Urbanist Hanoi

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[Photos] 18 Rare Black-and-White Photos of Northern Vietnam in the 1970s

What draws us towards the spectacle that is old photos?

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Hanoi Launches Night Tour at Hoa Lo Prison to Attract Domestic Tourists

History buffs from the rest of the country might find the night tour an opportunity to observe the storied historical site from a different perspective.

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[Photos] Rare Black-and-White Shots Reflect Hanoi Street Life in 1950

No skim milk and saltine parties here.

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[Photos] Hanoi's Colonial Architecture in Postcards From 1916

The French aimed to remake Hanoi in Paris' image via elaborate architecture and infrastructure projects.

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[Photos] A Bird's-Eye View of 1930 Hanoi

Now that the age of drones has dawned upon us, cityscapes are easily captured from above.

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The City as Text: Chợ Trời and the Representation of an Invisible Hanoi

Despite being the largest marketplace in the city since the 1950s, and still the oldest temporary market in town, Troi Market (chợ Trời) doesn't appear in delightful pieces of literature or art like t...

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A Personal History of Hồ Tây: Romance, Colonial Rule and Subsidy-Era Fishing Heists

My father-in-law has spent decades visiting Hồ Tây (West Lake). His personal story both contrasts and reflects Vietnam's history as a whole and, as a result, offers a profound insight into the im...

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[Photos] Over 100 Years of Hanoi's Historic Opera House

There are some among the population who remember, with rose-tinted glasses, the days before coronavirus began ravaging countries across the globe. Many also remember Hanoi’s Opera House, particularly ...

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Part of Historic Building, Meant to Be Preserved, Destroyed After Miscommunication

Part of a historic building, meant to be saved from demolition and recognized as a heritage site, has been bulldozed thanks to a miscommunication. 

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[Photos] An Artist's Sketches Capture the Charm of Indochina's Street Vendors

These illustrations of vendors working on Hanoi streets during French colonial rule are half-sketched, half-painted, which adds to the air of memories fading. 

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[Video] Travel Back in Time to Late 1970s Hanoi When Bicycles Ruled the Streets

The following footage of Hanoi from 1975 to 1980 reminds us that, less than 50 years ago, the capital was tranquil, slow-moving and unpolluted.

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[Photos] A Bird's-Eye View of the Capital in the 1930s

Aerial photography has been around since the 19th century. During colonial rule in Vietnam, French photographers took to the air to show sights of Hanoi in ways previously only appreciated by birds.&n...

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[Photos] Misty Memories of 1930s Hanoi Show the Capital’s Former Calm

When he was 18 years old, Le Vuong bought his first camera.

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[Photos] Monochrome Images Capture the Calmness of the Capital in 1939

The following monochrome images, taken by an unknown French photographer in 1939, capture peaceful moments in corners of the capital, from the city center to outlying villages. 

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[Photos] What Studying Was Like in a 1920s Hanoi Girls' School

Ever wonder what school in Hanoi was like before the advent of smartphones or even simple calculators and other basic electronic devices?

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[Video] See Artisans Creating Traditional Dó Paper in 1930s Hanoi

The following short clip, titled Women of Hanoi, is only really connected to its titular meaning by its captions, which refer to "dusky ladies" and love notes scrawled on dó paper by street-side calli...

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[Video] Witness the Profound Difference of Life in Hanoi's Old Quarter in 1931

This remarkable video reveals not only Hanoi's Old Quarter in 1931, but also scenes from temples in Phnom Penh around the same time. 

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[Video] Travel Back in Time to the Streets of 1980s Hanoi

Old videos of Vietnam are akin to a digital museum. This clip, set against the musical backdrop of Beethoven's 'Moonlight Sonata,' not only brings us memories of folk games, rolling trams, and th...

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[Photos] The Days When Hanoi Had Traditional Paper-Making Villages

Situated near the To Lich River, in the west of Hanoi, Yen Thai was a famous dó paper-making village, which began to develop rapidly in the 12th century once Hanoi became established as the capital o...

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[Photos] 1885 Hanoi Revealed Through Sepia Prints, Sketches, Postcards and Maps

All too often these days, we come across monuments of historical significance, pull out our smartphone and take a picture, only for it to waste away in our maze of a camera roll, never to be looked at...