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.

in Saigon

Relive Your Memories of Saigon Water Park via These Photos by One of Its Makers

Although water parks involve a combination of two of the most tedious human experiences, standing in lines and prolonged direct sun exposure, the now-demolished Saigon Water Park was an icon of 2000s Saigon that remains a crucial cornerstone of many city dwellers' memories.

in Vietnam

The Vintage Charm of 1995 Vietnam on Kodachrome Film Slides

While editing a retrospective of my recent work from Vietnam in the summer of 2019, I discovered 50 yellow boxes of Kodachrome slides in my basement that were shot in 1995. The images were from my first trip to Vietnam.

in Saigon

The Tumultuous Tale of Three Ga Sài Gòn Locations, From 1885 Until Now

Travelers arriving by train in Hồ Chí Minh City sometimes express surprise that the main Saigon Railway Station is located in Hòa Hưng, some distance from the central business district. In fact, this is the third railway terminus in a city where each successive station has been built further away from the river.

in Saigon

A Brief History of the Vietnam Railways Building Before Its 110th Birthday

The iconic Bến Thành Market is not the only Saigon landmark that has endured for more than a century. The Vietnam Railways building at 138 Hàm Nghi, given its inauguration in 1914, is pushing the 110-year milestone in less than six months.

in Vietnam

My Great-Great-Grandfathers Were in Indochina in the 1880s to Build the Railway

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 my two great-great-grandfathers’ presence in what was then Indochina.

Back Heritage

in Saigon

[Photos] 10 Black-and-White Images of Saigon in 1970

A trip to Saigon in 1970 by photographer Jerry Bosworth yielded a small cache of black-and-white images that vividly depict a city in flux.

in Vietnam

[Photos] Long Xuyen, an Enterprising Mekong Delta Trading Hub in the 1920s

Founded on the banks of the Hau River, Long Xuyen began as a trading post and has prospered into one of the Mekong Delta’s major cities today.

in Hanoi

[Photos] Black-and-White Photos Depict a Spirited Hanoi in 1973

The capital in 1973 provided many examples of normalcy amidst upheaval. 

in Saigon

[Photos] Rare Aerial Photos Depict the Urban Contours of Saigon in 1950

In the French photo book titled Indochine – Couverture. Saigon-Cholon – Photographie Aerienne 1950, a fascinating set of aerial images showcases the urban layout of Saigon in 1950.

in Saigon

[Photos] The Frenetic Energy of 1960s Chợ Lớn

Comic books and bread, cigarettes and rickshaw rides: Saigon has always reveled in the exchange of goods and services for money. 

in Vietnam

[Photos] Fly Over Vietnam in the 1930s via These Rare Black-and-White Shots

What if you had a time machine and traveled 90 years into the past with a drone?

in Vietnam

[Photos] Immerse in the Small-Town Charm of 1960s Vinh Long

Thanks to its tangled snarl of canals, estuaries, streams and rivers, one associates the Mekong Delta with boats.

in Vietnam

[Photos] The Arduous Pilgrimage to Chùa Hương Over 30 Years Ago

Every year, with the arrival of spring comes a grand journey.

in Vietnam

These Rare Paintings Depict Life in Vietnam in the 17th and 18th Centuries

Now we can envision Vietnam well before the advent of photography.

in Saigon

[Photos] 20 Photos of Life in Vietnam in 1966–1967

Motorbikes and buffalo carts, marching bands and xích lô.

in Vietnam

Last Surviving Imperial Maid of Nguyen Dynasty Passes Away at 102

An important historical figure of the Nguyen Dynasty has left us this week.

in Saigon

[Photos] A Sepia-Toned Tour of 1902 Saigon

Long before Saigon became a maelstrom of motorbikes zipping past bubble tea shops, convenience stores, and cellphone sellers, it was a sleepy town where sampan boats cluttered placid canals, locals sn...

in Vietnam

[Photos] A Glimpse of Turn-of-the-Century Indochina

France didn't colonize Vietnam overnight.

in Saigon

[Photos] Getting Lost in Traffic on Late 1960s Chau Van Liem Boulevard

Old photos of Vietnam and cheese: two things you can never too much of.

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 Saigon

Cột Cờ Thủ Ngữ: Overlooked Saigon Landmark Gets a Makeover

Flanked by a busy road and overshadowed by an unfinished skyscraper, you'd be forgiven if you rarely noticed the Signal Mast (Cột cờ Thủ Ngữ) where Ton Duc Thang and Vo Van Kiet streets intermingle.&n...

in Vietnam

[Photos] Black-and-White Shots Depict Quotidian Details of 19th-Century Vietnam

These black-and-white shots are among the highest-quality documentation attempts of Vietnam at the end of the 19th century.

in Saigon

[Photos] The Saigon Zoo's Enduring Serenity in the 1970s

Over the years, Saigon has changed as drastically as a flounder undergoing a metamorphosis that transfers its eyes from one side of its face to the other. 

in Vietnam

[Photos] The Maritime Idyll of 1965 Phan Thiet

Before it became a weekend destination for workweek-weary Saigoneers, Phan Thiet was an austere fishing town.

in Asia

[Photos] An Idyllic Slice of 1957 Cambodian Life

Vietnam isn't the only country in the region to change dramatically over the last several decades.