Urbanist Hanoi

Back Heritage » 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 Meandering Photographic History of the Red River and Long Bien Bridge

Upon its completion in 1902, Hanoi’s Long Bien Bridge was the second-longest of its kind in the world — it was only a few hundred meters shorter than Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. 

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

Thong Nhat to Stop Producing Iconic Matchbox Brand Starting Next Year

Founded in 1956, Thong Nhat was one of the first factories built in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

in Vietnam

[Illustrations] Everyday Life in 1923 Northern Vietnam Through 10 Rare Sketches

It was a simpler time in Vietnam 100 years ago — just people going about their life without a single phone in sight.