Good information about trip Hue to Hoian
Road trip from Hue to Hoian is the most exciting part of a solo backpacker’s travel in Vietnam. From Hue, you can take either bus which the cheapest way. Some opt to use motorbike, as it is more adventurous. Or the most convenient and safest way, private car.
Before deciding, I did some research and learned that taking the bus from Hue to Hoian is not that bad but you will see these wonderful places in a distance. While with motorbike, it is more for adventurous people, but a little dangerous because Hai Van Pass is popularly known as caused of many accidents and deaths and the reason why Vietnam government created the longest tunnel in Southeast Asia. And the private car, which is a little costly, but it is safer, can relax in the car and ask driver to stop anywhere I want to.
Luckily, a couple from Denmark wanted to go to Hue to Hoian tour only if they going travel with someone else to share the fees of the tour with a 4 seater car. The day before the tour, we agreed that we are going to start this one day long trip by 8am.
I got picked up from my hotel around 7:45 AM. I met with my temporary buddies sand our driver, Rin, at VM Travel office few minutes before 8:00 am to settle the fees. Though the management offered us that we pay after the tour, we insisted to in advance. We paid the price agreed upon during our chat with their staff. The transaction was smooth and they did not try to sell or offer anything else, I made sure there are no hidden charges as well, that all the entrance fees are included.
Thanh Toan Bridge was the first stop, just few kilometers away from the city center. The bridge is famous it is the only one Japanese looking bridge aside from the one in Hoi An. A small village museum is just few meters away from the bridge. The museum shows the life of the village during the war. We did not stay long at the small town. The goal is finished Hue to Hoian tour and get back Hue before 7pm.
Our driver, Rin, constantly checking his passengers if we’re okay. When we reached Tam Giang Lagoon, he slows down the car for us to enjoy the view and take some pictures and also made a small introduction on this wide lagoon as an oyster farm. Informed us about the Bach Ma Mountain, as a famous trekking park and also holds a historical importance being the French Hill Station during the Indochina war.
It was around 10 AM when reached Lang Co beach. We got off the car and experienced the white sand and cool water. We did not stay long as it was hot and we all wanted to get back to comfort of the seats and air conditioner of the car. But we stopped right before the Hai Van Pass to have a better look of the beach and the lagoon on the other side of it.
While we were at Hai Van Pass, I can tell why there are so many accidents in this area. The road is winding, too many sharp and blind curves. And it could make you car sick as well. But the view is amazing even if we were still far from the viewpoint. You should not miss this when you’re on Hue to HoiAn tour. Since it is a sunny day, we can clearly see the beauty of the East Sea and Bach Ma Mountains. At the viewpoint, the beauty of Danang City is apparent. I can understand why French built villas in this area. Local stores surrounding the area serve refreshing drinks and their best seller is the cold Vietnamese Coffee.
Danang City is somewhat similar to Dubai, tall buildings, long and huge bridges, and close to the famous beach, My Khe Beach and luxurious hotels at the beach front. No wonder it earned place in top 100 beaches in the world. Now I understand why there are more tourists in this beach compared to Lang Co beach. Dipping in the water of My Khe Beach is amazing most especially when it’s hot as this day. Different water activities are available though they are costly but I think it would worth experience and fun.
Next stop, Non Nuoc Stone Carving Village, which is found at the foot of Marble Mountain. The village uses the stones from the Marble Mountain to sculpt something more beautiful that it already is. From a small sculptor to huge ones, they sculpt here. Stores are open for public display. It’s perfect for a backpacker like me who wants to appreciate the beauty of everything but doesn’t plan to add more baggage.
Marble Mountain is not famous for nothing. We took the elevator to climb the Thuy Son Mountain. It’s an additional 15000 VND to use the elevator on top of 15000 VND entrance fee. Well, it is actually a good idea because when we got up, the small looking mountain got bigger. There are a lot of pagodas and caves. These holy places for Vietnamese are amazing. Most of them have been here for years. To visit all the places, it could take more than an hour.
It’s almost 1PM when we finished the Marble Mountain tour but we asked Rin if he can take us to Hoi An immediately so we can just eat lunch there. We went directly to Hoi An old town, walking around the town makes me curious how beautiful it would be during the night because lanterns are everywhere. The restaurant felt like one setting from an old Asian movie, very traditional and cozy. But they serve both local dishes and western food.
Going around Hoi An old town costs 120000 per person, but sure is worth it. Stores for locally tailored silk clothing are everywhere. They can even personalize it for you, they get your sizes and you can go around the old town and go back after the tour and take your newly sewed dress or suit.
We finished the Hoi An old town tour around 4PM. We could’ve stayed until the sunset so we can have a glimpse of the town in the evening but all of us decided to go back Hue instead. The ride back to Hue was short because we took the Hai Van Tunnel – the longest tunnel in Southeast Asia, instead of taking the Hai Van Pass again, the usual and fastest way to get from Hue to Hoian. I got back to my hotel in Hue by 6PM.