Hai Van Pass is a natural boundary between provinces of Hue and Da Nang City, crossing the Bach Ma Mountain Range with its length of 21 km winding across the towering mountains. With the highest peak of 496 m above sea level, Hai Van Pass is considered as one of the most beautiful and impressive coastal passes in the world.
Hai Van means “Sea Clouds”, since the peak of the mountain is in the clouds while its foot is close to the sea, like a fairy-tale place. Hai Van Pass also has two other names: Ai Van and Deo Hai Van.
The beauty of Hai Van Pass is indescribable. From the pass, you can see the Bach Ma Mountain Range in the mist. North of the pass, you can admire Lang Co Bay with its stretching white sand beach. South of the pass, Da Nang City is viewed from above.
Hai Van Pass is known as the most dangerous mountain pass in the whole Vietnam because of the winding and narrow road with a steep slope of 45 degrees. You will see accident warnings appearing regularly along the road. However, visiting Hai Van Pass will definitely bring you an unforgettable experience.
Currently, there are 2 ways for passing Hai Van Pass:
1. Tunnel through Hai Van Pass
Since June 2005, the 7 km long Hai Van tunnel was completed and put into operation, making the traffic between Thua Thien Hue and Da Nang City more convenient and much safer. Most of the cars and buses choose to go through the tunnel to cross Hai Van Pass so the passengers are not able to enjoy the magnificent scenery.
- Transport: 25,000 - 30,000 VND per vehicle
- Pedestrians: 8,000 VND per person
2. Hai Van Pass
The route through Hai Van Pass is much more interesting for tourists. You should choose this route for crossing the mountains if you want to explore and fully experience the feeling of conquering Hai Van Pass.
Ticket price: No charge
Hai Van Gate
Hai Van Gate, also known as Hai Van Quan, is located on the top of Hai Van Pass. If you have conquered the spectacular roads of Hai Van Pass, do not miss to visit Hai Van Gate.
Hai Van Gate is recognized as a national historical relic. This gate was built by using red bricks during the Tran Dynasty and later restored in 1926 under the reign of Minh Mang (Nguyen Dynasty). The gate facing Thua Thien Hue province is carved with three words “Hải Vân Quan”, which means Hai Van Gate. The other gate looking towards to Da Nang and Quang Nam Province has an inscription “Thien ha de nhat hung quan”, meaning the marvelous wonder.
Standing on Hai Van Gate, you will admire the panoramic view of Hai Van Pass with white clouds and spectacular roads, rolling hills and mountains. You will see the blue sky and blue sea as one.
How to get to Hai Van Pass
Travelling by car is a popular way to visit Hai Van Pass. Just make sure not to drive through the tunnel. When traveling by car, visiting other famous destinations on the way is very convenient as you can discover all the main tourist destinations in Central Vietnam such as Da Nang, Hue, Hoi An.
By Tourist Bus
Tourist bus running between Hoi An and Hue makes a short stop at Hai Van Pass and other attractions for sightseeing. The bus stops at Hai Van Gate for about 20-30 minutes letting your to soak up the surrounding landscapes.
Read our review of the Sightseeing Bus from Hue to Hoi An that took us to see the magnificent Hai Van Pass and other famous attractions such as Marble Mountains and Lang Co Beach.
This is the best transport for you to fully experience the feeling of conquering Hai Van Pass. Traveling by motorbike, you can flexibly stop at many places on the pass for sightseeing, photography or relaxing.
You can rent a motorbike at the starting point (Hue, Da Nang or Hoi An) and return it at your destination. When coming from Da Nang, it can take about 40 minutes to reach the foot of Hai Van Pass. You should check your motorbike carefully before getting on the road. Hai Van Pass is a mountain road so you need to drive at low speed and it is best to go before sunset to avoid accidents.
Conquering Hai Van Pass by bicycle is also a popular choice between adventurous people. Of course, you have to be in good shape to conquer this route.
Hai Van Pass is crossed when traveling by train between Hue and Da Nang. While on the train, you can enjoy the wonderful scenery of Hai Van, which is located on the east side of the railroad, close to the sea. The train on this route passes 18 bridges and 6 underground tunnels, the shortest of which is 85 m, the longest is 600 m. You just sit on the train and your eyes are delighted to admire the view of the hills, sea, sky and clouds.
By Private Transfer
When traveling in a group, booking a private transfer to visit Hai Van Pass can be a really good idea. With private transfer, you can easily combine visiting Hai Van Pass with further exploration of Da Nang and the surrounding area. You can conveniently pre-book a Private Car Charter and create your own itinerary.
Best time to visit Hai Van Pass
The best time to visit Hai Van Pass is during the day time (from 08:00 to 17:00) in summer months, from April to July.
You can also visit Hai Van Pass from December to March. However, the weather might be a bit cold at this time. Therefore, you must make sure to bring enough warm clothes with you.
Avoid going to Hai Van Pass during the rainy season because the road might be slippery. On a foggy and cloudy day it is difficult to take nice photos and fully admire the beauty.
After getting down from Hai Van Pass to Hue side, you can stop to admire the view of the scenic Lang Co Bay.
Stay connected during your trip with Vietnam SIM Card. You can book it and pick it up at Da Nang International Airport.
During the rainy season, going via Hai Van Pass by motorbike is not recommended as it can be dangerous.