If you want to take a look at the lasting effect that French colonial rule has had on the country of Vietnam, a good place to start would be Ngo Quyen Street in Hanoi. A walk along this street will allow you to admire the French architecture of certain mansions and homes left behind when the French left the country. There are many well known houses in this part of town, but several of the homes on Ngo Quyen Street are considered anonymous, as the identities of the previous occupants have been left undiscovered. You can also see Art Nouveau awnings, similar to those you might find in Paris itself.
While the social effects of colonialism are almost invariably detrimental, colonialism has, nonetheless, facilitated progress and the vital intermingling of contrasting cultures. The strange mix of French and Vietnamese influence on Ngo Quyen Street is fascinating, to say the least.