ClockTuesday, 25/06/2024 16:38

Significant handshake amid Hai Van cloudy sky

TTH.VN - It has been a few years since I had the chance to cross Hai Van Pass. I just thought the pass would be very deserted because, since the construction of the road tunnel, everyone chose that route for its safety and economy. However, it turns out that I was wrong, the pass remains bustling and vibrant.

Discovering the beauty of Hai Van PassThe project of conservation and promotion of the values of Hai Van Gate relic complex launched

 Photo angle of Hai Van Pass from north to south. Photo: Nguyen Phong

Those who cross the pass are predominantly tourists at home or abroad. They are not in a hurry but stroll and admire the scenery. Occasionally, encountering a beautiful road or a spectacular view, they stop the motorbikes or cars to contemplate and take pictures...

On account of the great number of tourists, many people take advantage of the locations with beautiful views, clear streams, and shady trees to open shops and eateries for business.

The area at the top of the pass remains the busiest even though the Hai Van Pass monument is being fenced off and cannot be visited because of the unfinished restoration (As planned,  by the end of the second quarter, this monument will be officially open to tourists).

I  stopped the car and walked around, willing to view the monument from afar behind the protective barrier. All of a sudden, my heart was filled with pure joy at the revival of a unique and famous monument of the country that had been "neglected" for ages and almost turned into ruins.

 Hai Van Gate monument restoration was finalized and planned to open to visitors at the end of the 2nd quarter of 2024

Hai Van Gate was built in the 7th year of Minh Mang (Binh Tuat - 1826).  Đại Nam thực lục chính biên (Chronicle of Great Vietnam, the official history of Nguyễn Dynasty) recorded: "In front and behind stands a gate (the front of the gate inscribed with three words “Hải Vân Quan” (Hai Van Gate), the back inscribed with 6 words “Thiên hạ đệ nhất hùng quan” (The world’s most heroic gate). The legend has it that the name “Thiên hạ đệ nhất hùng quan” was bestowed by King Le Thanh Tong, who stopped on Hai Van peak during the southern expedition more than 500 years ago.

Hai Van Gate identified as a key strategic location of Thuan Hoa - Phu Xuan - Hue in terms of military and road traffic is the southern gateway of this land. During the war, although the “Thousand-mile road" (National Highway 1A) was rerouted and no longer crossed Hai Van Gate, both the French and Americans recognized the important position of this peak. Therefore, they established here a system of blockhouses and fortifications to guard and control the vital traffic route. The traces of fierce battles have existed on every wall, brick…

 Hai Van Gate prior to restoration

More than a decade back, when stopping to "scout" Hai Van Quan, amid the cloudy sky, I vaguely remembered Malacca land of the neighboring Malaysia. Although only with a bay and a remaining part of an old fortress and a church destroyed by bombs, this land is turned into a luxury tourist area full of tourists.

Hai Van Gate can entirely become a highlight on the "north-south thousand-mile road", an appealing, impressive, and significant relaxing stopover point for tourists from Hue to Da Nang-Hoi An or vice versa. Therefore, I was bursting with joy when in 2017 Hai Van Gate was ranked as the National Monument.

We were even happier to receive the news that Thua Thien Hue and Da Nang City each contributed half of the cost, starting the project to preserve, restore, and promote the value of the Hai Van Gate monument with a total cost of 42 billion VND. The groundbreaking ceremony took place in late 2021, and now the beautiful and majestic appearance of an ancient Hai Van Gate exists amid the cloudy sky.

A precious monument has been saved. A unique and spectacular stopover point has come into being. Above all, it is also a significant symbol of Hue - Da Nang handshake, affirming the vitality and big contribution of "Central Vietnam’s Heritage Road" to the development of each locality and the country.

Story and photos: Dien Thong
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