Saigon Cho Lon is the largest Chinatown in Vietnam, with a long and vibrant history. The area is a colorful combination of old and new, with many traditional shops, markets, and local food stalls.
About Saigon Cholon Chinatown
This area offers impressive views of the Chinese’s unique cultural, culinary, and architectural characteristics, thus creating a completely different vibe from the rest of Saigon.
Things to see and do in Saigon Chinatown
1. Notice the architecture
Visiting Chinatown, you will feel like you are in a residential area of Hong Kong or get lost in China.
Most of the houses in this area were built in the late 19th century and the 1920s, with architectural styles imbued with Chinese characteristics.
Entering the neighborhood, you can see most red-tiled houses lying close. In front of the house are red lanterns or a few pieces of red paper.
For the traders, the shop’s signboard has two languages: Vietnamese and Chinese.
2. Explore Hao Sy Phuong alley
In the heart of Saigon, there’s a 100-year-old alley named Hao Sy Phuong, where most residents are of Chinese descent.
The most impressive feature here is the colorful houses and their architecture.
The houses in the alley were built as apartments, including many small places arranged on two floors with connected stairs.
The alley has an entry from Tran Hung Dao street and an exit to Ngo Quyen street. The system of stairs is also very unique, different from other alleys in Saigon.
3. Visit Ha Chuong Assembly hall
The Chinese in Saigon are expatriates, so they set up many temples and assembly halls, such as Ba Thien Hau Pagoda and Ha Chuong Assembly Hall, to meet and worship ancestors.
Located at 802 Nguyen Trai, District 5, Ha Chuong Assembly Hal is known for its unique architecture.
This work is highlighted by combining wood, stone, and brick sculpture, the vivid decoration with the statues of dragons, phoenixes, soldiers, castle models, and houses.
4. Admire the architecture at Thien Hau Pagoda
Located at 710 Nguyen Trai street, District 5, Thien Hau pagoda is considered a spiritual house that significantly influences the Chinese living in Saigon.
The pagoda was built in 1760 and has undergone many renovations but retains the quiet, solitary appearance dating back centuries.
This temple has a reputation for being very sacred. People here pray for fortune or the peace of their families and loved ones.
5. See the Chinese medicine pharmacies
Tran Hung Dao – Hai Thuong Lan Ong area is considered the backbone of the neighborhood.
This area has many shops selling traditional Chinese medicine. The drug stores have Chinese names such as Dai Hung, Thien Phuoc Duong, Thuan Thien Duong, etc.
6. Have fun at Lantern street
Lantern Street, located on Luong Nhu Hoc Street, is one of the best places to enjoy the essence of the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is something that has faded away in the heart of modern Saigon.
People come here to buy lanterns or drums, take pictures, or enjoy the bustling atmosphere in this place.
7. Enjoy Chinese food
Chinese food in Saigon is both rich and tasty, making people fascinated.
There’s a variety of restaurants such as dumplings, wonton, or duck noodles. Prices here vary by store but are generally affordable.
Most signs and menus in these areas are presented in Chinese and Vietnamese.
If you have a sweet tooth, you can go to Chau Van Liem street to experience traditional Chinese desserts and drinks.