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[Photos] The Small-Town Charm of Vung Tau in the 1960s

From remembering fond memories with loved ones to selling products and even gaining clues to a grisly crime, photos have many uses.

What is the value of looking at old photos with people you don't know, taken at a time when you weren't even alive? Perhaps it's recognizing places you know in the present day and marveling at how the rapidity of change juxtaposes the permanence of reality? Or maybe it is the thrill of imagining the daily routines and life stories of the faces unable to speak to you? Could it be they offer you an opportunity to consider what your life would be like in those scenes, inviting you to question whether you have a better existence at the moment?

Sandwiches for sale on the beach. 

Perhaps that's why one enjoys these photos of Vung Tau taken in 1967–1968. They also appeal to font fanatics that will appreciate hand-lettered signs, fashionistas in search of retro trends to appropriate, classic car connoisseurs, architecture appreciators, and those amongst us that cannot look at a snapshot featuring a long, juicy cá rựa and not succumb to the splendors and terrors of the ocean.

Check out these photos taken by Terry Maher, an Australian soldier who served in the Australian Unit (2nd Advanced Ordnance Depot) at the 1st Australian Logistical Group (1ALSG) on the Back Beach of Vung Tau, below:

Scrumptious cá rựa for sale. 

Stalls to service peckish sunbathers.

Dakota Bar on what is now Ly Tu Trong Street.

A Buddhist temple on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street.

Vung Tau Parish Church, also known as St. Joseph's Cathedral.

Bánh mì for sale outside a school.

A bustling schoolyard.

Terry Maher, the photo set's photographer, stands next to a horse-drawn cart.

Vung Tau market's west gate on Tran Hung Dao Street.

Ly Ly, a popular nightclub, on Tran Hung Dao Street.

Vung Tau cinema.

A bus bound for Saigon with bikes atop the roof.

Fish farming in the city outskirts.

Vung Tau's White Palace.

The Grand Hotel on Nguyen Du Street, the largest hotel in Vung Tau before 1975.

A laundromat. 

Delicious fresh bread for the people. 

A barbershop.

A market at the intersection of today's Phung Khac Khoan and Ly Tu Trong streets. 

The beach. 

Women repair fishing nets. 

[Photos via RedsVN]

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