TRAVEL ADVISORY: See the latest updates here.
Explore Cho Lon - HCMC's Chinatown

Explore Cho Lon - HCMC's Chinatown

Literally, the Chinese community can’t be unrecognised in any top population region of the country, and Cho Lon presence is felt in almost every major city. From 18th century, Cho Lon (Big Market) has become an integral part of Saigon by its typical culture, lifestyle, and architecture reminiscent of years. 


Religious Construction


Spot a typical construction with Chinese Architecture, colored in bright red, leading to the town of bright colors and lively narrow lanes. You will have the chance to see century-years-old famous places.


Thien Hau and Quan Am Temple are the two most attractive and religious places. Both feature unique Chinese-Buddhist style architecture and interiors with pagodas, statues, courtyards, altars, and paintings. As are common in most pagodas, the air is thick with the incense smoke floating through each corner, which is a part of religious ceremonies in traditional culture. Whereas, it is a perfect and serene setting for shooting. 



Thien Hau Temple (710 Nguyen Trai Street, District 5) was built in 1760 that defied the Chinese Goddess of Sea, Mazu. There are 2 gates to access. You enter through an iron green front gate hanging lanterns and crossing a courtyard. Then exit from the right gate to a small street. It is decorated with delicate porcelain figurines expressing themes from its religion and legends. On Mazu’s Birthday (23rd March – Lunar calendar) or people calling it “Mazu Festival” – one of the most important cultural significance to celebrate the goddess of the sea. The annual pilgrimage takes place in Cho Lon, the main statue will be invited out from the altar and paraded through jam-packed streets. Thien Hau Temple is one of the oldest pagodas in Saigon of the Chinese. 


Quan Am Temple (12 Lao Tu Str., Dist. 5) was built by Hokkien immigrants at the beginning of the 19th century and is dedicated to and named after the Chinese “Goddess of Mercy”, Guanyin.

“Its theme colors are red, green, golden painted on wooden frames, iron gates, tube-tile roofs, numerous statues, and altars with beautiful decoration.”

The main chamber has a courtyard with a small pond that leads into the temple. And it extends to a complex in the opposite with elements such as a garden, a fountain, a miniature scale artificial island with rocky terrain, and a roofed pavilion. Additionally, this street is a legit Cho Lon spot with colorful motifs and sculptures that welcome local worship folks and travelers. 

Compared to temples or pagodas, assembly halls are considered as familiar spiritual and cultural places as well. There are some famous assembly halls: On Lang assembly hall, Ha Chuong assembly hall, Tam Son assembly hall, Nghia An assembly hall, etc. 


Handicraft Jewellery


Handicrafts are productions of the culture. And handicraft jeweler created the brilliant ancient story, the social trend throughout the timeline by accessories. Here, there are countless artisans who contribute themselves to this art field. Vietnam Silver House (68 Nghia Thuc Street, District 5) offer you DIY your own piece of sterling silver jewelry in the interactive workshops.



You will experience being a silversmith in learning skills including how to size, form, texture, and solder your piece of silver. Let’s make a customized silver accessory private class for you and your friends. Besides, Thiếc Market - meaning Tin Market (Pho Co Dieu Street, District 11) is one of the major old marketplaces in Ho Chi Minh City. It has been carrying tin equipment and other metal tools such as gutters, cans, hammers, screws, etc. for a very long time. Thus, you can also find plenty of good craftsmen selling gold, silver jewelry especially in the style of feng shui, yin-yang, and five elements that bless you health, luck, wealth, success, and happiness.


Binh Tay Market and Market Rows


Binh Tay Market is the center of the town. It is busy, crowded, and messy with small aisles selling so many different sorts of goods. It was a disappointing tourist location compared to other markets in HCMC. But after years of reconstruction, now it is totally different yet still conserves its vintage appearance. It has everything you can think of, not exaggerating, hence it is drawn in the authentic Chinese atmosphere that has existed here for hundreds of years, chaos, smelly, exhausting by its own character.


This area became a commercial center for the local business of low-income and assiduous residential neighborhoods. A person opened up a retail shop, then more similar shops competitively opened next by, that built into countless rows dedicated to a product or trade. The mass market businesses do not only supply for the city but also the country’s demand. Fabric row (Soai Kinh Lam or Thuong Xa Dong Khanh | Tran Hung Dao B str., District 5), material row and market (Dai Quang Minh | 31-33-35 Chau Van Liem Str., District 5), An Dong Market (Cong Truong An District 5) a big place with clothes, accessories, souvenirs and plenty of dried foods kiosks, oriental medicine rows (Luong Nhu Hoc str.,, Trieu Quang Phuc Tr., and Hai Thuong Lan Ong str.) hundreds of antique shops with innumerable herbal remedies spreading their fragrant flavors, you can easily find and buy the most valuable natural medicines. Besides that, Lantern Street in Luong Nhu Hoc street is the most attractive place in the Mid-Autumn Festival. People come to buy lanterns (electrical or candle lighting paper-craft), drums, and take photos with colorful lanterns there.