Hòn Bà or when it doesn’t go as planned


Sometimes you plan your excursion from A to Z. You think about everything you need; where you are going to sleep, what you are going to eat; what to bring with you, etc. But, sometimes you think you thought about everything, before you realized you didn’t really think about anything at all, except food.

We were planning on going camping on top of a mountain after a long hike. Finally, we ended up without a mountain to hike, without a sleeping spot, without tent for everybody and way too much food to bring. How did any of this happened? Well…

We asked our free spirit and adventurous friend, which always bring us to amazing non-touristy places, to bring us to a nice camping spot. We also asked him if we could borrow a tent for the trip. Of course, he was excited and lent us his tent. What we didn’t understand is that his tent was a two-man tent; we are four, pretty tall human being. He understood we just wanted to camp in a nice spot in the middle of the nature, not that we wanted to hike a mountain and sleep on top of it. We realized 5 minutes before we had to leave we didn’t have enough space to sleep for everybody and we were not hiking anymore; it was too late to change our plan, so we still left for the camping spot. It was a nice road, a familiar one, but still nice.

We arrived at the first spot he wanted to show us, but we were not satisfied because it was too familiar. We went there too many times to swim. We ended up leaving for a second spot. We were lucky; the spot was right before where they closed the road; we were able to go. We already saw that place, but never went all the way down. This is where the magic happened.

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We arrived in front of a wonderful rocky lake: Water was blue like the sky, sand was golden like autumn in Montreal, rocks were reflecting the sunlight like snow in winter and silence was yelling at us like wind talk to the grass. It was magical. We even found some little cabin where we could put our two-man-tent-for-four. We set up everything and went getting lost in the rocky lake. We found amazing view with the sun that was slowly going to sleep.

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After our little excursion, we needed to think about our night; how were we supposed to sleep the four of us in that tiny tent? It was impossible. Our best idea was too ask to the people that own that place for some hammocks. That’s what we did and that’s how we got kicked out. They said we couldn’t spend the night and that we had to leave the place by 6 p.m. It was already 4 p.m. and we only had a little bit more of an hour of sunlight left. We didn’t know where to go; we didn’t have a plan B. We could not just pick any random spot in the forest; we didn’t have a tent big enough for us and we knew at least one person would have to sleep outside the tent. We had to choose a place that was not too risky.  Bai Dai beach came to us first. It’s a nice beach, almost empty, safe, we could sleep directly on the beach without any problem, and the sunrise there is supposed to be beautiful. So we headed there.

An hour later, we arrived at Bai Dai. The sun was already long gone, we were exhausted, we were starving and Bai Dai was getting ready to sleep. We decided to go to the Shack: a place we knew we wouldn’t have problems. The Vietnamese owners remembered us and didn’t have any problem for either letting us start a fire or to let us sleep on their part of the beach.


We bought some Tiger beers, we started a fire and we looked at the stars. Evening was not so bad after all; even with our tomato bean cans cooked in the fire.  We finally fell asleep in the beach chairs and woke up in the middle of the night; two of us moved to the camping mattress and two others in the tent. Nothing was comfortable; the tent too small for our length and the mattress too thin for the sand’s holes. We probably slept 2 or 3 hours maximum, but everything was worth it when we saw the sunrise. We opened our eyes to this incredible view and didn’t worry about our sleepless night anymore.

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No plan is usually the best plan. Anyway, plans never really work out perfectly.

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