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[Photos] 20 Black-and-White Snapshots of 1920 Saigon by Ludovic Crespin

In the early 1920s, central Saigon was an immaculate neighborhood with glamorous shops and clean streets.

It’s not often that we come across high-resolution, wide-spanning photographs of Saigon almost a century ago. These incredible shots, taken by French photographer Ludovic Crespin in the 20s, offer an invaluable glimpse inside French Indochina back in the days.

During this era, Vietnam was four decades deep into the reign of French colonizers, which divided the country as we know it today into three protectorates: Tonkin (northern Vietnam), Annam (central Vietnam) and Cochinchina (southern Vietnam). Despite the glitz and glam of Saigon as seen in the photos, the wealth and comfort was enjoyed only by the French and a small portion of well-heeled Vietnamese involved in the colonial administration.

Let’s take a tour of some Saigon landmarks in the 1920s through the snapshots below:

Ho Chi Minh City Hall on Le Thanh Ton Street.

The building of the Secrétariat général du gouvernement de la Cochinchine, now Dinh Thuong Tho at the corner of Dong Khoi and Ly Tu Trong streets.

The Customs office.

The Norodom Palace.

Ton Duc Thang Street.

The corner of Dong Khoi and Ton Duc Thang.

Ton Duc Thang Street.

Dong Khoi.

The Dong Khoi-Ly Tu Trong intersection.

Street vendors.

Ton Duc Thang Street.

Nguyen Hue Walking Street.

Le Duan-Dinh Tien Hoang corner.

Bach Dang Wharf.

Trinh Hoai Duc Street in District 5 today.

The site of the HCMC University of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Notre-Dame Cathedral.

The site of the modern-day Sunwah Tower.

The beginning of Dong Khoi Street.

[Photos via Flickr user manhhai]

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