Now back to January of 2008.
On Friday, we went to Vung Tau for Nghi and Phi to take their outdoor wedding pictures! It was quite an experience because the beach was so beautiful at sunrise and sunset. We went to the studio in the city at 2am on the 18th of Jan for Nghi to have her made up on and hair done before we drove to Vung Tau before the sunrise. It was like heaven on Earth to witness and to feel the serenity of the massive water singing a song of infinity yet with a sweet and soothing presence. The light was changing colors in the sky, so subtly it was like magic. Slowly and gradually, the dark sky, the shiny stars just like diamonds in the sky, the artistic compositions of the shifting patterned clouds, the water, the Earth and everything in the surrounding mysteriously appeared out of the darkness of the night. It was purity in the early morning light, gentle and kind. The breeze was fresh with a taste of salty qi on the lips. I could never get tired of clicking the camera for the memory of a brief moment to capture the natural beauty of creation; at the same time, trying to compose the shots the way it resonated with my inspiration.
After breakfast, we went to Ba.ch Dinh to take more pictures. This used to be a vacation spot for the French colonists and later for the American military VIP. The architecture was very pleasant, overlooking the ocean, mountains, the highway and the land, built for the enjoyment of the beauty of Vung Tau. More photos were shot.
Then we headed toward a mini resort about 30-45min away, which was unlike the typical beach resort with high buildings. Instead, there was a cluster of houses, the French way, serving as hotel hamlets, and outdoor spaces with terracotta tiled roof, by a marsh covered with sea water, rising only a little above the knees, which allowed one to wade in it in bear feet to cross to the other side, or to use a long bamboo stick to push against the mud to move small boat along. We were all very hungry and had a tasty traditional family style authentic Vietnamese lunch. 2 hours nap/break was followed, after which time, another round of pictures were arranged to be taken.
As the sun was setting down, a campfire was set up to take pictures for the groom and bride to be. My sister was treated like a movie or model star. 5 people in the photographing crew were assisting the photographer with lighting and the couple with posing. It was interesting watching. I just tagged along to enjoy the beautiful sea and good foods in the company of my happy sister/brother and other nice peopl e. We had dinner before heading back to the city. By the time we got home from the studio, it was around 9pm.
As Vietnam opens its door to the world, businesses of all kinds have emerged and been growing exponentially. Many over-sea Vietnamese now come back home (for quite some years now) to take studio pictures for their wedding. Not only it's much less expensive than it would have been in the U. S., but if one finds the right studio, picture quality can also be exceptional. Like many others, my sister had her pictures taken in Vietnam, especially since she's marrying a Vietnamese guy in Saigon. She had 2 appointments for pictures taken, one in the studio, the usual, and the other by the ocean. I could tell she was enjoying the experience a great deal.
Hello everyone. Finally I am now back to the states after more than 2 months visit to my beautiful home country. There are many stories to be told, and I wished I could have kept up with blogging about my travel while I was there. But time and circumstances sometimes did not allow for this. It's my intention to recount as much as possible my experiences traveling right in the cradle of my birth place, as it has been a meaningful exploration of my roots as well as the very place that has nourished me growing up.