MARCH 27 2022
LONG HAI MOUNTAINS
Hares: Chippy, Secs, Have-A-Chat, Rocky,
Hash Flashers: Secs, Chom Chom, Have-A-Chat
Ringmaster: Chom Chom
After last weekend’s extravaganza of a trip to Ta Cu Mountain and Coco Beach Camp this week normal service resumed and we met once again at 1pm at our Hash Home Tommy’s. Faulty Brakes is back on registration duty and collects the fees from our Hashers, many of whom are sporting their brand new Vung Tau Hash T-Shirts - including our trusty Hashmobile driver, Mr. An. Meanwhile, a band of volunteers gather together the provisions for the trip and ensconce them in to our shiny new Saigon Beer eskies. With everything, and everyone ready, we hop on the Hashmobile and soon we are hurtling our way towards this week’s destination, Long Hai Mountains.
We disembark at one of our favourite Down-Down spots, Khu du lịch sinh thái Ngọc Xương, a charming little spot with a grassy bank and a fishing lake. Co-Hare, Secs, calls us to attention and tells us that this is about a 6km trail that will start with a pleasant 2km stroll through the rural countryside paths on the flat following red ribbon until we come to a road where we turn left and follow the road until we come to the steps that will guide us up the mountain, we are to keep an eye out for the red ribbons that will lead us in to the forest and follow the trail until it takes up again where will find ourselves at a pagoda which will give us some spectacular views. After the pagoda follow the steps down back to our Down-Down spot.
On-on, and our jaunt takes through the colourful, picturesque, village lanes flanked by mango trees, pig pens and blooming shrubs. We’re blessed to be graced with the presence of our Hash Lighters on this leg of the trail, however when we get to the road they leave us to head off on their own adventure. The rest of us head up the road and soon we are climbing the steps that will take us on to the mountain. It’s a hot, hot day, so we take our time as we continue to follow the exposed single track concrete path that snakes its way up the mountain. We look behind us to see a magnificent view of the seascape with the silhouette of Vung Tau in the distance.
The next leg of the trail soon arrives with an array of red ribbons indicating a left turn into the jungle. It's an easy enough trail, giving some shelter from the relentless sun as we duck and dive under dried out bamboo until we reach the ascent up a rocky path that takes us up to the pagoda. The quaint yellow temple provides a welcome respite and we take time to cool down, rehydrate and take full advantage of the array of hammocks on offer. Some spectacular view points provide a breezy chance to dry out our perspiration soaked new T-Shirts, whilst the usual selfie brigade take a myriad of photos.
But it is not over yet - we still have to get down. The descent is via many, many stone steps but we soldier on, our legs aquiver, as we enjoy the views afforded by the descent. As we finally arrive at the flat dirt path that leads to the Down-Down spot we breathe a sigh of satisfaction as the eskies have already been laid out waiting for us to slake our thirst with ice-cold Saigon beer and soft drinks.
Conviviality ensues as drinks are quaffed and delicious pork banh mis are devoured. Then it’s time for the circle. Chom Chom gathers everyone and as always first up are the Hares - Chippy, Have-A-Chat, Secs and Rocky, the trail is highly rated and beers are down-downed. Next up we have a couple of Virgins, including Joe from Las Vegas. A few returnees including Hot Pants and Doyle are welcomed back. Finally we wish Happy Birthday to HBO. A cake is cut and a thunderous rendition of “Happy Birthday” led by Have-A-Chat is bellowed out.
Just time to take the group photo and then it's back on the Hashmobile and before we know it we are back at Tommy’s where many of us enjoy copious amounts of Saigon Chill, some legendary woodfired Pizza and live music. Another great Sunday to follow on from last week’s momentous 1000th celebration. Until next week…
RUN 1001 GALLERY
MARCH 19-20 2022
TA CU MOUNTAIN / COCO BEACH CAMP
Hares: Chippy, Secs, Chom Chom, Mr. T
Hash Flashers: Secs, Chom Chom, Have-A-Chat
Ringmaster: Chom Chom
Report: Faulty Brakes
Congratulatory messages flooded in from the four corners of the globe on the occasion of Vung Tau’s Hash’s One Thousandth Run. From countries as far apart as Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Ireland and UK to acknowledge the entrance into the exclusive 1000 Club. A former member Richard Head also wished us future success.
How much has the world changed since 1992 when mobiles were only for exclusive use and had not entered into the realm of everyday use and computers on phones would have been just a pipe dream.The concept of hashing was conceived much earlier when the idea of walking up mountains and returning to swig copious amounts of beer and basically enjoying oneself.
The Vung Tau Hash Bugle is the symbol of Vung Tau hash, presented to the Hash by the original Grand Master and is not dissimilar to the concept of the mace in the House of Commons to theoretically exercise the power of the hash, legend has it that those who stray far from the original ideas will not have good fortune bestowed on them. The mismanagement committee lovingly and painstakingly restored the bugle some years at great expense and that’s the main reason it is only displayed on special occasions.
