Urbanist Hanoi

in Hanoi

[Photos] Once Upon a Time in Bát Tràng Ceramic Village

Back in the day, when Emperor Lý Thái Tổ relocated the capital from Ninh Binh to Hanoi, five famous pottery families followed. They settled in a region on the east bank of the Red River where there was good clay, and founded the Bat Trang ceramic village.

in Vietnam

Vietnam Designates November 19 National Day of Mourning for Covid-19 Victims

Thousands of Vietnamese lives have been claimed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

in Hanoi

[Photos] A Game of Trade: Hanoi’s First International Trade Fair Complex

Hanoi has had many names in its life time; among the lesser-known ones is Ke Cho, which literally means "the market people."

in Hanoi

[Photos] Wander Through the Old Quarter in 1995 Hanoi

What do you miss most about the 1990s?

in Hanoi

Chợ Âm Phủ and the Embattled History Behind Hanoi's Book Street

19/12 Street was once a mass burial ground for those who died in the National Resistance against France in 1946. The event shaped the history of the city and the relationship that thrived for 71 years between locals, the street and chợ Âm phủ (Hell Market).

in Hanoi

[Photos] How Did Hanoians Enjoy Tết in 1955?

With Tết less than a month away, now is probably the time to ramp up shopping trips, cleaning tasks and home decoration efforts.

in Hanoi

[Photos] Black-and-White Shots of Hanoi Street Scenes From 1940

For thousands of years, streets have served a multitude of purposes.

in Hanoi

Street Cred: Pháo Đài Láng, Home of Ông Voi and Where the War Began

More often than not, a country’s independence is won with guns. The location where the first shots were fired for Vietnam is memorialized to this day.

Back Heritage

in Vietnam

[Photos] The Children of Southern Vietnam in 1967

To see old photos of children is profound because we know, in a way they couldn't when the photos were taken, how their lives have been shaped since. 

in Vietnam

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...

in Vietnam

[Photos] Enthralling Black-and-White Aerial Shots of 1950s Ha Long Bay

It will come as a surprise to no one that Ha Long Bay was much quieter in the 1950s than it is today.

in 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.

in Hanoi

[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 foota...

in Vietnam

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

Thanks to the prevalence of photographic drones, nowadays it’s a cakewalk to source aerial photos of Vietnam with just a simple internet search.

in Vietnam

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

Vietnam is evolving fast. It seems like every day in local metropolises, centuries-old buildings are being demolished to make way for new skyscrapers. The photos below, taken by famed photographer Dav...

in Vietnam

[Photos] 20 Photos of Vietnam's Spartan Rural Provinces in the 1960s

Less than a decade before 1975, Vietnam’s rural provinces were still sparsely developed despite Saigon’s rising position as one of Southeast Asia's major cities.

in Vietnam

[Photos] A Nostalgic Look at Da Lat Market Through Time

Built in 1929, Da Lat’s central market is not only a buzzing commercial center, but also an important historical landmark of the sleepy resort town.

in Vietnam

[Photos] Wilbur's Vietnam: Life in Da Lat, Nha Trang and the Mekong Delta in the 1960s

With his role as a picture editor for National Geographic, Wilbur E. Garrett had many opportunities to travel across Vietnam for photo assignments.

in Vietnam

[Photos] Take a Quick Trip to Vung Tau in 1967

Due to its proximity to Saigon, Vung Tau is a favorite location for a quick weekend trip away to unwind. Based on this set of photos taken in 1967 by American veteran Tom Twitty, the sleepy coastal to...

in Vietnam

[Photos] A Final Family Journey Through Vietnamese Landscapes in the 1800s

This is the third and final collection from my family’s photography archives, and it is also the most important to me. Beyond my family’s colonial past, it is this last series of images that have infl...

in Hanoi

[Illustrations] Paintings of Hanoi’s Old Quarter in the Feudal Era

Depicting an age before the stress of modern life took hold, these illustrations are an endearing reminder of the Old Quarter’s former imperial life over 1,000 years ago.

in Vietnam

[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. 

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

[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 wh...

in 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.

in Vietnam

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 ...

in Vietnam

[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 ca...

in Hanoi

[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 j...