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[Photos] The Hustle and Bustle of Maritime Life in 1995 Quang Ninh

Just around 150 kilometers east of Hanoi, Quang Ninh Province is home to the world-famous heritage site Ha Long Bay and Vietnam’s largest coal reserves.

Flanked by China and Lang Son Province in the north, Bac Giang and Hai Duong provinces to the west and Hai Phong to the south, Quang Ninh is northern Vietnam’s easternmost province, a picturesque tourist destination with mountain ranges, expansive ocean access and almost 2,000 islands. It’s also bestowed with an abundance of coal reserves, responsible for 90% of the country’s coal output.

During a trip in 1995, French photographer Bruno Barbey took his camera to the streets of Quang Ninh to grab some rare shots of daily life in the maritime province. By now, thanks to their status as tourist attractions, Bai Tu Long and Ha Long bays are well-documented by travelers and local shutterbugs alike, so Barbey’s shots offer fascinating insights into bustling commercial activities at the Mong Cai border crossing between Vietnam and China, and along the Ka Long River - the natural national border between the two countries.

Take a peek at Bruno Barbey’s photo of Hanoi here and of Quang Ninh below:

A fishing boat in Ha Long Bay.

A woman purchases freshly caught seafood in the morning.

Staff of a jet ski company for tourists rest before a shift.

A view of Ha Long Bay from inside a cave.

Left: Tra Co Cathedral in Mong Cai City. The structure was removed in 2017 due to dilapidation. Right: A row of new tube houses facing Bai Chay Beach.

A crowd of locals scavenge for leftover coal from the waste of processing plants.

Chinese products at the Mong Cai border crossing.

A vendor counts money after a successful trade. These are Vietnam's old notes made of paper, which were replaced by polymer versions in the early 2000s.

Two street food sellers rest on a pedestrian bridge by the Ka Long River. On the other side is Chinese territory.

A motorized boat ferries goods on the Ka Long River.

A woman lights incense sticks inside Van Linh Khanh Temple in Mong Cai.

A Catholic funeral in Tra Co Ward of Mong Cai.

[Photos via Reds VN]

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