next article

Saigon, how we barely knew ye
By Thanh Nien News -
Following are a few pictures taken by Pierre Dieulefils, a renowned French photographer and postcard publisher, that depict some famous spots and the people of Saigon (present-day Ho Chi Minh City) in 1880-1890.


The Independence Palace. From 1871 to 1887, the palace was used by the French Governor of Cochinchina (Gouverneur de la Cochinchine). It was referred to as the Governor’s Palace.

The building, which is now Ho Chi Minh City Museum. Construction of the palace began in 1885 and completed in 1890, and was designed by French architect Alfred Foulhoux to house the Museum of Commercial Trade. However, the building soon became the residence of the Governor of Cochinchina.

A French naval base by the Saigon River

Tomb of Pigneau de Behaine, a French Catholic priest best known for his role in assisting Nguyen Anh (later Emperor Gia Long) to establish the Nguyen Dynasty in Vietnam after the Tay Sơn. The location is now Lang Cha Ca Roundabout in Tan Binh District.

A lotus lake in the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden, which opened to the public on February 17, 1869. 

A Chinese street vendor selling hot tofu pudding in Saigon

The portrait of female street vendors in Saigon

Inside the Saigon Central Post Office, which was constructed between 1886-1891 

The wharf over Ben Nghe Canal

Catinat, now the famous Dong Khoi Street in District 1

The Pagoda of the Lady Thien Hau (Tian Hou), a Chinese-style temple located in the dubbed Chinatown in Cho Lon

A bullock cart in Saigon’s rural areas

Farmers riding buffaloes in Saigon’s rural areas

Makeshift houses along a canal in Saigon’s suburban areas