Conquering Viet Nam’s most scenic pass

Situated between Thua Thien-Hue Province and Da Nang City in the central region, Hai Van Pass draws a large number of tourists from near and far owing to its stunning beauty and the thrills they feel when travelling on the most scenic pass in Viet Nam.


Photo by Henning Horn

The pass is less than 500 meters above sea level and makes up the 23-kilometer-long part of the Truong Son Range that goes towards the East Sea. It is thrilling to ride a motorcycle on a road that winds through plants, old trees and steep slopes on the must-see pass but dangers loom large, particularly at hairpin bends.

Tourists from Da Nang City should ride their bikes on the seaside section of National Highway 1 and cross the Nam O River before they can feel how excited but risky they are when travelling on the pass. But conquering it is worth a try.


Photo: Internet

Hai Van, which means ocean clouds, is an ideal place for travellers to indulge themselves in immense clouds and winds and have the feeling of touching the sky. On the top of the pass, they can enjoy a breath-taking bird’s eye view of the Han River, Tien Sa Port, Son Tra Peninsula, Cham Islet and pristine beaches like white silk ribbons that embrace the sea of Da Nang City.

On sunshine days, the picturesque scenery of imposing mountains on one side and the turquoise sea on the other side could take tourists’ breath away. They will feel they were lost in a wonderland if they are lucky enough to see clouds suddenly covering the pass.

To get the best shots of Hai Van Pass and the nearby scenes, tourists are advised to trek to Hai Van Quan on the peak of the pass. The Hai Van gate stone was built during the Minh Mang Dynasty in the nineteenth century but the national relic still stands out from the magnificent scenes of the pass.

From the peak of Hai Van Pass, tourists can capture a panoramic view of Thua Thien-Hue and Da Nang with the peaceful and rustic bay Lang Co on the left and the thriving Da Nang City on the right in addition to Bach Ma Mountain from afar.

The pass is so stunning that the producer of Top Gear, which is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars, and the most widely watched factual television program in the world, described it as one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world in 2008.

To save time, tourists can take a shuttle bus to return to Da Nang City instead of travelling all the way back on the imposing but dangerous pass.

Source: SGT