What to do in Saigon’s Chinatown?

History of Chinatown in Saigon

Chinese people are one of the main ethnic live in Saigon for 300 years ago. Avoiding the Qing dynasty, almost Chinese people (Hoa ethnic) went to area countries. Among of it had Saigon.

They came there and lived in District 5 and 6 then created the biggest market in the South Vietnam is Cholon Market. There are many old constructions of them still at this time. Let together with the author (he is the Hoa ethnic also) discover about the Chinatown in Saigon.

Old constructions in Chinatown

Cholon Market

This market has one of the longest construction in here. Binh Tay Market had established since 1928 by Quach Dam (Business Chinese man) when the old market (Cholon market) is narrow.

You can visit this old market to buy many things like bags, briefcase, dried food, homeware, local foods, etc. Everything you can buy here. Visiting there to understand more about the local activity of people here. It located in Thap Muoi Street, District 6.

Minh Huong Pagoda

Almost Chinese people come there to pray for successful on work and good lucky. It’s situated in 184 Hong Bang, Ward 12, District 5.

Ong Pagoda
Ong Pagoda are very famous by almost young people come there to pray for love. They come there to pray and take a picture with many Chinese style scenery. It situated in 678 Nguyen Trai, Ward 11, District 5.

Thien Hau Pagoda  

Almost local people come there to praying for the safety. Go inside the yard of pagoda, there are lots of condense smoke here. It situated in 710 Nguyen Trai District 5.

Some of Chinese food have to try

The roasted duck, pork, chicken

The Chinese people often buy the roasted duck to worship their ancient or meeting family they also buy it to eat together. Try to eat roasted meat in Chinatown with a crispy skin of meat will make you fall in love after one bite.

The Chinese people often eats roasted meat with small steamed buns (Banh Bao) and dip it into the special sauce. Almost stalls to sell roasted meat in here have a generation pass secret.


The Chinese people has the habits have Dimsum in the morning. There are many kind of light foods like dumpling, steamed bun, noodle, stewed chicken foots, etc. They having it and dip the dumpling into the Chinese soy sauce with a little bit chilly sauce and vinegar.

There are many type of dumplings that you can try like scallop, shrimp, meat crab, pork, vegetables, etc. Meaning of Dimsum in Vietnamese is “touch of the heart”.

Egg noodle with braised duck

The Hoa ethnic or Chinese people love eat this dish into the evening. The smell of broth are cooked by the Chinese herbs and spices. It takes many hours to cook the broth.

The bowl of it include egg noodle, vegetable and main character are duck leg with the brown broth. The taste of it so delicious by many Chinese herbs and spices. This is one of the popular noodle love by both Vietnamese and Chinese in Saigon.

The chicken egg sweet soup

This sweet soup are very unique by the chicken egg appear here because all of Vietnamese food list the egg into the salty food, not add for sweet or desserts. The main of soup are tea with sugar and chicken egg.

The people make this sweet soup for twenty minutes with many Chinese spices and herbs, cook together with tea and sugar with the chicken eggs. When the chicken eggs changed brown, put it down and prepare to eat. You can eat it by two ways cold and hot.

In brief

There are some of useful information about the Chinatown if you visit here. It not only for somethings I list above, there are many old building, flat and house of Chinese people, they still live there at this time. Chinatown are not together in one location, it separated every area in District 5, 6 and 11 even 8.

Lantern town in Mid-Autumn Festival (Souce: internet)

One more thing that you should remember, almost Chinese people and Hoa ethnic here can’t speak Mandarin, they speak Cantonese and they hate many people call them Chinese man.



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