After our short stay in the ancient city of Hue, we made the decision to head further south to the city of Hoi An. The route between Hue and Hoi An boasts one of the worlds most breath taking stretches of coastal road, Hai Van Pass.
This is how we decided to make the journey from Hue to Hoi An.
Hue: Our Starting Point
We spent just over 48 hours in Hue, a beautiful city located between the North and South regions of Vietnam. The city itself is vibrant, colourful and fascinating.
During this time we made it our goal to visit as many of Hue’s attractions as possible.
The Imperial City
One of the cities main attractions in Hue is the Imperial City that sits within ancient palace walls.
Visitors come in their thousands from all over Vietnam and the world to wander around the cities ancient temples, palaces and buildings. It is easy to spend a few hours reading about the city’s history and why only a few of the many buildings still stand today.
Attractions in Hue
There are many attractions that are worth visiting whilst staying in Hue. Some are as follows:
Pagoda of the Celestial Lady
Tomb of Khải Định
Tomb of Tự Đức
To read more about our 2 days in Hue visit our 2 Days in Hue: Sights, Food and Family post.
Hue to Hoi An by Motorbike with MotorVina
As I needed some experience riding a motorbike in Vietnam, we made the decision to make this journey with MotorVina.
You can book your journey online or you can simply walk into their store located in central Hue and ask to rent a bike. Depending on your bike of choice, the cost of rental is around $55 for a day trip. If you decide you’d like to extend your journey to two days, you can pay an additional $7 to drop your bike the following day.
We opted to make the journey over two days and stay overnight in the fishing town of Lang Co bay.
We booked our journey in store the day before our departure from Hue. The staff were very helpful, had very good English and explained the trips itinerary.
When we arrived for our journey we were provided with a basic map, protective wear and sturdy helmets. Our backpacks were then checked in ready to be transported by MotorVina to our end point in Hoi An.
This service is provided by MotorVina free of charge!
If you don’t feel confident riding on Vietnam’s crazy roads, do not worry. MotorVina offer guided tours or alternatively you can ride on the back of one of their tour guide’s bikes.
Hai Van Pass Tour and Where to Stop
There are many different stops between Hue and Hoi An that are worth seeing. The most popular are shown on the map provided by MotorVina and are as follows.
The first stop on the route is Elephant Springs. For around 100,000VND ($4) you are able to experience swimming in warm fresh springs that have formed on the side of a mountain somewhere between Hue and Lang Co Bay.
The springs themselves can prove difficult to find using the basic map provided by MotorVina. It may be worth saving the location on google maps before your journey.
Off the main road, just before the only tunnel on the route, there is a small turning for Elephant Springs. About 1km down the small winding road you will reach the springs.
Sadly the location is very popular with organised tour groups and it can become very crowded during peak times. We enjoyed a refreshing swim soundtracked by some thumping house music.
This wasn’t ideal for us, but we didn’t regret our stop. It will still an enjoyable experience, despite the party atmosphere!
Lang Co Bay
Shortly after Elephant Springs, the route takes you through the small fishing town of Lang Co Bay, at the foot of Hai Van Pass. We made the decision to stay in a hotel on Lang Co Bay’s long stretch of beach in order to extend our trip.
The beach itself is stunning and worth a visit, even if you do not intend on staying overnight. `It is easily accessible off the main road.
The bay comes inland and has arguably the fish restaurant in Vietnam. Certainly the best fish restaurant we have visited!
Be Than restaurant can be found at the end of a pier on stilts over the bay. Here we were able to choose fresh fish from the tanks and eat our meals as the sun went down.
From the restaurant we also witnessed the sky turn completely pink, like nothing we have ever seen in our lives. One of the most impressive scenes we have seen since being in Vietnam.
Hai Van Pass View Point
Hai Van Pass is a stretch of coastal road that runs directly between Lang Co Bay and Da Nang. The 21km drive has some of the most incredible views in Vietnam and is an extremely popular route for tourists and locals.
We actually found it very difficult to not stop to stop at every opportunity whilst we were riding our bikes through Hai Van Pass. There is an unforgettable view around every corner.
It is also an extremely difficult ride for someone who has never been on a motorbike before. Some of the corners are lethal!
There is a viewpoint at the very top of the mountain from which you can see the winding route behind you and DaNang City ahead. The viewpoint does become extremely overcrowded with bus tours, cyclists and motorcyclists, but it is definitely worth stopping for.
When approaching DaNang it is important to remember to stay on the coastal road. If you do not you may end up driving through the busy city centre, which could be very daunting for a new motorcyclist.
The coastal road is stunning in itself. With the sun beaming, skyscrapers lining the road and palm trees lining the white sandy beach, it’s difficult to tell whether you are in Vietnam or in LA.
It is also a great place to stop for fresh seafood!
The Marble Mountains
On the far side of DaNang before you reach Hoi An there are five limestone hills, known as the Marble Mountains.
At the base of the hills you can find cafe’s and souvenir shops selling marble statues and trinkets. For a small fee of around 100,000VND ($4) you are able to explore the Marble Mountains.
Within the mountains you can explore hidden caves, temples and marble statues. You are also able to climb to the top of the mountains to enjoy an incredible view across DaNang.
However, we advise you don’t attempt this when the sun is blaring and it’s 37 degrees. I’m sure we lost 50% of our water content through doing so!
Arrive in Hoi An
MotorVina has a store just on the main route into the city. Here you can hand your motorbikes back and collect your luggage.
We decided to spend 4 days in Hoi An and we did not regret it.
There is plenty to do in the area and it really is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Whilst here we visited many of the cities main attractions. The most impressive being the Old Town, a UNESCO world heritage site.
Colourful French colonial buildings and Chinese shophouses line the streets. The streets themselves are alight with colourful lanterns in the evenings and the city is alive with street performers.
During the day you can spend hours wandering the streets, exploring the markets and stopping for coffees in the many quirky cafes.
Other attractions in the area include:
- An Bang Beach
- Phung Hung House
- Cantonese Assembly Hall
- Precious Heritage by Rehan Museum
- Banh Mi Phuong
This journey combines my favourite locations in Vietnam. `It is one I am sure we will do again during our time here.
I would suggest it to anyone planning on travelling through Vietnam!