One of the major highlights of my two weeks in Vietnam was taking the Hai Van Pass from Hue to Hoi An on one of the Vietnam motorbike tours. The Hai Van Pass is a mountain road with coastal views that connects Hue to Hoi An and Da Nang. It’s about 75 miles from Hue to Hoi An via the Hai Van Pass. Not only is this Vietnam motorbike route one of the most scenic roads in Vietnam, but there are also so many cool stops you can make along the way!
While you can rent a motorbike and cruise the Hai Van Pass on your own, I highly recommend booking a motorbike tour with Le Family Riders instead. Le Family Riders is a family owned and operated company, and all the guides speak great English. You can either drive a motorbike on your own, ride with a friend, or ride with one of the guides. Not only did going on the tour enable us to not have to worry about directions or planning, but we also got to make some really interesting stops along the way that we wouldn’t have known about otherwise! It was such a fun experience. This Vietnam motorbike tour only costs around $50 each, and the whole day’s activities are included in the price: motorbike, safety gear, entrance to the sites, water, coffee, lunch, beer – even ice cream! Also- they transport all your luggage from Hue to Hoi An for you, so that it’s waiting for you at their office when you arrive.
What to Expect on the Le Family Riders Hai Van Pass Motorbike Tour:
One of the guides will pick you up from your hotel in Hue around 8am, and bring you to the meeting point at a local coffee shop where you will get suited up with safety gear (wrist guards, knee pads, reflective vest, helmet) with the rest of your group of about 10 people. You then get to pick your motorbike and start the journey, following in a group behind the guide. The first 15-20 minutes of the drive is spent getting out of the city of Hue. About 45 minutes in, you’ll come to your first stop of the day- a super local coffee shop on the outskirts of town, where you all sit down and enjoy some Vietnamese coffee together while the guide plays some pump-up American pop music.
Next stop: Fishing Village
This stop along the Hai Van Pass was very interesting and humbling. Your guide will take you to through this tiny fishing village, where some of the families work AND live on the boats pictured below. These small boats are made from part bamboo, and part aluminum- which they sourced from fallen aircraft from the American war. You stop here for about 30 minutes, observing the a day in the life of these local fisherman and taking in the views.
Next Up: Elephant Springs
You’ll continue on the Hai Van Pass motorbike route about an hour until you veer slightly off the Hai Van Pass onto a dirt road that will take you all the way to Elephant Springs. There’s a little waterfall which you can slide down that leads into a swimming hole surrounding by rocks. Everyone will change into their swimsuit and hop in! I was there in January- the water was chilly at first, but felt refreshing. Your guide will whip out a cooler full of beer for you to enjoy while you swim and hang out.
After Elephant Springs, you’ll continue on your motorbike on the Hai Van Pass a little further and head to this great lunch spot- a restaurant on stilts on the water known for their fresh seafood! This seafood is so fresh that you literally are watching the staff catch it right next to the restaurant. Lunch is included- and they’ll bring out a ton of food for the table to share (there will be chicken and veggie options for those who don’t like seafood). The shrimp they serve are some of the biggest I’ve ever seen!
Some of the best views of the Hai Van Pass will be experienced on the second half of the trip, after lunch. You’ll stop at the border of Hue and Da Nang, where you can check out some bunkers from the war. This spot is cool because, since you are on a mountain on the border, you can see the layer of clouds to the North, and the sunny sky and ocean to the South from the same spot.
You’ll keep meandering your way through the windy, coastal roads of the Hai Van Pass by motorbike, stopping at scenic lookout points near Lang Co Beach and beyond. This road is so beautiful, pictures don’t even do it justice!
Last Stop: Marble Mountain
Eventually, you’ll get to the bottom of the mountain to the other side- Da Nang- and head to the Marble Mountain after enjoying an ice cream treat. The Marble Mountain is a cluster of 5 marble and limestone mountains. You’ll take an elevator to the top of the mountain to explore on your own the temples, caves, and lookout points scattered throughout the area. It kind of looks like something out of an Indiana Jones movie.
After you’re done exploring the Marble Mountain, you’ll ride on your motorbike another 20-30 minutes into Hoi An, arriving at the Le Family Rider’s office around 6pm. You’ll get to enjoy another beer while you gather your luggage that had been delivered there, and then they will drive you to the hotel you are staying at in Hoi An.
I defnitely recommend giving yourself a full day on your Vietnam itinerary to slowly meander your way through the Hai Van Pass by motorbike- it’s truly an unforgettable experience!
Where to next? Check out my full 2-week Vietnam itinerary here.