Photo collection takes Saigon down memory lane

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A private collection of 19th century photographs of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, have been released by architect Doan Bac and his father Doan Thinh.


Known for their collection of old photographs of different places in Vietnam, the one on Saigon seems to have deeper roots than others.


The photos were posted on the website on April 30 and May 1. 


They had surprised many with an exhibition of rare photographs on Hanoi last year, but the ones on Saigon are older by 20 years.


The Saigon photo collection (1860 to 1909) is divided into four sections: an overview of the city; the Saigon River; people; and architecture.


Bac said that Saigon did not have distinguishing architectural features like Hanoi or Hue city. 


"We can see French bricks and Chinese tile-roofed houses go along with the Vietnamese thatched cottages," he said.


They (father and son) have only restored some of their photos to introduce to the public due to time and financial constraints, Bac said. He said he hopes to organize a photo exhibition or publish a book on their collection on Hanoi and Saigon.

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