You can practically taste the salty sea breeze and hear the occasional wafting of rock music in these photos of Nha Trang from the late 60s, early 70s.
While Nha Trang may now be seen as a beach getaway with a coast lined by five-star hotels targetting upscale tourists, its long history has catered to a multitude of residents and visitors. As far back as the third century, it was part of the Cham empire as evidenced by the temple ruins that remain in the region.
When it came under Nguyen dynastic control in the 17th century, it was a sparsely populated wilderness filled with tigers and monkeys. The French connected it to Saigon and Hanoi via railway and made it an important part of their colonizing efforts through the establishment of a Pasteur Institute in the city. And for a brief time, it held military importance during the war with America, during which an influx of US influence arrived.
These photos taken by members of the American Army's 569th corp. of engineers reveal how the city looked during the time they were stationed in the area while also providing a peek into previous eras. Adverts for cowboy movies, gas station signs written in English, a Cadillac car, trendy sleeveless shift dresses that rest above the knees, soda pop and a ping-pong table all reveal the impact of the foreign presence. At the same time Cham structures, timeless scenes of fishing practices and colonial architecture often feature in the background.
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