Doing a road trip from Da Nang to Hue via the Hai Van Pass with a motorbike is a great way to explore Central Vietnam and enjoy the beautiful landscape.
The route can be pretty diverse if you stay away from the highway.
We took a little detour by taking the route along the coast side that led through some very charming villages. The entire trip from Da Nang to Hue with some stops here and there took us around 5h in total. If you take the direct route using the highway, you can do it in 3.5h.
To be absolutely honest, I think the Hai Van Pass is a bit over hyped.
While it is indeed beautiful, I wouldn’t call it the most scenic route in Vietnam like some travel bloggers do. The mountain area in Ha Giang and Sa Pa are way more breath taking. But beauty is always subjective, so I leave it up for people to make up their own mind.
Nevertheless, I would still recommend doing the trip as it is a very relaxing ride even for a day trip from Da Nang and if you don’t want to go all the way to Hue.
But here is where I want to get expectations straight:
- The Hai Van Pass is shorter than you would expect: it took us around 1h from the Da Nang beach side to get all the way to the peak.
- The elevation is easily manageable, even with an automatic bike.
- It takes maybe 25-30 min from the foot of the mountain to the top.
What bike do you need?
Before the trip, we were slightly worried that our small 110cc automatic bike wouldn’t be powerful enough.
My expectations for the elevation and difficulty were set pretty high at first, but the ride turned out to be pretty easy. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using a 110cc automatic for 2 people.
In our case, we rented a semi-automatic Honda Wave 110cc (on the right) for myself and Andrea used our normal bike (Janus 110cc on the left).
I actually really enjoyed riding the Wave through the mountains but if you’re not familiar with semi-automatic bikes, then an automatic will do just fine.
So with all the basics out of the way, let’s dive into the journey and let the photos speak.
We continued the ride and came down on the other side of the Hai Van Pass after around 30 min. to enjoy this view.
After staying on the main highway and racing with all the big trucks, we decided to take the longer route along the coastal side that wandered through small villages. This is the real Vietnam!
One of our favorite parts was the ride through the small village of Phu Hai, An Dương and Thon Thai Duong Ha.
After 5h, we finally arrived in Hue and enjoyed walking along the Perfume River with the sunset in the background.
It was indulgence weekend…
The most important place to visit in Hue is the Imperial Palace. This area is massive and normally flooded with tourists.
We considered ourselves very lucky to be able to visit during times of Covid and having enough space to explore without bumping into people all the time.
Hue is a lovely little city to visit in Central Vietnam. I hope this Photo Journal could gave you a helpful glimpse into what to expect when visiting Hue.