Hai Van pass Vietnam is recognized as one of the world's top ten most beautiful coastal roads. This pass is not only connected with numerous historical events, but it is also a wonderful place for many travelers due to its spectacular and artistic beauty that captivates everyone’s heart. The perilous death curve, together with zigzag roads, will create a challenging trek for backpackers and bring incredibly unique experiences.
1. Where is Hai Van pass located?
Hai Van pass is an outstanding landscape on the north-south national route. It looks like a huge dragon and is located on Highway 1 between Thua Thien - Hue province and Danang City. This is Vietnam's highest pass (500 meters above sea level). This rugged pass marks the end of the Truong Son Range, which stretches all the way to the sea.
The poetic name of the Hai Van mountain pass is based on the idea of the mist rising from the East Sea and clinging to the mountaintops.
Following the history of Vietnam, this pass has been a key barrier to any ground army attempting to move between the country's northern and central areas. It was known as the 'Street Without Joy' during the First Indochina War. The pass used to connect the two war-torn towns of Hue and Danang via Highway 1.
The most amazing aspect of the journey through Hai Van Mountain pass is the feel of seclusion. There is a certain joy in walking alone in the desolate dense forest. The green woods contrasting with the waves in the azure sea have created the most picturesque scene ever.
The massive chasm lining the mountain's peak is speckled with the light and dark green colors of the trees. This majestic scene is filled with fantastical clouds floating in the sky, making Hai Van pass an ideal place for enjoying a cup of coffee, immersing oneself in the tranquil view of Hai Van pass and watching the trees swaying in the breeze.
Many hikers like to explore this pass since it evokes a variety of emotions. You will be quite eager and fascinated when you leave the city. When you are ready to approach the twisting and treacherous route, you will be worried and a bit terrified. The farther you go, the more you will be awed by the breathtaking natural scenery.
The pass has a unique climate since it crosses the country from the west to the east and is also an east-west spur of the Truong Son Annamite Range. The air is frequently damper and cooler to the north of the hill than to the south. If you have enjoyed the sunlight at the foot of the mountain, you will be amazed by the chilly weather with fog as you cross the peak of the pass.
1.3. Ways to travel to Hai Van pass in Vietnam
The Hai Van pass is an excellent route to travel all the way between Hoi An, Hue, and Danang via an extended peaceful and gorgeous coastal road that avoids the crowded National Highway 1.
There are 2 popular ways for you to choose:
- Riding from Hoi An or Danang to the south of the Hai Van pass - The convenient way: Even if you depart in Hoi An, you will still need to go through Danang and Hai Van pass to get to Hue. The pass is located more than 25 kilometers north of Danang city center.
- Riding from Hue to the North of The Hai Van pass - The challenging way: The closer you are to Da Nang, the easier it is to get to Hai Van pass. However, if you are in Hue, you can still visit Hai Van pass with ease. The pass is more than 70 kilometers away from the town of Hue. The shortest route to this place from Hue is to depart at Hue city center and follow National Highway 1 to Lang Co Town. However, if you are traveling from Danang to this pass, you should take the coastal route to see the breathtaking scenery of Pho Loi River, Thuan An Peninsular, the fishing towns, Elephant Spring, Bach Ma National Park, and Lang Co Bay.
You can travel here by motorbike, local trains, taxi or private cars. A Hai van pass motorbike tour is preferred by adventurous tourists who are seeking thrilling experiences.
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2. Top things to do at Hai Van pass Da Nang
2.1. Conquer the most enchanting pass in Vietnam
When visiting Da Nang, one of the roads that many young people love is the Hai Van pass. The route is risky, with several curves hugging the mountainside. Standing on this pass and looking out into the horizon, you will see that on one side is a majestic mountain, on the other is a vast blue sea, both of which create a spectacular natural panorama that will undoubtedly astound every traveler.
2.2. Stop by Hai Van Quan
There are still traces of a gate at the top of Hai Van pass which is Hai Van Quan. This site attracts a large number of domestic and foreign tourists since it is located in the heart of two major tourist destinations - Thua Thien Hue and Da Nang - and is surrounded by exquisite landscapes. The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism designated the Hai Van Quan border gate as a national monument in 2017.
2.3. Visit Cu Rua rock
This is the most popular location on Hai Van pass. You can overlook the entire gorgeous panorama of Da Nang beach from the top of Cu Rua and take tons of breathtaking photos.
2.4. Take amazing photos at famous spots
- Bac Hai Van train station: From Hai Van Quan, you can travel 4 kilometers to the ranger station, then another 1 kilometer on the concrete road to Bac Hai Van station. However, there will still be trains running, so be careful when taking pictures.
- Vom Don Ca bridge: Vom Don Ca bridge is noted for its untamed and fanciful beauty. After arriving at Bac Hai Van station, continue to go a little further to Vom Don Ca bridge. You should be careful because the path is fairly steep and narrow.
- The deadly U-turn spot: Although the name may sound a little frightening, this is a place where you may get sparkling pictures. However, because there is a lot of traffic and there is a curve, keep safety in mind when shooting photos.
- The lonely pine tree: Anyone who has had the opportunity to go along Hai Van pass will be familiar with the sight of a lonely tree. You can even stop for a drink at a nearby bar. However, you need to be cautious due to the high volume of traffic in this area.
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3. What to eat when visiting Hai Van pass?
3.1. Nam O fish salad
Nam O fish salad is prepared with fresh herring and served with raw veggies and special sauce. This is a delectable delicacy that should not be missed.
3.2. Hue steamed wet pancake
Mrs. Suu's restaurant in Phu Loc, Hue is renowned for its delicious steamed wet pancake with pig belly. A hot steamed wet pancake served with a plate of pickles, chives, carrots, and chili sauce will be a memorable culinary experience for you.
3.3. Scallop sauce
Scallop sauce is a well-known Hue specialty that can be an appetizing gift when you visit Hai Van pass. Fresh scallops marinated with spices such as ginger, galangal, and green beans create a unique ocean flavor that will surely impress any gourmet.
4. Tips to have a wonderful trip at Hai Van pass Vietnam
- If you opt to ride a motorcycle, you should have excellent driving skills
- You should put on sunscreen and do not forget to cover your arms, elbows, and legs carefully
- Book accommodation in advance is important to avoid any unexpected problems
- Hai Van pass is located between Hue and Da Nang, so travelers can choose to stay either in Hue or Da Nang. To have a comfortable vacation while exploring other attractions in these two cities, Vinpearl Hotel Hue or Vinpearl Da Nang hotels and resorts with impressive designs and high-class services are highly recommended.
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Hai Van pass is truly an ideal choice for adventurous tourists who love to enjoy the charm of pristine nature and thrilling experiences while immersing themselves in historical culture. Thousands of stunning photographs and delectable specialties are waiting for you to explore. Don’t hesitate to choose this majestic destination for your next trip!
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