Back Arts & Culture » Music & Art » A Mosaic of Vietnam's Landscapes Through the Windows of the North-South Train

A Mosaic of Vietnam's Landscapes Through the Windows of the North-South Train

Traveling on the Reunification Express from Saigon to Hanoi feels like a ride through history and time.

The route provides the best way for one to experience the rich and diverse culture Vietnam has to offer all across the country. I wanted to illustrate this diversity through a collection of pictures taken ‘through the window’ of the Reunification Express.

Railway history in Vietnam is intimately linked to the French colonial era. The Hanoi–Saigon line, completed in 1936 and initially bearing the name Transindochinese, enabled a connection with southern China at the time. Severely damaged during the Indochina War and separated into two sections in 1954, the historic railway rose from its ashes after 1975.

Considered an important development tool for the country, the Hanoi–Saigon line quickly became a symbol of reunification but also of Vietnam’s growth. The country has turned the page of a tormented past to embark on a time that is full of life, paradoxes and secrets which a long journey on the rails presents to patient and curious travelers.

So, ready for boarding? And don’t forget, ‘its about the journey not the destination.’

Darkroom is a Saigoneer series documenting the beauty and stories of Vietnam and beyond via photographs. If you have a compelling story you wish to share, send us an email via

Related Articles

in Travel

In Suburban Đà Lạt, With Spring Comes Mai Anh Đào's Breathtaking Pink Tapestry

Mai anh đào, or wild Himalayan cherry flower trees, blooms the brightest and most intensely in Lâm Đồng Province for a few short weeks from the end of January until mid February.

in Travel

On the Gentle Train Ride in a Myanmar From Another Era

Since the shocking coup d’état in Myanmar on February 1 and the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi, the world has watched helplessly while the military junta brutally cracks down on peaceful protesters try...

in Culture

A Night With Kim Lee, the Only Vietnamese Drag Queen in Poland

There are only around 30 drag queens in Poland, and just one of them has Vietnamese roots: Kim Lee.

in Vietnam

A Visual Homage to the Water Buffalo's Practical and Symbolic Importance in Vietnam

The second animal sign in the 12-year cycle of the Vietnamese zodiac, trâu, has symbolic and practical importance in Vietnam.

in Travel

All Aboard the Languorous Train From Hanoi to Saigon

The train connecting Vietnam’s largest cities takes 35 hours. Yet even after the first time I finished the trip, I was already coming up with excuses for why I needed to do it again. For me, the journ...

in Culture

In Ninh Thuận's Chăm Community, a Joyous Celebration of Katê, the Year's Most Important Festival

The Katê festival is the oldest and most unique festival of the Chăm ethnic minority and has been recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage by Vietnam's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tou...

Partner Content