24-25 Nov 2018
Ta Cu Mountain - "The Return of the Weekender"
Hares: Boozer, Mr. T.
Hash Flasher: Kojak, Chom Chom
Ringmaster: Rain Stopped Play
Report: Chom Chom
After the great success of the previous Vung Tau Hash Weekender in April 2018, the
Mismanagement Committee proudly bring us the second Weekender, this time slightly
further up the sea at Phan Thiet.
Alarm clocks were ringing early on Saturday morning as the forty registered Hashers who
fought for a place on the “go” list prepared for their early start to meet at their collection
points. No doubt many very tired due to their excitement and lack of sleep. It was a wet
start to the weekend…only to get worse.
The luxurious Toan Thang coach arrived punctually at the initial pick-up point of Binh An 4
where it was loaded with luggage, food, soft drinks, San Miguel beer and the usual Hash
accessories, including a brand new squeaky chicken. The majority of the group arrived at
this pick-up point. We left Binh An 4 early and progressed to Co-Op Mart for our next pick-
up. After a bit of a delay we were on the go again to our final pick-up destination of
We took the scenic beach road through Long Hai and Ho Tram and although a bit murky and
grey a pleasant journey. At around 10am we pulled over at our familiar lunchtime spot for
relief, food and refreshments. A selection of breads and cold cuts was presented, together
with fruit and Icy Waters pickled chilli cucumber. We also had the usual banh mi although
most of us were fairly bloated by now.
As we progressed to our trail location of Ta Cu Mountain, we knew we were getting close
due to the amount of Dragon Fruit (Thanh Long) farms. The mountain getting closer was
also a bit of a clue and the size of the mountain was clearly making the choice of walking up
or down easier.
We arrived at Ta Cu around 11.30am and split into two groups – the more energetic,
choosing to walk up the mountain and those almost as energetic choosing to walk down the
mountain. Those choosing to walk up went off to start their ordeal with Mr. T leading the
group, whilst the others awaited the electric car to take us up to the cable car with Boozer.
As this weeks writer, I am focusing on the lesser energetic group of seventeen that chose to
go up in the cable car and walk down as I wanted to save my energy for later (no more
about that!). After many photos at the cable car station we boarded our cars and started
escalating up the mountain. We looked down and saw our fellow hashers starting their
clamber up the mountain. Upon arriving at the top, we grouped up again and progressed to
the left to explore the beautiful attractions of the historic mountain that included the ancient Linh Son Truong Tho pagoda, the meditative Buddha and the sacred sign of the
founder from the paintings aging over 130 years. Those thinking the down trail was going to
be easy, may have been a bit disappointed as there was a fair few challenging steps to
contend with to enjoy all these attractions.
Once the photos and selfies had been completed, we progressed back to the cable car
station and to the restaurant area to start our walk down. Some of the walker-uppers had
already returned so they were able to take a well-deserved rest whilst waiting for further
hashers to join.
After a minor safety issue at the restaurant regarding the durability of the old wooden
bridge we carefully progressed one-by-one in single file. We all safely made it and started
our gently walk down the mountain. Unfortunately at this stage, the weather had turned for
the worse and there was a fair bit of rain that looked set-in for a while. Whilst we were
sheltered by the forest in parts, we all got fairly wet and raincoats were put on by many.
We all met up at a local restaurant to shelter from the rain. The bus came and joined us and
we desperately unloaded the refreshments including the super-super chilled San Migual
beer that had been prepared in ice not only in the morning but the night before too – really
made a difference and a great idea for future weeks. More food was unloaded and we all
enjoyed the drinking, eating and conversation. Due to the poor weather it was decided we
would skip the circle and at 3pm we boarded the bus again for our 30km journey to our
hotel. After a few wrong turns and a stop at Co-Op Mart (1km away from the hotel) for a no-
doubt desperate toilet break we eventually arrived at the TTC Premium right on the beach
in Phan Thiet, the capital of Binh Thuan province.
Being quite wet, we were keen to check-in promptly to have a short lay down and a nice
warm shower. Sadly the latter was not going to happen as the weather had been so cloudy
and overcast, this “Premium” and “4 Star” hotel relied purely on solar energy for hot water
and was therefore non-existent. Anyway, enough of my whinging…
Dinner had been arranged at the adjoining TTC BBQ restaurant at 6.30pm and we all
gathered and met in the hotel lobby. It was still pouring with rain as we walked the short
distance to the restaurant and found our places at the various tables in our exclusive VIP
area on the first floor. There was a great selection of food available from the buffet table
and from the menu offering unlimited quantities of seafood, meat, vegetables and more
that where applicable we cooked at our tables. Together with food, unlimited soft drinks
and beer (from other well known brands) was included. It was announced that a trip to the
famous Red Sand Dunes was on offer in nearby Mui Ne for those wanting to get up by
7.30am. Whilst many left before, there was a small group maxing out the food and drink on
offer and were finally asked to leave at 9.30pm. The bus driver set up his hammock for his
night onboard the coach.
