Saigoneer

Take a Ride on the Langbian Cog Railway, Circa 1927

The Langbian Cog Railway was opened in stages between 1919 and 1932. The first 40 kilometers of the line from Tourcham (Tháp Chàm) to Krông Pha travelled through relatively flat terrain and required only conventional adhesion rail technology, but the remaining 44 kilometers from Krông Pha to Da Lat rose from 186 meters to 1,550 meters above sea level, demanding the use of state-of-the-art Swiss crémaillère (cog railway) technology. This short article, published in L'Éveil Économique de l'Indochine on February 20, 1927, describes the inauguration of the first and most challenging 10-kilometer section from Krông Pha to Bellevue (Eo Gió, km 50) on February 10, 1927.

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Street Cred: Ngo Quyen

Northern Vietnam's Bach Dang River may be overshadowed by the buzzing tourist attractions of Ha Long Bay, however this historic river has played an instrumental role in Vietnamese history for centuries.

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Truong Van Ben and the Story of Co Ba Soap

Once one of Saigon-Chợ Lớn’s most recognizable local brand names, Cô Ba soap was the crowning achievement of Trương Văn Bền’s long and successful business career.

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Marshal Joffre’s 1921 Visit to Saigon

French government photographers have left us a detailed photographic record of Great War hero Marshal Joffre’s December 1921 visit to Saigon.

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[Photos] 25 Incredible Colorized Photos of 1950s Vietnam by Photographer Vo Anh Ninh

While black-and-white photos tap into their viewers' nostalgic side, a flash of color can add a bit of extra depth when done correctly, like in these vivid photos from award-winning Vietnamese photographer Vo Anh Ninh (1907 – 2009).

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Street Cred: Phu Dong Roundabout

According to legend, the reign of the sixth Hung Vuong king was an era of fear for Van Lang, the country then occupying northern Vietnam. Dogged by its enemies, the kingdom was often under threat. When word came that a colossal army known as the An was en route to conquer the capital, the king realized he would need a miracle to save his country. Outnumbered, Hung Vuong sent emissaries to all corners of the kingdom in the hope of finding heroes: brave, strong souls who’d step up to the plate and save Van Lang from the impending turmoil.

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20 Images of Hanoi's Old Quarter in 1896

Even as Hanoi charges into the future with flashy new skyscrapers and brand-new metro lines, the capital manages to hang on to its traditions. Particularly in busy downtown neighborhoods like the Old Quarter, locals have taken a leap into the 21st century and yet old-school storefronts, ancient monuments and bamboo-toting street vendors still remain.

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[Photos] 20 Vintage Postcards of Turn-of-the-Century Nam Dinh Province

At the turn of the 20th century, northern Nam Dinh province was an ever-growing combination of Vietnamese and French influences. The local houses and marketplaces of the Vietnamese occupied the same towns as grand European structures, however the two were often relegated to different neighborhoods.

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[Video] This Is What Saigon Looked Like in 1945

There's something wholly captivating about old footage of Saigon. In a city that seems to transform in the blink of an eye, it's rare to find evidence of the southern hub from long ago.

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[Photos] One Photographer's Journey Through 1990 Vietnam

Life moves pretty fast in Vietnam. What's here today may be gone tomorrow and, two years from now, replaced with a skyscraper or a hotel or a high-end shopping complex. Everywhere you turn, it seems, the country is changing.

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[Photos] Here's What Hanoi Looked Like In 1905

During the French colonial period, Tonkin, or Đàng Ngoài, was the name given to northern Vietnam. Situated in and around the Red River Delta, the word 'Tonkin' is a corruption of Đông Kinh, the name of Vietnam's capital city during the Le Dynasty. When the Nguyen, Vietnam's last imperial dynasty, the Nguyen, renamed the town Hà Nội (meaning ‘between two rivers’) in 1831 and hasn't changed since.

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