I love any opportunity to take the slow path. After all – the fun is in the journey – not necessarily the place. Our Vietnam travel itinerary called for overland transportation from Hue to Da Nang (and ultimately Hoi An) – I was pretty excited when our guide, Ngoc, told us that we had two options – a high road and a low road – and we would be taking the high road crossing Hải Vân Pass.
This notoriously dangerous pass in Vietnam is 13 miles long and winds through the Annamite Range that juts into the South China Sea along National Road 1A. The 1,600 foot elevation isn’t the danger, the weather is actually what makes the pass dangerous. The Vietnamese name Đèo Hải Vân means “ocean cloud pass” as the area traditionally gets a lot of ocean mist and fog making the visibility on the pass poor. However a ‘lower route’ was created in 2005, the Hải Vân Tunnel—the longest tunnel in Southeast Asia—offers an alternative road across the pass, reducing travel times by at least an hour.
Tunnel With No View VS. Twisting, Curving Mountain Road
Is there really even a question on what you'd rather do?