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Hai Van Pass, Da Nang Overview

Hai Van Pass translated to as “ocean cloud pass”, is a 21 km long strip connecting the cities of Da Nang and Lang Co in the Hue Province. Touted to be the highest pass in Vietnam, at a staggering height of 500 metres above sea level, it is a part of the Annamite range which goes down to the East Vietnamese Sea. The exhilarating Hai Van Pass is prominently known for bike rides amidst the mystical view of mountains and clear skies.

Hai Van Pass gets its name because of the constant fog which covers the mountains. You can opt for a jeep tour if you want to sit back and enjoy the panoramic landscape for four to five hours. Overlooking the Da Nang City, Tien Sa Port, Son Tra Peninsula, and the South China Sea, the pass also hosts the Tran Dynasty’s Hai Van Gate, Hai Van Tunnel, the wartime gun towers, and a worn-out French fort. Hence, Hai Van Pass offers you the natural history it holds within itself. And, the best way to explore it is through a road trip along the Pass.

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Hai Van Pass Jeep Tour

An open-top jeep tour of Hai Van Pass can be a fascinating one primarily because the tour guides make the journey worth your money. Also, people who are skeptical about taking a bike ride might opt for a jeep tour. This option is cheaper especially if you have a group of friends. It also provides an added comfort to be seated and enjoy the serenity of the place.

The driver of the jeep stops at several points so that the tourists can take pictures. A jeep tour at Hai Van Pass also ensures that the tourists are entertained during their journey and provided an excellent and traditional Vietnamese lunch at the beach. Besides, a jeep tour is the best time to make new friends. The cost of a jeep tour ranges between INR 4000 to 6000 depending on the service you choose.

Hai Van Pass
View from hai Van Pass
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Motorbike Tour

If you are confident enough to experience the thrill of navigating the roads of Hai Van Pass then, a motorbike tour is perfect for you. You can either opt to ride as a pillion or ride the motorbike themselves. If you choose to have a tour guide with you, you will be introduced to interesting historical sites and hidden viewpoints. You do not need to be worried about your luggage as it is safely transported to your last destination of the tour. A motorbike tour of the Hai Van Pass takes about three to five hours depending on the rest stops. Motorbikes are usually rented from hotels or tour operators in Da Nang city.

The road has been called the “Ribbon of Perfection,” and it also acquired the title of  “best coastal roads in the world.” The curvy road with hairpin turns rewards its spectators with misty mountains, deserted sandy beaches, forests, and twinkling city lights. The cost of a motorbike tour can cost between INR 6000 to 7000.

Hai Van Pass Route

The route of traveling through Hai Van Pass is a visual treat for tourists. Remember to keep your camera ready to click at every stop. Before getting to the Pass, you will come across the Marble Mountains Pagoda Complex. From here, people take the coastal route around Da Nang to make the way up to the first part of Hai Van Pass. You can stop at the Da Nang Bay for some time to get clicked in the lush environment. The stop after this is an old abandoned fort. It was built by the French and then used by US and South Vietnamese troops. Here you will find some food joints to grab a quick bite and something to drink.

Hai Van Pass Base
Hai Van Pass Base
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Soon after crossing the fort, you can take down your way to the windy roads of the Pass towards the coastal route. Travelers need to be careful at this spot as the ride gets bumpy enough to risk your life. Hence, put your strap in! The next stop is the Lang Co Beach. You will be welcomed by the hosts and served traditional Vietnamese lunch. Also, if you are looking to take a dip in the sea get your swimsuit ready. The last stop is the ride through the lush Vietnamese countryside where you can spend your evening before heading back to the hotel.

Road Condition

The road condition for a ride at the Hai Van Pass is perfect. It is primarily because this place is known for jeep and bike tours; hence, roads are well maintained.

History of Hai Van Pass

The history of Hai Van Pass dates back to the 1300s when it acted as a boundary between the Champa Kingdom in the South and the Dai Viet Kingdom in the North. The Pass also obstructed any army invasion which attempted to move between the North and Central regions of the country. Hence, Hai Van Pass is of major strategic importance in the history of Vietnam.

It was during the Vietnamese-American War that the Pass was known as the ‘Street Without Joy.’ It was referred with this name because it connected two-war ravaged cities of Hue and Da Nang along National Highway 1. The two kingdoms constantly fought to get control of the land on either side of the Pass.

Tips

1. Bike rides can be challenging for new riders.
2. With an average temperature of 17 degrees Celcius, you can expect uphill slopes and rainy weather especially if you are traveling between September and March.
3. Make sure to carry your driving license and do check your insurance before taking a ride.

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