Hai Van Pass, Vietnam
Hai Van Pass, Vietnam
In Hoi An, people commonly drove up to Hue through the Hai Van Pass. We had previously wanted to drive the Hai Van Pass when we were in Hue but due to the bad weather we had made alternative plans. Ellie and Sasha, the English girls we had met in Da Lat, were a few days ahead of us and had chose to do the Easy Rider and travel on the back of a motorbike to Hue. They had said they loved it so the boys were pumped.
(The Hai Van Pass was made even more famous/popular in the UK by BBC’s Top Gear where they featured a show here.)
The weather was beautiful when we left Hoi An and we had fueled up on the delicious free breakfast buffet. After a quick stop at the petrol station, filling the tank with 50,000dong, we hit the road. It was great to be cruising along in the sun and the roads were in quite good condition.
After a while, we stopped at the Marble Mountain…..but don’t bother! We were very disappointed and felt ripped off. Yes, there is a nice view but it’s nothing to rave about and you have to pay for each little bit. For example, when you pay for the lift you pay once 15,000dong to go up in the lift, then the way down is another payment. It costs 40,000dong pp. to enter the mountain, which isn’t really a mountain, and there is a cave which is another 40,000dong. We didn’t bother with the cave and only paid for the lift up and walked back down. Also, just the foreigners are chased down by a local lady asking for parking payment.
We continued on to Da Nang which has a sweeping beach and lots of development. It’s a nice stop to stretch your legs and take a picture but we weren’t awed by the scene. The weather had started to turn and the sky was getting dark. We had our fingers crossed that is wasn’t going to rain.
When we got on the section of road classed as the Hai Van Pass, it got a bit hairy! The wind had started to pick up as we left Da Nang and at times you could feel the bike being launched to on side. The road is built into the side of the mountain and it has sheer drops and amazing views of the sea below. It is only about 21km long but is worth the drive. You can also see the train tracks further down which meanders by the sea and through parts of the mountain.
(The two photos above taken by Jacquelineduran.com)
As we started to leave the pass, the rain started to come down heavier. Ben and I had light rain coats which we put on but poor Luke and Jackie only had thin plastic ponchos.
The next stop was the beach…..we weren’t impressed and as it was raining we pushed on.
The rain got heavier and we got drenched. The road seemed to go forever and we were all silently wishing that we would arrive in Hue much faster than it was going.
After what felt like a lifetime, we pulled up to Sunny Fine, in Hue. Toan welcomed us laughing saying it was sunny the day before! We wouldn’t have known it was Hue if there wasn’t a bit precipitation!
- Scooter hire and bag transport NGA Vien-dich vu du lich booking office (opposite Sunflower Hotel)- 300,000dong
- Entry to Marble Mountain– 40,000dong pp. Lift up to Marble Mountain-15,000dong each way-we only got the lift up then walked down the stairs.