Photo: One of Vietnam's best rides.

The Hai Van Pass

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The Hai Van Pass: 19 kilometres of roadway that winds up and over a fortress of mountains, connecting Da Nang with the town of Lang Co in Hue province. Popularised by the BBC TV programme Top Gear, travellers armed with selfie sticks now come in droves to tackle the route and soak in breathtaking views of the mountain and coast.

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Top Gear presenters called the Hai Van Pass "a deserted ribbon of perfection, one of the best coast roads in the world". And while we think that the Vinh Hy-Binh Tien Pass could also be in the running for the title, there's no denying that the Hai Van is memorable must-do.

Along the pass. Photo taken in or around The Hai Van Pass, Da Nang, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Along the pass. Photo: Cindy Fan

Until the Hai Van tunnel opened in 2005, the Hai Van Pass was the only route vehicles could take to go north or south in this region. As you can imagine, the winding mountain journey reaching 496 metres altitude was a treacherous one for trucks and buses. But with the tunnel (6.2 kilometres long, the longest in Southeast Asia), most traffic now bypasses the pass, making it a great ride for those on motorbike or diehard cyclists -- you literally need to be hard-to-die because it is a strenuous challenge. Doing it under your own steam can be downright brutal on the hottest days.

Not a Travelfish researcher. You think we are mad? Photo taken in or around The Hai Van Pass, Da Nang, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Not a Travelfish researcher. You think we are mad? Photo: Cindy Fan

You'll want to rent a motorbike in good condition or the best bicycle you can find with gears. Gradient can exceed 10% and except for one tourist rest stop, no other infrastructure exists along the pass. From Da Nang, get yourself to Highway 1A. The most pleasant way is to drive north along the coastal road Ngueyn Tat Thanh, then when it ends, Highway 1A is only a block away. Drive north on Highway 1A, crossing the bridge over the Cu De River. After the bridge the junction is 700 metres -- turn left for the tunnel, continue straight for the Hai ... Travelfish members only (Around 700 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Location map for The Hai Van Pass

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