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In Pre-Pandemic Central Vietnam, the Stages of Life Are in Full View Outside

The multiple stages of life are never far from view on the streets of Vietnam.

From exuberant children full of unlimited energy to adults dutifully carrying out the tedium of daily work to the elderly savoring their twilight years by simply sitting and watching the world go by, no generation is absent from public life. The below photos, taken in central and Vietnam before the current COVID-19 outbreak, depict these different lifestyles in a range of quotidian settings, from a football stadium in Hanoi to the rice fields of Phong Nha and the quiet old town of Hoi An.

A kid attempting to take part in an art class in Da Nang.

Out for a family cruise in matching minion jumpsuits in Da Nang.

Tearing through the countryside of Phong Nha.

Left: Cheering for the race before it even begins in Hanoi. Right: A (probably) well-earned nap in Hoi An.

When in Da Nang, you can trust her to watch over your motorbike.

The only illumination you need for a meal on this Da Nang sidewalk.

"Hey, look over there!"

This crew can meet all of your timber-moving needs.

An electrician in Da Nang.

At a certain point in life, all you really need is a reliable friend for sitting.

People-watching on a cloudy day.

You don't need both shoes on for relaxing.

Don't forget to take a break from sitting every hour or so, even if you need a bit of support to stand.

Merchants seeking the freshest catch of the day for their stall at the beach.

Bánh đa and dry fish, anyone?

For just VND25,000, a hot bowl of bún măng gà beckons.

Light reading in the open air.

An abandoned building in Da Nang.

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

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