Chợ Lớn- Chợ Bình Tây
Chợ Lớn usually Anglicized as “Cholon” in English sources, is a quarter of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It lies on the west bank of the Saigon River, having Bình Tây Market as its central market. Binh Tay Market (Vietnamese: Chợ Bình Tây or Chợ Lớn or Chợ Lớn Mới) is the Central Market of Cho Lon in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Local Vietnamese refer to it as Chợ Lớn, while local Vietnamese-Chinese refer it as 堤岸 – 新街市 “The New Market of Chợ Lớn”, The Vietnamese name Chợ Lớn literally means “big” (lớn) “market” (chợ) Binh Tay Market is sitting on Thap Muoi Street (Vietnamese: Đường Tháp Mười), a four street-block span connecting Confucius Street (Vietnamese: Đường Khổng Tử – old French: Quai de Gaudot) to the North, and Hau Giang Street (Vietnamese: Đường Hậu Giang) to the South, on the edge of District 6 It is the largest marketplace before the road leading West to Mien Tay of Vietnam, via a very important ground transportation hub named Xa Cảng Miền Tây. Despite many wars over the years, Binh Tay Market has always been a major business hub not only for the local Vietnamese and Chinese, but also for the Vietnamese farmers trading daily goods coming from all directions of South Vietnam. Bình Tây Market was built, or at least heavily financially supported, by a Chinese businessman named Guoyan (郭琰) better known as Quách Đàm, (1863–1927), originally hailing from Chaozhou in Guangdong. Quách Đàm operated his businesses under the trade name of Thông Hiệp but he was best known by his nickname “Handicapped Thông” among local Chinese. He started out very poor, making a living by recycling garbage and other used material; later, he began to enter into other types of businesses, in which he earned his fortune There used to be a life-size bronze statue of Thông Hiệp standing right in the center of the Bình Tây Market surrounded by four bronze lions, and four bronze dragons spitting water into the fountain under in which the statue of Thông was standing. The full size statue of Thông was replaced with a smaller glass altar sometime between 1976 and 1980 for unknown reasons Nowadays,that statue is located in the Fine Art Museum of Ho Chi Minh city. The four bronze lions and dragons are still standing as of 2007. As for the market itself, the first thing worth noting is that it’s simply huge: with two floors, 12 entrances and over 2,000 stalls it spreads on 4 blocks and it is the biggest market in town! Inside those massive walls one may find nearly everything : food, spices, clothes and any kind of items It is open every single day from 3AM until 9PM. Looking for the perfect moment to capture the essence of the place? Then dawn should suit you well. It is the best time of day to really catch a true glimpse of the hectic atmosphere of trading in Saigon. However, if you come there to shop for some nice piece of handicraft or a hand bag, you will be disappointed as Binh Tay is a wholesale market. Traders from all around the country bulk-buy goods and redistribute them in various kind of stores or small markets.