in Saigon

Hidden in the Heart of D5, an Architectural Vestige of 1970s Vietnam-Korea History

For years now, the verdant pine green pavilion in the heart of Hòa Bình Park in District 5 has been a familiar landmark for denizens of Chợ Lớn.

in Hanoi

Postcard-Ready Vintage Album Highlights a Lonesome Hanoi in the 1920s

Looking at past albums of our cities today, I’m always stricken by a bewildering vastness — every street, every square, every building seemed to have been constructed in a ghost town, serving lonesome phantoms and nonchalant horse-drawn wagons.

in Vietnam

French Illustrated Encyclopedia Paints the Slices of Vietnam Life in the 1900s

"To effectively govern colonial peoples, the foremost requirement is a thorough understanding of the very people one rules over," so believed Paul Doumer, the second Governor-General of French Indochina, who spent his career imposing the imperial French government's agenda on studying the culture of their colonized subjects.

in Saigon

Portrait of a Jubilant Saigon on the Precipice of Tết in 1992

Tết in 1992 was an especially fortuitous time to be a foreign arrival to Saigon. 

in Vietnam

In 1992 Vietnam, the Streets Were Brimming With Love and Life

How has your life been transformed in the past 30 years? Changes might materialize overnight, but some tend to creep up on you at a glacial pace. Through this collection of images from 1992, mull over how Vietnam as a country has grown with every 12-month cycle.

in Vietnam

Vintage French Book Illustrations Depict a Quaint Indochina in 1903

In this rare collection of images from 1903 Indochina, life in the peninsula appears as if in a dream, with rows of colonial-style houses in between heritage trees and natural landscapes that weren’t interrupted by concrete.

Paul Christiansen

in Saigon

Did You Know That There's a Mummy on Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm Boulevard?

Why is there a mummy on display in Saigon?

Brian Letwin

in Heritage

Tàu Cánh Ngầm: The Curious Case of Saigon’s Lost Soviet Hydrofoils

Not long ago, hulking “creatures” glided atop the waters between Saigon and Vũng Tàu. Like the dinosaurs that came before them, they slowly disappeared, until all that was left were their skeletons.

Back Heritage

in Saigon

Massive Old Map of Saigon (1968)

Since most of the old maps we dig up are limited in scope, focusing on the city center, we were excited to come across this comprehensive map of Saigon from 1968.

in Vietnam

Images of Vietnam in 1992

We may post a lot about Saigon's pre-war past but, for a number of reasons, images from the 1980s and 1990s are hard to come by. Fortunately, VNExpress just published a collection of photos taken by ...

in Saigon

Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Rue Kitchener (Nguyen Thai Hoc Street)

When Saigon was still a sleepy French backwater, the city's streets were full of 1 and 2 story colonial buildings, lined with lush, green tress.

in Saigon

10 Old Pictures of People in Saigon

We often look to old buildings in order reconnect with the past since they are clear and static reference points. Though useful, another important window into the past is the day-to-day lives of peopl...

in Vietnam

46 Incredible Color Photos of 1915 Vietnam

Considering how rare turn of the 20th-century Vietnam photos are, we were especially excited to come across this Flickr album of 46 colorized photos from 1915. The photos were taken by Leon Busy...

in Saigon

Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Art Deco Kiosk

One of the few 'benefits' (all of which came at an incredibly high cost for the Vietnamese) of French colonialism is the architecture they left behind.

in Saigon

10 Old Pictures of the Saigon Zoo (Thảo Cầm Viên)

Established in 1869, the Saigon Zoo (Thảo Cầm Viên) is the 8th oldest zoo in the world. The zoo and botanical garden were commissioned by Admiral Pierre de la Grandière, Commander of French forces in...

Brian Letwin

in Saigon

10 Old Pictures (and History) of the Saigon Opera House

The Saigon Opera House (aka the Municipal Theatre) is one of Saigon’s oldest buildings and one of the city’s best examples of classical French architecture. Constructed at the turn of the 20th century...

in Saigon

This is What Saigon Looked Like in 1881

When this picture was drawn in 1881 by a ship captain known as Favre, the French were 22 years into their occupation of Saigon. In this short time, the city took on a decidedly colonial feel both in t...

in Saigon

10 Old Pictures of Advertisements in Saigon

Before 1975, large advertisements were commonplace in Saigon. But after the American War and the fall of capitalism in the South, ads were considered a vestige of the old order and were heavily regula...

in Saigon

9 Old Pictures of Saigon Street Vendors

The buildings and streets of Saigon can change in the blink of an eye. Gone are the streetcars, French street names and ox-drawn carts. As the economy continues to develop, the old Saigon is being rep...

in Saigon

Fun with Old Saigon Maps (1790)

Even before the French formally occupied Saigon in 1859, they were active players in Vietnamese politics as early as the 17th century. Their influence can be seen in this 1790 map in the form of the m...

Brian Letwin

in Saigon

Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Looking Up (1966)

This striking image was taken from above Saigon's streets in 1966. It's images like this that make one wonder where their subjects are today.

Brian Letwin

in Saigon

Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Umbrella for a Sunny Day (1966)

Just a beautiful picture captured on Saigon's streets in 1966. 

Brian Letwin

in Saigon

Colorful Old Map of Saigon

Though we can't pinpoint the exact date for this map, we're sure it's from before 1954. This was the year when the French ceded control of Saigon and south Vietnam in accordance with the Geneva Accord...

Brian Letwin

in Saigon

Video: Saigon in 1945

1945 was a tumultuous year for Vietnam. After the Japanese were defeated by the Allies in 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnamese independence from France, unaware that Allied leaders had agreed at the ...

in Saigon

The Story of Saigon's Floating Hotel

There was a time, not too long ago, when Saigon wasn’t full of tourists and backpackers. In the late 1980s, Vietnam had just opened its doors to the west and was rushing to renovate its decrepit colon...

Brian Letwin

in Saigon

Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Cho Lon Opium Den

Have you ever been stuck in Saigon traffic and wished that you were on comfy couch in Cho Lon, chilling with some Chinese guys 'chasing the dragon' instead? Yeah, probably not (but for those who answe...

Brian Letwin

in Saigon

Old Saigon Picture of the Day: How to Arrive at Your Wedding in Style

The tradition of covering your wedding car with flowers and regalia is not new in Vietnam. Today, most couples who can afford it, opt for a middle-of-the-line Toyota or Kia while those with deep pock...

Brian Letwin

in Saigon

Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Before Bridges and Tunnels

Think it's inconvenient having a car in present-day Saigon? As many of the French living in Saigon during the first half of the last century were fairly well off, they often brought with them the com...