We were very grateful to Saigon Hash for they also being members of the 1000 Club and a recognized International Hash club founded in 1990 chose to celebrate the occasion at Coco Beach Camp Resort in La Gi with us.
The preparations began on Friday afternoon in Headquarters when supplies of beer and softies were pre-cooled ahead of the following day's excursion to Ta Cu Mountain. Saturday at 7.00am eager Hashers assembled for the forthcoming odyssey and at 7.30am we departed, full bus of able Hashers to head to La Gi. A pit stop occurred in Ho Tram at an old Down Down area which we had used previously, light refreshments and soon we were heading for the spectacular Nui Ta Cu to be joined in the Car Park with our brothers and sisters from Saigon both buses arriving at exactly the same time, there’s planning for you.
The choice as always was for what we call “Hashliters” to choose to climb up the 3 km trail to the Mountain or use the cable car, it’s impossible to put into words the spectacular breathtaking views which we encountered I will leave that to “the Chompster’s “ video. Relaxing and visiting the giant Buddha along with the gardens from the cable station and we had a mini Down-Down under shade at the foot of the mountain giving everyone a chance to recuperate and refresh after the earlier exertions. Boarding the bus again we headed for the Cocobeach club and despite a mini diversion we arrived to check in and prepared for the Wine, Swimming, and Song evening.
A spectacular sun sunset heralded the beginning of what will be long remembered in our club’s history as one of the most enjoyable fun filled music and dining experiences. The Vung Tau ladies looked like fashion models dressed to kill as we all tucked into a tasty seafood buffet which was washed down with Saigon Beer and softies joined by our friends from Saigon Hash. The entertainment was provided by a local couple with a guitar and aided and abetted from hash crooners Stuart, Chippy and other ladies and not to mention Faulty Brakes plus our friends from Saigon Hash. The ceremonial toast took place with a bottle of 10 year old Jameson when all our hashers had a nip of the “uisce beatha or “the water of life”. The musician and singer finished their session to generous applause from an appreciative audience.
Now it was time for the dancing, some magnificent moves from Michael Have-a-Chat set the ball rolling, Stuart Waring dancing on a wooden pallet and the general feel good factor lasted late into the night or early morning I’m led to believe for I had to seek refuge in my 4 legged friend (bed). A night to remember for everyone who joined in the fun of Run 1000 in Cocobeach.
The following morning at breakfast we saw fashion show number 2 where all the ladies displayed there finest regalia prior to checkout .The joint photo with our friends from Saigon and everyone displaying their new T-Shirts took place beside the reception area. It was time to part and we bade farewell to Saigon Hash and return to Vung Tau.
The next port of call was the Arboretum in Binh Chau where we stopped for a rest and to take a walk in the forest. The Down-Down took place and those who were responsible for the planning and hard work were thanked for all their efforts. It’s here we name and shame them (just kidding) and in no particular order, Secs, Mr T., Chom Chom and the ubiquitous Chippy. The new T-shirt to commemorate 1000 runs is definitely a collectors item with ultra light fabric and amazing graphics. We thank H.B.O for her guidance and expertise in the process.
Back on the bus for the final leg of the journey, a one hour ride to Vung Tau, a strategic mistake occurred where the drinks trolley was located at the back of the bus encouraging more singing, dancing and partying all the way to Headquarters in Le Ngoc Hanh. Trundling into Tommy’s the eskies were removed and placed in storage and tear filled eyes hashers departed. T- shirts were presented to Rob and Randy. The previous night had ended at 4.00am on the beach. Surely it couldn’t happen again? More lubrication was introduced into the equation, more music, more fun, everyone agreed one of the best weekends ever in VTH3’s history.
A special thank you to all our sponsors, Ray ‘Golden Finger’ Haveron, Saigon Chill, Tommy’s Bar, The Office Bar, RO uniforms Co.Ltd. Thanks to Saigon Hash (who incidentally had an early Sunday morning run on the beach of 7kms before breakfast) for making the weekend so enjoyable. Here’s to the next 1000 runs, not sure if I will be looking down or up at this event.
RUN 1000 GALLERY
MARCH 13 2022
Hares: Chippy, Secs, Chom Chom
Hash Flashers: Secs, Chom Chom, Have-A-Chat
Ringmaster: Chom Chom
The usual hive of activity at Tommy’s as our worker bees gather the supplies for this week’s trail on Big Mountain. Eskies are filled with ice and our favourite Saigon Beer, soft drinks, banh mi and fruit. Faulty Brakes is on registration duty as he gathers the fees for today’s run. Once everyone has assembled and the beer truck is loaded we jump onto motorbikes, in to cars and ride bicycles to our preferred spot on the beach at Tran Phu opposite the Mother Maria complex.
