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

in Vietnam

[Photos] Monochrome Images Depict Craftmanship Across 1930s Vietnam

In this photo series, the camera's lens focuses on Vietnamese artisans in 1930, zooming on the intricate details of wood carvings and patterns from pagodas across the country, with a generous dose of ...

in Vietnam

[Photos] Craftmanship in 1930 Vietnam as Seen in Paris' Specialized Municipal Libraries

In this photo series, the camera's lens focuses on Vietnamese artisans in 1930, zooming on the intricate details of wood carvings and patterns from pagodas across the country, with a generous dose of ...

in Hanoi

[Photos] Misty Memories of 1930s Hanoi Show the Capital’s Former Calm

When he was 18 years old, Le Vuong bought his first camera.

Chris Humphrey

in Heritage

[Photos] Hanoi That Once Was Through the Eyes of Le Vuong

When he was 18 years old, Le Vuong bought his first camera. The year was 1936 and one could easily purchase land in Hanoi for the same price as the camera. But Vuong wasn’t interested in real estate;...

in Asia

[Photos] The Dynamic Life of Vientiane Residents in the 1990s

Even now, media portrayals of Laos are usually associated with a well-constructed image of a nation of quietude, spirituality and natural beauty untouched by rampant development.

in Hanoi

[Photos] Monochrome Images Capture the Calmness of the Capital in 1939

The following monochrome images, taken by an unknown French photographer in 1939, capture peaceful moments in corners of the capital, from the city center to outlying villages. 

in Saigon

[Photos] Black-and-White Photos Capture the Life and Labor in 1991 Cho Lon

Famous Japanese photographer Doi Kuro once said: "Vietnamese people’s lives are exposed on every street. That’s fascinating." Perhaps that is why photographers visiting Vietnam usually focus on the ci...

in Vietnam

[Photos] 18 Shots From the Streets of Nha Trang in the Late 1960s

White-sand beaches stretch beyond the horizon, towering mountains sit silently in the distance: for the most part, the natural landscape of Nha Trang remains relatively unchanged between the late 1960...

in Vietnam

[Photos] 18 Photos on the Streets of Nha Trang in the Late 1960s

White-sand beaches stretch beyond the horizon, towering mountains sit silently in the distance: for the most part, the natural landscape of Nha Trang remains relatively unchanged between the late 1960...

in Hanoi

[Photos] What Studying Was Like in a 1920s Hanoi Girls' School

Ever wonder what school in Hanoi was like before the advent of smartphones or even simple calculators and other basic electronic devices?

in Vietnam

[Photos] On the Street in 1970, From Saigon to Vung Tau

Since Vietnam made helmets compulsory for every trip on motorbikes years ago, it’s hard to imagine a time when this trusty headgear wasn't a part of daily life. Which makes these photos of Saigon, tak...

in Hanoi

[Video] See Artisans Creating Traditional Dó Paper in 1930s Hanoi

The following short clip, titled Women of Hanoi, is only really connected to its titular meaning by its captions, which refer to "dusky ladies" and love notes scrawled on dó paper by street-side calli...

in Saigon

Street Cred: Phan Đình Phùng, My Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather

An unassuming street named Phan Dinh Phung runs through Saigon’s Phu Nhuan District. It is named after a Vietnamese revolutionary who led rebel armies against French colonial forces in the 1880s ...

in Hanoi

[Video] Witness the Profound Difference of Life in Hanoi's Old Quarter in 1931

This remarkable video reveals not only Hanoi's Old Quarter in 1931, but also scenes from temples in Phnom Penh around the same time. 

in Vietnam

[Photos] A Flight Over Da Lat in 1968–1971 Before the Tourism Boom

If you’ve taken a trip to Lam Dong within the last few years, these scenes seem like a distant dream of a sparsely populated and verdant Da Lat that’s engulfed by nature.

in Vietnam

[Photos] Scenes in 1964 Saigon, Ben Tre, Bien Hoa on Film

In 1964, Saigon’s Phu Dong Roundabout didn’t feature the towering bronze statue of folk hero Thanh Giong. Instead of the congestion hot spot the intersection is known as today, it was actually spaciou...

in Hanoi

[Video] Travel Back in Time to the Streets of 1980s Hanoi

Old videos of Vietnam are akin to a digital museum. This clip, set against the musical backdrop of Beethoven's 'Moonlight Sonata,' not only brings us memories of folk games, rolling trams, and th...

in Asia

[Photos] Taiwan's Diverse Society Embodied in Surrealist Street Photography

Chang Chao-Tang has been regarded as one of Taiwan's most influential photographers known for his mastery of surrealism. Chang's primarily black-and-white images reveal the absurdity of everyday life ...

in Vietnam

[Photos] A Tourist-Free Hoi An of the 1990s by Photographer Doi Kuro

Witness the casual atmosphere of central Vietnam more than two decades ago. 

in Vietnam

[Photos] Logging, Elephants and Factories in 1920s Nghe An

A little-visited mystery? A province where students study hard so they can leave the area? The birthplace of Ho Chi Minh? What comes to mind when you think of Nghe An Province?