The Hai Van Pass Vietnam Travel Guide

Hai Van Pass-Culture Pham Travel


Hai Van Pass is also known as Ai Van Pass because there was a gate on the top of the pass. Or May pass (Clouds pass) because clouds often cover the top of the pass. It crosses the Bach Ma mountain range – a part of the Truong Son mountain range stretching close to the sea.

Hai Van Pass Vietnam-Culture Pham Travel

The pass is the boundary between the north of Thua Thien Hue province and the south of Da Nang city. Culture Pham Travel will give you details to discover the Hai Van Pass Da Nang. Let’s take consult our article’s content below!

Hai Van Pass Vietnam Travel Guide-Culture Pham Travel

If you want to travel from Hue, Da nang or Hoi An to Hai Van pass. You can book our Hue To Bach Ma National Park By Car, Hue City Tour From Da Nang, Da Nang Airport to Hue Transfer, and Day Trip to Hue From Hoi An.

Hai Van Pass Name’s Meaning

“Hai” means the “Ocean”, and “Van” means “White Clouds”. That is the explanation for it is it has beautiful scenery, surrounded by white clouds all year round at the top of the pass. Besides, at the bottom of the pass, tourists can see the vast seascape stretching to the horizon.

Hai Van Pass Hue-Culture Pham Travel

In addition, the Vietnamese also call it May Pass (the word “Van” means “May”). Hence, its English name is “Ocean and Clouds Pass.” This place was once commented on by Jeremy Clarkson – the host of the reality TV show Top Gear (UK), as one of the most beautiful coastal roads on the planet. Hai Van is also the 4/10 hill road that attracts the most visitors to check in on the Instagram platform.

Da Nang beaches-Culture Pham Travel

Where Is The Hai Van Pass?

Hai Van pass’s location is between Thua Thien Hue province and Da Nang city. The distance from the pass to Danang city is about 20 km and roughly 80 km to Hue city. It is 500m high above sea level and has a length of more than 20km.

You can refer to the Hai Van pass route map below:

If you are passionate about adventure and looking for a place to challenge yourself. Hai Van Pass route is an ideal choice for you. The Guardian of England honored it in the “Top 10 most beautiful coastal roads in the world”, and Hai Van pass top gear in Vietnam. It always attracts those who love to conquer crooked and circuitous roads.

Hai Van Mountain Pass-Culture Pham Travel

How To Explore The Hai Van Pass Vietnam?

Hai Van is hidden in the white clouds and vast forests, with poetic and charming beauty. Plus, a spectacular road is worth conquering once. Thus, there are many ways to explore the Ocean and Clouds Pass as below:

Da Nang beaches-Culture Pham Travel

Travel to Hai Van pass by private car

From Hai Van pass Hue to Da Nang or Hai Van pass Da Nang to Hue, our private car transfer is the best choice for you. Firstly, you do not need to wait like taking a taxi. Also, baby seats are available if you request.

Things to do in hue-Culture Pham Travel

Secondly, we have many private car options for you to choose from Sedan, SUV, Minivan or limousine. Thus, this option is the best if you travel with older adults or children. Most importantly, the trips pass through Hai Van Pass in Vietnam, and you can customize the itinerary to stop at attractions you desire.

Hue to Hoi An private car-Culture Pham Travel

In addition, you can depart at any time that is convenient for you. You will have a comfortable and convenient trip with the added benefit of an English-speaking local driver who knows the best viewpoints and stops. Therefore, you should book our services as below:

Hue to Da Nang By Private Car – 1,400,000 VND/Sedan

Da Nang to Phong Nha Private Car – 3,300,000 VND/Sedan

Phong Nha to Hoi An Private Car – 3,400,000 VND/Sedan

Danang Airport to Melia Vinpearl Hue – 1,350,000VND/Sedan

Hoi An to Phong Nha Limousine – from 52 USD/limousine

Da Nang to Hue Day Trip – from 56 USD/pax

Hue to Hoi An by jeep-Culture Pham Travel

Book the Hai Van pass tour

For those who prefer a guided tour, many tours are available, including a visit to the pass. These tours often include stops at other popular attractions in the area and are a great way to learn about the history and culture of the region.

Hai Van Pass Jeep Tour-Culture Pham Travel

From Hai Van pass Hue to Hoi An, you can book our Hai Van pass jeep tour Hue to Hoi An, Hai Van pass motorbike tour Hue to Hoi An. With these tours, you will have a great chance to visit the city of ghosts Hue, Lap An Lagoon, Cau Hai lagoon, Lang Co beach and more.

