22 MARCH 2020
Hash Flashers: Secs, Uncle, Mr. T
Ringmaster: NA - circle cancelled due to coronavirus
We met at Lily’s Baradise this week for a slightly different Hash, modelled along the lines of a small group of like-minded people going for an afternoon stroll, with no fees and byo drinks and food. However, the participants were new and existing members of VTH3 and a truncated ‘Circle’ was held at the end, so the gathering qualifies for a run number: #929.
We took a group photo outside Lily’s and headed off to the familiar Hem 89 steps and up to Vi Ba. From there it was up the dirt track a little further along Vi Ba to the plateau crossroads – where some elected to climb further and follow the Ho May Park wall around to the ‘telegraph poles’ descent, and others took the more direct route across the side of Big Mountain on the old ‘M90’ trail.
Trail markings didn’t really matter on this occasion, as both groups stayed together or in occasional sub-groups on mostly well-defined walking tracks – but it was interesting to see how Uncle’s red marker tapes occasionally turned green (leprechauns, perhaps?).
We all eventually completed our chosen walks and strolled back to Lily’s for more conviviality, and to consume our byo food (apples, anyone? mangos?) and drink (a lot of water in evidence today!). The layout at Lily’s is ideal for small gatherings in the current Covid-19 environment because of the open air setting throughout.
In possibly the shortest ‘Circle’ of recent times, the day’s walking routes received a ‘full marks’ score of 10/10, everyone was declared a sinner ‘winner’, and a show of hands was called to indicate preferences for future run models: no fees/byo? or fees and subsidised food/drinks? The latter won ‘hands down’, noting that we must still act in accordance with government directives and most current advice of the day – whilst continuing to show empathy for local residents and good old common sense.
As always, the vungtauhash.com website and current mailing list will be the source of all official VTH3 information each week.
Explainer – Hashing in Vung Tau: VTH3 has recently moved to a new Hash kennel at Lily’s Baradise (formerly Tommy’s), 3 Le Ngoc Han, Ward 1. Mismanagement continues unchanged: Mr T, Secs, Cleaver, Chom Chom, Zidane, Faulty Brakes. There’s another group in Vung Tau, but it’s a ‘spin-off/breakaway’ with no official standing. VTH3’s operations continue to be reassessed week by week to ensure compliance with the VN government’s latest edicts and advice whilst Covid-19 remains a threat to health, safety and public order.
RUN 929 PHOTO GALLERY
HASH FLASH - UNCLE
HASH FLASH - MR. T, SECS
15 MARCH 2020
Hash Flashers: Chom Chom, Uncle, Mr. T
We met as usual at Lily’s Baradise on Sunday, with a slightly depleted turnout apparently due to coronavirus concerns – although Mismanagement had done the right thing and avoided putting Hashers into close proximity of each other by setting a local run instead of the originally planned away trail, where a bus would have been required.
We headed off to Vi Ba Hem 36 via Le Ngoc Han Hem 89 steps for the ‘Chalk Talk’ from Hare Uncle for what he called the “Hem 36 trail”: Up Hem 36 following Bao La restaurant signs, turn off blacktop well before the pagoda onto white concrete road and follow red & white roadside barriers (and red tapes) around the side of the mountain keeping to the lower level, then sharp left up to the ‘big house’. Around the ‘big house’, up steep slope, then left onto clearly marked jungle track heading back around side of the mountain (careful on downhill stretch – very slippery), then down to large pagoda rest area above ornamental steps on upper end of Hem 36, then left down to Vi Ba and reverse route back to Lily’s.
“On On” we went, and it was only when we reached Big Mountain ‘proper’ that sod’s law came into play – with casualties and false trails splitting the pack asunder!
A couple of phone calls later and order was restored, with Hare Uncle getting some additional exercise running between three different groups of Hashers in various parts of the trail (actually four if you count the few inside the ‘big house’ courtyard!), while ‘ailing Hash’ Chom Chom doubled as duty medic.
Everyone eventually made it back safely to Lily’s, where the usual banh mi’s, watermelon and mangos awaited – along with ice-cold Sagota beer, softies and water.
The team photo was taken across the road for a change of scenery, and then the Circle was called by duty Ringmaster Uncle, assisted by Religious Advisor for the day, Mr T.
Various scores were given for the trail, ranging from 10 to 10,000 – with the final score settled at 37! Just one Hash Virgin today: ‘Kiwi/Aussie’ Pete, who was welcomed along with visitor David (Vanuatu Hash, amongst others), and several returnees.
