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[Slideshow] 13 Old Pictures of Cholon

Cholon is one of Saigon’s oldest and most interesting neighborhoods. Spanning much of Districts 5 and 6, this predominantly ethnic Chinese area has been an integral part of Saigon’s economy since its establishment in 1778.

When Cholon was incorporated as a city in 1879, it lay 11km from Saigon. By 1931, Cholon had grown so rapidly that their borders touched and the two were merged to form Cholon-Saigon. This name stuck until 1956 when the city came to be known simply as Saigon.

From 1945 - 1975, ethnic Chinese dominated trade in south Vietnam, controlling more than 90% of the non-European capital, 80 percent of the food, textile, chemical, metallurgy, engineering, and electrical industries, 100% of the wholesale trade, more than 50% of the retail trade and 90 percent of the import-export trade.

Though the neighborhood lost much of its wealth and residents in the tumultuous post-American War period, it has nevertheless retained its Chinatown feel.

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