Binh Tay Market (Cholon Chinatown) in Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City
- on Jan 4, 2019       By: LucyH
During the day, Binh Tay market (Cholon) is noisy and crowded with bustling stream of people trading everyday. Binh Tay market is unique in that besides sightseeing, shopping, tourists also can witness a vibrant life of Chinese immigrants who have lived in Cholon for decades.
Location: District 6, Ho Chi Minh City
Characteristics: Saigon Cholon has become an indispensable destination in any tourism programs in Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City.
Opening hours: from 2-3am to 9-10pm
Cholon is one of the city's oldest markets, which is home to the majority of Chinese-Vietnamese people, formed by the need to exchange goods. Due to the process of urbanization, the nam was changed into Binh Tay market. Built by a wealthy Chinese businessman living in Vietnam named Quach Dam, the market was built within 2 years and completed in 1930.
The architecture of Binh Tay market
The Saigon market area has a middle tower with 4 clock faces, 4 corners have 4 small huts, the entire market roof is covered by yin and yang tiles in a layered manner to create ventilation. Particularly, the roof in the corners has a twist of oriental pagoda style. The area in the middle of the market has a spacious yard that places the statue of Mr. Quach Dam and the stone platform on the date of market construction. Around the stone pedestal there are 4 lions and 4 dragons are all in bronze spraying water.
The market is built in the Western style but bears the ancient Chinese architecture. The tiled roofs with typical architecture in Hoa Kieu street have adorned an area with very classic beauty in the heart of Saigon.
What to buy in Binh Tay market (Cholon)?
Binh Tay Market now has over 2,300 stalls with more than 30 product groups. Major products include: Spices (abalone, nano fish, fish bubbles, needles, mushrooms, ect for cooking), Jams, cakes, Ready-made clothes, shoes, leather bags, household goods (crockery, plastic, aluminum, stainless steel ...), general department stores, jewelry plating, gold and silver jewelry ... .. divided into 5 main areas:
Downstairs area: including the front of Thap Muoi street market. Major products are: porcelain ware, incense sticks, zinc nails, spices, nylon - raincoats, shoes, bags, pictures - wedding goods, fabrics, plastic, hats, aluminum, cutlery, pages health - plating, nylon bags, cans, fruit jam, telephone
Upstairs area: there are main items: ready-made clothes, department stores, confectionery
Tran Binh area: The newly built area includes the following categories: general spices, high-class spices, high quality seafood, tea - coffee, fresh fruits and flowers
Le Tan Ke area: shrimp - dried fish, grease, oil, soy sauce, beans - flour, sugar, conical leaves, rice, rattan and bamboo, betel and areca nut, Da Lat vegetables, fresh vermicelli, broken leaves, fish sauce, and cabbage salty, sour, sour, coconut, vegetables, eggs, flute, straw mushrooms, colored water, clams, spices
Phan Van Khoe area is the main selling area of the market. Including items like pork, beef, shrimp, crab - frog - oysters, salt water fish, freshwater fish, duck - roasted pork, steamed fish, tofu, palanquin, dried fish, eggs, chicken - duck, ice etc...
Top must-try food in Cholon
Cholon Roasted Duck
Currently in Cholon, the most popular and famous selling area is along Bui Huu Nghia Street with more than 10 duck restaurants which are from a few dozen years to several years old. But the most famous is the duck row located right on the corner of Bui Huu Nghia street.
The traditional duck dish is the one that only for kings and elite classes, because this dish is quite sophisticated. The criterion of a delicious roasted duck is that the skin must be crunchy and brownish and also glossy and eye-catching, duck meat must be soft, juicy and fresh when biting.
Hand-pulled noodles - kung fu noodles
Fresh hand-pulled noodles in Cholon are made right at the spot on traditional trolleys that we usually only see on film, so far, there is still a lot of them in real life. This is also a must try dish when you have the opportunity to go to Cholon food area. Because these noodles are nothing like processed noodles you can find in supermarket.
Because the noodles are always made right at the restaurant, molded completely by hand in the traditional way and sold only during the day, they are chewy and soft, bored. because of freshness. But it is not good enough. The fact that people enjoy this dish is able to see firsthand the process of molding from a dough, in a split second and after a few juggles, turn into thin, regular noodles. The pulling of noodles is only for those with good hand, skill and experience. This freshly pulled noodle is best served with stewed duck, or a Chinese noodle soup.
Black chicken stewed with medicinal herbs
More than just a dish, the black chicken is also a medicine that is an extremely useful remedy for the body. The chicken is stewed with some herbs such as ginseng, memorial, field, jujube and ginkgo, ...
This dish with some unfamiliar people feels quite strange because of the strong smell and slightly bitter water of the Chinese medicine. But the part of the black chicken is very soft and extremely sweet. Black chickens with medicinal herbs according to Eastern Medicine can fortify and be good for your kidneys, etc
Dimsum in Cholon is a collection of traditional Chinese breakfast and dessert dishes, which according to some old documents claim that it comes from the Guangdong region, China. Dimsum was born with many different shapes and flavors, requiring sophistication in form and accuracy in taste. Because of such high requirements, processing Dimsum is not an easy task. The inner core must be selected from fresh ingredients. In addition to shrimp, crab, fish, meat, ... there must be vegetables, tubers, mushrooms, ... all must be minced and mixed well. The tasting process must also be skillful so that the core does not lose its natural sweetness but still has to be strong flavored.
In addition, the outer casing must also be packed carefully to be as eye-catching as possible. Nearly all Dimsum dishes are very small in size so they can be put into the mouth when eating. When serving, Dimsum is placed in bamboo trays with dams to keep the heat and flavor of each different dish.