It was decided that chemical imbalance and following bright red instead of pale red (“pink”?) ribbons to forge false trails failed to qualify as punishable sins(!), so we moved right along to the main event – this week’s ‘Namings’ (aka Christenings, Baptisms, etc). Hash names were bestowed upon ‘peculiar writing’ fan Quang Minh Hoang: “Doyle” (Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, that is, of Sherlock Holmes fame…); Uncle and Anti’s niece Minh Anh: “Sunny” (for her infectious smile); and Zic Zac and Thoa Tran’s lovely twin daughters Minh Du and An Dy, who will henceforth be known by their preferred names, “Kelly” and “Sally”. Welcome one and all – you are the next generation of Vung Tau Hash!
Moving onto ‘Other business’, it was decided that the most practical way of deciding local or away runs in the current ‘Covid-19’ environment would be for Mismanagement to follow VN government and health department edicts and advise members of ‘next run’ details before the weekend via the vungtauhash.com website and associated mailing list – the only official, fully authorised communication from and about VTH3.
The Circle was then closed and conviviality continued – much longer for some than others, with several of the usual suspects spotted at Lily’s square bar well after darkness fell – On On!
Explainer – Hashing in Vung Tau: VTH3 has recently moved to a new Hash kennel at Lily’s Baradise (formerly Tommy’s), 3 Le Ngoc Han, Ward 1 as a result of securing valued sponsorship from Sagota Beer. Mismanagement continues unchanged: Mr T, Secs, Cleaver, Chom Chom, Zidane, Faulty Brakes. There’s another group in Vung Tau, but it’s a ‘spin-off/breakaway’ with no name as yet, and no official standing.
RUN 928 PHOTO GALLERY
HASH FLASH - CHOM CHOM
HASH FLASH - UNCLE / ANTI
8 MARCH 2020
LONG SON ISLAND
Hares: Mr.T, Uncle
Hash Flashers: Chom Chom, Uncle, Mr. T
We arrived at Lily’s Baradise (formerly Tommy’s) to the welcome sight of a gleaming white
50-seat coach – this was going to be a luxurious ride to Long Son island for VTH3 run #927!
Even more welcome was the sight of so many new and familiar faces – 52 in all – chatting
excitedly about the day ahead!
Mismanagement and helpers moved about like a well-oiled machine filling eskies, packaging
food (lots of food!), and storing everything on the Hashmobile. Meanwhile, Hash Cash
Cleaver counted his ‘beans’, handed out change with a smile, and complimented the ladies
on International Women’s Day 2020!
A short but very comfortable drive to Long Son soon saw us parking in the spacious grounds
of restaurant 999, where we disembarked, offloaded, and Lead Hare Mr T outlined the trail:
through the residential areas, then up onto the mountain, down to more residential areas,
and finish at 999. “Follow the red tape” was ringing in everybody’s ears as we headed off for
With what must surely be a record number of junior hashers (word about the famous Long
Son chicken must have spread fast!), the pack was soon strung out, with hares front and
rear to make sure no-one ‘disappeared’ on the many narrow dirt tracks along the trail.
As well as the famous wild chicken, Long Son is well known to experienced hashers for its
friendly locals – always ready with a wave and a smile. “Xinh chao” was probably heard
more times than “On on” as we continued onto the mountain and the feast that awaited
The trail was very pleasant, with plenty of shady trees and bushes – mostly flat or slight
gradient – and Ailing Hash Uncle eventually shepherded the final group through the
restaurant gates, whereupon they made straight for the colourful eskies and refreshing
contents of ice-cold Sagota beer, softies and water! Many plates of fruit were already
chopped, sliced and served on the tables (thanks, ladies!) along with “enough banh mi to
sink a battleship”, to paraphrase a famous old saying! Meanwhile, the smiling restaurant
staff prepared famous Long Son wild chicken and assorted dips.
Conviviality is defined as “the quality of being friendly and making people feel happy and
welcome” – and that certainly applied to the 52 Hashers tucking into the glorious food and
drinks, introducing themselves and chatting about the day’s trail and other matters of
mutual interest, while several junior hashers staged an impromptu sword fight with
“weapons” from Long Son’s famous old “balloon man” – also well known to hashers from
years gone by.
The fellowship continued with the team photo and “cutting the cake” for International
Women’s Day; then the Circle, called by duty Ringmaster, Zidane.
The trail was awarded full marks, 10 out of 10 (despite attempts by one of the hares to add
a few extra points on top!), then record numbers of Hash Virgins and Returnees were
welcomed and introduced – with nearly a dozen different countries represented (the Circle
was polled for names of countries, but your scribe didn’t have a pencil and still suffers from
fading memory – sorry about that!).
And then the Circle was asked the same question as every week since the need to take
sensible precautions for COVID-19 began: “Home or away trail next week?” The majority
vote was in favour of an away run, ie bus ride – so details will be advised via Vung Tau
Hash Facebook, website and official mailing list with calls for registration to help
Mismanagement control the logistics.
