HAI VAN PASS route is not the longest but the most famous route in Central Vietnam between Hue and Hoi An. Đèo Hải Vân – Ocean Mist Pass is scenic route by East Sea and also a border of Hue and Da Nang. And Hai Van Pass also near Lang Co Bay, Bach Ma National park. Do motorbike tour or ride a scooter from Hue to Hoi An is the best way to enjoy the stunning view from top.
The HAI VAN PASS route is an approximately 21 km long mountain pass on Highway 1A in Vietnam. There are more mountain pass on National route 1A but HAI VAN Mountain Pass seems most famous route for both Vietnamese and tourist. Because this pass close to Hue or Hoi An which are famous destination with many beautiful attractions to see
HAI VAN PASS – Ocean Mist pass is refers to the mists that rise from the sea, reducing visibility. During the winter and spring from November to February you can see the mist sometime appear very much. As a result, before the Hải Vân Tunnel was built, the twisting road on the pass has long been a challenge for drivers traveling between the cities of Hue and Da Nang. The ride along the pass through the mist is amazing adventure but also a bit scary ride. So there was many accidents every week and traffic jam is the terrible experience while ride on this route.
Moreover, the drivers in Vietnam are bit no rule when driving. Vietnam has the same driving rule as international but the useful driving in Vietnam is not follow the rule. Since 2005, the completion of Hầm Hải Vân get most transports using instead of the Hai Van Pass. So the traffic flow and safety are better with more space to make an adventure by motorbike or scooter.
Driving twisting around the mountain side is amazing to see stunning view and experience the road skill. On the way you will see such cutest animal such as goat, cow and they sometimes lie on the road side. But sometimes you will smell some bad smell from the animal truck that go by. Because the animal trucks and petrol tank are not have chance to drive through Hai Van Tunnel.
On top HAI VAN PASS still remain the gate named Hai Van Gate. The Hai Van Gate was built in Tran Dynasty and restored in Nguyen Dynasty under the reign of Minh Mang King. The Hai Van Gate is believed ” The best of all majestic pass in Viet nam.”
HAI VAN PASS also a battle point with many important fighting during the war by Vietnamese against with French then American. As a result you will see some bunkers still located on top of the pass as well as the gate. In 2017, Hai Van gate get award of “National historic relic” recognized by Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism.
Furthermore, Hai Van Pass is a “fence” which make the weather between Hue and Da Nang different. During the nice day with blue sky, tourist will admire Da Nang city, Son Tra Peninsula, Cham island. If you start from Hue to Hoi An you will see the panoramic view of Lang Co Bay with white sand band cover Lang Co town.
Đèo Hải Vân is also cross Bach Ma National park, part of the Annamite Range . Before 1303 Hai Van Pass belong to Kingdoms of Champa which includes Hoi An, Da Nang today. After 1303 since King Champa engaged Huyền Trân Công Chúa of Đại Việt. Therefore, Hải Vân Pass becomes the border line between the kingdoms of Đại Việt (Northen part) and Champa (Southern part). Nowaday you can see the remaining historic site such as Cham Museum and My Son Holyland in Da Nang and Hoi An
How to get there and what is the best way to experience the real ?
Probaly, the ride with motorbike over the Hai Van Pass route is highlight of the trip between Hue Da Nang Hoi An.
The pass is renowned for its scenic beauty. Presenter Jeremy Clarkson, host of the BBC motoring programme Top Gear, featured the pass during the video show “Vietnam Motorbike special part 1 – Top Gear- BBC”, calling the road “a deserted ribbon of perfection—one of the best coast roads in the world.”
Also, there is a railway around and through Hai Van Pass which the French built in the war time. So you can get a train ticket from Hue to Da Nang to see this romantic view. Please notice there is no train station in Hoi An
On the other hand, book a private car from Hue to Hoi An Da Nang or the opposite way. So you will get a ride up over the Hai Van Pass with some stop to take gorgeous pictures. And with the car you can make some more stop at some must see attraction on the way such as Elephant spring in Hue. In addition the Lang Co beach and Marble mountain is not to be missed on this adventure
Also, there is the daily bus tour from Hue to Hoi An offer a ride on the pass too. With the bus tour you might not have much time to stay as long as you wish but this is the way you can make witn Hai Van Pass and cheap budget
Anyway, if you want to experience the real Hai Van Pass ride, do with a scooter that is make sense
What can you also see when travel from Hue to Hoi An before reach Hai Van Pass ?
If you want to make the real adventure on Hai Van Pass, you should do motorbike tour from Hue to Hoi An.or Hoi An to Hue by motorbike .If you are an experienced rider and want to ride your own bike you can rent a scooter in Hue or Hoi An. If you travel from Hue to Hoi An via the Hai Van Pass, you can stop at some fishing villages on the way. Tam Giang lagoon is beautiful lake system with tranquility atmosphere. Explore the local village to experience their life on boat. Go futher more you will cross another 2 mountain pass before reach Hai Van Pass.
Another must visit attraction on the way from Hue to Hai Van Pass is Bach Ma National park. An old French Hill station is a protected area in central Vietnam, 45km South of Hue and 30km North of Hai Van Pass. Bach Ma National Park with cool climate is awesome for travelers to trek up an elevation of 1250 meters above sea level. You can get here by motorbike, car or bus tour. But the best is join a group tour to explore all the best part in 220km2. And the best time suggest from late April to August
And Elephant spring – Suoi Voi water fall will addict tourist with cool and clean stream water for swimming. Elephant springs is natural waterfall that is worth a visit. Particularly in summer when its getting hot, swim in the natural pool is an amazing feeling. You can also make a jump yourself down from the rock to the pool to get a bam hit for fun. Its not hard to find but also not well-marked, so the best tip is going with a local guide that make sence. And it also included in the itineraries of motorbike tour from Hue to Hoi An that you can hook up.
Actually, Lang Co beach is what you can see clearly at the bottom of Hai Van Pass before riding up. Lang co bay is on the list of” The best bay in the world” that ” Worldbays” club selected. The panoramic view of the long white sand beach and blue Lap An Lagoon is worth your stop
Đầm Lập An – Lap An Lagoon is peaceful and great shot with mountain and cloud by the blue ocean. So the lagoon becomes a favorite destination for photographers, especially in the late afternoon
If you travel from Hoi An to Hue via Hai Van Pass you can stop for a visit Marble Mountain. This place is not only famous for marble sculpture but also peaceful temple caves on top. From Hoi An 20km to Da Nang beach you will see on the left side a village with many sculpture shops. Then there is a road you can turn to the entrance gate to get ticket and visit the mountain
Furthermore along the coast route Da Nang you can ride up to Monkey Mountain and Son Tra Peninsula. And over here the panoramic view of the ocean and island give it a worth seeing point. By the way the massive Female Buddha status in Linh Ung Pagoda is also amazing to keep an eye on.
Finally, Hai Van Pass the famous mountain road also a historic pass in Central Vietnam. As well as the amazing point to see beautiful view with ocean and mist between Hue and Da Nang. The spectacular route for an adventure or sightseeing ride that all travellers want to have experience once visit Vietnam