If it wasn’t because of my job, I would hardly find a reason to come back to Vung Tau and met Thong last weekend. I contacted him long time ago to photograph him and his partner, but when they said whenever I came to Vung Tau just let them know I just said yes with a finger cross. It’s a pity his partner wasn’t in the city at the moment, so we could just hang out for cafe.
Thong picked me up after I finished my job and took me to a small acoustic cafe where guests could registered to perform their favorite song on stage with the support of a small band. I took a few shot of Thong and other singers for fun and then thought I could do a Sonday Savour shot with just him. He agreed and we appointed to hang out more for photos the following morning.
You know how great it would be when you’re in another city and have a local friend to show you around? You can search for places and food on your travel app but it takes time and you may still make wrong choices. I really enjoy being on the back seat of my local friends in Nha Trang, Da Nang, Da Lat and Vung Tau wherever they take me to.
Thong brought me to his home for lunch with his mom after I checked out of my hotel. The house was comfortable in terms of space and temperature. I got a few more intimate shots of him, then we talked about a lot of things about differences between life in Saigon and small towns like Vung Tau and about plans for the near future.
I left Vung Tau in the afternoon and felt great about the trip. It could have been a lonely business trip without Thong. I looked forward to seeing him and his partner together one day in Saigon and photograph them.