Cholon Apartment Block Style

Postcards From Cholon

Cholon is a historic Chinatown west of old Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I visited the area on three occasions in 2017, intent on wandering around and capturing some pictures from the streets. Previously I published an extensive report on the Chinese temples of Cholon, including some detail about the history and demographics of the area, so I won’t repeat myself in this post. Instead, I’ll let the photos do the talking this time around…

A Typical Cholon Shophouse
A typical shophouse on the streets of Cholon. I saw many just like this one.
Cholon Roundabout Propaganda
Propaganda posters adorn this Cholon roundabout. One exhorts strong military defense: “quyet tam bao ve vung chac, dao Viet Nam”.
Cholon Jamail Mosque
The austere Jamail Mosque, built in 1935 by Tamil Muslims.
Another Cholon Shophouse
Another Cholon shophouse. Two of the original Chinese characters remain on the nameplate.
Cholon Apartment Block Style
Cholon apartment block style. This looks very much like the so-called cafe building in Saigon.
Cholon Shutters 1
Cholon Shutters 2
Cholon Concrete
Dragon Pool at Thang Long Park, Cholon
Swimming with dragons at Thang Long Park in the heart of Cholon.
St. Francis Xavier Parish Church, Cholon
St. Francis Xavier Parish Church, Cholon, completed in 1902.
Inside St. Francis Xavier Parish Church, Cholon
There are a several Chinese flourishes inside the St. Francis Xavier Parish Church.
Chinese Martyrs Mural at St. Francis Xavier Parish Church
A depiction of the Martyr Saints of China 中華殉道聖人 near the entrance of the St. Francis Xavier Parish Church.
Street Scene Behind Binh Tay Market
A common street scene near Binh Tay Market.
Out front at Binh Tay Market in Ho Chi Minh City
Binh Tay Market, the heart of Cholon; for more info see my original post about this place.
Inside the Refurbished Binh Tay Market
Inside the newly refurbished Binh Tay Market.
Cholon Textile Vendor
Textile vendor along the commercial streets of Cholon.
Chinese Herb Shop in Cholon
A huge shipment of herbs on a street filled with Chinese medicine shops.
Dried Goods Vendor, Cholon
Dried goods vendor near Binh Tay Market, where Cholon derives its Vietnamese name.
Dried Goods at Binh Tay Market
More dried goods in the wings of Binh Tay Market.
Bilingual Signs in Cholon
Bilingual signs are common in Cholon. This is a bookstore.
Hobbling Through Cholon
Hobbling through the hardware district.
Gold Game Center Facade
This gleaming gold facade obscures the front of the former Dai Quang Theater in Cholon.
Traces of Cinema in Cholon
Traces of cinematic history outside a former movie theater in Cholon. Wonder how old this mural is?
Hidden Dome at Dai Quang Theater, Cholon
A dome hidden above the entrance to Dai Quang Theater. The vaulted roof of the theater can be seen in the background.
Inside Dai Quang Theater, Cholon
The antechamber to the old movie theater, directly below the previous shot. Beyond this point I wasn’t allowed to shoot any photos.
Cholon Tenement Blues
Part of an entire row of condemned houses south of Binh Tay Market.
Cholon Trash Canal
Not all of Cholon is so picturesque. This canal running behind the market was especially putrid.
Cholon Mansion
The former Chinese Chamber of Commerce near Nguyen Trai Road.

I’d like to acknowledge Nomadic Notes for providing a good introduction to Cholon. For a taste of vintage theater vibes in Cholon and Saigon check out these posts (in Vietnamese, with photos) try here, here, and here. Finally, if you enjoy my photography from Vietnam I suggest scoping out postcards from Hanoi.