Urbanist Hanoi

in Asia

[Photos] 21 Rare Old Photos Showcase Kuala Lumpur's Unique Architecture

If you’ve enjoyed our collections of old Saigon photos so far, this set of rare images of Kuala Lumpur taken throughout the 20th century might pique your interest.

in Hanoi

[Video] Travel Back in Time to Late 1970s Hanoi When Bicycles Ruled the Streets

The following footage of Hanoi from 1975 to 1980 reminds us that, less than 50 years ago, the capital was tranquil, slow-moving and unpolluted.

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] Cruising Across Vietnam on the North-South Train in 1920

It appears train travel in Vietnam has changed very little in the past 100 years.

in Hanoi

[Photos] A Bird's-Eye View of the Capital in the 1930s

Aerial photography has been around since the 19th century. During colonial rule in Vietnam, French photographers took to the air to show sights of Hanoi in ways previously only appreciated by birds. 

in Vietnam

[Photos] Monochrome Images Depict Craftmanship Across 1930s Vietnam

In this photo series, the camera's lens focuses on Vietnamese artisans in 1930, zooming on the intricate details of wood carvings and patterns from pagodas across the country, with a generous dose of orientalism.

in Hanoi

[Photos] Misty Memories of 1930s Hanoi Show the Capital’s Former Calm

When he was 18 years old, Le Vuong bought his first camera.

in Asia

[Photos] The Dynamic Life of Vientiane Residents in the 1990s

Even now, media portrayals of Laos are usually associated with a well-constructed image of a nation of quietude, spirituality and natural beauty untouched by rampant development.

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in Vietnam

[Photos] 1970s Vietnam: Lambrettas, Spartan Fields and Renaults Galore

In the 1970s, urban Vietnam was a Lambretta paradise.

in Vietnam

[Photos] The Sleepy, Small Town Vibes of Central Vietnam in the Early 1960s

Before it became the modern metropolis it is today, Da Nang used to be a sleepy fishing village.

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 ...