Cholon: the Chinatown of Ho Chi Minh City

exploration
Cholon: the Chinatown of Ho Chi Minh City

With a slightly French air represented by vestiges of colonial architecture, the Cholon district has kept its Chinese character with its ever-fascinating bustling markets.

In the Cholon (‘big market') district, the main shopping hall, with its mustard-yellow facade and roof adorned with sinuous dragons, is visible from far away. A wholesale market above all, Binh Tay Market is one of the most authentic of the city. It is difficult to get through the aisles, which are agitated by a constant back and forth of goods' carts overloaded with stuffed animals, anti-pollution masks, artificial flowers, and colourful garlands.

The surrounding streets are equally alive. The most interesting sights are concentrated in the southwestern sector. The rich ornamentation of temples and pagodas, the taste of Cholon's food and its lively shops maintain the legend of a neighbourhood established in the late 18th century by the Hoa, an ethnic group native to southwestern China.