Then the Circle was closed, eskies and assorted Hash assets packed away and it was “On
back” in the Hashmobile (drinks served by Chom Chom!) to Lily’s Baradise, and an end to
what had been one of the best days in memory for 52 very happy Hashers!
Explainer – Hashing in Vung Tau: VTH3 has recently moved to a new Hash kennel at
Lily’s Baradise (formerly Tommy’s), 3 Le Ngoc Han, Ward 1 as a result of securing valued
sponsorship from Sagota Beer. Mismanagement continues unchanged: Mr T, Secs, Cleaver,
Chom Chom, Zidane, Faulty Brakes. There’s another group in the area but it’s a ‘spin-
off/breakaway’ with no official standing and is not supported by VTH3.
The only official Hash communication in Vung Tau remains unchanged: the vungtauhash.com website and associated VTH3 mailing list; anything else can be safely ignored.
RUN 927 PHOTO GALLERY
HASH FLASH - CHOM CHOM
HASH FLASH - UNCLE
1 MARCH 2020
Hares: Mr.T, Secs, Uncle
Hash Flashers: Chom Chom, Uncle, Mr. T
More familiar faces this week at Lily’s Baradise (formerly Tommy’s) as we gathered for run #926 on Big Mountain – including veteran Hasher Lady Di and friends! Cleaver managed the registration with his usual good humour and then taxis were summoned, filled and despatched to the start point at 750 Tran Phu – with at least one taxi taking the long way around the mountain (note to Grab users – the driver might get the address right, but always check they’re taking the shortest route!).
We strolled through the residential area to the pagoda gates at Hem 33, where lead-hare Mr T outlined the trail: up the steps to the Cambodian Temple, then follow the well-marked track around the mountain until a final climb up to Ho May Park road. Cross the road and follow “Paul’s old trail” to the left and around the southern face of Big Mountain, circumventing Ho May Park, then down Vi Ba with a choice of White House or Hem 89 steps back to Lily’s – where coldies, banh mi’s and fruits await!
“On on” we went, with the pack separating into smaller groups as we advanced further and further along the trail. All went well until we came to the Ho May Park wall, and that’s where the fun really started – with few if any hashers completing the journey without slipping on the dry soil and/or leaves made even more treacherous by the steep angle of the mountainside; it was tricky going indeed, and frequent rest stops were the order of the day!
We finally made it to Vi Ba and started downhill, surprised by the number of locals and tourists having returned for the popular walk which had been shelved in recent weeks because of coronavirus concerns about gathering in large groups.
Everyone made it safely back to Lily’s – with Chom Chom and Mr T doing their ‘ailing hash’ duties to try and round-up the stragglers.
The ice-cold Sagota beer, softies and water were very welcome to cool down thirsty hashers – with banh mi’s, water melon and mango to fill any remaining space!
Several hashers had to leave early this week but, undeterred, we rolled out the Sagota-VTH3 banner for the team photo, with a focus on quality instead of quantity (as a wise man said recently, “It’s not about numbers, anyway…”!).
The trail was rated an outrageous 400,000 out of 10 (the cost of tickets to Ho May Park, which we’d just circumvented free of charge!), with co-hares Mr T and Uncle drinking absentee co-hare Secs’ share to wild applause! Returnees and Hash Virgins were welcomed after their introductions, with only one sinner this week for misdemeanours real and imagined (what was the charge again?).
The usual ‘coronavirus poll’ was taken, with majority support for an away trail next week unless the situation deteriorates (any changes to conform with health department advice will be notified via vungtauhash.com and associated VTH3 mailing list). Mr T then did a ‘King Solomon’ and said next week’s trail will be on ‘mid-point’ Long Son Island, to minimise the amount of time spent on a bus.
The Circle closed with everyone invited to continue the fellowship to background music from a troubadour hired by our host at Lily’s, Mr Rob – and the opportunity of contributing to the usual weekly raffle run by the Vung Tau Veterans and Friends Children's Fund, an extremely worthwhile cause for local disadvantaged children.
Update on last week’s footnote: Some confusion remains around the current Hash situation in Vung Tau. VTH3 continues unchanged except having moved to a new Hash kennel: Lily’s Baradise, as a result of gaining a new sponsor, Sagota beer. There’s another group still operating out of the former Hash kennel, but it’s a ‘spin-off/breakaway’ with no official standing - at least not until they register a different name with the global Hash community. In the meantime, the only official Hash communication in Vung Tau is via the vungtauhash.com website and associated VTH3 mailing list.
RUN 926 PHOTO GALLERY