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On July 17, 1955, Disneyland first opened its doors in Anaheim, California, ushering in a new era of entertainment that would go on to capture the world’s imagination. Now there are a total of 11 Disney-operated parks around the globe, with five Disneyland locations and six other theme parks. By the end of 2018, Disneyland had welcomed more than two billion visitors globally –the equivalent to nearly one-third of the world’s population –since that historic opening day.
For both adults and children, Disneyland is a must-see experience – one that they would gladly return to again and again. The theme parks are filled with thrilling rides and magical experiences that whisk all who enter into a fun-filled world. Most visitors agree that one day at Disneyland is never enough to see everything.
Such is the lure of the Disneyland brand, it is no wonder that many people will happily fly overseas to experience the world’s most famous theme parks. In Asia every year, millions of people flock to Tokyo or Hong Kong, primarily to visit Disneyland. After visiting both, many lovers of the brand will then dream of seeing Disneyland in Paris, California or Orlando.
Over the years, many Vietnamese people have also flown to see Disneyland. But I have always longed to see the country have its own world-class entertainments and theme parks – not just to cater for domestic tourists, so they don’t have to fly overseas, but also to entice more international visitors to experience fun and adventure in Vietnam.
It wasn’t until I visited Sun World Ba Na Hills (Danang) that I realised we had something comparable. Located high up in a mountain overlooking Danang and the coastline in central Vietnam, Sun World Ba Na Hills is a realm of fantasy that feels like something out of a fairy-tale with French castles and flower gardens all around. Covering 90 hectares, it is not as vast as Disneyland but its setting is unique – and the cable car ride from Danang is an unforgettable experience.
|Adding to the appeal of Sun World complexes, the investor Sun Group has also developed a number of world-class accommodation options for travellers coming to these destinations.|
Throughout the year, various cultural festivals from around the world are celebrated, such as Christmas, Oktoberfest, and Halloween, to keep everyone entertained. Kids will find no shortage of excitement and creative play at Fantasy Park, the largest indoor park in Southeast Asia.
Other attractions at Sun World Ba Na Hills include a funicular railway – the first of its kind constructed in Vietnam – and now Golden Bridge, which became one of the world’s most famous pedestrian bridges overnight after opening last year, thanks to its unique setting and masterful design: a pair of giant hands cup the bridge, which straddles valleys, connecting the precipitous peaks. Already a huge Instagram hit, Golden Bridge is a truly spectacular sight that has lured visitors from all across Southeast Asia and beyond to Danang.
|Golden Bridge, one of the world’s most famous pedestrian bridges, in Danang|
The good news is that Ba Na Hills isn’t the only Sun World in Vietnam. For adrenaline-seekers, Sun World Danang Wonders is the country’s premier destination where they can discover Golden Sky Tower –the highest free fall tower in Vietnam at a height of 47 metres (equivalent to the height of a 13-storey building), and many more exhilarating rides, such as Queen Cobra – the largest ‘hang glider’ ride in Vietnam, which runs five 360-degree loops at a height of 34 metres – at this fun-filled entertainment complex in the heart of downtown Danang.
|Sun World Danang Wonders, the country’s premier destination for adrenaline-seekers|
Tourists visiting the world-renowned Halong Bay can now also visit Sun World Halong Park, another world-class amusement park. One of the highlights there is to ride on the Queen's cable car and soak up the panoramic views in this heavenly part of the world.
Visitors also love to relax at the appropriately named Zen garden, teenagers and adrenaline-seekers will adore the Dragon Theme Park with an abundance of thrilling rides. They will also love Typhoon Water Park, which has been inspired by the leading water parks in the world, such as Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach in the US and Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi.
|The amazing Sun World Halong complex|
Meanwhile, in the far north of the country, there is Sun World Fansipan Legend in Sapa, and in the far south, Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park on the southernmost tip of Phu Quoc Island, which have both also been wowing visitors, especially with their respective cable car systems.
In Sapa, the cable car takes visitors right up to the peak of Fansipan (the “Roof of Indochina”) while in Phu Quoc, the longest over-the-sea cable car ride in the world will transport passengers from the main island to Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park, where they can spend the day playing various water sports.
|Phu Quoc's longest over-the-sea cable car ride in the world will transport passengers from the main island to Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park|
Adding to the appeal of Sun World complexes, Sun Group has also developed a number of world-class accommodation options for travellers coming to these destinations. Mercure Danang French Village Bana Hills, Sun Premier Village Halong Bay, Hotel de la Coupole (Sapa), and JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort are all award-winning, high-end accommodations offering superlative services in truly unique settings and easy access to each respective Sun World complex.
This reveals the strategic vision of Sun Group who have strived to take tourism in Vietnam to the next level. With world class entertainment and accommodations, these one of a kind destinations have entered a new era of travel and leisure.
Now, just as many Vietnamese once longed to see Disneyland, more and more international travellers are flying into Vietnam just to see these spellbinding locations.