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 Hanoi

Date With the Wrecking Ball: The Last Transmission From Dai La

In the southern reaches of the Vietnamese capital, a French villa will be demolished in the coming months following a decision by the Hanoi People’s Committee to construct a new ring road. The elegant...

in Asia

[Photos] Rare Scenes of a Rebuilding Seoul After the Korean War

While Seoul may now call to mind sleek skyscrapers whose neon lights resemble the bioluminescent tentacles of benthic sea creatures, that wasn't always the case. Following the savage civil war that le...

in Vietnam

[Photos] The Joy and Hardships of Life in 1963 Binh Phuoc

Binh Phuoc Province, located on the Vietnam-Cambodia border and known as two separate provinces, Phuoc Long and Binh Loc, in the 1960s, was an important site for many battles during the Amer...

in Hanoi

[Photos] The Days When Hanoi Had Traditional Paper-Making Villages

Situated near the To Lich River, in the west of Hanoi, Yen Thai was a famous dó paper-making village, which began to develop rapidly in the 12th century once Hanoi became established as the capital o...

in Asia

[Photos] Vintage Stamps From 1950 Depict Tourist Sites in Indochina

As if prematurely nostalgic for a colony that was rapidly slipping through their fingers, France issued a set of stamps focused on their Southeast Asian territories.

in Vietnam

Quoc An Temple, One of Hue's Oldest, Is Dismantled for a New Structure

Citing deterioration of the roof and wooden main structures, Venerable Thich Minh Chon moved forward with a major renovation project on his temple, Quoc An, in Hue.

in Hanoi

[Photos] A Celebration of the Hung Kings' Festival Decades Ago

Every year, the Hung Kings' Temple Festival is held to mark the death anniversary of the Hung Kings on the 10th day of the third month on the lunar calendar.

in Vietnam

[Photos] A Dao Mau 'Mother Goddess' Ritual in 1920s Nam Dinh

Situated in Nam Dinh City, Phu Giay is considered the largest center of the Dao Mau 'Mother Goddess' religion across all Vietnam. There are more than 20 temples and mausoleums in the area dedicated to...

in Asia

[Photos] Travel Through Time to Singapore in the 1960s

There used to be a time when the sights and people of Saigon and Singapore didn’t look too dissimilar.

in Saigon

[Photos] Memories of 1966 Saigon in 11 Film Photos

Have you ever wondered why a fascination about old images is encoded in our blood? Tattered family albums, tiny Polaroid shots, a roll of undeveloped film — these have great potential to surprise us w...

in Hanoi

[Photos] 1885 Hanoi Revealed Through Sepia Prints, Sketches, Postcards and Maps

All too often these days, we come across monuments of historical significance, pull out our smartphone and take a picture, only for it to waste away in our maze of a camera roll, never to be looked at...

in Saigon

[Photos] 23 Photos of Saigon Street Life in 1969-1970

Free of international-style skyscrapers, Saigon’s urban quarters used to be all red roofs and modernist tube houses in the late 1960s.

in Saigon

[Photos] The Streets of Cho Lon, as Seen Through Old Postcards

From downtown Saigon, take Tran Hung Dao Boulevard, drive past rows of towering dipterocarp trees, and one will arrive in the colorful quarters of Cho Lon.

in Vietnam

[Photos] The Two Sides of 1920s Hai Phong: Fancy Hotels and Seaside Shanties

Established in the late 19th century, Hai Phong is one of Vietnam's five municipalities and the second-largest city in northern Vietnam, after Hanoi.

in Vietnam

[Photos] The Small-Town Vibes of Quy Nhon Half a Century Ago

The central coast city has been charming guests for decades with its awe-shucks charisma.

in Vietnam

New Proposals Suggest Repairing or Replacing Nam Dinh Cathedral With Replica

Back in May, a renovation plan to replace Bui Chu Cathedral in Nam Dinh Province with a newly-built replica angered the public.

in Saigon

[Photos] Saigon Street Life in 1965 by Bruce Baumler – Part 2

Continuing the visual spectacle of Saigon from part 1 of the collection, here are more candid shots of the city’s street life in 1965.

in Asia

[Photos] The People of 1880s Indochina Captured in a Series of Striking Portraits

When French photographers Hippolyte Arnoux and Émile Gssel traveled to Indochina in 1880, they documented not only its landscapes, but also its people.

in Saigon

[Photos] Saigon Street Life in 1965 by Bruce Baumler – Part 1

Identifying streets and neighborhoods of Saigon based on old pictures might seem like a skill exclusively reserved for those who have lived through the eras, but at times it’s like a fascinating game ...

in Asia

[Photos] An Eerie Tokyo in the 1970s by Canadian Photographer Greg Girard

Born in 1955, Greg Girard is well-known for his photography work in some of Asia's largest cities.