Photo: Meet the locals.

Scenic drive Kon Tum to Quang Ngai or Hoi An

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Imagine a quiet paved road that snakes through the Annamite Mountains. The road is flanked by deep layers of mysterious mist-shrouded jungle, and just when you think the tangle of greenery will swallow you whole, the world unexpectedly opens up to jaw-dropping grand sweeping views of sky and earth and glittering terraced rice fields below.



Imagine riding through the fog, reaching the apex of the mountain pass before descending into the pastoral plains and verdant fields of Quang Ngai province, the road flirting with the curves of a merry river. This is QL24.

KT_QL24_550

Wow.

QL24 connects Kon Tum to the coast in 170 spectacularly scenic kilometres, much of it nicely paved. From where QL24 meets Highway 1, it is an additional 30 kilometres north on Highway 1 to Quang Ngai city. Here you can stay the night. From Quang Ngai, you are an easy 115 kilometres from Hoi An.

Rice fields of Quang Ngai. You can feel the dramatic change in weather and landscape on the other side of the mountain pass.

Rice fields of Quang Ngai. You’ll feel the dramatic change in weather and landscape on the other side of the mountain pass.

Those travelling between the Central Highlands and Hoi An on motorbike usually take QL14, drawn by the allure of the old Ho Chi Minh Trail – but it is now the Ho Chi Minh Highway. The road has been developed into a major highway and is wide, paved and used by transport trucks and buses. This is the staple route of most Easy Rider-type tours. From Kon Tum, they would usually pass through Dak To, Ngoc Hoi, Dak Glei, stay a night in Kham Duc (Phuoc Son) before skirting east on 14E to Hoi An.

Not a bad rest stop.

Not a bad rest stop.

In contrast, very few tourists travel via QL24. If you are on your own two wheels and interested in the most scenic ride, then opt for QL24 to get to the coast.

As of November 2015, parts of QL24 were freshly paved.

As of November 2015, parts of QL24 were freshly paved.

When we were on QL24 in November 2015, about 80 percent of it was surprisingly good paved road. The other 20 percent: parts of the first 60 kilometres from Kon Tum were in the process of being widened and resurfaced, so good news, it will only improve with time. Of course, there was the occasional pothole to watch out for along the way, and sharp turns. The biggest draw to the route becomes its biggest challenge: there are only a few pockets of civilisation and very long stretches of nothing in between. If you encounter any motorbike problems, you will have trouble finding help. Being self-sufficient in dealing with minor bike issues is a bonus.


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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Kon Tum.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda
 Read up on where to eat on Kon Tum.
 Check out our listings of other things to do in and around Kon Tum.
 Read up on how to get to Kon Tum, or book your transport online with Baolau.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Kon Tum? Please read this.
 Browse tours in Vietnam with Tourradar.




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