The Hoi Van Pass

The Hoi Van Pass in Vietnam is apparently one of the most scenic drives in the world. Typically, on the day we went, it was misty and you couldn’t see much!

It’s a popular route for motorbikes but I’m not a confident rider and we had our backpacks with us, so we opted for the safer route and took the bus!

We bought our bus tickets from a small travel agent in Huế. To get to Hoi An by private car would have cost us around $45 or there was a cheaper and quicker route which missed out the Hoi Van Pass. We chose to take the scenic route from Huế to Hoi An by bus instead, which cost £7 each.

We were picked up from the hotel in a minibus and our first stop was a Japanese covered bridge and a market. Local people were shopping for their Têt (Vietnamese New Year) celebrations so there were lots of yellow chrysanthemums, kumquat trees and carved watermelons on display.

Japanese covered bridge
Selling chrysanthemums for Vietnamese New Year (Têt)

We had a brief stop – more of a toilet break than anything – at Lang Co beach which was very pretty but there wasn’t much to see or do.

Lang Co beach

As we approached the Hoi Van Pass, we realised that we were not only on the wrong side of the road for the huge drops but also on the wrong side of the bus to see them. Having an aversion to heights, this was probably no bad thing, but it did mean our view was a bit restricted. It was also pretty misty so the journey was not as spectacular as it normally would be.

The Hoi Van Pass by bus

We stopped at the top for some photographs but it was heaving with tourists so not particularly pleasant. There was a wedding party there and the newly-married couple were having their photos taken against the backdrop which proved quite a spectacle.

Our favourite part of the journey had to be the Marble Mountains in Da Nang. We only had an hour there, which wasn’t long enough really. It was quite hot and there were lots of steps! We took the elevator to the top of the mountain and walked down. The caves were very impressive. We also did a walk to Heaven’s Gate but that was a bit disappointing (the same view, only from a higher position on the mountain).

Temple at the Marble Mountains in Da Nang

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