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Cholon, Ho Chi Minh City
HCMC Binh Tay.jpg
Binh Tay Market in Cholon
Chinese name
Literal meaning embankment
Vietnamese name
Quốc ngữ Chợ Lớn
Chữ nôm 𒄂𑘯(Cholon.png)

Cholon (Vietnamese: Chợ Lớn, pronounced [cə̂ˀːlə̌ːn]) is the name of the Chinese district of Ho Chi Minh City (the former Saigon), the largest such Chinatown district in Vietnam. It lies on the West bank of the Saigon River, having Binh Tay Market as its central market. Cholon spans across, and consists of, Districts 5 & 6 of Ho Chi Minh City.

Quan Am Pagoda, a famous Chinese temple in Cholon

The Vietnamese name Cholon literally means "big" (lớn) "market" (chợ). The Chinese name (and original name) of Cholon is (pronounced Tai-Ngon in Cantonese and Dī'àn in Mandarin), which means "embankment" (French: quais). The Vietnamese reading of the Chinese name is Đê Ngạn, but this is rarely used. Vietnamese speakers exclusively use the name Chợ Lớn, while Chinese speakers (both inside Vietnam and in China) are the only users of the latter.

In 1778, the Hoa (Chinese minority of Vietnam) living in Bien Hoa had to take refuge in what is now Cholon because they were retaliated against by the Tay Son forces for their support of the Nguyen lords. In 1782, they were again massacred by the Tay Son and had to rebuild. They built high embankments against the flows of the river, and called their new settlement Tai-Ngon (meaning "embankment" in Cantonese).

Incorporated in 1879 as a city 11 km from Saigon, it had expanded and became coterminous with Saigon by the 1930s. On April 27, 1931, the two cities were merged to form Saigon-Cholon by the French colonial government. By 1956, the name Cholon was dropped from the city name and the city was known primarily as Saigon.

During the Vietnam War, soldiers and deserters from the United States Army maintained a thriving black market at Cholon, trading in various American and especially U.S Army-issue items.

Today, Cholon especially attracts many Mainland Chinese and Taiwanese tourists.

Notable residents

  • Yvon Petra - He was born in Cholon. He is best remembered as the last Frenchman to win the Wimbledon championships men's singles title in 1946.

See also

Coordinates: 10°44′56″N 106°39′00″E / 10.749°N 106.65°E / 10.749; 106.65

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CHOLON (" great market"), a town of French Indo-China, the largest commercial centre of Cochin China, 31 m. S.W. of Saigon, with which it is united by railway, steam-tramway and canal. Cholon was founded by Chinese immigrants about 1780, and is situated on the Chinese arroyo at the junction of the Lo-Gom and a canal. Its waterways are frequented by innumerable boats and lined in some places with native dwellings built on piles, in others by quays and houses of French construction. Its population is almost entirely Asiatic, and has more than trebled since 1880. In that year it had only 45,000 inhabitants; in 1907 it numbered about 138,000. Of these, 42,000 were Chinese, 73,000 Annamese, and 155 French (exclusive of a garrison of 9 2); the remainder consisted of Cambodians and Asiatic foreigners. During the rice season the town is visited by a floating population of 21,000 persons. The Chinese are divided into congregations according to their place of origin. Cholon is administered by a municipal council, composed of French, Annamese and Chinese traders. An administrator of native affairs, nominated by the governor, fills the office of mayor. There are a fine municipal hospital and municipal schools for boys and girls. The principal thoroughfares are lighted by electric light. The rice trade, almost monopolized by the Chinese, is the leading industry, the rice being treated in large steam mills. Tanning, dyeing, copper-founding, glass, brick and pottery manufacture, stone working, timber-sawing and junk building are also included among the industries.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary





From Vietnamese Chợ Lớn

Proper noun


  1. the Chinese district of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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