Hai Van Pass is known as one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world and is a favourite for many travellers to Vietnam, especially those who enjoy the thrill of driving a motorcycle on an amazing piece of scenic road.
Motorcycling through Hai Van Pass is by far the most popular and exciting method of travel between the cities of Danang and Hue. Some travellers prefer the comfort of being driven by car instead, but a motorcycle trip is a lot more fun and more affordable too, some might say the best tours in Vietnam are by motorcycle.
Hai Van Pass is one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world (Source: Internet)
The best Vietnam tour companies would advise that Hai Van Pass isn’t the fastest way to travel between Danang and Hue. It’s quicker to go via the Hai Van Tunnel, which is currently the longest tunnel in Southeast Asia, but it just doesn’t have the same impressive scenery as the route via the Pass does!
Non-stop from Danang to Hue the Hai Van Pass route takes around 3.5 hours to drive 135km (add an extra 45 minutes if you’re starting the journey from Hoi An), however, there are many places to take a break along the way and enjoy the breathtaking scenery, so we suggest you allow at least 6 hours including stops. Also, if you’re riding a motorcycle you’ll welcome the opportunity to stand up and stretch your legs often!
Hai Van Pass isn’t the fastest route between Danang and Hue but it’s the most breathtaking (Source: Lauren’s Travel Diary)
The best time of year to ride Hai Van Pass, according to the best tours companies in Vietnam, is between April and September, otherwise, you’re more likely to encounter cloud cover and rain. It’s probable you’ll have fine weather though, in which case the route is easy and safe for people who don’t have years of motorcycling experience behind them.
If you’d prefer not to drive yourself it’s simple to hire a driver at the best place to buy tours in Vietnam, and whether you hire a motorcycle to drive yourself or have someone else drive you as a passenger on the back, most motorcycle tour or rental companies will organise for your luggage to be transferred to your accommodation at your destination. Therefore, all you’ll need to take with you is a day bag, camera and sense of adventure!
Motorcycling through Hai Van Pass is a popular way to travel between Danang and Hue
Take a look at this Ultimate Hai Van Pass Itinerary below to get an idea of how you can fit this unforgettable experience into your best tours in Vietnam!
Ultimate Hai Van Pass Itinerary
9:15am: Depart Hoi An / 10:00am: Depart Danang
Before setting off on your journey to Hai Van Pass, make sure you have a day bag with you to carry your personal belongings including phone/camera, money, water, sunscreen and rain jacket (just in case!).
If you’re starting from Hoi An, the earlier you depart the better to avoid traffic. Take the coastal road Lac Long Quan, from An Bang Beach, all the way through to Danang. The road is mostly straight so it’s simple to navigate but you’ll get some nice views of the beaches along the way.
Starting from Hoi An, allow 45 minutes to motorcycle to Danang
From Danang, take Duong Nguyen Tat Thanh north along Danang Bay towards Hai Van Pass. You won’t miss the mountain landscapes and stunning views of Danang Bay as you start winding your way towards the top of the pass.
Stunning views of Danang Bay on the way up to Hai Van Pass
Optional: Before you leave Danang, Marble Mountain is a popular site to visit if you have an extra two hours up your sleeve to explore its impressive limestone and marble caves, temples, and statues before setting off on your Hai Van Pass adventure. Marble Mountain is located just south of Danang on the road towards Hoi An.
Marble Mountain is home to impressive limestone and marble caves, temples, and statues
11:30am: Top of Hai Van Pass
Not only is this a good place to stop for a rest and to eat lunch at one of the many food vendors, it’s also the location of the ancient Hai Van gate, wartime gun towers, and French-built fort. From here, you’ll be able to take advantage of the viewing points to enjoy the beautiful vistas. If you have time after lunch, you can explore some of the short walks around the area before setting off on the rest of your journey.
At the top of Hai Van Pass are a French-built fort, wartime gun towers, and ancient Hai Van gate
12:30pm: Continue Journey
Make your way down the other side of Hai Van Pass where it’s said the views are even better than from the top! The road bends its way down towards Lang Co Bay where you’ll see picturesque local fishing villages framed by a background of rich green mountains.
Hai Van Pass winds down towards Lang Co Bay
1:00pm: Lap An Lagoon
Have you ever heard something referred to as being “pretty as a picture”? Lap An Lagoon epitomises this saying in it’s undeniable beauty. Photographers fall in love with this dreamy destination, and it’s known as one of the most romantic places for couples to visit in Hue, the ideal destination for the best tours in Vietnam.
If you get a chance to return, the best time of day to visit the lagoon is at dusk or dawn, when the light rises and falls over the mountainscape and hits the water just right, you’ll be blown away by the stunning colors of the sky.
Photographers fall in love with Lap An Lagoon
1:30pm: Continue Journey via Thuan An peninsula road
En route to Hue, while crossing Thuan An peninsula you’ll notice many eye-catchingly colorful tombs and temples lining the QL49B road.
You’ll know you’re close to your final destination of the best tours in Vietnam when you get to Thuan An village, turn left and begin following the Pho Loi River all the way to Hue.
4:00pm: Arrive in Hue
Welcome to Hue City! After a day of riding a motorbike over Hai Van Pass, you’ll be ready to check in to your accommodation to freshen up. Hit the streets to stretch your legs, explore the surrounding city life, and find a cold local ‘Huda’ or ‘Hue’ beer to quench your thirst!
Have a cold glass of local beer to quench your thirst in Hue
This itinerary is merely a suggestion and can be easily tailored to your travel needs! Many travellers decide to do the Hai Van Pass tour in the opposite direction, Hue to Danang/Hoi An, so if this is the case for you, it’s easy to switch the order of the Ultimate Hai Van Pass Itinerary to suit you and have the best tours in Vietnam.
Enjoy exploring the beauty of Vietnam’s coastal scenery riding a motorcycle over Hai Van Pass between your city visits to Hue, Danang or Hoi An!