Once we arrive one of our Hares, Secs, delivers the chalk talk, pointing to the foot of the steps and explaining that we should climb the 820 steps until we reach the cross at the top of the mountain. After the cross, look out for the red marker ribbons, which take us into forest and along the ridge of Big Mountain until we exit the forest on the Ho May Park path, follow the path until we see red ribbons pointing us back in to the forest and continue along the trail until we come to the 620 steps that will descend to the Chinese style Buddhist temple. This will bring us back to Tran Phu and a short walk back to where we started.
With just a little trepidation we start to climb the stairs.. It’s not long before we meet the 34m statue of the Mother of God, standing proudly at 60m above sea level. Several “Hail Marys” were uttered as Hashers prayed for the strength to get them to the end of the seemingly never-ending stairs. However, we steadily plodded on, taking breaks to catch our breath and take photos of the striking seascape below us.
Thankfully, we arrive at the 3m tall cross, the relentless sun has taken its toll and we take time to rehydrate, cool off in the strong balmy breeze. It was worth it, feeling like we are on top of the world, Kings (and Queens) of the Mountain, we behold our domain below. However, no rest for the wicked, we plough on (on) down beyond the cross thankful for the shade provided by the trees and the lovely breeze. A pleasant walk through the forest, onto Ho May Park road and soon we begin to make our way down the 620 steps. With our legs trembling, we arrive at the bottom pleased that it is only a short walk to the beach and the ice-cold beer awaiting us.
We dig into the eskies for ice-cold drinks and feast on banh mi and watermelon before Chom Chom calls the circle, where the Hares are rated with a 10/10 trail, we welcome back long lost Hasher Astro Mum who has been living in Italy for the last few years. Just time to remind everybody that next week will be celebrating Run 1000 with a weekend away at Ta Cu Mountain and Coco Beach Camp. The eskies are emptied loaded onto the beer truck and we head back to Tommy’s where usual suspects enjoy woodfired pizza, Saigon Chill the usual Sunday night entertainment at Tommy’s.
RUN 999 GALLERY
MARCH 6 2022
Hares: Chippy, Secs, Mr. T
Hash Flashers: Secs
Run 998 - only two Runs more before we embark on our odyssey to Ta Cu Mountain and Coco Beachcamp for the momentous occasion of Run 1000!
As usual we meet at the our Hash home Tommy’s and Mr. T gathers the Run Fees, once everybody is ready we jumped into a couple of quirky open-air-golf-cart-12-people-carriers which will take us to our starting point at Trần Xuân Độ. Mr. T gives us our instructions - it’s going to be an easy-ish trail that will take us up Big Mountain, through many interesting temples, a war time bunker, across the top of the mountain through to Vi Ba and return to Tommy’s via the White Palace.
And it’s on-on we go, and as we leave Trần Xuân Độ we find our first obstacle - the narrow Hem that is to take us up the mountain is blocked by a locked gate! Not to worry with a bit of jiggle Mr. T manages to unlock the gate and we are free to start the ascent through the Hem, up some steps and soon we emerge at a quaint temple with plenty of interesting statues, including a reclining Buddha. We stop to catch our breath and enjoy the lovely balmy breeze, before we head off again and find ourselves on another set of massive steps taking us to a lemony temple, this time with a sitting Buddha, and another stop for the obligatory selfies. A walk to the back of the temple and its a short distance to the last of the temples on this trail - a Khmer temple adorned with intricate stone carvings.
We leave the Khmer temple behind by following the rail tracks from a winch used to carry supplies down to the temple from Ho May Park road. A quick look at an overgrown bunker that dates back to the war and then we follow a well trodden path that takes us to the Ho May Park road. We cross the road and follow the red ribbon through the forest until we reach the pinnacle of the trail and then we begin the long winding trail across the mountain. We are afforded some spectacular views as we scramble over rocks until we eventually exit the forest at Vi Ba road. About half way down the road we see loads of red ribbons wafting in the wind indicating we are to jump the barrier at the side of the road. This takes us down to the White Palace, a 19th century mansion once used as a resort of the French Governor-General of Indochina. More photos and we wind our way down to the beach road and it's a short walk past the Vung Tau Museum back to Tommy’s.
Back at base, there is the usual assortment of soft drinks, ice-cold Saigon beer and, of course, delicious pork bahn mi. Our newest member Mr. Vyacheslav has also kindly provided a box full of Russian style sandwiches and a very generous bouquet of beautiful yellow flowers for all our Hash House Harriettes in celebration of International Women’s Day. A very nice gesture. The flowers are distributed to our lovely ladies and the team photo is taken. Gradually our Hasher ride off in to the night while the usual suspects continued to enjoy ice-cold Saigon Chill and the dulcet sounds of Ben and Friends.
Another brilliant Sunday afternoon. Until next week and Run 999 - one more and it’s Run 1000!!
RUN 998 GALLERY
All Content © Vung Tau City Hash House Harriers 2013 - 2022