Drive Along Highway 1 South From Chan May to Lang Co and Da Nang
Chan May is found on the coast of central Vietnam and is conveniently located between Hue and Da Nang (also spelled Danang). Cruise ships port in Chan May so that guests can travel to one of these two cities on tours.
The Crystal Symphony offers a tour of Da Nang, with a stopover at China Beach and nearby Marble Mountains. The road south from Chan May (Hue was north of Chan May) is scenic with tall sand dunes along the coast and numerous rice paddies and water buffalo in the fields. Add the sight of locals in their typical conical hats, and you'll know you're definitely in Vietnam.
Crystal Symphony at the Dock
The Crystal Symphony stands tall in the flatlands surrounding the Chan May port.
Grazing Water Buffalo
Water buffalo are frequently seen in the countryside of Vietnam, much like cattle are in the USA.
Beach Sand Dune
The road leaving Chan May is flanked by huge sand dunes on the ocean side and fields of rice and cattle on the other.
Lagoon at Lang Co
This large lagoon near Lang Co is lovely, as is the beach. The Truong Son mountains provide an excellent backdrop for the lagoon.
Fishing Nets at Lang Co
Fishermen drop these nets into the water at night and then pull them back up full of fish.
Bridge Across Lagoon at Lang Co
The bridge leads to the Highway 1 tunnel beneath the Hai Van Pass. The road over the pass is one of Vietnam's most scenic, but also most dangerous.
The Hai Van Tunnel was completed in 2005. It is about 4-miles long and saves many miles for traffic that had to go over the Hai Van pass previously. Historically, the pass has long been an obstacle on the north-south highway 1 of Vietnam and once divided the Kingdoms of Champa and Dai Viet.
The scenic twisting road on the Hai Van pass has long been a challenge for Vietnamese drivers but nowadays, since the completion of Hai Van Tunnel, the driving time from Da Nang north to Hue has been cut back significantly. Motorbikes cannot drive through the tunnel, so many of them either take the pass road or pay to board their bike on a truck for passage through the tunnel.