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[Photos] Long Xuyen, an Enterprising Mekong Delta Trading Hub in the 1920s

Founded on the banks of the Hau River, Long Xuyen began as a trading post and has prospered into one of the Mekong Delta’s major cities today.

The land that is now Long Xuyen was among the last unexplored regions of southwestern Vietnam, according to research by academic Phan Văn Kiến. In 1789, in order to protect the area from raids by Siam and Chenla forces, the then-Nguyen Lord established a small outpost called Dong Xuyen.

A row of shops next to the Long Xuyen Market.

The post grew into a small township by the era of Tu Duc Emperor (mid-19th century) with the local Dong Xuyen Market turning into a bustling commercial hub. When the French seized control of southern Vietnam, the market was renamed Long Xuyen.

A reservoir next to the Hau River. It's now part of Nguyen Du Park in Long Xuyen City.

In 1868, the French administration divided An Giang Province into five arrondissements (hạt tham biện in Vietnamese) — a French administrative unit similar to a district. One of them was named after the market, and the district later grew into the city we know today.

An administrative map of Long Xuyen in 1924.

Long Xuyen in 1924.

The black-and-white images in this collection were taken by an unnamed photographer commissioned by the French administration to document life in its then-territories.

The dock in central Long Xuyen.

The arrondissement bureau.

A hospital building.

Another view of the park lake.

The bureau of posts and telegraphs.

School boarders having lunch in the canteen.

A government-operated pawnshop.

A club.

The residence of the governor.

Students at a girls' school in a home economics class.

Outside the secular school for girls.

Bac De Pagoda.

The court.

A Catholic church.

The entrance of a hospital.

Orphans at the Cu Lao Gieng hospice care facility.

[Photo via Flickr user manhhai]

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