Thanh and Thuy in front of their boathouse in a wedding photo taken by Hai Le Cao
Photographer Hai Le Cao knows true love when he sees it.
He accidentally met this old couple, both around 80 years old, on a boathouse on the Red River in Hanoi. He came up with the idea of giving them a wedding as a gift after learning their story.
Thanh and Thuy are both orphans. The trash collectors first met on June 2, 1969 at a landfill site. Homeless and poor, they fell in love and decided to live together.
They experienced ups and downs. They moved from places to places until they settled down in Bai Giua, an islet on the Red River.
Four years ago, local authorities decided to remove the makeshift boathouses on the river. But they let the old couple stay because they had for years kindly taken care of dead bodies found on the river.
The couple still collects trash every day. There is nothing valuable in their boathouse, except for a pair of pipes as the couple said they used for smoking thuoc lao (a rustic rainforest tobacco traditionally smoked in a pipe made from bamboo, metal or even plastic). They both love smoking. “It's good to have two because we will not have to fight,” he said amusingly.
The couple had never dreamt of a wedding. To celebrate their love, Thanh simply tattooed the day they first met on his arm.
Cao finally talked to the couple into it. He said it was an honor for him to organize a wedding and take the photos, dedicating his gift to the “open-minded” and “extremely lovely” couple.
The background of the photos is the couple's boathouse and the Red River.
The photos have quickly become viral on social media.