Hai Van Pass Vietnam- A Journey to Remember

 In Vietnam

Embark on an unforgettable journey through Hai Van Pass, where nature’s splendor unfolds at every turn. This scenic route offers a captivating blend of panoramic vistas, lush forests, and tranquil waterways, making it an ideal escape for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. Whether seeking a peaceful drive or an invigorating hike, Hai Van Pass promises a rejuvenating experience amidst the awe-inspiring beauty of the great outdoors.

Hai Van Pass in Vietnam is hailed as one of the world’s top ten most stunning coastal roads. This pass is steeped in history and is a favorite among travelers for its breathtaking and picturesque beauty that enchants all who visit. The treacherous hairpin turns and winding roads offer a challenging trek for backpackers, delivering an unforgettable and uniquely thrilling experience.

So the next time you book your Vietnam Tour Packages, be sure to check out Hai Van Pass for an amazing look at Vietnam. To make things easier we have prepared for you a Hai Van Pass Vietnam Travel Guide.

What is the Hai Van Pass and where is it located?

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Hai Van Pass, one of the best places to visit in Vietnam, is a remarkable landmark on Vietnam’s north-south national route. It resembles a colossal dragon and is situated on Highway 1 between Thua Thien-Hue Province and Da Nang City. At 500 meters above sea level, it is the highest pass in Vietnam. This rugged pass signifies the end of the Truong Son Range as it meets the sea.

The poetic name “Hai Van” derives from the mist rising from the East Sea and clinging to the mountain peaks. Historically, the pass has been a significant obstacle for any ground army moving between northern and central Vietnam.

Making the best of the journey

The most remarkable aspect of traversing Hai Van in Vietnam is the sense of solitude it offers. There’s a particular joy in strolling alone amidst the secluded, dense forest. The vibrant greenery of the woods juxtaposed against the azure waves of the sea presents a truly picturesque panorama.

The colossal ravine adorning the peak of the mountain is adorned with hues of light and dark green from the trees. This majestic vista is enhanced by ethereal clouds drifting across the sky, rendering Hai Van Pass an ideal spot for savoring a cup of coffee while indulging in the tranquil vista and observing the trees swaying gently in the breeze.

Many adventurers are drawn to explore this pass as it elicits a range of emotions. Departing from the city fills you with eagerness and fascination. Approaching the twisting and perilous route may evoke worry and a hint of fear. However, as you progress further, you’ll be increasingly awestruck by the breathtaking natural beauty that surrounds you.

History of the Hai Van Pass

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The history of Hai Van Pass dates back to the 1300s when it served as a physical boundary between the Champa and Dai Viet Kingdoms. An ancient grand gate still stands at the summit, marking the former border crossing between these two realms.

Today, the Hai Van Pass Route continues to symbolise the division between two distinct regions of Vietnam. Many travelers who journey across the country note that the North and South have contrasting personalities and climates. The North is colder, more industrial, and often perceived as more serious, while the South is warmer and more tropical, and its people are considered more laid-back. Hai Van Pass is the meeting point of these two worlds.

During the Vietnamese-American War, the pass was dubbed the ‘Street Without Joy,’ connecting the war-torn cities of Hue and Da Nang in Vietnam along Highway 1. It was once the sole thoroughfare linking Da Nang to Hue, a few hours to the north.

The construction of the Hai Van Tunnel in 2005, now the longest tunnel in Southeast Asia, redirected much of the traffic from the pass to a shorter and less winding route. Today, Hai Van Pass remains a scenic alternative, free from heavy vehicles and lorries, and is enjoyed by tourists exploring the route by motorbike, jeep, or bicycle.

How to reach Hai Van Pass

The Hai Van Pass Vietnam is a fantastic route for travelling between Hoi An, Hue, and Danang, offering a serene and stunning coastal road that bypasses the busy National Highway 1. There are two popular options for this journey:

  • From Hoi An or Danang to the South of Hai Van Pass – The Convenient Route: Even if you start in Hoi An, you will need to pass through Danang and the Hai Van Pass to reach Hue. The pass is located more than 20 kilometres north of Danang city centre.
  • From Hue to the North of Hai Van Pass – The Challenging Route: While it becomes easier to access Hai Van Pass in Vietnam the closer you are to Danang, you can still reach the pass easily from Hue, which is more than 80 kilometres away. The shortest route from Hue involves departing from Hue city center and following National Highway 1 to Lang Co Town. However, if travelling from Danang, take the coastal route to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Pho Loi River, Thuan An Peninsula, the fishing towns, Elephant Spring, Bach Ma National Park, and Lang Co Bay.

Best way to experience Hai Van Pass

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There are various ways to soak in the breathtaking views of the Hai Van Pass in Vietnam, and the best choice for you depends on factors like your budget, vehicle preference, and of course, the weather. Here are some things to do in Hai Van Pass for the best experience:

  • Traveling on a Bike

One of the most popular methods is to join a Hai Van Pass Motorbike Tour offered by a local travel company. On this tour, you have the option to either ride the motorbike yourself if you feel confident, or ride pillion while an experienced driver navigates.

In Vietnam, such tours are commonly referred to as ‘Easy Rider’ tours and are highly favored among backpackers. Regardless of your choice, a tour guide accompanies you throughout the journey, showcasing intriguing historical sites, and hidden viewpoints, and providing insights into the road’s history.

These tours offer added convenience as they can serve as a means to transport both you and your luggage between Hue and Hoi An. While you explore the sights on the motorbike, your backpack is securely transported in a jeep and awaits you at the other end.

