Ready for an adventure of a lifetime during your trip to Hoi An? Then driving the Hai Van Pass by motorbike should definitely be on your itinerary. It’s an easy, yet unforgettable day trip and it’s the best transportation option to reach the popular city of Hue. Below we identify everything to make this trip as seamless as possible, including the route, best time to visit and how to go about renting a motorbike.
The Hai Van Pass is a must on your trip to Vietnam, and it would be difficult to miss if you are travelling to Hue, Da Nang or Hoi An. This gorgeous coastal route is also known as Đèo Hải Vân (Ocean Cloud Pass) and the name is a deserving one. With scenic views of crystal ocean waters and steep hills, windy roads intertwine with scenic views of the waves, high coastal passes, fishing villages and jungle-covered hills.
Where is the Hai Van Pass?
The Hai Van Pass itself is a 20 km road that connects Da Nang and Lang Co in Hue Province. But generally, most people make a trip that includes the Hai Van Pass from Hoi An to Hue or vice versa. The total distance between Hoi An and Hue is around 165 km and the pass starts in Da Nang in the northern part of the city. Click here for directions from Hoi An Old Town to the beginning of the Hai Van Pass.
How long does the Hai Van Pass take?
The pass itself is 21km long. If you’re an experienced motorcyclist, you can complete the journey from Hoi An to Hue in 3-4 hours. But if time is on your hands, consider breaking it up into 2-3 days and make more stops along the way; there’s plenty to do and see!
History of the Hai Van Pass
The Hai Van Pass is as historical as it is beautiful, playing a large part in Vietnam’s past. During the Dai Viet Kingdom and under Emperor Minh Mang’s rule, the road acted as a division between the Champa and Dai Viet Kingdoms. The modern day sees the Hai Van Pass as a natural transition between north and south Vietnam.
Best Time To Visit
Understandably, you want to visit the Hai Van Pass with the best chance of having clear skies and temperate weather. Overall, you can drive the Hai Van Pass any time of the year, but we would advise caution on a rainy day as the curves and hills become a bit more slippery. However, the most optimal time to drive the Hai Van Pass by motorbike is in the dry season, either in February/March or September when it’s not too hot.
Renting Motorbikes for the Hai Van Pass
Whether you are starting in Hoi An, Hue or even in Da Nang, we’ve got you covered for motorbike rentals. This is an optimum way to experience the route if you are secure and comfortable with your driving abilities.
You have the flexibility to stop when you want and take detours as you wish. To make your trip as enjoyable as possible, get a comfortable bike and look into luggage transfers right to your next destination – many rental companies offer this as an additional service. Automatic bikes are possible to use, but the bigger and stronger the engine, the easier it will be for you to drive the pass.
As always, double check that you’re insured in Vietnam in case of an accident. And fill up on gas before you hit the road!
Rental in Hoi An
There are several reputable companies that you can rent a motorbike for the Hai Van Pass in Hoi An with varying costs, depending on the bike and its engine-size. Here are some of our top recommendations but you can also find more here:
- Flamingo Tours, 298 Cua Dai
- Mrs Giau, Cam Nam Bridge
- Mrs Nhung, 95 Hung Vuong
Rental Da Nang
Here are some of our top recommendations for motorbike rentals in Da Nang:
- The Motorbike Station, 196/41Tran Cao Van
- Tigit Motorbikes, Da Nang Lot B2.6-10 Nai Nam Street
- Da Nang Bikes, 44b Lam Hoanh
Check out some top spots to rent your motorbike if you plan on leaving from Hue:
- Hidden Land Travel, Number 24A, lane 11 Lý Thường Kiệt Street
- Motorvina Hue, 42/14 (lane 42) Nguyen Cong Tru Street
Hai Van Pass by Motorbike Tour or EasyRider
Don’t want the fear of missing out if you are unable to drive a motorbike? Here’s a solution for how you can experience the Hai Van Pass by motorbike even if you’re not comfortable driving one. It’s very easy to hire a guide and driver (also known as Easyrider) that can take you on the Hai Van Pass. Most Vietnamese people are experienced motorbike drivers and you can rest assured being the passenger with a licensed guide. The price will be a bit higher but it’s worth it! Ask your rental shop about options and prices.
Hai Van Pass Detours and Attractions
These limestone mountains were once worshipped by the Cham people of Central and Southern Vietnam. Nowadays they are popular among visitors when they arrive in Da Nang for their expansive caves, Buddhist temple and glorious views.
Ba Na Hills Entertainment Park is around 45 minutes from central Da Nang. Here you’ll find the majestic golden bridge which features two larger-than-life hands holding the bridge, overlooking a vast view. You’ll need at least a half-day here plus time for travelling so factor this in if you’re planning to visit as part of your journey.
Around 50 km from Hue and 20 km off the Hai Van Pass is the perfect relaxing, cool-off spot to escape the heat. At the base of the waterfall are natural pools and enclaves surrounded by smooth rocks and bamboo huts. Give your body some time in nature’s spa.
Lang Co Beach
Lang Co Beach is a pure strip of paradise not overly populated with visitors. Located along the National Highway 1A, near the Hai Van Pass, this would make a perfect mid-day or night stop along your Hai Van Pass journey. With pristine beaches and shallow, glorious waters, what more could you want?