July 30, 2021 07:15 | About us
Language: Tiếng Việt | ພາ​ສາ​ລາວ | ខ្មែរ | русский | 中文

Narrow Neighborhoods: Photos of Hanoi's Tube Houses

July 12, 2021 | 06:32

Photographer Manan Vatsyayana, who is working at AFP news agency, has captured the beauty of tube houses in Hanoi, Vietnam through a series of photos on the Guardian.

Peaceful Snapshots of Vietnam's Alluring Western Region Peaceful Snapshots of Vietnam's Alluring Western Region
Vietnamese Colonel preserves love for Cambodia via personal photography Vietnamese Colonel preserves love for Cambodia via personal photography
The peaceful life on Thi Nai lagoon - a waterty paradise in Binh Dinh The peaceful life on Thi Nai lagoon - a waterty paradise in Binh Dinh

What seems like an architectural odditiy, skinny, Tetris-like buildings as actually quite common in bustling Vietnamese neighborhoods, especially in big cities like Hanoi and Saigon. The narrow facade contrasts to the a roomy extension behind it, while towering up of three to five stories. Foriegners refer to these structures as “tube houses”.

Photo: Manan Vatsyayana
Photo: Manan Vatsyayana

According to the photographer, tube houses, or “nha ong” in Vietnamese, dominates the Hanoian cityscape. Everywhere you go, you can still see these houses on every streets. The main reason why tube houses are so popular is that the land area is limited, and people came up with this unique idea to use the available space.

Photo: Manan Vatsyayana
Photo: Manan Vatsyayana

Even though Vietnam has a number of villas and garden houses that were built during French colonial period, but there is only a few of these kind of residential homes remain in Hanoi.

Vatsyayana said even though many of these tube houses are only 4 metres wide, but are “three times that in depth.”  Photo: Manan Vatsyayana
Vatsyayana said even though many of these tube houses are only 4 metres wide, but are “three times that in depth.” Photo: Manan Vatsyayana
One tube house can be the  home for 3 – 4 people. However, two or three generations can still grow up within this narrow space.   Photo: Manan Vatsyayana
One tube house can be the home for 3 – 4 people. However, two or three generations can still grow up within this narrow space. Photo: Manan Vatsyayana
One of the problems of tube houses in Hanoi is the risk of fire, since the limited space and small entrance makes it difficult to access. Photo: Manan Vatsyayana
One of the problems of tube houses in Hanoi is the risk of fire, since the limited space and small entrance makes it difficult to access. Photo: Manan Vatsyayana
Photo: Manan Vatsyayana
Photo: Manan Vatsyayana

The first tube house appeared in Hanoi in 19th century, and this architectural design were thought to evolve from the limited available space in the capital. The “adjoining houses” has become an iconic symbol of Hanoi.

Photo: Manan Vatsyayana
Photo: Manan Vatsyayana

The colorful houses are interesting highlights of Hanoi that attract many tourists. It's functional spacing and striking facades well represent the captial city. It offers a blend of both tradition and modernity.

Photo contests spotlight Vietnam's beauty for Vietnamese and foreigners Photo contests spotlight Vietnam's beauty for Vietnamese and foreigners

Several photo contests will be open to Vietnamese and foreign amateur and professional photographers.

Young photographer captures innocent beauty of highland children Young photographer captures innocent beauty of highland children

Pham Xuan Quy brought a camera and portable printer on his journey across Vietnam

French-Vietnamese photographer: Vietnam's always in my heart French-Vietnamese photographer: Vietnam's always in my heart

When admiring the photos of a French-Vietnamese photographer, it is clear to see the connection with lands, cultures and peoples. But in the end, his ...

Charlotte Pho