Conquer the May pass by motorbike

How long does it take to go over Hai Van Pass? It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to go over the pass. It depends on how well you drive and the weather there. For adventurous travelers, renting a motorbike is a popular way to explore Hai Van Pass. The winding roads and scenic views make for an exciting and unforgettable journey.

hue to hoi an by motorbike tour-Culture Pham Travel

The Ocean and Clouds pass definitely offers tourists the feelings that nowhere else can bring for them. At the start of the pass, they are extremely excited. After that, when they go slowly, they may be a bit nervous, especially when they step into sudden curves and blind corners.

May Pass-Culture Pham Travel

In addition, the feeling of falling down is great. Once again, they will be thrilled because of the danger of the downhill but excited for the sense of freedom. After that, the backpackers will be very excited when they go to the top of the pass; we will see the natural scenery that makes everyone surprised. All will be unforgettable marks for passionate enthusiasts to explore and aspire to conquer new things.

Hai Van Pass Vietnam-Culture Pham Travel

In addition, many students also take the risk of conquering the mountain pass by bicycle. However, they must be physically strong enough to dare to do this. As an explorer, as a genuine hunters, visitors cannot ignore the beautiful Ocean and Clouds pass.

History of the May Pass

Before 1306, the land with the Hai Van pass belonged to the Champa kingdom (also known as Chiem Thanh).

May Pass-Culture Pham Travel

In 1306, the king Che Man of Champa cut this land as a wedding proposal to Huyen Tran princess of the Tran dynasty. The pass was formally determined the dividing line between Champa and Dai Viet. You may also be interested in Huyen Tran Princess Temple.

Hai Van Quan-Culture Pham Travel

In 1402, the Ho Dynasty brought troops to fight Champa, and the Hai Van Pass from the boundary of the two countries became the land area of Dai Ngu country. (i.e., now Vietnam).

Hai Van Mountain Pass-Culture Pham Travel

Although the Hai Van pass was built during the French colonial period, it was still very narrow and dangerous. In addition, there were often wild animals and looters, so the French built a railway so that the Hai Van pass train ran the whole pass length.

Hai Van Pass Da Nang-Culture Pham Travel

In addition, at the top of Hai Van, a few bunkers (the ruins of Don Nhat). The French army built them in 1926 to protect this strategic pass.

On June 5, 2005, the Hai Van pass tunnel was formally opened. The tunnel is more than 12 kilometers long and is Southeast Asia’s longest road tunnel.

Hai Van tunnel-Culture Pham Travel

Although the Hai Van tunnel, many visitors still desire to travel to this pass to explore, admire stunning views and attempt to conquer Vietnam’s most treacherous route.

What To Do & Admire In Hai Van Pass Da Nang – Hue?

There are many things to do in the Ai Van pass, such as visiting the Hai Van gate, enjoying Vietnamese coffee, and so on. Here is some Hai Van pass best stops you should not miss when conquering the most breathtaking pass in Vietnam:

May pass vietnam-Culture Pham Travel

Hai Van pass Map 360 View

Hai Van Quan – a relic of the feudal monarchy

The Tran Dynasty built Hai Van Quan, and the Nguyen Dynasty (7th year of king Minh Mang, 1826) restored it. Prominently, the door overlooking Thua Thien Palace has the words “Hai Van Quan ” (海雲關).

Hai Van Quan-Culture Pham Travel

On the other hand, the door overlooking Quang Nam has the title “Thien Ha De Nhat Hung Quan” (天下第一雄關). It means “most marvelous wonder”.This appellation was conferred by King Le Thanh Tong when the king stopped his troops here in 1470.

Hai Van gate-Culture Pham Travel

This relic is located at an altitude of 496m above sea level and on the top of Hai Van pass. It was built to serve as a defensive military fortress for the Hue Imperial Citadel.

Furthermore, the Hai Van Quan relic also marks the 70th anniversary of the Don Nhat victory. With the battle in the summer-autumn campaign of 1952-1954 of the resistance war against the invading French colonialists.

Hai Van Mountain Pass-Culture Pham Travel
Hai Van Quan relic is in the restoration process

Currently, the relic is being restored with a total area of 6,500 m2. The restoration period is two years, expected to be completed in June 2023. Thua Thien Hue and Da Nang contributed a total budget of more than 42 billion VND, 50% of each locality. After restoration, Hai Van Quan will be a must-stop at the Hai Van pass to learn more about its history and admire the scenic landscape from its peak.

Hai Van Quan-Culture Pham Travel

Therefore, Hai Van Quan “makes miss” tourists with its beautiful natural scenery. You will see the majestic high mountains and vast lush green forests from the gate. Plus, steep and winding passes and clear blue coast. Hence, visitors can take super impressive photos with friends and relatives at the Hai Van Quan.

Camping in Van village at the bottom of the pass

It is a small village nestled right at the foot of the pass about 30 km from Danang city. With a peaceful, deserted and extremely pristine setting, this place is likened to a “forgotten land” in the bustling of Danang city.

