Hai Van Pass

The Hai Van Pass offers an impressive landscape of grass-covered mountains and clear blue skies, overlooking Da Nang City, Tien Sa Port, Son Tra Peninsula, and the South China Sea. The Hai Van Pass is like a giant dragon, lying on Highway 1 on the border between Thua Thien-Hue Province and Danang City. It is the highest pass in Vietnam at over 500 km above sea level. The 25 kilometer-long mountain pass is popular amongst thrill-seeking motorcyclists due to its winding roads, sudden curves, and blind sections while its lookout point offers gorgeous views of Da Nang Bay.

Hai Van means “Sea Clouds”, since the peak of the mountain is in the clouds while its foot is close to the sea. If you are adventurous and want a challenge. The Hai Van Pass is a perfect choice. Honored by the Guardian of England in the “Top 10 most beautiful coastal roads in the world” and by the famous top gear program, it always fascinates those who love to conquer the harsh roads. The pass definitely offers tourists feelings that nowhere else can fulfill.

Traveling by motorbike is still the most amazing experience because this is a way to help them fully understand the feeling of conquering the Pass. Additionally, you can stop at any place on the way to take photos of memories you will never forget. Make sure you go in the sunny season in the summer. If you travel to the Hai Van pass in the rainy season normally from September to March. It will be very dangerous because the road will be very wet, slippery, and it will be very foggy making it hard to see where you are going.

If you are interested in exploring the mountain pass, I would recommend you hire a Manual motorbike. Semi-automatics or automatics are not allowed on Monkey mountain because it has steep sections over 18%. Manual motorbikes are easier to mend too. So if you want a hire a motorbike, try to get something like a recent Honda Winner. Alternatively, take your own motorbike. If you can, take a Honda CRF150, CRF250, CRF300, or the CB500X, BMW GS, etc. I would also recommend you go to Da Nang to start your trip as it is a big city and you should easily be able to hire a decent motorbike there. Alternatively, you can contact me for more information.

Author: Piers Midwinter
I am an artist and a teacher. I am currently teaching at a Cambridge International School in Vietnam.