With challenging bends and captivating majestic beauty, Hai Van Pass is one of the most impressive passes in Vietnam. The pass brings dramatic scenery, always welcoming the unexpected discoveries of many travelers who love new experiences.
This article is a detailed guide to Hai Van Pass, with safety tips, the best time to visit, things to see and experience when crossing this pass.
About Hai Van Pass Vietnam
The pass is located on the Bach Ma mountain range and is the natural boundary between Thua Thien – Hue province and Da Nang city.
With a length of 21km and the highest peak reaches nearly 500m, complex terrain, steep slope, and continuous winding road, Hai Van Pass is the most dangerous mountain pass in Vietnam.
However, the pass is considered the most poetic, majestic, and magnificent pass in Vietnam.
One side of the pass has a beautiful coastal line, and the other one offers a breathtaking mountain view creating extremely spectacular scenery.
How to get to Hai Van Pass
There are different options to experience Hai Van Pass, such as motorbikes, buses, and trains.
Hai Van Pass by motorbike
Traveling by motorbike will bring the most fantastic experience because you can fully understand the feeling of conquering Hai Van Pass.
You can actively stop on the mountain pass, take a rest, take pictures of the scenery as you like.
Hai Van Pass by train
Alternatively, you can travel from Da Nang to Hue or vice versa by train. The route passing Hai Van Pass is the most scenic train ride in Vietnam, offering you a whole new experience.
Hai Van Pass Bus
Because most current coaches choose to go through Hai Van Pass by the tunnel, viewing the pass can be limited.
Things to see and do
Watch a train passing.
I discovered a point to watch train passing at the start of Hai Van Pass in Hue.
I checked the time to make sure there was no train coming and passing before walking down the rail path, so it was okay to wander around.
After exploring the railway, I waited for the train and watched it pass by at a safe spot.
Stop at Hai Van Quan
On the way to conquer Hai Van Pass, Hai Van Quan (bordering between Hue and Da Nang) has always been a good place to stop by.
It’s a stop for visitors to admire the natural landscape and brings the ancient architectural beauty associated with many historical imprints.
The construction was built at an altitude of 490 m above sea level. In the past, it was a military defense cluster with many works, including stronghold systems, warehouses, pillars, and fortresses.
The ancient construction still has important values, though bombs and time have destroyed many.
Looking down from above, Da Nang City looked smaller, surrounded by a vast sea.
Looking towards Thua Thien – Hue, I could see the zigzag road in the middle of the mountain with clouds in the distance.
Enjoy the view
I stopped several times to enjoy the beautiful view of the pass.
The best time to cross Hai Van Pass Vietnam
You should be on the top of Hai Van pass at dawn or sunset to enjoy the most beautiful scenery.
Also, you should avoid crossing the pass in the evening or late at night to prevent traffic accidents. Please check the safety tips below for more information.
Tips: On the way to pass Hai Van Pass, don’t forget to buy some snacks, water, and coffee to enjoy a sip while resting.
Safety tips for Hai Van Pass
Crossing Hai Van Pass by motorbike is one of the most exciting experiences on your trip to Vietnam.
You not only can see the vast nature of the sea, mountains, and sky but also experience and challenge yourself.
However, the route can be dangerously scary if it’s your first time crossing. Therefore, you should be careful and equip yourself with the knowledge and experience to ride.
1. Prepare a good motorbike
First of all, you need a proper bike to pass safely.
You can rent it at a motorbike rental service in Da Nang for 100,000 to 200,000 VND per day.
2. Check your motorbike carefully before going
You need to check the tires, the brakes, and the lights to make sure they are working properly.
If the tire is worn out, it should be replaced immediately to limit puncturing or skidding during cornering.
If there are any breakdowns, you must immediately notify the renting staff to repair or change another bike for you promptly.
3. Bring your repair tools
Hai Van Pass is a long pass, and there will be no bike repair service, so if something goes wrong, it will be very troublesome and take a lot of time.
You should bring some essential repair tools to fix it from having trouble in the middle of the road.
4. Maintain a consistent speed
Crossing Hai Van pass can be dangerous with curves, so you need to drive carefully, traveling at a moderate pace to handle unexpected situations on the road.
When you go down the hill, you should check the vehicles and decrease speed.
You should not stop the engine and let the bike go down itself or stop the motorcycle continuously because it can be dangerous.
5. Observe the rearview mirror
You should observe the rearview mirror to see vehicles moving in the back and sides to avoid unnecessary collisions.
6. Don’t cross the pass at night
At night, the dense fog can cause limited visibility and the illumination of the car lights. Also, the winding road is very dangerous when traveling at night.
7. Have a good driving skill
- Honk when entering a corner: You must give a signal to notify the opposite person to avoid it.
- Keep a safe distance: It is best to keep a minimum distance between cars to avoid the car ahead braking quickly.