Skip to navigationSkip to content
YOU SAY YOU WANT AN EVOLUTION

Photos: When US presidents have visited Vietnam

  • Johnny Simon
By Johnny Simon

Deputy Photo Editor

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Donald Trump is set to arrive in Hanoi today (Feb. 26) for a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

This is Trump’s second trip to Vietnam as president and he is the fourth US president to visit a unified, post-American-war Vietnam.  In the 1960s, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon each visited troops in what was South Vietnam during America’s involvement in the war.

After the fall of South Vietnam’s capital Saigon—now Ho Chi Minh City—ended the war in 1975, no president visited until after diplomatic relations were normalized under Bill Clinton. He visited near the end of his second term in late 2000.

George W. Bush visited the Vietnamese capital in 2006. Barack Obama probably made the biggest presidential splash during his visit in 2016, which included a stop at a humble bun cha restaurant in Hanoi for a meal he shared with the late Anthony Bourdain.

Trump first visited Hanoi in 2017,  following his appearance at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Da Nang.

The photos illustrate the evolution of Vietnam’s relationship with the US, from military foe to a partner on the global economic stage.

Lyndon Johnson–1966

AP Photo
American soldiers swarm around Johnson on Oct. 26, 1966, shortly after his arrival at Cam Rahn Bay in South Vietnam during the long-running war against the Hanoi regime of North Vietnam.

Richard Nixon–1969

AP Photo
Nixon with soldiers during his visit to South Vietnam, July 1969.
AP Photo
Nixon with president Nguyen Van Thieu of South Vietnam in Saigon.
AP Photo
Nixon reviews troops with Thieu in Saigon.

Bill Clinton–2000

Reuters
Clinton reviews an honor guard with Vietnamese president Tran Duc Luong during arrival ceremony in Hanoi on Nov. 17, 2000.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
Clinton reaches out to shake hands with well-wishers from the balcony of a building across the street from the Temple of Literature in Hanoi.
AP Photo/David Guttenfelder
Clinton greets a crowd in Ho Chi Minh City on Nov. 19, 2000.

George W. Bush–2006

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
George W. Bush is escorted by Vietnamese president Nguyen Minh Triet during welcome ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on Nov. 17, 2006.
AP Photo/Kham
Bush, who was attending an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, meets with president Nguyen Minh Triet at the presidential palace in Hanoi on Nov. 17, 2006

Barack Obama–2016

Reuters/Kham
Obama and Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang review honor guard during welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on May 23, 2016.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
Obama greets people at the door as he walks from the Bún cha Huong Liên restaurant in Hanoi after having dinner with chef Anthony Bourdain May 23, 2016.
Reuters/Carlos Barria
Local residents react to Obama after his dinner with Bourdain.
Reuters/Carlos Barria
Obama with Bourdain in a  shopping area of Hanoi.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
Obama speaks during the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative town hall event at the GEM Center in Ho Chi Minh City, May 25, 2016.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
Obama greets audience members after speaking to Vietnamese young people in Ho Chi Minh City.

Donald Trump–2017

Nyein Chan Naing/Pool/Reuters
Trump speaks on the final day of the APEC CEO Summit ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders summit in Danang, Nov. 10, 2017.
Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via Reuters
Russian president Vladimir Putin, Trump, Vietnamese president Tran Dai Quang and Chinese president Xi Jinping arrive for photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Nov. 11, 2017.
Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
Trump participates in a welcome ceremony upon his arrival at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Nov. 12, 2017.
Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
Tran Dai Quang and Trump arrive for a joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Nov. 12, 2017.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.