Asian Business Ride, Day 3, Hue to Da Nang
We leave the splendour of ancient Hue on our way to Da Nang. Our first challenge is the Hai Van Pass, the highest mountain pass in the country and one of the most scenic hillside roads in Vietnam. The meaning of Hai Van is wind and cloud or sea cloud. True to its meaning, wind in Hai Van Pass moves like a herd of horses galloping! Before ascending, we stop for lunch at the village of Lang Co sitting on the tip of a long peninsula separating a shallow lagoon from the sea.
The pass is the last spur of the Throng Son Range that reaches to the sea. As described by a 17th Century Vietnamese scholar, Hai Van seems to stands with feet in the sea and its summit covered with clouds. The road over Hai Van Pass opened in the end of 19th century and is over 21 kilometers long and 435 meters above sea level.
The pass is crowned with the vestiges of a fortified gateway built by the French that is now covered with moss. This gateway acts as entrance and exit points of Thuan Hoa and Quang Nam provinces. These points are indicated by the inscribed words “Hai Van Gate” on the one facing Thua Thein and “the most grandiose gateway in the world” on the one looking down on Quang Nam. One of the major attractions is the panoramic view of the Danang City, with its Tien Sa port, Son Tra peninsula and long white sandy beach.
Our onward ride brings us into Da Nang, Vietnam’s third City and a very warm welcome from City officials, a visit to the Da Nang Women’s & Children’s Hospital and a Vietnamese style thank you celebration.