Hai Van Pass, the natural border between the two provinces of Hue and Danang City with a length of 21 km across the high mountains of a branch crossing to the sea of Truong Son Mountain Range. Hai Van Pass (meaning ocean and clouds because the waves pat mountainside and all year round cloud cover on top) is considered the most beautiful and also the most dangerous scenic pass of Vietnam on the journey north to south for more than 700 years, with the height at the top of the pass is 496m above sea level.
This is supposed to be the most scenic route in Vietnam. At the crest of Hai Van Pass, you will find Pillboxes – fortifications built by French and then used by South Vietnamese and Americans. A stop here will leave you fighting off aggressive vendors and swamps of flying insects.
The slow climb upwards takes around an hour and the winding route down-hill may be stomach-churning experience for some.
Hai Van Pass crosses the country from the western border to the east coast, thus creating a distinctively different climate, culture and people in the two regions. Transportation through Hai Van pass, before Hai Van tunnel built, is quite difficult. Road trip passing over the pass takes an hour, however instead you will have the opportunity to admire the pass and scenery below or witness the spectacular fog. Although the terrain of the road is quite dangerous due to high mountains and deep pools, this place is an ideal tourist destination for a stop, photographing on the way Hue – Da Nang.
On sunny clear days, from Hai Van pass, you can look to the north, is the mountainous hills that coincide with the white clouds, the faraway is the Lap An lagoon, the picturesque Lang Co fishing village, to the south, waves surf around the mountainside, looming the fishing boats of fishermen running offshore.
Hai Van Tunnel took 5 years to complete and is currently the longest tunnel in South East Asia. Most importantly it takes only a fraction of the time taken from Danang to Hue if you are travelling via the winding Hai Van Pass.
The tunnel has two working lanes, one lane for each direction, and no overtaking is possible. And it is only open to cars and buses, no motorcycles and no bicycles are allowed.