Urbanist Hanoi

[Photos] 18 Rare Photos of Northern and Central Vietnam in the Late 19th Century

During the 19th century, postcards were one of the most popular forms of media that connected Vietnam with the rest of the world.

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Street Cred: Nguyen Du, Father of Vietnamese Literature

Even if you’re in need of a refresher on Vietnamese history, you may already know the name Nguyen Du. The 19th-century statesman and poet is often known as the father of Vietnamese literature, and his epic poem Truyen Kieu is easily the country’s most famous work.

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[Video] Vintage Home Movie Takes You Through the Streets of 1950s Hanoi

Beginning with a delightfully kitsch, Star Wars-esque, rolling text introduction explaining how the clip was filmed during Tet in the early 1950s, the footage quickly shifts to grainy, quotidian footage from one Hanoi family over 60 years ago.

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[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. 

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[Photos] The Serene, Laid-Back Vibe of Hanoi in the Mid-1990s

Hanoi in the mid-1990s was a city of rich traditions and a laid-back lifestyle.

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Street Cred: Thich Quang Duc, the Monk Who Set Himself on Fire

Despite his peaceful nature, Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc is known today as “the monk who set himself on fire,” serving as a symbol of protest against religious discrimination. In today’s Saigon, the venerable monk lends his name to a cozy neighborhood street in Phu Nhuan District, away from the hustle and bustle of inner city life.

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[Photos] Emperor Bao Dai's 1942 Offering of Worship to Heaven and Earth

Throughout Vietnam’s imperial era, ceremonial rituals were an indispensable part of a local monarch’s reign. One such celebration was Nam Giao, an annual ceremony of utmost importance in the king’s calendar.

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[Photos] Here's What Hanoi Looked Like In 1905

During the French colonial period, Tonkin, or Đàng Ngoài, was the name given to northern Vietnam. Situated in and around the Red River Delta, the word 'Tonkin' is a corruption of Đông Kinh, the name of Vietnam's capital city during the Le Dynasty. When the Nguyen, Vietnam's last imperial dynasty, the Nguyen, renamed the town Hà Nội (meaning ‘between two rivers’) in 1831 and hasn't changed since.

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Street Cred: Trinh Cong Son, the Voice of a Generation

A few weeks ago, Hanoi officials announced the conversion of the capital’s narrow Trinh Cong Son Street into a pedestrian zone featuring artistic performances as well as snacks and souvenirs.

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[Video] Travel Back to 1902 Hanoi With This Rare Footage

Today, Hanoi's traffic is a force with which to be reckoned. But while the motorbikes, SUVs and public buses of the present create pandemonium in the capital's Old Quarter, the area around Dong Xuan Market was home to its own version of chaos long ago.

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20 Images of Hanoi's Old Quarter in 1896

Even as Hanoi charges into the future with flashy new skyscrapers and brand-new metro lines, the capital manages to hang on to its traditions. Particularly in busy downtown neighborhoods like the Old Quarter, locals have taken a leap into the 21st century and yet old-school storefronts, ancient monuments and bamboo-toting street vendors still remain.

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