Son Tra Peninsula in Da Nang is favoured by nature with various beautiful natural landscapes and appealing beaches. Thanks to its terrain and location, Son Tra Peninsula is supposed to be the most ideal site to overlook the whole Da Nang City as well as the immense sea. On this peninsula, one tourist point that attracts many visitors who love sightseeing is Ban Co Peak. After crossing a long path to reach the mountain top, you can see Ban Co Peak and its present waiting for you to discover.
- Location: Son Tra Peninsula, Da Nang City
Opening hours: 24/24 daily
Entrance fee: no charge
I. Legend of Ban Co Peak
There are many different stories about the origin of Ban Co Peak, and the most popular one is still mentioned nowadays. Once upon a time, there was an old fairy who came across Son Tra. Realizing the beauty of this land, he sat down on a large and flat rock at a mountain top to enjoy the scenery. While sightseeing, he created a Chinese chess board on the rock.
No longer had the chess board been arranged than De Thich, a famous chess player, came across and asked to join the game. So excellent were the two players that several days had gone but the chess game did not end yet. The fairy and De Thich continued to play chess in the calm and peaceful scenery of Son Tra day by day.
One day, from heaven, there were some beautiful fairies coming to a nearby beach. The beach nowadays is called by a beautiful name: “Tien Sa”, which means “visited by fairies”. After immersing in the crystal-clear water of Son Tra beach, the fairies came to the mountaintop surrounding the rock to see the game between De Thich and the old fairy.
Unfortunately, some laughters of the fairies around interrupted and distracted De Thich, and he made a wrong move, which was the most suitable condition for the fairy to end the game. Winning the chess game, the fairy came back to heaven, leaving De Thich alone. De Thich tried to find a way to solve the game but he had not got the solution.
Afterwards, the local residents carved a Chinese chess board on a flat rock on the top of Son Tra Peninsula to remind about the story. Next to the board, there is a statue of an old man sitting and paying attention to the chess board, which is the statue of De Thich.
Another less popular story tells that, there used to be a small hermitage called Bach Van built by a Truc Lam monk at the position of Ban Co Peak nowadays. However, the hermitage afterwards was destroyed and only the base remained. The base was in square shape, which made people imagine a fairy chess board. Then this peak has been called “Ban Co”, which indicates “a chess board”.
II. Highlights of Ban Co Peak
Ban Co Peak is located on the top of Son Tra Peninsula, which is about 700 meters above the sea level. From this point, the entire Da Nang City will appear in front of your eyes with skyscrapers, Han River and its bridges, ships floating on the sea and white sand beaches of Da Nang. At the horizon are mountain ranges that are like a natural wall enclosing this city. Like many other cities of Vietnam, Da Nang is a crowded and dynamic city, one of the living-worthy cities in the world, and it is still changing to be better in the near future.
Ban Co Peak offers tourists the most ideal point to admire sunrise and sunset in the sea of Da Nang. The charming sea of Da Nang now is much more appealing at the two most stunning moments of a day.
In the morning, when Da Nang City is still sleeping under its light cloud blanket, from Ban Co Peak, tourists can see the sky gradually turning into red and then blue. The electric lights of the city are replaced by the shining lights of the sun, which is the signal for a new happy day. The fresh and cool air on the mountain peak will recharge your energy and refresh your soul.
In addition, sunset is also a splendid moment you should not ignore on Ban Co Peak. The sun after a long-day journey is like a huge fireball gradually sinking into the cloud sea in the horizon. The last sunlights of the day leave red and orange lines onto the sky. Da Nang turns on its sparkling lights and nightlife starts.
III. Nearby Attractions
On the way to Ban Co Peak, tourists can have a visit to some attractions of Son Tra Peninsula:
1. Linh Ung Bai But Pagoda
Linh Ung Bai But Pagoda is the intersection of mountain, sky and sea, where humans can touch nature. With the unique architecture and stunning viewpoint, Linh Ung Pagoda in Son Tra Peninsula is becoming a famous worshipping place for many locals and tourists. The highlight point of this pagoda is a 67-meter Bodhisattva statue, one of the highest statues of Bodhisattva in Vietnam. If you choose to get Ban Co Peak by the longer way, you can get to Linh Ung Bai But Pagoda.
2. Son Tra National Reserve
If you decide to take a visit to Son Tra Peninsula, Son Tra National Reserve is a destination you should not ignore. This is the home to many rare and precious fauna and flora species, some of which are listed in Vietnamese Red Book. If lucky enough, you can even see mischievous monkeys climbing in the forest. Son Tra Reserve is the place where tourists can see the efforts of the locals to live in harmony with nature.
3. Tien Sa Beach
The story about Tien Sa Beach accompanies the legend of Ban Co Peak. The beautiful name of this beach came from its own striking appearance, with white sand beach and crystal water. Tien Sa Beach is one of the most attractive beaches in Son Tra Peninsula in particular and in Da Nang in general. Relaxing in the cool and clear water of the beach is worth your try.
IV. How to Get to Ban Co Peak?
Ban Co Peak in Son Tra Peninsula is about 20 kilometers from Da Nang city center, and the way from the starting point of the peninsula to this peak is about 10 kilometers. In some parts, the road may be quite tortuous and narrow, so going by a manual motorbike is the best choice for tourists.
There are two directions to reach Ban Co Peak. On the first way, tourists have to come across Linh Ung Pagoda, then follow Hoang Sa Street and cross a pass to the mountain top. The second way is shorter and more popular, which passes an army garrison.
After overcoming all the passes, tourists have to climb up the mountain. This path is quite dangerous and full of obstacles. On two sides of the pathway are small bushes, and it is quite hard to see a large tree at the top of the mountain.
The pass leading to Ban Co Peak is not less spectacular than any passes in Vietnam. One side of the pass is towering mountain cliffs, and the other side is an immense sea, which is such a magnificent scenery that you cannot find anywhere in Vietnam. After a 1-hour journey, you can reach Ban Co Peak where you can enjoy the whole view of Da Nang City.
V. Extra Tips
- If you drive to Ban Co Peak, you had better use a manual transmission. Scooters and automatic transmissions are banned on the pass way of Da Nang.
- The most suitable time to visit Ban Co Peak is early morning. You should not travel at noon or late in the afternoon.
- You ought to visit Ba Co Peak on sunny days, because the road on rainy days is quite slippery and dangerous. Remember to bring water and a hat to climb the mountain in case the weather is hot.
- Don’t touch, write or draw on the chess board and statue of Ban Co Peak. Be a well-mannered visitor.
- Keep the environment clean all your way. Don’t try to catch any animal species you see on the way to Ban Co Peak.
Ban Co Peak in Son Tra Peninsula is the best location for sightseeing in Da Nang City. Here tourists will have a good opportunity to overlook the whole city of Da Nang. After a long-way journey, Ban Co Peak with its imposing view is a fit present for all your attempts. If one day you visit Da Nang, don’t forget to take a trip to this wonderful destination.