Chinatown in Ho Chi Minh City is also called Cho Lon – This is one of the biggest Chinatown on over the world which includes three districts: 5, 6, 11 and a part of district 10 in total 24 districts of Ho Chi Minh City.
Beside Saigon with a lot of beautiful destinations like Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral or Independence Palace, Chinatown is a must – place to go for the tourists who want to explore traditional aspects in Ho Chi Minh City. By this article, we would love to show you around Chinatown Saigon with a good itinerary from A to Z. Let’s start it!
1. BINH TAY MARKET
Binh Tay Market is the Central Market of Cho Lon in district 6, and this is also known as Cho Lon Market – one of the major market in our city. Inside the market, they have a lot of food so if you want to be a real local, you must have a meal here!
Special things: This market was built by a Chinese man named Quach Dam - one of the richest landlords over the South of Vietnam in late 1880s. Because it was being built during the time when the French controlled this area, so this market not only has the architecture of French but also with traditional styles of Chinese culture.
From the first beginning until now, Binh Tay Market is home of lots of wholesale products while almost everything are sold in retail with the cheapest price ever. When you go inside this market, it is really easy for you to find extensive range of fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry, meat and seafood from regions across Vietnam. Along with the interesting historical and cultural aspect of Cholon, Binh Tay Market is great for experiencing the local lifestyle and sampling unique Vietnamese - Chinese delicacies.
Location: Thap Muoi street, ward 2, district 6, Ho Chi Minh City.
2. THIEN HAU TEMPLE
Chinatown Saigon is the most well-known place with many iconic temples and pagodas related to almost aspect of Chinese religious life. Among hundred places in Cho Lon, Thien Hau has an honour to be not only the oldest but also the most famous temple to attract many tourists everyday.
Special things: The temple was first erected in 1760 by the Cantonese community in the city. This was a place where Chinese people met and gathered, then wished for the better future of their lives. Beside, they also work ship ‘Lady of The Sea – Ba Thien Hau’ inside this temple.
For the first impression, Thien Hau Temple represents for a typical Chinese temple with special architecture for both exterior and interior. Every corner in this holy region has its own meaning, and it will be really impressing for you to discover by yourself.
Location: 710 Nguyen Trai street, ward 11, district 5, Ho Chi Minh city.
3. CHA TAM CHURCH
If Saigon has Notre Dame Cathedral with nearly 140 years old, Cho Lon has Cha Tam Church which is a witness of history through many ups and downs from the past until now. It is also well – known as one of the most 6 beautiful churches in Ho Chi Minh City.
Special things: Cha Tam Church or Saint Francisco Javier Church is an ancient church built in 1900 and completed in 1902 under the conduct of pastor Pierre d’ Assou (Cha Tam) – this is the reason why it was called ‘Cha Tam Church’. This church is followed Gothique construction – having many windows with the large size like a Europe church but the cultural factors were still maintained, such as: Yin – Yang roof, triple gate, the church’s Chinese name… Today this place has a very active congregation of 3000 ethnic Vietnamese and 2000 ethnic Chinese.
Location: 25 Hoc Lac street, ward 14, district 5, Ho Chi Minh City.
4. EXPERIENCE TRADITIONAL FOOD OF CHINESE PEOPLE
Cho Lon is home to a wide array of traditional Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants. Every chef in this place deserves to receive 5-star Michelin because they not only give you the food, but also bring their Chinese culture with lots of tastes you have never tried before.
Like many Chinatown around the world, you will know you have arrived once you see lots of roasted duck and pork hanging in front of the local eateries. The noodles served in this district have more choices of Chinese style than the usual Vietnamese pho rice noodles while unusual herbs or exotic foods such as dried seahorse and ‘thousand year olds eggs’ (aka salted duck eggs) can be spotted here and there.
Nowadays, Chinatown – Cho Lon is a place which saves a lot of traditional and culture aspects in Ho Chi Minh City. It must be in your bucket list if you have and will have a trip to visit Ho Chi Minh city, because the best way to explore one country is trying to be like a local people.