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Vietnam history

[Photos] Feel the pulse of a fast-changing Vietnam in the 1990s

Spurred on by rapid economic growth, Vietnam has been one of the fastest evolving nations on earth by virtually every metric for decades. This collection of photos from the 90s, showing a country markedly different from today's Vietnam, lays testament to that

Saigoneer
August 17, 2020
[Photos] Feel the pulse of a fast-changing Vietnam in the 1990s

By the mid-1990’s, Vietnam’s astounding economic transformation was well underway.

Markets crowded with crops, vast flocks of poultry ready to be sold, and kids sitting down to full bowls of food as shown in these photos by Japanese photographer Hiroji Kubota make visually clear what fiscal growth looks like on a local level.

Shot between 1995 and 1999, they depict a country at the nexus of globalized modernity and tradition. Locals roast coconuts with brick ovens in Ben Tre, while employees processing shrimp for export at a plant in Can Tho adhere to strict safety standards. In Sapa, H’Mông wear traditional, handmade clothing while motorbikes sneak onto streets overwhelmed with bicycles. 

No culture or country ever exists as a static concept, but there are moments of accelerated flux. Truly, Vietnam did not saunter towards the 21st century, but hurled ahead driven by a manic hunger to grow, expand and change for the sake of people’s prosperity.

Have a look at these frantic years below: 

Inside a shrimp processing facility in Cai Rang, Can Tho in 1996.
Making candied coconut for Tet.
Buying a steamy market snack.
That doesn’t look comfortable for the quackers.
Helmet, pants, and cool dép tổ ong.
H’Mong children in a mountainous area.
A sculptor with his artworks in Saigon.
A farmer works on his terrace field.
Bundles of sugar canes for sale in Ha Long Bay.
Fresh produce ready for shoppers in the Mekong Delta.
A monk and his apprentice at a Hue pagoda.
A market in session under Long Bien Bridge in Hanoi.
A floating market in Phung Hiep, Can Tho.
The morning rush in Hanoi.
A parade celebrating reunification in Saigon in 1995.

Photos via RedsVN. This story was originally published on Saigoneer here.



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