Just 27 years ago, Hanoi was a different world

By Di Vy   June 15, 2018 | 01:40 pm GMT+7

Patrick Zachmann’s black and white photos of Hanoi in 1991 capture a capital city now lost in the mists of time.

Just 27 years ago, Hanoi was a different world

Frenchman Patrick Zachmann, born in 1955, became a freelance photographer in 1976, and has been a member of the international photography organization Magnum Photos since 1990.

“I became a photographer because I have no memory. Photography allows me to reconstruct the family albums I never had, the missing image becoming the engine of my research,” he is quoted by the Magnum Photo website as saying.

Just 27 years ago, Hanoi was a different world - 1

Cars are conspicuously absent on Hang Buom Street, just 27 years ago.

Cars are conspicuously absent on Hang Buom Street, just 27 years ago.

The Grand Cathedral, once a quiet spot, bustles day and night today with hundreds of cafes and tea shops patronized by thousands of Hanoians, expats and foreign tourists.

Just 27 years ago, Hanoi was a different world - 3

The Hoan Kiem Police Center still remains today, as does the crossroads on which it stands.

Just 27 years ago, Hanoi was a different world - 4

People cycle in front of the State Bank of Vietnam, a scene unimaginable today.

Just 27 years ago, Hanoi was a different world - 5

Children gather at the Tuoi Tho Kindergarten on Hang Buom Street. This was also the venue for the Quang Dong club set up by the Chinese community that lived nearby.

Just 27 years ago, Hanoi was a different world - 6

In an Old Quarter alley. Pavement cafés and eateries have been a Hanoian pastime for long, and this tradition continues today. This scene has not changed much over time. The wooden stools have turned plastic, though. 

Just 27 years ago, Hanoi was a different world - 7

A bare restaurant kitchen using aluminum utensils.

A bare restaurant kitchen using aluminum utensils.

Cyclos were to found everywhere then, and they dominated the streets along with bicycles. Motorbikes and cars were still a rare sight. Now cyclos are just a tourist attraction.

Just 27 years ago, Hanoi was a different world - 9

Harvest season in a field in the suburbs of the capital city.

Photos: Patrick Zachmann/Magnum Photos

 
 
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