Adventurocity's Brian K. Smith on a cyclo tour of Chợ Lớn (Big Market), Ho Chi Minh City's Chinatown. Highlights include Binh Tay Market (Chợ Bình Tây), Quan Am Pagoda (Chùa Quan Âm), and Thien Hau Temple (Chùa Bà Thiên Hậu).
Chợ Lớn was established in 1778 when the Chinese minority of Bien Hoa sought refuge on the west bank of the Saigon River from the Tây Sơn forces who attacked them for supporting the ruling Nguyễn Lords. The Tây Sơn sacked Chợ Lớn in 1782 and it was rebuilt with high embankments, ergo the Cantonese name for the city, Tai Ngon (embankment). Chợ Lớn was incorporated in 1879, subsequently expanding until it merged with Saigon on April 27, 1931.
The cyclo (see-clo), as it is known in Vietnam and Cambodia, is a human-powered cycle rickshaw most commonly found in East, Southeast, and South Asia. It is typically available for hire, like a taxi. There are different configurations, but the majority are a tricycle with the passenger seat located above the longest axle. In Vietnam and Cambodia, the driver is behind the passenger. In the Philippines, the passenger seat is beside the driver, while in South Asia, it is in front. (Rick Green photo | View slideshow)
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220 De Tham Street, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Tel: +84 (08) 3920 5847
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Vietnam is like a shoulder pole connecting the two rice baskets of the Red and Mekong river deltas. Justly famous for its food and beaches, you might be surprised by its temperate mountain regions and colourful ethnic minorities. If you enjoy culture, history, food, and outdoor activities, you will find ample reasons to visit Vietnam. To learn more about the country, read our articles and see our photos. Have any questions or comments? Become an Adventurocity community member and share them on our spam-free message boards.