Partying with the locals in Da Nang, Viet Nam.

Before going to Vietnam, I didn’t know anything about Danang. In fact it is a coastal city in central Vietnam known for its sandy beaches and history as a French colonial port, but for us, it was the party side of it that swept us away. 

The area where we stayed was right next to the beach, which was long and deserted in a beautiful way.

There was also a lot of construction going on, seems like Danang is building up and modernising. It looks stunning at night, especially from a hotel with a pool on 40th floor :p.

Danang at night

Unfortunately the sunsets I have seen in Vietnam were not very inspiring, but the blue hour was beautiful nevertheless.

Local Eateries

With the sun down, it was time to go look for a place to have dinner at. We walked around a few streets, peeking into small restaurants with the tiniest chairs in history of chairs, when we heard music playing loudly out of one place sized a little bigger than a general garage in someone’s house. There was a sign above the table saying “happy wedding”, however we didn’t spot any wedding dressed people, nor for that sake any girls at all. It was a party of 20 lads, who were high up in their beer consumption and jolly for the fact that Vietnam apparently won a qualifying game against Bahrain in Asian Football Cup. It just took a moment for us to exchange smiles with the vietnamese guys, and we were immediately invited to join the celebrations and given a beer each…. Most of those people weren’t able to say a word in English, but it didn’t stop us from having a time of our life dancing to the old classics like “One Way Ticket” and “You My Heart, You My Soul”… 

The shirtless fellow apparently was a Vietnam war veteran (as actually most of the older people are)… and he challenged our friend Paul to a competition of push ups. The guy must be like 65, but look how ripped he is! Also, notice how in this part of Vietnam they have a tradition just throwing finished cans on the floor, along with the food that they don’t plan to eat any more.

Obviously, it was a friendly competition, and I laughed, and took pictures, and laughed some more.

It was hard to leave this party, but it was time for us to go and actually try to have some food… and now the song One Way Ticket will always remind me of that surreal experience. How incredibly friendly of these guys to invite us to their celebration, how much fun we all had?! 

Later on that night, we went to a local club that also played some songs that I was dancing to in 2005 rather than what you hear on the radio today, but we also got invited by some locals to their table and had a fantastic night. Danang was so much more open to receive us without asking anything in return than Saigon, it was like a different world. 

Bridges in Danang – Shot on Huawei P20 Pro.

It also has the most fantastic and beautiful bridges including the dragon bridge and the one with the hands, that I unfortunately couldn’t take photos of. So if you’re planning a trip to Vietnam I definitely recommend staying in this place for at least a couple of days. 

Thank you for reliving this day with me!

Much love,

Anna

On the Road to Insanity… or Vegas baby!

Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America. What is that image that comes up in your mind when you think about it? Parties, strippers, spending, casinos, bachelor and bachelorette, hotels, ridiculously dressed up people – entertainment?

It is a very strange place to be. Everyone has to visit at least once in their life, but you can’t know beforehand if you are going to love it or hate it. I loved every minute of driving to it – the landscapes are absolutely stunning…simply breath-taking. Additionally, we were blessed by American Gods with the fantastic fluffy clouds that were following us on the way from LA to Vegas. The sunset that day was magnificent, but we were at a  random gas station in the place called Indian Springs, so it was less than glamorous that place to photograph anything.

When you drive into Las Vegas you suddenly get blinded by millions of shiny lights, loud music from everywhere and crowds of people moving in waves. My first impression was that it’s way bigger than everyone described it. The road is quite wide, almost like in Dubai, and it actually takes quite some time to go from one side of it to the other.

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I know that it perhaps was a stupid idea for me to come to Vegas, since it was a bachelor party for my fiance, but I ended up doing my own thing on that day, and we had quite some fun the rest of the time. It is quite funny to see how guys are in Vegas – hyper-excited, ready to party until drop dead.

We stayed in a hotel called Paris, that’s why there are so many photos of Eiffel tower here 🙂

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I wish I didn’t feel so sad for people wasting their money in casinos, and waitresses dressed up in pretty much non-existing clothes just to get extra tips. Casinos in general felt like hell to me. Especially the smelly and ugly carpets. I could feel the desperation in the air. Made me want to run, and run as fast as possible. Back to the mountains and endless fields.

Some hotels are quite nice, I liked Bellagio and the flower arrangements there.

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I enjoyed Caesar’s Palace – looked quite polished. Had the same feeling as Dubai shopping malls though. We’re quite spoilt with the flashy hotels in Dubai, so I am hard to impress. I found our hotel quite tacky and nothing special in particular, but overall could be worse.

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Went to a couple of art galleries (that’s the most cultural thing I could find in Vegas… and had brilliant advice from one of my photographer friends). It was pretty impressive and spoke to my soul. Also, a couple of times when I was passing on the bridges to cross the road, I could see the mountains outside the city and … that’s what I liked most about the city.

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One cool thing we did – we took the helicopter ride (45 minutes) above Grand Canyon. That view is insane! But again, being a photographer – you can’t photograph it so-so well because of the nasty reflections, and inability to stop the moment and choose your composition. Was cool to see anyway. The other girl on our group was scared of flying, so she was constantly grabbing my knee… and me, I guess, being adrenaline junky, didn’t give a damn about swinging left and right helicopter.

When we went to Stratosphere, the rollercoasters that take you swinging around above the city, I didn’t feel scared as well. Some guys who did skydive before, refused to go on those rollercoasters. I almost felt disappointed as they were describing those as absolutely insane rides. Should have done the base-jump maybe? Yeah, no wonder someone called me a crazy Russian recently.

So as for me, the craziest thing I did on this trip, was making a tattoo. It surprisingly hurt much less than I expected, and my boyfriend surprisingly didn’t kill me for doing that. I loved the whole experience though, apart from the healing part when I could not swim in the swimming pool, but in the end I don’t care. Have plenty of swimming pools to swim in Dxb.

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Some say that Dubai is like Vegas but without naked people in the streets… I don’t feel the same way. Dubai has much more style and glamour into it. Yes, you can definitely find the similar kinds of entertainments, but overall it’s a different feeling. Also, I can guarantee that apart from Ramadan time, you can go out in Dubai any day of the week… while in Vegas pretty much everything is closed during the week and functioning on the weekend.

Tell me your Vegas story, if you have any?

Anna