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[Video] Travel Back to 1902 Hanoi With This Rare Footage

Today, Hanoi's traffic is a force with which to be reckoned. But while the motorbikes, SUVs and public buses of the present create pandemonium in the capital's Old Quarter, the area around Dong Xuan Market was home to its own version of chaos long ago.

In the following video, posted to YouTube by user Brian Dockery, old, turn-of-the-20th-century footage follows Hanoi's former electric tram down what is now Hang Dao, Hang Duong and Hang Ngang Streets toward Dong Xuan. In the foreground, rickshaws and mobile vendors crisscross back and forth over the track as the camera moves ever closer to the marketplace.

Additional snapshots and postcards – dated from 1902 onward – feature a crowd of nón lá-wearing market vendors out front of Dong Xuan plying their wares. From the technology to the fashion choices in the clip, there are certainly differences between then and now, but the market itself – and the frenetic energy that surrounds it – remains largely the same.

[Video via YouTube user Brian Dockery]


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