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Cholon (Saigon Chinatown)
Cholon (Saigon Chinatown)

Cholon (Saigon Chinatown)

Centered around Nguyen Trai, Districts 5 & 6, Ho Chi Minh City

The Basics

Cholon (written Chợ Lớn in Vietnamese) is full of colorful Chinese temples with curved roofs, decorative tile work, and fragrant smoke billowing from enormous incense coils hanging from the ceiling. The Quan Am Pagoda and Thien Hau Temple are two must-visit attractions, but simply wandering through the streets will uncover other interesting buildings.

Cholon is also home to a mosque, a Catholic cathedral, and the large Binh Tay Market, reflecting Ho Chi Minh City’s diversity. Most travelers visit Cholon for a couple of days, either independently or on a guided tour that includes other points of interest in the city.

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Saigon Highlights and Street Food Tour with Local Student
Saigon Highlights and Street Food Tour with Local Student
$22.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Fantastic!
My husband and I had a great time with Bell and May. They were super friendly and made us feel really safe in what could have been an overwhelming situation. We got to explore some parts of Ho Chi Minh City that we hadn't heard about and the food was delicious. We would definitely recommend this tour. Thank you so much!
Alexandra_F, Jun 2019

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Evening cycle tours are an especially good way to explore Cholon, and your guide will help you find places to eat.

  • There are lots of Chinese restaurants in Cholon, so visit at the right time to eat lunch or dinner.

  • Don’t forget to bargain at the market, but keep things friendly and lighthearted.

  • The temples do not normally charge admission fees, but it’s a good idea to leave a few small notes if you see a donation box.

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How to Get There

If you’re not visiting Cholon on a guided tour, there are several ways to reach the area. Taxi and motorbike taxi are the most straightforward ways. You can also take a boat down the Saigon River and the Ben Nghe Channel, or catch a bus from the central city area around the Ben Thanh Market.

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When to Get There

Visiting Cholon is fun at any time of day, but evening is an especially good time to experience the Binh Tay Market and hawker stalls that sell Chinese and Vietnamese food. The area is especially fun and festive during the Lunar New Year period.

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Visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda

For a different temple experience, check out the Jade Emperor Pagoda in central Ho Chi Minh City. It’s decorated with green ceramic tiles, as well as intricate wood carvings and the huge coils of burning incense hanging from the ceiling that you’ll find at all temples in Vietnam.

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