Driving from Hue to Hoi An: Hai Van Pass and Marble Mountains

We hired a private car to transport us the 145 kms from Hue to Hoi An. The drive took us through the Hai Van Pass that would have offered breathtaking views of the coastline if the weather was more cooperative.

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Misty coastline. Pounding waves.

Along the way, we stopped to check out a watchtower and a bunker from the Vietnam War (called the American War in Vietnam).

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American watch tower from the Vietnam war. Notice all the bullet holes.

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For all my wedding planning and wedding photographer friends: epic wedding shot in the wind and rain, standing on remains of the watchtower complex.

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Sneaking a peak from the watch tower

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Inside an abandoned American bunker

We took a longer stop at Marble Mountains; a cluster of five marble and limestone hills. One of them, Thuy Son, is the one that can be accessible via 156 steps or pay 15000 dong (less than a Canadian dollar) for a ride on the glass elevator. We thought we were going up for the view. It was not the case. Thuy Son was filled with caves, Buddhist sanctuaries, altars and temples, statues and even a pagoda. We could have easily spent a day there if our driver wasn’t waiting below.

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Pagoda on Thuy Son

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My peeps

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Entrance to Huyen Khong Buddhist grotto

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Glimpsing a Guanyin statue carved into the stone cavern

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Extreme low light in the grotto. You really had to be there to experience the grandness of being inside a huge cavern that contained a large Buddha and a small temple. Felt like we were in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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Hiring a private car was definitely the right choice for getting from Hue to Hoi An (or the reverse). The drive was scenic and we got to visit a couple of sites that we would not have visited otherwise.

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