Van village-Culture Pham Travel

Camping and enjoying a BBQ together is the most loved experience in Van village. Sitting by the romantic beach, breathing in the fresh air and looking at the starry sky is great, isn’t it?

Culture Pham Travel

The village is located separate from the city, so it is quite quiet, perfect for you to rest and relax away from the noisy streets. You can also immerse yourself in the cool, clear blue sea or have super fun canoeing in Van village.

Hai Van Bac station

From Hai Van Quan, you drive another 4 km to the ranger station, then another 1 km on the concrete road to the North Hai Van station.  This place is enough for you to enjoy taking pictures of “virtual life”. However, trains will still run on the tracks, so remember to look around carefully when taking photos.

Hai Van Bac station-Culture Pham Travel

Bac Hai Van Station is a station on the North-South railway route, which connects Da Nang Hai Van station with Lang Co Hue station. The station is in the heart of the Hai Van Pass. Along the track is a ravishing scenery with majestic hills.

Don Ca arch bridge

The French built the Don Ca Arch Bridge from 1902 – 1906. It connects the North-South railway route stretching 1,730 km from Hanoi to Saigon. Up to now, the Don Ca arch bridge has been more than 100 years and was built at the same time as the Da Nang – Hue railway route.

Hai Van Mountain Pass-Culture Pham Travel

The bridge is designed as a dome gate, guarded by stone pillars, crossing streams with a height of 20m and a length of about 100m. Surely you will be amazed by the beautiful scene like a movie when coming here. Around the bridge are a green forest and fresh air.

Don Ca arch bridge-Culture Pham Travel

Moreover, a small natural stream with many large rocks is at the bridge’s bottom. It is a unique background for saving beautiful photos in the wild natural scenery, majestic mountains and forests.

Stream in May pass-Culture Pham Travel

In addition, the water is as clear as the famous Fairy Stream. You can go down to soak and bathe here. Camping or a small picnic party is a good idea for you to have more time to admire the natural scenery here.

Don Ca bridge-Culture Pham Travel

Lonely pine tree

Anybody who gets the chance to ascend Hai Van Pass is familiar with the sight of the lonely pine tree. Regardless of the angle, you can rest assured that you will have sparkling photos with this tree. You can also take a break at a nearby drink stall. However, it is necessary to pay attention to safety because this place has many vehicles passing by.

Hai Van Mountain Pass-Culture Pham Travel

This tree is located about 2 kilometers from the top of the pass. A magnificent view of Hai Van pass that many people visit to photograph is the pine tree with wide foliage standing lonely.

Lonely pine tree-Culture Pham Travel

In the middle of the winding pass road, one side is the immense sea, and the other is dense forest. The lonely pine tree is a unique highlight in the majestic picture of Hai Van pass. This lonely pine tree reaching out towards Lang Co Bay is a favorite stop for young people who love backpacking.

Lonely pine tree-Culture Pham Travel

Take photos and enjoy coffee at Hon Da Thuyen

Visitors moving from the center of Da Nang city to Hai Van pass will encounter a “lonely pine tree”. Then, continue to go a further 650m to the Hon Da Thuyen location in front of the cafe of the same name.

Hon Da Thuyen-Culture Pham Travel

A large rock shaped like a boat. The rock’s surface is concave, and the two ends of the rock are pointed like the bow of a boat. That’s why it’s called Thuyen rock (hòn đá thuyền). With a unique shape, it has a beautiful view towards the panoramic view of the city and the beautiful Danang beach.

Thuyen rock-Cultura Pham Travel
Hon Da Thuyen

Besides, the view of vast green mountains and clouds is beautiful, like paradise. Therefore, you can set your feet here to take beautiful, unique and unforgettable photos.

Hue Beaches-Culture Pham Travel
The turtle rock

Furthermore, another large rock is next to the Thuyen rock that looks like a turtle’s head. That’s why it’s called turtle rock. You can also sit or stand on this rock to enjoy the beautiful scenery and take super-quality photos.

Hai Van Mountain Pass-Culture Pham Travel

Right before the rocks is a very poetic cafe – Hon Da Thuyen coffee shop. Have you ever sat down to enjoy a cup of fragrant coffee in the middle of the vast mountains? If not, you can enjoy coffee and other drinks here!

May Pass-Culture Pham Travel
The stunning view from the coffee shop

The small coffee shop is decorated quite simply with cozy wooden tables and chairs. Sipping a cup of fragrant coffee while admiring the beautiful unspoiled natural scenery is extremely relaxing and wonderful!

Drive through the U-corner to challenge yourself

Driving through the U-corner at Hai Van Pass is a must-do if you are looking for an adventure. The U-corner is a sharp turn that requires skilled driving and nerves of steel. It’s an exhilarating experience that will simultaneously leave you feeling scared and thrilled.

