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  • Writer's pictureZoë

Guide: the Hai Van Pass on a Moped

Monday 2nd November 2019

Day 2 in Da Nang and I’m up early. Renting bikes for the second day we decided on taking the Hai Van Pass from Da Nang to Hue.

The Hai Van Pass (Dèo Hai Vân - meaning Ocean Cloud Pass), a favourite amongst motorcyclist, is a scenic route winding around the mountainside of the East Sea, linking Hoi An and Da Nang to Hue. It's also famous as a geographic and political boundary between ancient kingdoms and a climatic divide between the tropic south and subtropical north.

After featuring in a Top Gear Vietnam Special in 2008, it's becoming ever more popular amongst travellers to take to the road on two wheels. In comparison to Thailand, the roads aren’t in as good nick, but its definitely a much easier ride with amazing views and minimal traffic.

The journey from Da Nang to Hue takes around 3 hours. However we rode the Hai Van Pass as a day trip, setting off around 9am, and making various stops on route. There is also an option to take a slightly longer more scenic route as you approach Hue which avoids major highways.

The renting of motorbikes in Vietnam is relatively easy and straight forward. The ‘better’ companies require you to present your international drivers licence - if you don’t have one of these no stress, you can buy one instantly here and receive and electronic copy. Some company offer a one-way pick-up and drop-off +/- a luggage delivery service, allowing you to ride without having to return to drop the bike off.

The total distance covers sound 165km which can be covered in one or broken down into several days. A small town we stopped off at on route called Lang Co, is known for its seafood stalls and long white beaches and skirts the eastern edge of Bach Mã National Park, offers both cheap and luxury accommodation depending on your budget.

Visiting in April to September you can expect sunshine filled views of the coastline below. Travelling outside of this time and although the views are second to none, the pass can be foggy and rainy.

After riding the Hai Van Pass you can loop back via the mountains on the Ho Chi Minh Road, as described in the Golden Loop, or you can continue along coastal back-roads to Dong Hoi and Phong Nha, following the Tomb Rider route.


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