Cho Binh Tay is the main market of Cho Lon (Chinatown). This huge complex sells a mixture of goods and fresh products. You can get vegetables, poultry, bags, fruits etc. The market is chaotic and noisy. Beware of pick pockets.
The Cho Lon area itself is the Chinatown of Saigon and home to Vietnamese Chinese. The area is busy with its markets, restaurants and is abuzz with all kinds of activities. As it is normal for most Chinatowns worldwide, the area is dirty and chaotic. But it makes an interesting walk.
Cholon is in District 5 and is a maze of narrow streets, bustling with people. Most of Vietnam’s ethnic Chinese live here and they are the largest single ethnic minority group in the country. Merchants began to settle in Cholon in the 1770s, although many ethnic Chinese fled the country in 1975.
The Thien Hau Pagoda is one of Cholon’s must-sees. It is dedicated to the goddess Thien Hau, protector of the sea. Photographers are spoilt for choice with the ornate decoration inside the pagoda and the statues of Thien Hau. It is popular with worshippers (the air is always heavy with the smell of incense) and there are regular festivals during the lunar calendar.
Binh Tay Market throngs with people from early morning and the gloomy, narrow walkways are crammed with consumer items and exotic foodstuffs. The sound of bargaining, quite often in Chinese rather than Vietnamese, and the calls of the vendors constantly fill the air. This is one of the best places to see the locals going about their daily lives.
District 5 of HCMC is known as the Chinatown. I didn't explore through it though, just around Windsor Plaza Hotel, An Duong Plaza, and small restaurants along the road. If you prefer to walk around Chinatown, please make sure you are traveling in a minimum group of three since District 5 is not as safe as District 1.
There is a temple in the area called Thien Hau, but I didn't get a chance to visit it.
This sector of Saigon, populated by some 400,000 ethnic Chinese, boasts numerous beautiful pagodas and one of the most exciting markets in the city. A short stroll through the market offers a kaleidoscope of colours and a hive of activities.
Caution: Be aware of pickpockets known to loiter in the market area.
It was here that President Diem and his brother took refuge in during the coup d'etat in 1963. An armoured personnel carrier was sent to the church to take custody of the two. The soldiers killed Diem and his brother before they reached the center of the city.
The church was built around the turn of the 19th century. It is somewhat unique in that it's decorated with horizontal lacquer boards and wood panels with inscriptions much like the surrounding Chinese style temples. Masses are held in both Vietnamese and Chinese (Mandarin).
It doesnt help that i was there on an extremely hot day; when i was inside the market, my body temperature just soar. The aisles were packed with goods that are waiting to be packed/shipped out. I didnt really get the chance to stop and look at things as I was pushed around by workers who are loading and unloading inventories. On the hindsight, it was pretty amazing for me to be able to squeeze myself through these aisles as they were hardly any walking space. After a while, you begin to feel that all the bag stalls look alike and sell the similar stuff and the same goes for all the shoes, textile and food stalls. Coupled with the still air inside the market, this place is definitely not for the faint hearted. Perhaps i went at the wrong hour (between 12-2pm) or it may be like that all day...i dont know.
If you are expecting to buy nice stuff from here, you might be disappointed (well, at least for me, i didnt manage to buy anything). Although they do have some of the embriodery bags and handicrafts that you would find in Dong Khoi street or Ben Thanh market, I certainly didnt enjoy the shopping experience in this place. and FYI: the fake products in Shanghai and Korea have better quality than the ones in Vietnam.
If there is anything worthwhile buying, i would give my vote to the food stalls. You will see bags and bags of pistachio nuts, cashew nuts etc. and the good news is, these stalls are located on the inside perimeters of the market, where there is a compound/airwell for light and air to come in ie not so hot and crowded.
Besides the food stalls, you can also choose to walk along the external perimeters of the market, which is more breathable or try the stores outside the market. In my case, i didnt as i was almost dehydrated by the time i stepped out of Binh Tay Market (yes, always have your water ready). However, i do remember seeing some interesting shops whilst in the taxi. Well, you check it out and let me know.
Cholon is the Chinese district of Saigon, and probably the largest Chinatown in the world. Cholon is a fascinating maze of temples, restaurants, jade ornaments, and medicine shops. Start at the Binh Tay Market, on Phan Van Khoe Street, which is even more crowded than Ben Thanh Market. From Binh Tay, head up to Nguyen Trai, the district's main artery, to see some of the major temples on or around it. Be sure to see Quan Am, on Lao Tu Street off Luong Nhu Hoc, for its ornate exterior. Back on Nguyen Trai, Thien Hau pagoda is dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea, and was popular with seafarers making thanks for their safe trip from China to Vietnam. Finally, as you follow Nguyen Trai Street past Ly Thuong Kiet, you'll see the Cholon Mosque, the one indication of Cholon's small Muslim community.
We went to this market in the Cholon (Pronounced as Gou lon) area. This is where there's alot of Chinese stuff and even a supermarket.
This particular market we went to was in a building, and they sell mainly textiles, shoes, clothes and accessories. Not my taste though. Feels like the People Park centre in Chinatown SG.
Going to the markets were a great treat. Not only did you get to meet the people, but you were able to see some very different items. Eggs are not that different, until you look at how many types there are and the different way to prepare them.
100,000 chinese live in Saigon, 80,000 of these live in Chinatown. Visited Bin Tay markets with our guide but it was a quick walk through. Alot of locals not many tourists and everything seemed to be sold in bulk
Park Hyatt Saigon Ho Chi Minh City
5 Reviews and 616 Opinions All rooms offer pool of City views with full luxury amenities. As true sense 5- Star hotel, it is...
Caravelle Hotel Ho Chi Minh City
10 Reviews and 773 Opinions The Caravelle was opened to the public on Christmas Eve 1959 originally as a ten storey hotel. ...
Bich Duyen Hotel Ho Chi Minh City
9 Reviews and 570 Opinions I liked the location of Bich Duyen because it was located along a quiet side street. It was also...