Paul Christiansen

in Vietnam

Revisiting the Coats of Arms of Vietnam's Major Cities Under French Rule

Did you know that several Vietnamese cities have coats of arms?

in Vietnam

How the 1st Quốc Ngữ Newspaper Shaped the Foundation of Vietnam's Modern Journalism

Stopping at the intersection of Saigon’s Trần Hưng Đạo and Trần Bình Trọng streets, the tranquil mausoleum of scholar Trương Vĩnh Ký remains hidden amid the daily commotion. Few realize that the visionary resting here, along with his associates and their contributions, laid the foundation for Vietnam's modern journalism with the launch of Gia Định Báo (Gia Định Newspaper).

in Saigon

Hidden in the Heart of D5, an Architectural Vestige of 1970s Vietnam-Korea History

For years now, the verdant pine green pavilion in the heart of Hòa Bình Park in District 5 has been a familiar landmark for denizens of Chợ Lớn.

in Hanoi

Postcard-Ready Vintage Album Highlights a Lonesome Hanoi in the 1920s

Looking at past albums of our cities today, I’m always stricken by a bewildering vastness — every street, every square, every building seemed to have been constructed in a ghost town, serving lonesome phantoms and nonchalant horse-drawn wagons.

in Vietnam

French Illustrated Encyclopedia Paints the Slices of Vietnam Life in the 1900s

"To effectively govern colonial peoples, the foremost requirement is a thorough understanding of the very people one rules over," so believed Paul Doumer, the second Governor-General of French Indochina, who spent his career imposing the imperial French government's agenda on studying the culture of their colonized subjects.

in Saigon

Portrait of a Jubilant Saigon on the Precipice of Tết in 1992

Tết in 1992 was an especially fortuitous time to be a foreign arrival to Saigon. 

in Vietnam

In 1992 Vietnam, the Streets Were Brimming With Love and Life

How has your life been transformed in the past 30 years? Changes might materialize overnight, but some tend to creep up on you at a glacial pace. Through this collection of images from 1992, mull over how Vietnam as a country has grown with every 12-month cycle.

Back Heritage

Paul Christiansen

in Vietnam

Revisiting the Coats of Arms of Vietnam's Major Cities Under French Rule

Did you know that several Vietnamese cities have coats of arms?

in Vietnam

How the 1st Quốc Ngữ Newspaper Shaped the Foundation of Vietnam's Modern Journalism

Stopping at the intersection of Saigon’s Trần Hưng Đạo and Trần Bình Trọng streets, the tranquil mausoleum of scholar Trương Vĩnh Ký remains hidden amid the daily commotion. Few realize that the visio...

in Saigon

Hidden in the Heart of D5, an Architectural Vestige of 1970s Vietnam-Korea History

For years now, the verdant pine green pavilion in the heart of Hòa Bình Park in District 5 has been a familiar landmark for denizens of Chợ Lớn.

in Hanoi

Postcard-Ready Vintage Album Highlights a Lonesome Hanoi in the 1920s

Looking at past albums of our cities today, I’m always stricken by a bewildering vastness — every street, every square, every building seemed to have been constructed in a ghost town, serving lonesome...

in Vietnam

French Illustrated Encyclopedia Paints the Slices of Vietnam Life in the 1900s

"To effectively govern colonial peoples, the foremost requirement is a thorough understanding of the very people one rules over," so believed Paul Doumer, the second Governor-General of French Indochi...

in Saigon

Portrait of a Jubilant Saigon on the Precipice of Tết in 1992

Tết in 1992 was an especially fortuitous time to be a foreign arrival to Saigon. 

in Vietnam

In 1992 Vietnam, the Streets Were Brimming With Love and Life

How has your life been transformed in the past 30 years? Changes might materialize overnight, but some tend to creep up on you at a glacial pace. Through this collection of images from 1992, mull over...

in Vietnam

Vintage French Book Illustrations Depict a Quaint Indochina in 1903

In this rare collection of images from 1903 Indochina, life in the peninsula appears as if in a dream, with rows of colonial-style houses in between heritage trees and natural landscapes that weren’t ...

Paul Christiansen

in Saigon

Did You Know That There's a Mummy on Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm Boulevard?

Why is there a mummy on display in Saigon?

Brian Letwin

in Heritage

Tàu Cánh Ngầm: The Curious Case of Saigon’s Lost Soviet Hydrofoils

Not long ago, hulking “creatures” glided atop the waters between Saigon and Vũng Tàu. Like the dinosaurs that came before them, they slowly disappeared, until all that was left were their skeletons.

in Saigon

Relive Your Memories of Saigon Water Park via These Photos by One of Its Makers

Although water parks involve a combination of two of the most tedious human experiences, standing in lines and prolonged direct sun exposure, the now-demolished Saigon Water Park was an icon of 2000s ...

in Vietnam

The Vintage Charm of 1995 Vietnam on Kodachrome Film Slides

While editing a retrospective of my recent work from Vietnam in the summer of 2019, I discovered 50 yellow boxes of Kodachrome slides in my basement that were shot in 1995. The images were from my fir...

in Saigon

The Tumultuous Tale of Three Ga Sài Gòn Locations, From 1885 Until Now

Travelers arriving by train in Hồ Chí Minh City sometimes express surprise that the main Saigon Railway Station is located in Hòa Hưng, some distance from the central business district. In fact, this ...

in Saigon

A Brief History of the Vietnam Railways Building Before Its 110th Birthday

The iconic Bến Thành Market is not the only Saigon landmark that has endured for more than a century. The Vietnam Railways building at 138 Hàm Nghi, given its inauguration in 1914, is pushing the 110-...

in Vietnam

My Great-Great-Grandfathers Were in Indochina in the 1880s to Build the Railway

We often see archival images of old Hanoi, but these photos are different — they are personal. The following shots, which come from a collection of five photo albums, are the only surviving record of ...

in Vietnam

From Saigon to Đà Lạt: A Tourist's Journey Through Vietnam in 1963

Old archives of images from 1960s Saigon are easy to come by, but how often does one get to have a peek into the past version of Đà Lạt.

in Vietnam

A Brake Failure and 200 Victims: Remembering Vietnam's Deadliest Rail Accident

About 55 kilometers from Saigon, in the small commune of Tây Hoà rests the 17/03/1982 Railway Cemetery. It currently houses 85 unidentified graves of victims of the Train 183 Disaster, the deadli...

in Hanoi

Street Photos in 1973 Capture a Rebuilding Hanoi After Linebacker II

In this collection of black-and-white photos taken by German photographer Horst Faas, Hanoi's streets seem bursting with life, but lurking behind innocent smiling children and packed tram rides are th...

in Saigon

A Brief History of Cung Văn Hóa Lao Động and Saigon's First Swimming Pool

Once a fashionable rendezvous for the elite of colonial society, the Labour Culture Palace (Cung Văn hoá Lao động) at 55B Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai is today one of Hồ Chí Minh City’s most popular spor...

Paul Christiansen

in Vietnam

In Bình Định, a Museum Retells Nguyễn Huệ's Glorious Life via Vivid Murals

About 45 kilometers from downtown Quy Nhơn stands the Quang Trung Museum (Bảo tàng Quang Trung), one of Vietnam’s finest museums.