Chinatown, Ho Chi Minh City
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
Thien Hao Pagoda is in cholon area, just a short walk from Binh Tai market. When we arrived there, the pagoda was occupied by some enterntainment group i guess, some pretty young vietnamese model is posting to get their picture snapped. I dunno who are them, i also join the team snapping pictures hehe.
Cholon means 'big market' and the Binh Tay Market is certainly that. There is also the Quang Pagoda (District 5) and the Thien Hau Temple.
A very busy place and extremely interesting to watch the daily sights.
Binh Tay market is in cholon, which is more to local customer than Ben Thanh market. For the same item, you can get cheaper price in Binh Tay market. Thus, you still can bargain but the price is not much adjusted.
Initially I thought since I am in china town, speaking mandarin will have an advantage.. oppss.. but i am wrong because most of them only know vietnamese... haha.
Another name for china town in saigon is cholon. cho means market, lon means new. Although it is called chinatown, different from china town from other places, most chinese here dont know how to speak mandarin. Basically most of the chinese in Vietnam lost their mother tongue slowly when time passes, which is actually very unfortunate.
Cholon (Saigon Chinatown) is one of those neighborhoods you must visit on the East bank of Saigon River. The markets are cool and while you may think twice about purchasing from me, the goods are fresh and hormone free.
The western part of Ho Chi Minh city is dominated by Cholon (Chinatown), a thickly settled district rife with teahouses and pagodas and the famous Binh Tay Market. Cholon spans across, and consists of, Districts 5 & 6 of Ho Chi Minh City. Incorporated in 1879 as a city 11 km from Saigon, it had expanded and became coterminous with Saigon by the 1930s. On April 27, 1931, the two cities were merged to form Saigon-Cholon by the French colonial government. By 1956, the name Cholon was dropped from the city name and the city was known primarily as Saigon. During the Vietnam War, soldiers and deserters from the United States Army maintianed a thriving black market at Cholon, trading in various American and especially army-issue items.
Cholon is a sizable district bordered by Hung Vuong to the north, Nguyen Van Cu to the east, the Ben Nghe Chanel to the south, and Nguyen Thi Nho to the west. Cholon is the predominately Chinese district of Saigon and probably the largest Chinatown in the world. Cholon exists in many ways as a city quite apart from Saigon. The Chinese began to settle the area in the early 1900s and never quite assimilated with the rest of Saigon, which causes a bit of resentment among the greater Vietnamese community. You'll sense the different environment immediately, and not only because of the Chinese-language signs. Cholon is where you might have found dark, exotic opium dens and brothels in the French colonial time, the same opium dens and brothels that greeted American troops.
start with a motorbike or taxi ride to the Binh Tay Market, on Phan Van Khoe Street, which is even more crowded than Ben Thanh and has much the same goods, but with a Chinese flavor. From Binh Tay, head up to Nguyen Trai, the district's main artery, to see Thien Hau pagoda then Quan Am, on Lao Tu Street off Luong Nhu Hoc. 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.
District 5 is known as Cho Lon - literally "Big Market" - but is often referred to as Chinatown because of its large ethnic Chinese population. While it is a major commercial center of HCMC, it is also the site of many richly decorated Chinese temples and pagodas. Many of the other buildings, particularly on Hung Vuong Street, are a distinctive mix of Chinese and French architectural styles.
This area is basically the same thing as Ben Thanh but to a much larger scale. I actually got a little disoriented wandering among the merchandise! Many of the people who work in this place speak both Vietnamese and Chinese (some Mandarin, some Cantonese) so it was a relief for me to be able to communicate a little easier with them.
There are many, many restaurants and shops in the area, you could probably spend quite a bit of time here if you so desired.
Binh Tay market in ChoLon. Cho means BIG and Lo means MARKET. Old French style houses are still surrounding the market. In the center, there is and open space, decorated in a chineese style.
If you end your trip in Vietnam in Saigon, this is the place to buy all the things you want to take home.
Situated in the cholon district this is a must see pagoda. The thien Hau Pagoda dates from the 19th century and is very active with worshipers today.