Urbanist Hanoi

BackHeritage » 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.

These photos, maps and postcards of the province that were taken from 1896 to 1930 depict daily life in the province's capital, Bac Lieu City, and surrounding areas. Before modern roads and bridges, people traversed the region via streams, canals and rivers, as exemplified by waterways clogged with traditional wooden boats and bustling ports. The area's rich soil makes it ideal for rice growing and a few factory photos show how its cultivation adapted to industrialization.

The different groups of people and governments that swept through modern-day Bac Lieu left some interesting relics. Khmer script on a building reveals that ethnicity's historic presence in the area. In later years it became a popular area for rich debauchees who lived in lavish Western-style vacation homes. During both World War II and the American War, foreign soldiers were active in the area and can be seen interacting with locals in a couple of shots.

Take a look at this unique and often-ignored corner of southern Vietnam in the decade-spanning photographs below:

[Photos via Flickr user manhhai]


Related Articles:

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

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

- [Photos] A Wistful Reel of Life in Vietnam in 1989


Related Articles

in Vietnam

A Rare Look Inside the Hue Imperial Court in 1895 in Watercolor

'La cour de Hue' (The court of Hue) is a series of painting done by Nguyen Van Nhan in 1895, during the reign of Thanh Thai, emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty at the time.

in Vietnam

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 ...

in Vietnam

New Proposals Suggest Repairing or Replacing Nam Dinh Cathedral With Replica

Back in May, a renovation plan to replace Bui Chu Cathedral in Nam Dinh Province with a newly built replica angered the public.

in Vietnam

[Maps] A Brief Cartographic History of Hai Phong From 1898 to 1968

Known today by the moniker "City of Red Flamboyant Trees," Hai Phong has always been one of Vietnam’s most prominent port cities ever since its establishment in 1888.

in Vietnam

[Photos] 16 Rare Images of 1900s Vietnam as Part of French Indochina

In a mishmash of sketches and grainy photographs, Vietnam’s landscapes in the 1900s feels almost surreal.

in Vietnam

[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.