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How To Get from Hue to Hoi An on the Hai Van Pass

How To Get from Hue to Hoi An on the Hai Van Pass

Want to travel from Hue to Hoi An but not sure how to plan your journey? My guide will answer your question and detail what to see on the way, including the famous Hai Van Pass.

Hue to Hoi An is a driving distance of 130km via the Hai Van pass and weaves along the coastline and through the jungle-covered mountains. It takes around four hours to complete including several convenience and photo stops.

After spending four days in Hue, visiting the Royal Tombs and Imperial City, we headed to Hoi An along the Hai Van Pass to continue our two-week holiday in Vietnam.

I booked my private transfer by road with Huracars, which included stops at the natural marvels of Lap An Lagoon, Lang Co Bay and the Marble Mountains en route to our destination.

I found this method of travel between Hue and Hoi An the easiest option as I had luggage with me and didn’t want the hassle of bus or train travel.

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Why book a private car transfer from Hue to Hoi An?

While there are plenty of ways to make the journey between these two incredible Unesco towns, the easiest and most convenient way if you have luggage, is by car.

While there is no direct train line between Hue and Hoi An, you can get a train from Hue to Danang and then a taxi transfer to Hoi An, but by doing this, you will miss out on the fabulous landmark stops along the route, and it won’t be the easy door-to-door service you get with a private transfer.

Best Things To See on the Journey Between Hue and Hoi An

Lap An Lagoon

Our first stop after leaving Hue was at Lap An Lagoon, which had the most mesmerising blue water set against the backdrop of the Bach Ma mountain range. An eerie mist covered the mountains, giving them an unusual blue tinge.

The traditional oyster fishing boats gently swayed on the water, almost vying for our attention.

There were a couple of cafes near the parking area, but we were more interested in taking photos of this beguiling spot, and once we had captured our memories, we were back in the car and on our way.

A fishing boat on the Lap An lagoon

Our second stop was to view the area of Lang Co Bay, a popular beach resort for Vietnamese locals.

The island-like stretch of palm trees and sand offers a lagoon on one side and 10km of beachfront on the other. We couldn’t go to the beach as it was off our route plan; however, it looked nice from a distance.

Lang Co Bay as viewed from the Hai Van Pass

We finally came to the Hai Van pass halfway between Hue and Hoi An.

The BBC programme Top Gear famously used the exhilarating 20 km of winding mountain road in an episode.

The road sits majestically at 500 metres above sea level, making it the highest pass in Vietnam. The lush jungle can be seen on one side while the ocean’s blue waters are on the other.

Our driver made several stops along the way for us to admire the views and take photographs.

The Hai Van Pass
Hai Van Pass

The pass is very busy with mopeds, buses, coaches, and cars travelling to and from Hue and Da Nang.

Be aware when getting out of the vehicle on the roadside for photographs that you keep very near the barrier as vehicles whizz around the bends at high speeds.

view of the Hai Van Pass from the roadside

Emperor Minh Mang’s Brick Gate

During your drive, you will no doubt stop at a historic gateway built in the 19th century. Emporer Minh Mang had the inscription “the most grandiose gateway in the world” etched into the stone.

Bullet holes and empty war bunkers from the American-Vietnamese war are now the only things left of this once magnificent point. You will be able to get refreshments from the few stalls set up here and take a moment to reflect on the turbulent past that has played out in Vietnam.

Marble Statues

At the bottom of the Hai Van Pass, we continued to Marble Mountain, enjoying more sights. This area specialises in marble sculpting; however, most marble comes from China due to Vietnamese restrictions.

Let your driver know if you aren’t interested in visiting one of the many marble stores; otherwise, you will end up in one!

A Vietnamese monastery is in the distance. Can you spot the white Buddha?

Landscape view of fields and a monastery near to the marble mountains

The Marble Mountains

The Marble Mountains should be high on everyone’s list of must-see locations. You will be utterly delighted at what you will discover!

You can read about them in more detail in this post: How to Visit Marble Mountains in Da Nang, Vietnam

Pagodas in the marble Mountains

Non-Nuoc Beach

We had one last stop before arriving in Hoi An to stretch our legs and look at Non-Nuoc beach, a long sandy expanse in the heart of Da Nang.

Da Nang has international resorts, boutique hotels, sandy beaches, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and Da Nang airport.

The beach at Non-Nuoc in Vietnam

Arriving in Hoi An, we reflected on our trip and how it had been such good value for money. We would now spend three nights in Hoi An, discovering why this ancient town is the number one destination for travellers visiting Vietnam!

Yellow building in Hoi An

Who Did We Use for Our Transfer

We used Hura Cars for our transfer. Our driver was well-presented and knowledgeable and gave us interesting information as we passed through each area.

You can get a bus or train from Hue to Hoi An or hire a moped, but both sounded unappealing. I preferred the comfort of an air-conditioned car over squeezing into a hot, cramped train compartment or risking my life on the hairpin bends of the Hai Van pass!

When we arrived in Hoi An, our driver helped us with our luggage and bid us farewell – excellent service from start to finish.


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