Hai Van Pass, Vietnam – The Pass of The World’s Top 10 Greatest Cycling Routes * 2010
Lonely Planet Guide Book has listed the drive from Danang to Hue is one of The World’s top 10 Greatest Cycling Routes * 2010. No doubt. On the top of Hai Van Pass, the pass on the route of Danang – Hue, on fine days, there is a breathtaking scenic of turquoise waters and green mountains.
So far, for almost visitors from Vietnam and oversea, Hai Van Pass is the most awaiting stop along their journey within Vietnam.
A view of Hai Van Pass from Son Tra Peninsula at noon, sunset or after the tropical showers is amazing and pristine. Many times, for reasons, I came to Son Tra, from west -side mountain-path for the sundown. A place and time for meditation and nature retreat.
Here are picked photos of Hai Van Mountain and its pass from my quiet strolls or bike trips to share to Vietnam lovers.
For almost visitors, it is easy to view Son Tra Peninsula from Hai Van Pass. Me, I would love to make a vice versa – a view of Hai Van Mountain from Van Hai.
From Danang to Hue, enjoy the Hai Van pass’s breathtaking view before getting down for the blue Lagoon – Lang Co.
* Vietnam Railways Lang Co side of Hai Van Pass
Hai Van Pass
The Hải Vân Pass (Vietnamese: Đèo Hải Vân, “Ocean Cloud Pass”), is an approximately 21 km long mountain pass on National Road 1A in Vietnam. It traverses a spur of the larger Annamite Range that juts into the Sea, on the border of Đà Nẵng and Thừa Thiên-Huế Province, near Bach Ma National Park. Its name refers to the mists that rise from the sea, reducing visibility. Historically, the pass was a physical division between the kingdoms of Champa and Dai Viet.
The twisting road on the pass has long been a challenge for drivers traveling between the cities of Huế and Đà Nẵng. Since the completion of Hai Van Tunnel, traffic flow and safety have improved. The pass has been the scene of at least two of Vietnam’s most serious rail accidents, and at least one air crash.
The Hai Van Pass crosses over a spur of the Truong Son (Annamite) Range that emerges from the west and juts into the South China Sea, forming the Hai Van Peninsula and the adjoining Son Tra Island. The pass, which once formed the boundary between the kingdoms of Dai Viet and Champa, also forms a boundary between the climates of northern and southern Vietnam, sheltering the city of Da Nang from the “Chinese winds” that blow in from the northwest. During the winter months (November–March), for instance, weather on the north side of the pass might be wet and cold, while the south side might be warm and dry.
The pass is renowned for its scenic beauty.Presenter Jeremy Clarkson, host of the BBC motoring programme Top Gear, featured the pass during the show’s 2008 Vietnam Special, calling the road “a deserted ribbon of perfection—one of the best coast roads in the world.”
Hai Van Pass has been of major strategic importance in this history of Vietnam, and for a long time represented a major barrier to any land army that attempted to move between the northern and central regions of the country.
In the middle of the 1st century, the Chinese general Ma Yuan (Mã Viện), after pacifying northern Vietnam, advanced south and established the southern border of the Han (Hán) empire by setting up columns of bronze, possibly at Hai Van. Ma Yuan also left behind some Chinese military families to hold the frontier. When the Han Empire collapsed at the end of the 2nd century, the local kingdom of Linyi (Lâm Ấp), the predecessor to the medieval polity of Champa, was created by a petty frontier bureaucrat of the Han administration, probably in the area of modern Hue (Huế) somewhat to the North.
The pass is crossed by two main transport routes: Vietnam’s main north–south highway, National Road 1A, and the North–South Railway. The road crosses over the mountain more or less directly, climbing to an elevation of 496 m (1,627 ft) and passing south of the 1,172 m (3,845 ft) high Ai Van Son peak, while the railway hugs the coastline more closely, passing through a series of tunnels along the way. Since its opening in 2005, the Hai Van Tunnel—the longest tunnel in Southeast Asia—offers an alternative road across the pass, reducing travel times by at least an hour.