Hai Van Mountain Pass-Culture Pham Travel

U-shaped bends are the fear of many backpackers. The corner of the bend is where the driver has to focus and carefully observe the convex mirror. Interestingly, the road bends along the mountain, when it turns much-unexpected curves.

Safe Travel Tips To Hai Van Pass You Need To Know

  • The best time to visit Hai Van Pass is from February to July when the Hai Van Pass weather is dry and sunny. Thus, the views are crystal clear during this time, and the pass is less likely to be shrouded in fog.
  • There are two times of the day to see the most beautiful pass: sunrise and sunset.

Hai Van mountain pass-Culture Pham Travel

  • The pass is winding and dangerous, so you should drive a manual transmission motorcycle. Thanks to that, you can release the gear and squeeze the brake to avoid losing the brake.
  • You should not start early like 5:00 am or 6:00 am, since, at that time, the pass is normally covered with fog. Hence, going between 8:00-9:00 am seems the perfect time to conquer the pass. Noticeably, backpackers ought to bring a beverage, snacks, and basic tools to avoid bad cases.

Hue Beaches-Culture Pham Travel

  • Preview the weather forecast for Da Nang and Hue to avoid stormy days and slippery roads (from September to December).
  • Check the vehicle before going downhill, especially the brake part.
  • Wear appropriate clothes; the air is colder on the top of the pass. Thus, you should bring a jacket to prevent cold weather.
  • On the top of the pass or if there is the fog that reduces visibility, focus on observing and go carefully through the bends.

Hai Van mountain Pass Vietnam Travel Guide-Culture Pham Travel

Attractions Near Hai Van Mountain Pass

Hai Van Pass is located in the central region of Vietnam, so there are many nearby attractions that you can visit. Some recommend visiting these attractions near Hai Van Pass that you can explore them below:

Lang Co bay Hue-Culture Pham Travel
Lang Co bay and beach Hue view from the above

Lang Co bay and beach

One of the most beautiful bays in the world is Lang Co Bay. It is located next to the foot of the pass. Plus, there is a picturesque fishing village along with a pristine beauty with white sand and turquoise water of the bay, making this place even more stunning.

Lang Co bay-Culture Pham Travel
Lang Co bay Hue

Another nearby attraction is Lang Co Beach – a long sandy beach and clear blue water. Its crystal-clear water and long white sand shore make it a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. Visitors can also indulge in fresh seafood at the beach’s restaurants.

Lang Co beach-Culture Pham Travel
Lang Co beach

If you want to stay in Banyann Tree Lang Co and want to get here from other destinations. You can book our Danang Airport to Laguna Lang Co and Hoi An to Laguna Lang Co.

Bach Ma National Park

It is about 30 kilometers from the pass, and the route to get there is nearly 45 km. Bach Ma National Park is a protected area with diverse flora and fauna, stunning waterfalls, and scenic hiking trails.

Bach Ma National Park-Culture Pham Travel

You can swim in the five lakes’ cool and clear blue water. Especially, Visitors can conquer the path to Do Quyen waterfall with 689 ladder steps. At each section of the path, these steps have different slopes, giving you new levels of emotions.

Lap An Lagoon

Notwithstanding the above attractions, visitors can stop by Lap An Lagoon, located about 16 kilometers from Hai Van Pass. The lagoon is a natural wonder surrounded by mountains and greenery, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers.

Lap An lagoon-Culture Pham Travel
Lap An lagoon

Here, visitors can take a boat ride to explore the lagoon while admiring the beauty of the surrounding landscape. Besides, you can enjoy fresh oysters here.

In addition, there are other amazing attractions, such as Truoi lake with Truc Lam Bach Ma Zen Monastery, Elephant Springs, Cau Hai Lagoon, etc. You can visit Truc Lam Bach Ma monastery to challenge yourself with 172 steps to the monastery.

Truc Lam Bach Ma Zen Monastery-Culture Pham Travel

Besides, you can admire the Shakyamuni Buddha statue on a hill in the middle of the lake with a volume of 1,500 tons, 24m high, completely carved out of stone.

Additionally, you can swim at the Elephant springs and enjoy Hue food to relax after a long journey. Also, the Cau Hai lagoon is a place you should not ignore. You can catch fish and crabs with the locals or watch the sunrise and sunset. That will be a great and memorable experience.


In conclusion, Hai Van Pass is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Vietnam, especially in Hue and Da Nang provinces. The pass offers breathtaking views, challenging roads, and a glimpse into Vietnam’s history and culture.

May Pass-Culture Pham Travel

Whether you drive through the pass, take a tour, or take a private car transfer, you will surely have an unforgettable experience. And don’t forget to visit the nearby attractions to complete your adventure in central Vietnam. Culture Pham Travel & Transport wishes you a great experience in Hai Van Pass and other destinations in central Vietnam!

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