancient Wine Cellar – a unique “hidden” place, which was dug deep in Bà Nà Mountain in 1923. The cellar is 100 metres long and always kept at an ideal temperature, from 16 to 20 degree Celsius. Here, visitors can have distinctive experiences in a wine space redolent with French aromas.
The area also features a large flower garden – Le Jardin D’Amour, consisting of nine enclosures, each in a different style. These colorful and well-arranged spaces are an ideal place for some photo shoots and benches provide a shady respite from the climbing.
|The way leads to the Buddhist pagoda. VNS Photo Thúy Hằng|
One of the more rewarding experiences on my trip to the mountain was the climb to the nearby Buddhist pagoda in the early morning. From there, I could enjoy a magnificent view of the whole village, which was covered by a sea of clouds. I was speechless when I saw that beautiful, misty heavenly view. Anyway, my one-day visit was not enough for me to discover all corners of Ba Na Hill Mountain Resort, but I don’t mind. There will be other opportunities to visit France without leaving Việt Nam. — VNS