The fort passage framing the Danang Bay view
One of the “must-see” in Vietnam is the Road from Da Nang to Hue. In fact, National Geographic included this scenic route as one of the 50 Places of a Lifetime under the Country Unbound category. And passing by this route twice, first via a train to Hue (which the experience warrants a separate entry later) and on the back of a motorcycle on our way back, it definitely is a road worth tripping.
View of the road and the South China Sea
The travel time from the road from Da Nang to Hue takes around 2 ½ to 3 hours depending on your mode of transportation. There are the regular buses, mini-buses operated by tour cafes, motorcycles, rented cars and trains to choose from. But since I wanted to relax first after an almost 3 hours plane ride from Singapore we chose to go by the train first. We took the new SE train which is faster, but since we were seated on the left side, we weren’t able to see much of the view. And there were no stopovers.
Old French Fort at the highest point of Hai Van Pass
However on our way back, we rode on the back of a motorcycle and we were in control on when and where to stop. We traversed through the very curvaceous and sometimes narrow road known as the Hai Van Pass, which means “Pass of the Ocean Clouds”. The highway which also serves as a boundary between North and South Vietnam is located 1500m above sea level. Most of the time clouds and fogs descend on this road which can be dangerous during the rainy season. Fortunately for us, the weather was great and we were able to see the views in all its splendor and glory.
A passing train on the road
At the highest point of the highway you’ll pass by Hoang Duc Thu or the Old French Fort. This structure serves as a watch tower by the French since it gives an excellent 360 degrees view of the surrounding landscapes. Vietnamese and the Americans used this as well. But today, you may also want to use this to keep yourself distant from those aggressive souvenir vendors on the stopover stalls by the roadside.
Lang Co Fishing Village
Also in this highway, you’ll pass by this very idyllic community on a little patch of island where you’ll find the Lang Co fishing village. It’s a very scenic place and the beaches are a solitary paradise. It’s just a perfect stop to freshen up at its white sand beach or just stare at the amazing view of the sea and the mountains without too much crowded or annoying vendors around.
The solitary paradise of Lang Co Beach
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.