Urbanist Hanoi

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The Harrowing History of Vietnam's Rubber Plantations

"Oh it’s easy to go to the rubber and hard to return, / Men leave their corpses, women depart as ghosts."

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How Vietnamese Runners Are Taking on 70km-Long Mountain Trails, and Winning

Ever wondered if you’ve got what it takes to run 70 kilometers? How about scaling a 2,300-meter mountain? Better still, could you imagine doing both of these things at the same time?

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A 'Lao Hac' Adaptation Will Be Vietnam's First Film Starring a Dog

Film adaptations of literary works have been among the most well-received cinematic features in Vietnam in recent years, so it’s natural that ‘Lao Hac’ is coming to the big screen soon.

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[Photos] Sixty Square, Hanoi's Beloved Art Quarter, Reopens After Closure Earlier This Year

Upon opening at the beginning of 2018, Sixty Square thrilled Hanoi's young creative crowd. When it suddenly closed earlier this year, it left hearts broken. Now, they're back once again. 

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Turn Over a New Page in Hanoi's Hidden Libraries

I focused my attention on an amplifier lying on the shelf behind Hieu, the founder of Go West Library. He left his seat to retrieve a cable, and after returning he plugged his phone into the machine, ...

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The Discomforting Poetry of Vietnamese Cursed Image

The page description of Vietnamese Cursed Image (VCI) has a single line: “how did you get here?” — a question I find myself asking often.

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[Video] Watch the Impressive Trailer of Nguyen Dynasty Historical Drama 'Phuong Khau'

Phuong Khau is an original series set during the Nguyen dynasty, chronicling the life of Empress Dowager Tu Du, the mother of Emperor Tu Duc.

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[Photos] After Bánh Mì, Altar Might Be Vietnam's Next Miss Universe National Costume

Remember the bánh mì dress? She’s dead, and this horrible design murdered her.

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Filmmaker Nong Nhat Quang on His New Docuseries 'Queer Asia: Vietnam'

For 22-year-old filmmaker Nong Nhat Quang, growing up gay in Lao Cai Province, a conservative region of many ethnic groups, was tough. Being noticeably camp meant bullying and abuse were commonplace, ...

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[Photos] How Vietnam's Muslims Celebrate Ramadan, Eid Al-Fitr in Chau Doc

Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world, yet Vietnamese Muslims represent as little as 0.01% of the country’s population. Most are ethnic Cham, while a few are foreigners and a few converts...

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[Video] Stop-Motion Animation Project Retells Vietnam's Starfruit Tale With a Hint of Horror

As a common saying goes: "tham thì thâm" (grasp all lose all).

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The Pink, Minimalist Aesthetic Enticing Hanoi's Millennials

At the intersection between Hang Bong and Phung Hung streets, there is a bakery whose lavender armchairs look as if they are made from giant ladyfingers. It’s called Baked by Julie and, since ope...

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[Illustrations] An Idyllic Southeast Asian Childhood Through a Thai Artist's Illustrations

Thanks to the region’s similarities in biodiversity, climate and society, a childhood in rural Thailand isn’t that far off from that in the countryside of Vietnam.

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Scaling the Dragon: An Urbexer's Guide to Long Bien Bridge

Urban exploration, urbex or UE, is a form of recreational urban trespass. Urbexers find a way into anything from derelict theme parks, sewers and asylums to factories, skyscrapers, missile silos and p...

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The Legends of Tam Nương: Why You Shouldn't Start a Business on the 7th Day of Tet

There’s little doubt that superstition is still deeply rooted in Vietnamese culture. These silvery threads of mysticism are woven into a plethora of aspects of locals’ daily lives, ranging from rather...

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Experience: How Becoming One of Hanoi's First Drag Queens Transformed My Life

“Oh my god! You look beautiful! You belong on the runway, why aren’t you on the runway?” said Tamah Lake, the organizer of last year’s RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing party events in Hanoi. She came up to ...

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How Your Phone Number Affects Your Fortune

“Too many nines,” Diep scoffs. “And you think it’s good? It’s not, honey.”  

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In Hoa Binh, a Social Enterprise Supports Vietnam's Last Remaining Paper Artisans

As aid to Vietnamese communities decreases, how do we continue to preserve cultural heritage? Zo Project, an organization based out of Hanoi, offers a compelling example of the role social enterprise ...

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[Photos] An Ancient Scroll Depicts the Wondrous World of Japanese Bakemono

Bakemono refers to preternatural, shapeshifting monsters in Japanese folklore.

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Hanoi Proposes Non-Smoking Areas Around Tourist Sites

The proposal was suggested for areas such as the walking streets around Hoan Kiem Lake in an effort to make the area more welcoming to tourists.