The following morning presented us with another wet and windy start. There wasn’t any set
plan for the morning as the trip to the sand dunes had been cancelled due to the weather
conditions so it allowed Hashers to do as they pleased. Many woke up for the buffet
breakfast offering a wide range of Vietnamese and international cuisine. Others went
swimming, to the beach, on a walk, or a trip to the market.
We departed the hotel shortly after 12pm and after loading the bus we headed back for the
160km journey to Vung Tau. After many attempted stops to relieve ourselves and to eat, we
finally stopped off near The Grand at Ho Tram. The weather was still poor with rain and
strong winds and our driver was reluctant to pull up in potentially dangerous areas. Again
we enjoyed yet more food and still super-cold drinks as we decided on our plan of action
getting home. We were all aware of the storm in Vung Tau having viewed many photos and
videos on social media and there were many conflicting stories as to whether we should
shelter somewhere for a while or make the treacherous journey home. After an hour or so it
was decided we would head on a slight detour to Ba Ria to hopefully avoid the worst of the
storm so we loaded our eskies, dumped the remaining banh mi and jumped back onto the
bus. To many of our delights the weather improved and so we decided to head straight for
Once we arrived in Vung Tau we found it not too devastated by the recent conditions. We
dropped our Hashers at their various drop-off points at Seaview and Co-Op Mart and
continued to our final destination of Binh An 4. Whilst a few trees were down, we navigated
various routes and eventually made it to arrive in a two-foot flood! The bus was unloaded
and we all did our separate things, more than likely simply going home.
Whilst the weather wasn’t great, we achieved our trail and all had a great time in Phan
Thiet. Another winning weekend for the Vung Tau Hash and great thanks, recognition and
praise to the organisers and the foodies that contribute so much in making a great weekend
a sensational weekend. Also, it was no doubt a bonus being out of Vung Tau this weekend.
On-On to our more-local trail next Sunday…1pm at Hon Ru Ri.
VTH3 #865 PHOTO GALLERY - KOJAK
VTH3 #865 PHOTO GALLERY - CHOM CHOM
18 Nov 2018
Hares: Pekka, Chook
Hash Flasher: Kojak
We have 46 Hashers this week for our first trail on Small Mountain in 2 months. Our Hare this week is Flying Finn and after the previous week’s slightly shorter trail this week he has prepared a trail that will take us all over the mountain. From Hon Ru Ri we walk to Mr. Ket Coffee Shop at the bottom of Hai Dang Road where were are given our marching orders. From there we walk to 1975 Cafe where we ascend the steps taking us in to the jungle. We emerge back on Hai Dang Road and then follow it all the way to the lighthouse where we walk through the otherside and begin a steep descent that takes out at a familiar road near the temple steps that should take us down Ha Long road, but a slight difference this time, we walk to right and again jump in to the jungle and scramble down a steep, dry slope carefully trying to avoid slipping over. Finally we see the steps leading down the narrow Hem to our down-down spot - Cafe Uno.
Our circle begins with a celebratory Happy Birthday ceremony for birthday boy Chom Chom. Happy Birthday Chom Chom. Candles blown we turn attention to the Hares, Flying Finn and newly christened Hasher, Chook (AKA Graham). A successful trail and the bidding starts at a magnificent 15/10 only rising as more Hasher express their appreciation of today’s trail. After some arithmetical gymnastics by Ringmaster Boozer the final score 17.5/10. Well done Hares.
Several Virgins this week including a couple of Father and Son teams from Taiwan and Vietnam. One Returnee this week - welcome back Frenchy. A few sinners this week, mostly for following Boozer the wrong way and taking a shortcut. Time for a Hash Christening and Graham is now known officially as “Chook” - Australian for chicken.
With the circle over we the only this left is to remind everyone that the following week we are heading to Ta Cu Mountain for a weekend away trail and as such there will be no run in Vung Tau.
VTH3 #864 PHOTO GALLERY
11 Nov 2018
Long Son Island - "Short. But Sweet"
Hares: Pekka, Slipper
Hash Flasher: Kojak, Radiowave
A sunny Sunday afternoon and 47 hearty Hashers hop upon the Hashmobile. Our destination this week is Long Son Island just 26 km from Vung Tau. We disembark at the our starting point on an asphalt road and gather round stalwart Hare, Flying Finn, as he delivers the chalk-talk. We are to follow the road until it transforms in to a dirt trail and after 500m look out for the red ribbons indicating a right turn in to the jungle - then follow the red ribbons up the hill where we will have a down-down at the restaurant at the top. With a wry smile he suggests it may be a short trail - anyone who wishes to do more is welcome to do it twice.
With a spring in our step we “on-on”, pausing only to indulge our propensity to pose for photos for this week’s Hash Flashes, Kojak and Radiowave. Soon we find the aforementioned right turn which takes us in to the thick jungle. Single file, we follow the red ribbons through the lush greenery, thankful for the shade of the jungle canopy above. Before long the jungle thins out and we see signs of civilisation. We emerge in to a car park and see our trusty Hashmoble waiting for us, eskies full of San Miguel at the ready.
