Rolling back the years: Old Hanoi by bicycle

By Hoang Hoang   July 13, 2016 | 11:25 pm PT
Rewind to an age when pedaling was cool.

A few decades ago, players in the U.S. used to drive around in their flashy Ferraris and the U.K. had the classy Aston Martin, but in Hanoi yellow Peugeot bicycles were the ultimate ride.

Fresh from two wars with France and America, Hanoi was broken and devastated.


Having a motorbike was a dream, the majority of people either walked or traveled around by bicycle. Having a bicycle back then was a luxury and considered a big plus point in life.


After buying a bicycle back then, you had to register it with the local government, just like you would do now when you purchase a car or a motorbike.


Bicycle traffic jam. People had to pick up their bicycles and carry them over their heads to escape.


Police officers coordinated traffic because there were no traffic lights back then.


Taking the bride back home by bike after their wedding, because cars were not available.


Bicycles were used as a form of transportation instead of trucks or vans.



Two soldiers with their bicycle. During the war, there was a soldier named Lang Sy Thuy who was severely injured by machine gun fire and taken from the frontline. But after a few weeks, he used his sister's bike to ride 600km all the way back to the frontline, where he died tragically only four days before the Paris Treaty.


Instead of gas stations, people used to hit “pumping” stations to get their tires pumped.



The smile of a kid on the street


An entire family on the same bike.

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