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.

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 interrupted by concrete.

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?

Back Heritage

Paul Christiansen

in Saigon

Street Cred: The Sins and Saving Grace of Dr. Albert Calmette

If you help save hundreds of thousands of lives via medical breakthroughs and establish one of the country’s first and most advanced research institutes, but also assist in the colonial regime’s bruta...

in Vietnam

[Photos] The Children of Southern Vietnam in 1967

To see old photos of children is profound because we know, in a way they couldn't when the photos were taken, how their lives have been shaped since. 

in Saigon

[Photos] 27 Snapshots of Saigon in 1970 by Carl Nielsen

Almost five decades ago, Saigon didn’t have much in terms of high-rise buildings; however, judging by the amount of people hanging about in public spaces, street life was as much a big part of metropo...

in Vietnam

[Photos] Enthralling Black-and-White Aerial Shots of 1950s Ha Long Bay

It will come as a surprise to no one that Ha Long Bay was much quieter in the 1950s than it is today.

in Vietnam

[Photos] A Visual Excursion to Past Bac Lieu, Home of Cải Lương Master Cao Van Lau

Tucked just below the Mekong's main aquiferous arteries, Bac Lieu Province serves as an interesting case study of how humans can thrive in swampy, steamy surroundings.

in Saigon

[Photos] On the Sidewalks of 1979 Saigon: Books, Knick-Knacks and a Multitude of Bicycles

Before the motorbikes invaded all aspects of modern Vietnam, Saigon streets were all bicycles, vintage cars and xích lô.

in Saigon

[Photos] 20 Black-and-White Snapshots of 1920 Saigon by Ludovic Crespin

In the early 1920s, central Saigon was an immaculate neighborhood with glamorous shops and clean streets.

in Vietnam

[Photos] Walk the Streets of 1965 Da Nang

Given how fast Vietnam's major cities change, and it can be hard to imagine what they looked like in decades past.

in Saigon

[Photos] Saigon Then & Now: Rue Catinat, Tu Do and Dong Khoi Street

While some of Saigon's most extreme changes over the years have occurred in suburban areas like District 7 or Binh Thanh, central District 1 is obviously no stranger to transformations either.

in Saigon

[Photos] 20 Snapshots of Saigon in 1969 by George Lane

With every uncovered archive of old photos, we come closer and closer to reconstructing a complete tapestry of life in past eras.

in Vietnam

[Photos] On the Road to Nha Trang in the 1960s, a Medley of Spartan Fields

If downtown Saigon was the epicenter of frenetic energy and urban chaos in the late 60s, you’d have been hard-pressed to find a crowd of more than five people or buildings with more than one floor onc...

in Saigon

[Photos] A Rare Aerial Perspective of Saigon in the 1920s

Thanks to the prevalence of photographic drones, nowadays it’s a cakewalk to source aerial photos of Vietnam with just a simple internet search.

in Saigon

[Photos] Rare Black-and-White Photos of Downtown Saigon in 1938–1939

A trip back to an era when the Saigon as we know today only consisted of central District 1 and Cho Lon.

in Vietnam

[Photos] Have a Glance at Saigon's Snacks Through These Photos of Street Vendors in 1966

Street food has long been the epitome of Saigon's daily culture.

in Vietnam

[Photos] A Final Family Journey Through Vietnamese Landscapes in the 1800s

This is the third and final collection from my family’s photography archives, and it is also the most important to me. Beyond my family’s colonial past, it is this last series of images that have infl...

in Hanoi

[Illustrations] Paintings of Hanoi’s Old Quarter in the Feudal Era

Depicting an age before the stress of modern life took hold, these illustrations are an endearing reminder of the Old Quarter’s former imperial life over 1,000 years ago.

in Saigon

A Brief History of Saigon's Now-Defunct Thu Thiem Ferry Service

While the Thu Thiem Bridge and Thu Thiem Tunnel allow easy access to the District 2 peninsula from nearby districts, for decades past Saigoneers had to rely on the Thu Thiem Ferry to cross the river.

in Vietnam

[Photos] Family Albums Depict the Everyday Lives of Vietnamese People in the Late 1800s

Following last week’s photo essay on railway construction, this week’s images focus on the everyday lives of people in northern Vietnam. 

in Saigon

[Photos] A View of 1968 Cho Lon Through the Lens of an Australian Soldier

Through the lens of Gary Grayson, a former Australian military officer, life persisted in 1968 Saigon despite the tumultuous political climate enveloping the region at the time.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon

Old Saigon Building of the Week: The Glitz and Glam of Tự Do Nightclub

While today’s Dong Khoi Street is peppered with tourist-centric shops and restaurants, just half a century ago, the downtown street was the nightlife hotspot for Saigon’s cool kids to congregate.