This week I am visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on another visa run from Taiwan 台灣. Six months ago I visited Hanoi and enjoyed my time there—check out this photo gallery for a comprehensive overview—so I’m hoping to repeat the experience in the emerging megacity further south.
My first walkabout brought me to District 5 in search of Cholon (Vietnamese: Chợ Lớn), HCMC’s historic Chinatown, which was originally a settlement separate from colonial Saigon. Cholon literally means “big market” so I made a point of visiting Binh Tay Market (Vietnamese: Chợ Bình Tây), which is just over the border in District 6. Along the way I noticed many temporary markets setup along the roadway—so it was no great surprise to discover the famous market closed for what I would assume is renovation.
Since the gateway to the market wasn’t entirely closed I decided to try waltzing in—and was immediately stopped and waved away by a big group of workers all crowded around a table, presumably breaking for lunch. After pointing at my camera they allowed me to snap a few photos from the entrance and then ushered me away. Of course, it’s just like me to stumble upon abandoned and disused places wherever I go, but in this case I would imagine there’s a larger plan at work.
Anyhow, there wasn’t too much to see inside the old market but I want to share at least something from this trip before time slips away. I have a tendency to go on these short side trips and never really get around to sharing much from them—something I hope to remedy when work dies down a bit.