Hai Van Pass

Hai Van Pass is lying on National Highway No1A on the border between Thua Thien - Hue Province and Danang City.
Hai Van Pass is like a giant dragon and which is considered to be one of the largest frontier posts in Vietnam. The name De Nhat Hung Quan, meaning the most colossal frontier post, is engraved on an incense burner in Thai Temple.

In the past, Hai Van Pass was known as the Thuan Hoa and Quang Nam frontier. In the early 14th century (1306), Che Man, a king from Cham Pa, offered two mountainous administrative units of O and Ri as engagement gifts to Princess Huyen Tran, daughter of King Tran Nhan Tong. On his way to see off the Princess in the Quang area in a summer sunny noon, the King and his entourage were on horse back for almost half a day but could not reach the top of the pass. Facing upwards, the King saw a rampart of mountains in dim clouds, and at the foot of the pass, an immense ocean, of waves. Though sorry for his daughter's difficult journey, the king was comforted by the closer ties between the two nations.

Whenever one goes through Hai Van Pass, two feelings are experienced: amazement at passing through the clouds and fear when seeing the dangerous bends of the road. A 21km-long road over Hai Van Pass, opened at the end of the 19th century, winds back and forth to a height of 435m above sea level. With sudden curves and blind corners, Hai Van Pass is likened to an arrogant but beautiful girl challenging drivers' skills. Its name means "Pass of the Ocean Clouds," since the peak of the mountain is in the clouds while its foot is close to the sea.

From the top of Hai Van Pass, one can admire Lang Co Beach to the north and Danang to the south. The curving railway through Hai Van Pass is 3,200m long including sections running through seven tunnels. There are endless forests to the west of Hai Van Pass and the ocean is to the east. Hai Van Pass is a real challenge for drivers, as well as for adventurers.

On a journey through the land, Hai Van is always an attractive landscape. Hai Van is highest pass in the country, full of perilous obstacles and is the last spur of the Truong Son Range reaching to the sea. In “Phu Bien Tap Luc”, Le Qui Don, the Viet Nam scholar who lived in the XVII century wrote that Hai Van with its foot standing in the sea surface and its summit covered with clouds. The pass standings as a borderline divide Thuan Hoa and Quang Nam provinces.

On the top of the pass are the vestiges of long ago, a fortified gateway. The gate facing to Thua Thien province is inscribed with the three words “Hai Van gate” and the other gate looking down on Quang Nam province is engraved “the most grandiose gateway in the world”. In the XVI century this land belonged to Cham Kingdom and was given to the Dai Viet as an engagement present for the Princess Huyen Tran of the Tran Dynasty. The old story is only a memory, old vestiges covered with green moss, among vast spaces vast of plants and trees, tourists are filled with the emotions of the past.

Hai Van means winds and clouds. Winds like a herd of horses galloping a number of miles, clouds like pouring from haven. Cao Ba Quat, the poet living in the XVII century only respected apricot blossom (Nhat sinh de thu bai mai hoa) was surprised when he was before the landscape: Nhat bich ngung vi gioi – Trung van nhieu tac thanh. On the summit of Hai Van pass, a panorama of the Danang city, Tien Sa port, Son Tra peninsular, Cu Lao Cham and a long white sandy beach can be seen.

Whatever endowed by nature, time by time and by hands of man will be something of humanitarian values. Coming to Hai Van is to come to the sanction of two land, to satisfy the peak-conquering philosophy, to mix ourselves in to echo of heroic songs of Vietnamese ancients when they went to find new lands to be emotional to prolong past of the Center region where suffering a lot of losses in the course of finding and protecting the nation.