Quizzically we look at each other. Is this really the end? A quick check of the GPS on our phones confirms it - 1.3 km and 30 minutes makes this one of the shortest trails in a long time. However, this gives us more time to explore the beautiful Khu Du Lịch Sinh Thái Du Sơn Restaurant and of course, more time to slake our thirst, fill our bellies and mingle with our fellow Hashers.
The boombox makes an appearance and the down-down becomes a hoedown as we are treated to an entertaining display of twinkle toed finesse as a few of our party animals shake a leg to the rockin’ beats of DJ Golden Fish’s tunes.
A veritable feast is on offer today - the usual Banh Mi’s, the legendary sandwiches from Mother Teresa and Boozer, and mountain chicken with sticky rice that Long Son Island is famous for. Now we are replete, Ringmaster Boozer calls the Circle to order.
In the Circle this week we have only one Virgin - a flexible Yogi from India, several Russian Returnees, and two Sinners. It’s a somewhat boisterous affair, with the usual iced water dousing - remember kids, if you are going to throw water, don’t be surprised if you get wet. Star of the Circle this week is venerable Hasher, Stubble, who almost missed the bus from Hon Ru Ri and we suspect he may have been a tad worse for wear from a weekend of excess. Double Tube of Doom for him - which he tackles like a pro.
Circle over, eskies packed, we board the Hashmobile and the party continues all the way back to Hon Ru Ri. Until next week….
VTH3 #863 PHOTO GALLERY
4 Nov 2018
Hares: Mr. T, Secs
Hash Flasher: Secs, Radiowave
Report: Chom Chom
A surprisingly quiet of late gathering at Hon Ru Ri with around 45 people getting ready for this weeks away trail to Nui Dinh. That on it’s own made the day start off greatly – no doubt mismanagement would disagree!
We loaded up our regular Hashmobile charabanc with the usual iced-up San Miguels and a monstrous selection of soft drinks and once our diverse collection of Hashers mounted we left at a very punctual 1.30pm. `
Good progress was made to Nui Dinh and with no pick-ups en-route we arrived at our starting point around 2.15pm. This weeks start was about half way up the mountain road, just past the Thien Ton Phat Quang Buddhist Temple, near the water pools. We were certainly not alone this week, the area was swamped with people with their associated coaches and peace destroying motorcycles.
After a quick briefing of the trail ahead we manoeuvred as best we could down the mountain road a short distance before turning left into the real starting point. After a slight descent to the pools, we climbed back up, passing a few buildings and soon arriving in the deeper forested areas. It was a clear trail with very little opportunities for Hashers to get lost. We continued our climb at a reasonable rate, still fairly comfortable. After a fair hike we reached a flatter area where we were grateful for the cool breeze before enjoying the even more welcoming downhill path. This led us to a paved road and a rather steep incline once again. Whilst this part was fairly short, it was the toughest part of the trail. After a further forest area we hit the main mountain road, made a left turn and looked ahead in hope of seeing the Hashmobile marking the finish. The trail was just over 4km.
Our down-down this week was near our usual spot towards the end of the mountain road. Those that finished the trail in the early places helped unload the bus and prepare the refreshments and the snacks for those that arrived later and in more need for their well-deserved drinks.
Due to the absence of Bryce and Aqua, the boombox got a welcome change and got acquainted with Golden Fishs’ phone to provide the music.
After much enjoyment eating, drinking, chatting and banter, we were assembled by our resident photographer Radiowave to get the group photo completed. Our ringmaster, Boozer then called the circle – this week resembling two horizontal lines on both sides of the road.
The circle started as usual by introducing our Hares, Mr. T and Secs, although Mr. T was absent due to being in Dalat. Whilst the trail was rated 12 out of 10, poor old Secs still had the refreshing pleasure of the tube of doom. We welcomed three virgins this week, one Vietnamese (from Vung Tau), one Russian and another from Russia or somewhere nearby! Our returnees included Mr Versace, Stubble, Black Hawk and Radiowave's wife, Wi-Fi. A couple of sinners were called into the circle – Mr Versace (for having incorrect footwear) and Mr Romania (not an official hash name yet!) for sleeping on the road. There was no surprise that Mr Romania received the double tube of doom.
As always, I like to pass on our gratitude to our foodies this week which included the regular sandwiches (now with added sardines) from Boozer, the Russian open-style sandwiches from Mother Teresa and new this week, so an extra special thanks to Shomit and T34 for their generous box of yet more cheese and ham sandwiches. Together with the Hash supplied Banh Mi, no one went home hungry.
After consuming pretty much all the food and beverages, we had the easier job of loading up the bus again in preparation for our journey home.
Until next week, have a good one and on-on for next Sundays trail.
VTH3 #862 PHOTO GALLERY
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