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