Discover Vietnam in the 5 best road trips

WVR - Whether you’re thinking of hitting the road by car or by motorbike, here’s our pick of the best road trips to explore Vietnam with its many stretching hills, forests and rice fields, blue beaches and historical sites.
Đèo Hải Vân nhìn từ trên cao. (Nguồn: pinterest)
Hai Van Pass is considered one of the most spectacular routes in Vietnam. (Source: Pinterest)

Hai Van Pass

Known as one of the most beautiful passes in Vietnam and regarded as "the most majestic landscape", Hai Van Pass has long become the wish of many adventurers, who dream of conquering the pass and checking-in at Hai Van Gate at least once in their lifetime.

Hai Van Pass is located approximately 20km from the center of Da Nang city, about 8km from Hue. This is considered one of the most spectacular routes in Vietnam, bordered by jungle-clad mountains on one side and cliffs plunging down to the East Sea on the other.

The dramatic setting has made this road one of the most Instagrammed highways in the world – with a whopping 4298 pictures per mile!

In order to reach the top, visitors have to go through a winding road with extremely difficult turns. However, the reward for the winner is an endless open space of clouds and wind that blends with the ocean below. Stop at the mid-way point for a Vietnamese-style iced coffee in “Hon da cu rua” (Turtle Stone Cafeteria) and admire nature. While the pass officially ends at the windswept Lang Co Beach, most travelers continue for another hour to reach the former imperial city of Hue to gaze at its palaces and timeless tombs.

Hà Giang. (Nguồn: Getty Images)
Ha Giang Loop is one of the famous roads in Vietnam, tried by many domestic and foreign adventurers. (Photo: Getty Images)

Ha Giang Loop

Ha Giang Loop is referred to as a loop tourist route around Ha Giang province. Usually, the adventurers start from the milestone of Km No. 0 in Ha Giang city, passing through the districts of Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van, Lung Cu, round to Dong Van, Du Gia and end at the first milestone. Looking at the map, the route forms a circle around the mountains and forests of Ha Giang.

Motorbikes are the vehicles most chosen to freely explore the surrounding landscape.

The road has such beautiful landscapes that make visitors difficult to take their eyes off. In particular, the Ma Pi Leng Pass is hands-down the most scenic section of the drive, with jagged mountains winding around the emerald Nho Que River.

Therefore, Ha Giang Loop is one of the most famous adventure routes in Vietnam, introduced by many domestic and foreign adventurers.

Travellers should factor in a half-day for a boat trip on Nho Que River, in the quiet, cool space of Tu San alley - the deepest alley in Southeast Asia.

In addition, Ha Giang is also home to at least 10 different ethnic minorities and is the perfect destination for those who love to explore the culture and life of local people.

However, adventurers need to be careful because this route has winding passes, overlapping mountains and often has fog that limits visibility in the early morning.

Thác Bản Giốc. (Nguồn: Shutterstock)
Ban Gioc Waterfall - the largest natural waterfall in Southeast Asia and the fourth largest waterfall in the world among waterfalls located on the border between countries. (Photo: Shutterstock)

From Cao Bang to Ban Gioc Waterfall

The drive from Cao Bang to the churning Ban Gioc Waterfall, which straddles the China-Vietnam border, takes adventurers through some of Northern Vietnam’s most pristine pastoral terrain. From Cao Bang to Ban Gioc, visitors can conquer the 3.5km-long Ma Phuc Pass, with its seven writhing bends offering gorgeous views of the terraced fields below, or the vast, stalactite-filled Nguom Ngao Cave, which extends for several kilometers underground.

When coming to Ban Gioc waterfall-the largest natural waterfall in Southeast Asia and the fourth largest waterfall in the world among waterfalls located on the border between countries, travellers can take in the falls from the viewing platforms or hop on a bamboo raft for a closer look at the impressive cascades from Quay Son.

Ban Gioc waterfall, which falls over 60m with the longest slope of 30m, consists of many successive limestone layers and stretches to hundreds of meters. In the middle of the waterfall, there is a large mound of land covered with many green trees, dividing the river's flow into 3 different branches.

Đèo Khánh Lê. (Nguồn:
Khanh Le Pass has many twists and turns, quite dangerous, with many sharp turns. (Source:

From Da Lat to Nha Trang

The route from Da Lat to Nha Trang was shortened from 200km to 120km when passing through Khanh Le Pass, which was built in 2004.

This short route helps travelers have special experiences with the changing landscape and climate. It begins in the hillsides around Dalat, where French colonists came to escape the oppressive heat of Saigon. This is a very unique area, where the scent of pine trees hangs in the air and farms cultivate strawberries, coffee and flowers instead of rice. Khanh Le Pass is also known as the "remembering" route because of its winding, winding and majestic natural scenery. Khanh Le Pass is also known as the remembering route because of its majestic winding natural scenery.

This pass has many dangerous twists and sharp turns. There is a precarious cliff on one side and a deep abyss with long slopes on the other side. Therefore, this dangerous route makes many adventurers extremely excited.

As the pass finishes, you descend from the mountains and the humidity begins to return. The adventurers go along a paved road that unfurls around hills and snakes through tiny villages all the way to the coast, where a dip in the turquoise waters of Nha Trang Beach makes for a worthy closure to this trip.

chợ nổi. (Nguồn: Shutterstock)

Visitors can experience the local life, visit Sa Dec flower garden or go west to experience the largest Can Tho floating market in the Mekong Delta. (Photo: Shutterstock)

From Ho Chi Minh City to My Tho

The route begins from a sprawling, smoggy city, then you’ll see the urban shrubbery give way to majestic palms, lush banana trees and glimmering waterways amongst the emerald rice paddies.

The best part of driving is taking your foot off the gas and losing yourself in the tiny riverside laneways and byways, where life moves at a very different pace to the buzzing streets of Ho Chi Minh City.

When eventually making it to My Tho – a town famed for its chewy noodle, pork and shrimp soup and featured river landscapes, you are able to enjoy local life, getting to the flower farms of Sa Dec by a short drive to the west and Can Tho, home to the largest floating market in the Delta, located to the southwest.

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