Backpackers, the people who enjoy being constantly on the roads, have different favorite destinations from the typical tourists. With its hilly terrain, the S-shaped Vietnam has produced many beautiful mountain passes that holds much appeal to backpackers.
Song Pha Mountain Pass
Song Pha is one of the most charming mountain passes in Vietnam. Located on Highway 27, it connects two provinces of Ninh Thuan and Lam Dong along Ninh Son valley and the Lang Biang Plateau. From Central Highlands, it’s the gateway to Central Region and vice versa.
Song Pha Mountain Pass in Southern Vietnam
Song Pha Pass is over 20 km in length, whose slope is 9 degrees on average. On the Ngoan Muc Pass, there is a road that winds through many hills forming the exciting shape of the pass. Once you stop and view, you’ll see the indescribable charm of Song Pha Pass.
Along with Song Pha, there are streams cutting across the cliffs, hills, and mountains with a variety of plants. Coming to the pass in winter afternoons, you can witness the forest changing color from green to red. Wild sunflowers, pine trees bloom on both sides of the road, creating an impression of a peaceful area.
Hon Giao Mountain Pass
Situated 60 km from Dalat (Lam Dong), Hon Giao is also called Khanh Le, Bidoup or Omega. On the road from Dalat, you’ll pass through large primitive forests, lots of cliffs with creeks and gorgeous waterfalls, the villages of Cil, K'Ho people until Hon Giao with a height of 1.700 m. On the pass, you can witness layers of fog surrounding the place, making the atmosphere more enchanting than ever.
Hon Giao Pass in Lam Dong
Hon Giao Pass is particularly favored by those who love to explore. Every time you turn to another direction, a new scene that is both magnificent and romantic with mountains, foggy jungles is opened in front of your eyes. The scenes change by seasons and are never the same. Sunrise is the most beautiful time of the day when the sunshine is gentle, the fog is not too thick and not too thin.
Ca Mountain Pass (Phu Yen)
This mountain pass is one of the biggest and most dangerous ones in Central Vietnam. It’s 333 m high, 12 km long, crosses Dai Lanh mountain at the border of Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa Provinces.
Ca Mountain Pass runs close to the sea. On the way, tourists can admire the beautiful scenery of Vung Ro Bay. On the one side there are cliffs; on the other side, there is the beautiful blue sea. From afar, you can see many small islands lying in the middle of the ocean.
From the pass, you can also see the countryside, rice fields surrounded by mountains, beautiful as a picture. Maybe your heart will stop beating for a second.
Hai Van Mountain Pass (Da Nang)
It’s not only among the most attractive mountain passes to backpackers but it’s also one of the top must-see destinations in Vietnam for all tourists.
Hai Van Mountain Pass is 500 m in height, 20 km in length, crossing Bach Ma Mountain at the border of Thua Thien Hue Province and Da Nang City. The mountain pass used to be very dangerous and it still is nowadays. However, many visitors still love to travel on the pass by motorbikes. On beautiful days, they can view vividly a part of Da Nang city, Tien Sa Harbour – Son Tra Peninsula, Cu Lao Cham and long golden sand beaches that stretch the seemingly endless blue sea.
Tam Diep Mountain Pass (Ninh Binh)
Tam Diep is not only a tourist attraction but it’s also a historical relic.
Located in Tam Diep town, 18 km to the south of Ninh Binh City. Tam Diep Mountain Pass consists of three limestone mountains running from Hoa Binh. The first pass is about 68m high, pass in the middle is 110 m high, the third pass is 80 m high.
Tam Diep Mountain Pass in Ninh Binh
In the past, Tam Diep Pass serves as a shield between the North and the Central area with a strategic military position. Partly thanks to the mountain pass, King Quang Trung defeated Thanh invaders. Since then, Tam Diep has become an inspiration to many poets and writers.
Bac Sum Mountain Pass (Ha Giang)
Bac Sum winds between Vi Xuyen and Quan Ba, taking the tourists to the plateau of Dong Van. From here, look down, you will see the houses standing on the verge of high mountains.
Bac Sum Mountain Pass in Ha Giang
The slopes are very steep, which motivates backpackers Each time to cross a slope, they have more strength and perseverance to keep moving. Once standing on the mountain pass, the visitors are rewarded with the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Ma Phuc Mountain Pass (Cao Bang)
Ma Phuc is located in Tra Linh district, Cao Bang Province. It is also the boundary of Hoa An and Tra Linh districts. The pass is 700m high above the sea level with the length of 3.5km, winding around limestone mountains. The climate here is pretty special. In winter it is extremely cold, while in the summer is pleasantly cool. Especially, this is the location where the local fair is held despite the tough terrain.
Legend has it that in the 11th century, hero Nung Tri Cao led the residents of Cao Bang to defeat Tong army and protect Vietnam’s territory. When coming back from the fight through a valley, the horse of Nung Tri Cao fell down due to exhaustion. Since then, the place where Nung Tri Cao’s horse fell was called Ma Phuc (Ma means horse and phuc means kneeling down).
Ma Phuc Mountain Pass in Cao Bang
Pha Din Mountain Pass (Dien Bien)
Pha Din is a 32-km mountain pass on Highway 6 with one part in Thuan Chau District, Son La Province and the other part in Tuan Giao District, Dien Bien Province. The starting point of the pass is 66 km to the west of Son La and the end of the pass is about 84 km from Dien Bien Phu City.
The beautiful Pha Dinh Mountain Pass
Clouds surround the atmosphere in the middle of Pha Din Pass. Somewhere on the road, you are able to see Muong Quai Valley with scattering small villages. But once at the mountain summit, everything you can see is the blue sky and the green forest that seem to combine into one beautiful picture.
O Quy Ho Mountain Pass (Lai Chau)
Also called Hoang Lien, O Quy Ho Mountain Pass is located on the 4D Highway that crosses the Hoang Lien Range, connecting the two provinces of Lao Cai and Lai Chau, with the peak also near the border between the two provinces. This is one of the longest, roughest and most majestic mountain passes in northern Vietnam.
Its 2000 m mount is called Heaven Gate, which is a famous tourist destination. From here you can take a glimpse into the valley of Lai Chau where the leg of Hoang Lien and watch the spectacular Fansipan peak
Ma Pi Leng Mountain Pass (Ha Giang)
I’m saving the best for last! Ma Pi Leng is a 20-km craggy mountain pass in Ha Giang Province, located on a road called Happy that connects Ha Giang City, Dong Van and Meo Vac Towns.
Ma Pi Leng Peak is in Dong Van Plateau which is about 1,200 m above sea level, formed by limestone, shale with many slides and cracks caused by mountain formation process. The terrain of this area is very jagged, with Nho Que River splitting Ma Pi Leng mount and Sam Pun where Vietnam-Chinese boundary marker is placed.
No words can describe the beauty of the nature on Ma Pi Leng mountain pass. Here you feel like being on the top of the world. The clouds are so close to your head, swallowing the horizon, put you in the middle of an enchanting paradise.
Ma Pi Leng Mountain Pass
Maybe right now all backpackers in the world want to travel to Vietnam immediately to discover these ten mountain passes. Even if you’re just a typical tourist, consider a trip to Vietnam too, because these attractions are too awesome to miss!