Hai Van pass – The pass of ocean and mist

hue hoi an private car transfer

Sea Cloud passOcean Clouded pass or Hai Van Pass in Vietnamese is one of the most majestic hills roads in central coast of Vietnam. It’s no surprise that the Pass, a spectacular mountain pass between Hue and Hoi An, was perched firmly at the top of many people’s list when travel to Vietnam. Hai Van Pass route was known in a Vietnam Top Gear program. When driving the steep roads of mountain, you will have a chance to explore peace, quiet along the way from Hoi An to Hue or vice versa Hue to Da Nang.

Hue to Hai Van Pass

Address: in border of Hue and Da Nang city

Price: Free

Visit duration: 60 – 90 mins

Best time to visit: from 08:00 to 17:00


  • Excellent landscapes
  • Great View of the mountains and ocean
  • The most marvelous wonder
  • One of the National Geographic’s Top 50

On the highway AH1, Hai Van mountain Pass is an impressive scene. It is like a silk lying on the border between Da Nang and Hue city. Hai Van is the highest pass in Vietnam (over 500 m above sea level). This beautiful road is the final section of the Truong Son mount stretching to the East sea. Hai Van pass means “Ocean Clouds pass”, when drive on this pass, you can see the top of the mountain is disappearance in the cloud while its foot is close to East sea.

What to explore:

Whenever drive through Hai Van Pass, you feel 3 different experienced: amazement at passing through cloud and fear when seeing the dangerous bends of the hills and final is impressing by sun light on side of Da Nang city. After driving through several curves for 45 mins, you reach the top of the Hai Van. Hai Van pass forms an obvious boundary climate between North and South Vietnam, Hai Van gate is used to for guarding on Vietnam war, the French built bunker to overlook East sea and controlled central of Vietnam, then later it used by the American army and South Vietnamese.

On the top of the pass are the vestiges of long ago from Minh Mang King Empires, gateway. The gate facing to Hue city is inscribed with 3 words “Hai Van Quan” and the other gate looking down on Da Nang is engraved “the most grandiose gateway in the world”. The entrance gate to Hai Van Quan looks like the entrance to an old fortress with its brick structures.

With sudden curves and blind corners, Hai Van Pass is likened to silk line challenging drivers’ skills. On a journey through Vietnam, Hai Van is always an attractive scene, full of perilous obstacles and we not recommend traveler ride motorbike through this pass on rain season from Oct to Dec.

Hai Van gate and bunkersLining the top of the Hai Van Mountain is the immense abyss dotted with green colors of the trees and red colors of banana flowers. The landscape is capped off with white colors of clouds flying across the blue sky. The place is a perfect spot to enjoy a cup of coffee and contemplate landscape.

Hai Van is well known as its dangerous road and warning boards carefully appear along the side.

Standing in Hai Van gate, traveler can enjoy the whole vista of Danang city with the Tien Sa seaport, Son Tra Peninsula and long sandy beaches on nice days.

21km pass road that stretch over the Hai Van Mountain may sound like a challenging trip, but after having done, it is certainly that you will find it is great experience.

How to get to Hai Van pass:

Rent a motorbike or private car from Hoi An or Danang go to the north or from Hue to the south. Motorbikes can be rented at local travel agent for between 20 – 30 USD/ day. Make sure that, you must have driving license, full travel insurance and request a good helmet from travel agent. For safe choice and avoid raining day or hot summer day, we recommend travel by car. It cost you from 55 USD/ sedan for transfer from Da Nang to Hue or vice versa.

The day trip from Hoi an/ Danang to Hue via the Hai Van Pass is 100-140km depending on which route you choose to take. Driving time is approximately 3-4 hours, but allow at least another 3 hours for soaking up the landscapes, enjoy seafood along Lap An lagoon, coffee at the top of Hai Van pass.

Train on the foot of mountain
You can see the train is running on the foot of mountain

Travel tips:

  • Be at the pass summit at sunrise or sunset so as to capture scenic beauty and enjoy the best atmosphere of the day ever.
  • Climbing up to Hai Van Gate, sipping a cup of coffee bought at the pass summit is also a new interesting experience.
  • You can visit Lap An Lagoon, Lang Co Beach as well on the way travel from Hue To Da Nang or Hoi An to Hue and vice versa.
  • All tourist bus or open bus, local bus not drive via Hai Van tunnel and none stop enroute. The best way discover Hai Van pass is travel by car and motorbike.
  • It’s rain and cold in Vietnam from mid of Oct to Dec, we not recommend access Hai Van pass this time by motorbike. It’s dangerous and hard to ride motorbike.
  • If you chose explore by train, it’s good idea too, but the train just run along foot of mountain and you missed