Photo books Insight into the Metropolises of Vietnam

Three impressive photo books by Michael Waibel present HCMC, Hanoi and Da Nang
Photo: Ute Pelger © Goethe-Institut Hanoi

Three impressive photo books by Michael Waibel present HCMC, Hanoi and Da Nang.

900 pages, 2.200 photos and innumerable essays – you probably don’t get bored if you own all three photo books by Michael Waibel about the metropolises of Vietnam: Hanoi, HCMC and Da Nang. The images illustrate the many facets of Vietnam’s recent urban development - from bird’s eye views to portraits of its inhabitants. In addition to the visual illustrations, the essays by local residents convey a unique insight into the life in the cities.

The work is based on many years of academic work and a series of conferences in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut. Among others, it got funded by the German National Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the initiative “Research for Sustainable Megacities of Tomorrow”.

The editor Michael Waibel is a senior researcher and project leader in urbanism at the Department for Geography of the University of Hamburg. In 2014, he co-published the photo book “TP. Hồ Chí Minh: MEGA City” together with Henning Hilbert from the Vietnamese-German University (VGU), followed by the photo book “Hà Nội: CAPITAL City” in 2015 which got awarded with the “2015 Bùi Xuân Phái – Love for Hà Nội”-Award in the category “best works”. The impressive, large format photo book „Đà Nẵng: COASTAL City“ completes the trilogy of the metropoles of Vietnam.

Editor Michael Waibel and Almuth Meyer-Zollitsch, Head of the Goethe-Institut Vietnam, with the “Bùi Xuân Phái – Love for Hà Nội” award. Editor Michael Waibel and Almuth Meyer-Zollitsch, Head of the Goethe-Institut Vietnam, with the “Bùi Xuân Phái – Love for Hà Nội” award. | Photo: Goethe-Institut

About the books

TP. Hồ Chí Minh: MEGA City

Cover Waibel, M. & H. Hilbert (eds.) (2014) TP. Hồ Chí Minh: MEGA City Photo Book. Times Publishing House, Ho Chi Minh City / Vietnam, 302 pages.
ISBN: 978-604-936-338-2 © Goethe-Institut Hanoi 

Ho Chi Minh City, the economic hub and biggest urban agglomeration of Vietnam has recently emerged as the country’s first mega city. The vibrant metropolis is rapidly changing against the backdrop of globalization, but has preserved an almost rural character in many of its small alleys. For many people, the mega city is a place of hope for a better future. Can these dreams be fulfilled if the number of inhabitants continues to rise by millions and climate change is flooding entire city districts?

Hà Nội: CAPITAL City
Waibel, M. (Hrsg.) (2015) Hà Nội: CAPITAL City. Sách ảnh / Fotobuch / Photo Book. 1. Auflage. Fine Art Publishing House, Hanoi, Vietnam, 308 pages.
ISBN 978-604-78-1965-2

Hanoi, city of the rising dragon, has a history stretching back for a thousand years. All significant turning points in Vietnam’s history have left their mark on the city. Hanoi has kept its soul. Visitors sense it as well, the marked contrast to other Southeast Asian cities with their freeways and concrete jungles, marvelling at Hanoi’s many squares and small parks, the tree-lined avenues with their leafy canopies, the bustling neighbourhoods and the endless stream of motorbikes. Hanoi’s growth and economic development is at a crossroads, though. How can Hanoi position itself as a world-class city in global competition without giving up its rich cultural and urban-architectural heritage?

Đà Nẵng: COASTAL City
Waibel, M. (ed.) (2016) Đà Nẵng: COASTAL City. Sách ảnh / Fotobuch / Photo Book. 1st edition. Book series PAZIFIK FORUM of the Association of Pacific Studies; Volume 16, Fine Art Publishing House, Hanoi / Vietnam, 304 pages.
ISBN 978-604-78-4045-8

Approaching Da Nang by plane, one immediately feels drawn to the long curving coastline: a white sandy beach like an endless ribbon bordering the deep blue of the sea with its colorful scattering of fishing boats. A wide curve, and on the approach to the new international airport a view of the skyline of a modern metropolis, with its striking high-rise city hall, generous sports facilities, wide streets and numerous bridges that soar over the river. From fishing village to eco-city is Da Nang’s success story in a nutshell. Another plus for the booming tourism is its proximity to the ancient royal capital of Hue, with its imperial tombs surrounded by parklands, and the trading town of Hoi An, which seems frozen in time. A comparison of the urban structures of Hoi An, Hue and Da Nang thus spans centuries of turbulent history reaching to the present day.

The photo books are available in bookstores in Vietnam (distribution partner Artbook Vietnam) and also via Amazon.

The publication was realized with the exclusive support of
Audi Vietnam © Audi Vietnam
and the cooperation with
Goethe-Institut Logo © Goethe-Institut