Mama Hahn boat trips?
  • I was wondering if Mama Hahn is still doing her famous boat trips? I have such vivid memories of her from 10 years ago, but back then I remember thinking that there was no way she could last. Each trip she downed a bottle of vodka as her party trick. Anyway, the food on the boat was outstanding, and we had such a great time we went again a few days later. Any recent sightings of Mama Hahn?
  • Hi DavidF,

    Mama the merry Prankster

    copyright 1998, James Waldron Design, all rights reserved


    Mama Hahns Green Hat Tour
    Nha Trang
    N 12 deg. 14.327 min.
    E 105 deg. 51.082 min.

    I first heard about Mama Hahn from two travelers in Koh Phi Phi Thailand. I hadn't even planned on going to Vietnam, but after a discussion with these two Australians, and their glowing report about Mama Hahn, coupled with their reported ease of travel in the country, I decided to visit.

    Mama Hahn is either the most decadent Communist in the country, or it's shrewdest entrepreneur. Her trip is not in any of the guide books. Promotional material doesn't exist in local hotels, but she is known by everyone throughout the tourist industry in the country. It's a very simple idea. Give the tourists what they want on the sea. And what they want is a nice ride in the harbor, lots of good food, some fun music, lots to drink, and as an added bonus to some, free dope.

    If you have ever been out on a boat or lake and passed by the boat that is having the most fun, and wanted to be on that boat, this is the trip for you. Forty-five of us went on my trip, mostly budget backpackers. Mama Hahn sets the tone with her introduction. "Everything on Mama Hahn boat is free. Free swimming, free food, free wine, free fucked-up. Mama Hahn is free too baby. But listen to Mama Hahn. Don't be lazy on my boat. No fucked up, no fun, so don't be lazy." Simple enough, the party boat needs full concentration.

    After a short journey we anchored and the whole boat piled off into the crystal sea to snorkel around a nice coral reef. The staff tosses life rings down for everyone to float and chat with. Mama is back in the kitchen of the boat preparing lunch with five bamboo-hat-wearing helpers.


    After the hour swim the patrons retire to the top deck for sunning. Slowly, the staff begins to bring on the food. Dish by dish the delicasies arrive. Grilled fish, squid, tofu, noodles, crab, rice, vegetables, snails, shrimp. Just around ten dishes to choose from, and ten dishes of each, spread across the top deck of the boat. Everyone sits along side the feast and munches away with chopsticks. The tastes are wonderful and diverse and the food stretches the 35 foot length of the boat. An amazing spread.

    Just after lunch the real fun begins. The floating bar opens. Mama dives into the sea with a life ring, some swim fins and thirty or so bottles of red wine in a cooler. The entire boat empties out after her and crowds the bar while Mama spouts her, "Don't be lazy!" phrase and accosts the men visitors. She is a gentle woman for someone who is jamming the neck of a wine bottle in your mouth and forcing you to guzzle until she decides you've had enough. This is usually well past the time YOU think you've had enough.


    After the wine her trusty sidekick, a Swiss guy who has been on 75 consecutive trips this summer, passes around a fist full of joints he has been busily preparing during the entire trip. After an hour of such debauchery the inevitable belly-flop competition from the top of the boat starts amongst the drunkest patrons, and points are awarded for the most painful water entries. For those less inclined to damage themselves, the cooks now become manicurists and masseuses, offering reasonable price attention with a great view of the sea.

    The afternoon continues with a fruit feast rivalling lunch, with fifteen or so local tasty delights spread once again over 100 plates. Mama turns into disc jockey at this point, spewing witicisms over a megaphone and spinning tunes heavily weighted towards the early 1970's music popular when the Americans were in town.

    So after daily drunken excursions with rowdy tourists for at least three years is mama Hahn a wasted drunk? Seems that way, but every day she's getting between 25 and 100 folks shelling out the 7 bucks to do it again. One has to wonder what she was doing in 1975 when Saigon fell, and how much she has to pay to the local authorities to run her tour like she does. It sure beats selling cigarettes on the street like everyone else in Vietnam.
  • Great story, thanks a million! She really had a big personality, and wonderful energy. "Don't be lazy!!" that was her motto for life and the advice she gave all the decadent western kids who took her boat trips.

    I heard a few years later - circa 2003 - she was beaten up very badly by the local Nha Trang mafia who were jealous of her considerable success. Hopefully someone has some more uptodate information ... I would definately rank this as a top attraction of Nha Trang for those able to handle the party.
  • Ah- Mama Hahn !!!! Those were seriously good times ! 11 years ago now ! Was trying to see if she is still going as my cousins are headed out that way now ... Hopefully get an update ! Don't be lazy !!!!!
  • First discovered mama hahn in 1999 and went 4 days in a row and it was the best 4 days you could imagine Did it again in 2006 and it had only slightly changed. Moi and Bo were running it and it was a hoot. Im heading back in October this year and Im hoping like hell its still going.
  • Do you think that was 100% vodka in the bottle she downed? I always thought that no human could do that every day without dying at some point..

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