High up in the mountains, overlooking Da Nang City is the impressive Hai Van Pass. The winding roads of Hai Van Pass are considered by many, including former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson to be one of the best coastal roads in the world. And for a good reason. The 25 km long pass is home to spectacular scenery with the mountain to one side and the sea to the other.
Total Distance- 21 km
Route- The Hai Van Pass connects Hoi An, Danang, and Hue.
Best time to visit- April to September
The Hai Van Pass has been an important stretch of road in Vietnamese history. Serving as boundaries between the Champa and Dai Viet kingdoms. You can still see remnants of this border in the imposing gate at the summit of the pass.
During the French occupation, the pass was fortified with bunkers. Once the American War or Vietnam War started, the bunkers were used by soldiers to fend off attacks. You can still find these very same bunkers spread out across the pass.
The road was used daily but was unfortunately prone to accidents. So, once the Hai Van tunnel was constructed, the pass was no longer used. You’ll still see the occasional trucks, jeeps, and bikes full of backpackers. But otherwise, the road has remained empty since 2005. The desolate road means there are very few people and you can enjoy your time along the pass without worrying about crowds or traffic.
One of the most popular ways to ride the Hai Van Pass is by motorbike. There are motorbike rentals in every city in Vietnam including Danang, Hue, and Hoi An. Riding by yourself is a great way to truly experience and take in the beautiful scenery at your own pace.
Please note: Only ride a motorbike by yourself if you are an experienced driver who has driven on mountain roads before.
Another popular method to travel across the Hai Van Pass is by jeep. You can choose to take either a jeep tour or rent a car and drive it yourself. It is cheaper, especially if you’re in a group, and much more comfortable than a bike ride.
All along the winding roads of the Hai Van Pass, you will be greeted by scenic views of lush green mountains and stunning shorelines. During the rainy season, the mist rolls up and covers the mountains giving the roads an ethereal look. This view has given Hai Van Pass international recognition among tourists.
Along the pass are various sights that make the road trip one of the best in the entire country. Let's take a look at a few of these sights.
Remnants of Vietnam’s brutal past are evident all along Hai Van Pass. One of the most prominent features is the old french bunkers which were used by various armies during the wars that once ravaged the country.
The highest point of the Hai Van Pass is the Hai Van Gate. The gateway was built in 1826 by the Nguyen Dynasty to protect their capital, Hue. The gate still stands today and is as impressive as it was when it was first built.
Lang Co is a small fishing village located along the Hai Van Pass. The best thing to do here is to stop for some amazing seafood. You can also take some time to relax and go for a swim on the white sand beach next to the village.
A little bit of detour is required to reach Elephant Spring but I promise it's worth it. It is a popular destination but it is not crowded like other popular tourist places. You can take a dip in the crystal clear springs surrounded by giant elephant-shaped rocks and mountains. There are little bamboo shacks around the springs if you want to rest a bit before jumping back into the pools.
Time to pack your bags and get ready for one of the best road trips in Vietnam. But before you book your flight tickets, you’ll need to get your visa. You can either get your Visa from an embassy or online. The latter is the more popular method as it is easier and faster. Get your Vietnam visa online now with BDATrip.
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