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Vintage French Book Illustrations Depict a Quaint Indochina in 1903

In this rare collection of images from 1903 Indochina, life in the peninsula appears as if in a dream, with rows of colonial-style houses in between heritage trees and natural landscapes that weren’t interrupted by concrete.

These photos and illustrations were part of the book Les Colonies Françaises (The French Colonies) written by Brossard in the 1900s, a few decades into France’s subjugation of the Indochinese peninsula. Have a closer look below:

Traditional dancers performing in Vinh.

Chùa Cầu in Hội An.

Inside the Gia Long Mausoleum.

Court officials.

Ships and sampans congregate where the Thị Nghè Canal meets the Saigon River.

A pristine Vũng Tàu.

Naga Bridge in Cambodia.

A pagoda in Phnom Penh.

Two men smoking opium and thuốc lào.

The port of Hải Phòng.

Phố Hàng Nón in Hanoi.

A canal in Chợ Lớn, Saigon.

A village in Hòn Gai, Hạ Long Bay.

Rue Paul Bert, now Tràng Tiền, in Hanoi.

A temple in Vinh.

[Images via Flickr manhhai/Bibliothèque nationale de France]

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