The Hai Van Pass from Hue to Hoi An – what an experience, and it is one I definitely recommend doing if you’re visiting Vietnam – especially if you’re a Top Gear fan!
Having never rode a motorbike/scooter before, I was unsure if I would have the confidence to hire a scooter in Vietnam, and navigate myself 3 hours from Hue to Hoi An. After a bit of Googling, I found that you can hire a driver to take you on the back of their motorbike, stopping at various places along the way, and they can even arrange for your luggage to be transported – winning! I wouldn’t have to worry about riding a scooter, and I’d get to take in the views riding pillion.
I came across Dũng from Easy Rider Motorbikes Tour through a recommendation from a friend. She gave me his email address, and he responded very quickly. I booked the one day trip, but Dũng also offers a two day/1 night trip. As lovely as it sounded to wake up in the Truong Son Mountains, I was limited for time so the one day option was better suited for me.
Dũng and his brother Anh, from Anh’s Easy Riders, picked Lloyd and I up from our hotel in Hue at 7:30am. They packed our suitcases onto the back of their motorbikes and off we went! The roads leaving Hue were busy, so I was glad that I was riding on the back with an experienced driver.
Our first stop was at a local fishing village.
The second stop was at a waterfall where we had the option to go in, but we didn’t. The waterfall was busy with Vietnamese families as it was a National Holiday in Vietnam. It was so lovely to see families eating their picnics and playing in the waterfalls.
We then proceeded to the Hai Van Pass. Riding through the open mountains was amazing, no wonder this road featured on BBC’s Top Gear back in 2008! As we got higher up, the temperatures really started to drop.
We had a couple of stops along the way; at the Hai Van Gate which is what the French built. There’s also American war bunkers here. We also stopped off at a big rock for an amazing view.
Lunch was at a local restaurant in Da Nang. I had fresh noodles with beef and it was very cheap and tasty.
Before I’d booked the tour, I’d asked Dũng if we were able to make a stop at Ba Na Hills as I wanted to visit the Golden Hands Bridge. He advised that the day trip I’d be spending with him could be completely tailored to what I wanted to do, so we made the stop and visited the iconic bridge.
Entry to Ba Na Hills was 750,000 VND each (approximately £25.00 each) and there’s a lot of attractions to visit for the fee, but I only really wanted to see the Golden Hands Bridge. We took the cable car to the top of the mountain and spent about 45 minutes there. We were so high up, it was incredible being above the clouds! The bridge was very busy and we shuffled along it, took some photos and met back up with Dũng and Anh.
We then stopped off at the Dragon Bridge in Da Nang. Dũng showed us videos on YouTube of the bridge lit up at night, and sometimes they have fire and water coming out from the Dragon’s mouth.
We continued our journey through Da Nang and arrived at our hotel in Hoi An at approximately 5:30pm, very sunburnt!
I had such an amazing day with Dũng and Anh; they are both very experienced drivers and speak very good English. They were very friendly and I was really pleased that I got to spend the day with them both. It’s not just Hai Van Pass day trips they do; they’ll ride you all over Vietnam if you want and I can’t recommend these guys enough.
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