The British Top Gear episode where they ride the road between Hue and Hoi An is pretty well known, it’s a beauty of a road!
That’s the money shot really from the Hai Van pass, but we started out from Hue in the early morning. The night before we’d arranged bikes in Hue, because it’s so popular there are loads of companies that are based in both Hue and Hoi An and they’ll rent you a bike for a one way trip for 450,000 Dong. Sorted.
Driving due east out of Hue is pretty simple, after 10km you cross a bridge onto the island where Thuan An beach is.
On the other side of the bridge there’s an older bridge that got bombed during the American war and has never been taken down.
Apart from having that lovely beach on it, the island seems to be a mega destination for…being buried.
It was absolutely full of graves and temples.
The styles are similar to temples in Hue.
They’re so ornate!
On the mainland side of the island there’s connecting lagoons, we were so lucky with the weather and reflections off of the lagoons were stunning.
After the lagoons it was a really nice winding smaller road around the mountains to join up with highway 1. We had to pass through this half finished tunnel too.
The highway is not a nice drive! The road is terrible, bumpy, and full of stinky trucks. It was only 20 km though before they turned off to take the new Hai Van tunnel, and we took the pass road.
Winding up and over the mountains is so soothing; long, curving roads with stunning views and the soothing sounds of waterfalls. This was the view as you start the road.
Long, sandy, idyllic beaches with turquoise waters.
As we climbed higher, the views got more striking.
These adverts were really cool.
And we took a few memories.
Woooohooo! Living the dreams.
The top of Hai Van pass was pretty mad, it was tourist town! Full of tourists trying to start the motorbikes that they’d not learnt to ride before driving them up the mountain road! After TT – we’ve started to use a T made with two hands, by our waists, double tapped to signify annoying tourism, you head down the other side. The views to Danang city over the bay were cool.
The approach to Danang was pretty mental, we were meeting Maggie from Thon Tha (the village in the north) in Danang so we headed to where she was, at the train station. It was awesome to see her again in central Vietnam. The cacophony of bikes coming into the city sounded like a full on swarm of bees. It was an experience! There were some quirky signs there too.
After our little reunion (where we didn’t take any photos) Maggie recommend that we should take a drive out to the peninsula of Danang. It was a good shout, a beautiful buddhist temple which blended in with the lush mountains behind it.
Cool statues with elephants.
Great views out to the Cham islands across the sea from Hoi An.
And back towards the city with the low evening sun, can you see that it’s raining somewhere over there?
This huge statue of a lady buddha was impressive.
From here it was a straight shot down the coast road for forty minutes to Hoi An. What a day!