  • Traveling on a Jeep

If you’re feeling apprehensive about navigating the winding Vietnamese roads on a motorbike, you might consider choosing a Hai Van Pass Jeep Tour instead. The benefits of the jeep tour include the added comfort of sitting in an actual seat, enjoying the refreshing breeze on your face, and the camaraderie you’ll share with fellow travelers!

This option is particularly suitable for families wishing to travel together or groups of friends looking to relish the scenery along the way. Each jeep can accommodate a maximum of five passengers.

Places to visit near Hai Van Pass

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  • Thanh Toan Bridge

Thanh Toan Bridge in the small town of Huong Thuy is situated approximately 6 kilometers southeast of Hue. This town, or village, has its roots dating back to the 16th century, predating even Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue. Historical records indicate that a group of influential families, led by Lord Nguyen Hoang, the first lord of the kingdom, settled near Hue during this period.

In the late 1770s, recognizing the daily struggles of the villagers, a formidable woman from the Tran family, Lady Tran Thi Dao, undertook the construction of a durable bridge over the river. She also made generous donations to the village. In 1925, Emperor Khai Dinh had an altar erected in the middle of the bridge to honor her memory.

In addition to admiring the intricacies and historical narratives of the restored bridge, travelers can explore a nearby museum and immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere of the morning market.

The town hosts significant festivals a few times a year to honor Lady Tran Thi Dao and celebrate Tet, the Vietnamese New Year – one of the best festivals in Vietnam to celebrate.

  • Lap An Lagoon/Lang Co Bay

Located amidst the imposing mountains of Bach Ma National Park in Vietnam and the pristine white sandy beaches of Lang Co Bay, Lap An Lagoon presents a stunning shimmering spectacle.

Resembling a vast mirror, the brackish lagoon is particularly enchanting at sunset. The golden tones of the sinking sun ignite the waters before gradually fading beneath the silhouette of the Bach Ma mountains.

However, visiting during the hotter hours of the afternoon may not be ideal. It’s essential to ensure sun protection before venturing out for photos, as the scorching sun can make the beach uncomfortably hot, even searing through sandals.

If you are wondering “What to Eat in Hai Van Pass?”, then Lang Co Bay has got you covered with some of the best seafood dishes. Many travelers opt to indulge in oysters paired with beer, chilled coffee, or ice cream at the cafes scattered around Lang Co Bay. Additionally, numerous shops offer exquisite pearl jewelry for those seeking unique souvenirs.

  • Marble Mountains

The Marble Mountains comprise a cluster of five limestone peaks, each holding historical, spiritual, and natural significance. Coincidentally, these five karsts are named after the five elements.

Caves, tunnels, pagodas, and temples are intricately integrated into the nooks and crannies of the landscape, blending seamlessly with nature. Be prepared for plenty of walking and climbing stairs, navigating slippery marble steps along the way!

Places to Stay Near Hai Van Pass

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Some of the closest places to stay near the Hai Van Pass are:

  • Da Nang – Mikazuki Japanese Resorts and Spa

Location – Da Nang Bay, Da Nang

  • Da Nang Mikazuki Japanese Villas and Spa

Location – Da Nang Bay, Da Nang

  • Le House Hotel and Studio

Location – Da Nang Bay, Da Nang

  • Homie Hava Homestay

Location – Lang Co

  • Sai Gon Motel

Location – Da Nang Bay, Da Nang

Best time to visit Hai Van Pass

The best time to visit Vietnam and ride the Hai Van Pass is in the dry season, around September. During this period, the sun is still shining, but the heat is not as intense as in Vietnam in summer. However, the pass is a fantastic ride any time of year, though extra caution is needed when it’s wet.

The top of the pass can sometimes become enveloped in mist, obscuring the views. Fortunately, this usually affects only the very top section, leaving great views on either side. The mist also adds a unique atmosphere, making the lush jungle feel almost heavenly.

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Hai Van Pass Travel Guide

One of the best Vietnam Travel Tips is always to be prepared for extreme weather conditions. When riding the Hai Van Pass, be sure to bring essential items: sunscreen, long-sleeved tops, and long pants to minimise sun exposure. During cooler months, a warmer and waterproof layer is advisable as it can get quite cold at the top. It’s also a good idea to carry some water, although it’s not critical since there are frequent places along the route where you can buy it.

A Heavenly Adventure

Hai Van Pass in Vietnam offers an unforgettable journey through some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or a nature enthusiast, this scenic route provides a perfect escape into the beauty and serenity of the great outdoors. The stunning vistas, lush greenery, and tranquil environments along Hai Van Pass Vietnam promise to leave you with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for the wonders of nature.

What is the Hai Van Pass?

The Hai Van Pass is a mountain pass spanning approximately 21 kilometres along National Route 1 in Vietnam. It crosses a spur of the Annamite Range that extends into the East Sea, situated on the border between Da Nang and Thua Thien–Hue Province, near Bach Ma National Park.

How do I get to the Hai Van Pass?

To reach Hai Van Pass the two closest cities are Hue and Da Nang. Once you reach either of the locations what mode of transportation you choose to traverse the pass for your journey depends on you.

What can I expect to see and do at the Hai Van Pass?

While traveling by bike, bus or jeep, along with amazing scenery like lush green trees and majestic hills, you will get to see Lang Co Beach, Hai Van station, La An Lagoon, Marble Mountains, and Da Nang.

When is the best time to visit the Hai Van Pass?

The best time to visit the Hai Van Pass is in the dry season of September.

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