Urbanist Hanoi

[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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[Photos] Raymond Depardon's 1992 Vietnam: The Many Faces of Hanoi

After his Saigon trip in 1972, famed French photographer Raymond Depardon returned in 1992 to traverse the length of Vietnam.

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The Great Hanoi Rat Massacre: The Capital's Brief Stint With the Plague

France left a diverse legacy in Indochina: colonial buildings, flushing toilets and even the bubonic plague.

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[Photos] A Rare Glimpse of Life in Hanoi in 1959

It’s hard to imagine what life was like in a motorbike-free Hanoi.

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Street Cred: Ly Thai To, the Emperor Who Created Hanoi

Ly Thai To – founder of the Later Ly dynasty, Vietnam’s first stable empire – is one of Vietnam’s most important historical figures, so it’s no surprise that his name appears on road names and his statue stands proudly in Hanoi looking down towards Hoan Kiem Lake. 

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