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An Ancestral History of Northern Vietnam’s Railway Construction

We often see archival images of old Hanoi, but these photos are different - they are personal. The following shots, which come from a collection of five photo albums, are the only surviving record of my two great-great-grandfathers’ presence in what was then Indochina.

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[Photos] 36 Photos of Life in Vietnam in 1956

There are many things to love about life in Vietnam in past decades, but over the years, Vietnamese nowadays might have gotten used to a certain standard of living, making it hard to picture a time when cell phones weren‘t a thing and bubble tea parlors didn’t line local thoroughfares.

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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] Early 1980s Hanoi on the Brink of Doi Moi

The early 1980s were a complicated time for Vietnam. Still reeling from the end of a war within the country – not to mention border conflicts with Cambodia and China in the later 1970s – Vietnam was just beginning to find its footing in an era of peace.

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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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[Photos] The Bygone Days of 1920s Vinh Long

Across the internet, there is ample documentation of Vietnam’s cities in the days of French colonialism. Turn-of-the-century countryside snaps, however, are a little harder to come by.

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[Photos] Vintage Postcards Capture the Grand Landmarks of Old Saigon

Today, Saigon’s landmarks are the subject of many an Instagram snapshot – everyone, it seems, has photographed the Notre Dame Cathedral at least once – but in the days before smartphones, Saigon’s grander buildings were featured heavily on the correspondence sent back to Europe by Vietnam’s French colonists.

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[Photos] Vinh Phuc's Tam Dao Hill Station in Its Glory Days

Nestled in a cradle of hills about 85 kilometers northwest of Hanoi is the Tam Dao Hill Station, a former colonial village whose lakes, waterfalls and villas made it known during its heyday as “The Da Lat of the North.”

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[Photos] A Black-and-White Look at Hoi An From 1930 to 1950

It appears that flooding in Hoi An is a common phenomenon that dates back to at least the 1930s.

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