The mighty Hai Van Pass

The Hai Van Pass, also known as the Ocean Clouds Pass, provides an excellent landscape of lush green mountains and clear blue skies, with views of the South China Sea, Son Tra Peninsula, Da Nang City and Tien Sa Port. It is the highest pass in Vietnam, crossing over a spur of the Truong Son mountain range between Thua Thien-Hue Province and Da Nang City at 500m above sea level.

 

Hai-van-pass-or-Sea-cloud-pass

 

Due to its twisting roads, unexpected twists, and blind corners, the 25-kilometer-long mountain pass is popular with thrill-seeking motorcyclists, while its vantage point gives stunning views of Da Nang Bay.

The route also houses the ancient Tran Dynasty's Hai Van Gate, the longest tunnel in ASEAN, WWII gun towers, and a dilapidated French-built fort used as a bunker by South Vietnamese and US soldiers during the Vietnam War. The mountain route was infamous for its fair share of deadly accidents prior to the completion of the Hai Van Tunnel; seek for modest altars dedicated to perished victims along the wayside.

 

Hai-Van-Pass

 

A motorcycle trip from Da Nang to Hue via the Hai Van Pass takes between three and five hours, depending on how many stops you make for seafood and coffee along the way. Motorbikes can be rented from a variety of hotels and tour agencies in Da Nang City for between VND 150,000 and VND 200,000 per day.

Aside from the need for a powerful motorcycle, new riders should be aware that Hai Van Pass motorcycle tours can be difficult – expect uphill slopes, an average temperature of 17°C, and rainy weather if traveling between September and March. Driving licenses are required by law, and you should check your insurance policy to see if you're covered before you go... Go at your own risk if you don't know what you're doing.

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