District 5 Ho Chi Minh City is a cultural melting pot, partially reflecting the culture, specialties, and unique architecture of the ancient Chinese until now. The old roofs and the rustic lifestyle of locals are typical of the classic beauty of one of the busiest urban districts of Ho Chi Minh City.
- Area: 4.27km2
- Postal code: 72700
- Administrative divisions: 14 wards including ward 1, ward2, ward 3, ward 4, ward 5, ward 6, ward 7, ward 8, ward 9, ward 10, ward 11, ward 12, ward 13, ward 14.
I - The best District 5 Ho Chi Minh City points of interest
District 5 is a bustling area of many Chinese people, making it another name for Chinatown, which is famous for numerous should-not-miss places once reaching Ho Chi Minh City.
1 - Luong Nhu Hoc lantern street
Luong Nhu Hoc is widely considered a paradise of lanterns in Ho Chi Minh City, which is not only a business center but also a place preserving the cultural beauty of the indigenous people. The most bustling time is perhaps the Mid Autumn (August of the lunar calendar) when there are thousands of lanterns in different colors and shapes displayed along the street.
Luong Nhu Hoc lantern street is a must-visited place in District 5 Saigon
Many traditional lanterns made by local skillful artisans can be mentioned as star-shaped lanterns and revolving lanterns, etc., which become incredibly glorious at night. The price for each lantern ranges from 15,000 to 65,000 VN ($0.65 - 2.83). Apart from lanterns, the street is also decorated with adorable toys and colorful decorative items.
The ancient houses are also attractions that should not be ignored in District 5:
2 - Minh Huong Gia Thanh communal house
Dated back over 230 years ago, this communal house is the very first one constructed by the Chinese community on the way to Gia Dinh, which was the old name of Ho Chi Minh City. It is now an outstanding attraction in District 5 Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam. The house features 5 compartments, each of which is reinforced with a solid wooden truss system, covered with gray pile tiles. The roof of the house is decorated with two dragon paintings, fish turning into dragons, and the statues of Ong Nhat and Ba Nguyet (unique images in the folk beliefs of people from the South of Vietnam, representing the harmonious combination of Yin and Yang, the symbol of prosperity).
- Address: No.380 Tran Hung Dao Street, Ward 11
- Opening hours: 8am - 12am
- Fee: free of charge
- Parking: in the yard of the communal house
3 - Tue Thanh Assembly Hall in District 5 Ho Chi Minh City
Tue Thanh Assembly Hall or Ba Thien Hau pagoda is a frame house with Yin-Yang roof tiles, which is more than 65m long and 27m wide. The hall was constructed in the 18th century, making it one of the oldest pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City. Up to the present, the hall has retained the ancient architecture with the art of sophisticated wood carving presented on the reliefs and altars. The art of painting and calligraphy is also represented in the murals. Especially the art of making ceramic reliefs has remained intact with detailed patterns over hundreds of years.
Tue Thanh Assembly Hall in Ho Chi Minh District 5 - Source: Ajik ulinuha
On the 23rd March in the lunar calendar, the ceremony of offering incense to Thien Hau, considered the goddess protecting locals when going offshore, reading a funeral oration and many other traditional rituals are organized in the hall
- Address: No.710 Nguyen Trai Street, Ward 11
- Opening hour: 6am - 11:30am & 1pm - 4:30pm
4 - Nghia An Assembly Hall
Nghia An Assembly Hall, also known as Ong Pagoda, worships Guan Gong, a renowned figure in Chinese history. The hall’s architecture is heavily affected by Chinese culture with the art of calligraphy, carving, and crockery, etc. in the period from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. The roof of the hall is divided into three levels, the middle is higher than the two sides. The roof is meticulously decorated with colorful porcelain dragons, which looks incredibly impressive. Nghia An Assembly Hall in District 5 Saigon consists of a nearly 2,000m2 yard, the front hall, the courtyard, the main hall, and the office of the hall along both sides of the shrine. The main hall is characterized by tall wooden pillars hanging parallel sentences, a delicately carved and sculpted altar, and a horizontal lacquered board. In the middle of the main hall is a space for worshipping general Guan Gong. The right side and the left of the hall are dedicated to worshipping Thien Hau Holy Mother and God of Wealth respectively.
This is considered a gathering place for the quintessence of calligraphy, wood carving, stone carving, and porcelain mosaic, etc. in the South from the second half of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. This hall holds a ceremony on June 24 in the lunar calendar and the full moon of January.
- Address: No.676 Nguyen Trai Street, Ward 11
5 - Ha Chuong Assembly Hall in District 5 Ho Chi Minh City
Ha Chuong Assembly Hall has many names such as Ha Chuong Assembly Hall, Chuong Chau Assembly Hall, Ong Huoc Pagoda, and Ba Ha Chuong Pagoda is one of the halls featuring the most unique architecture in District 5.
The hall has a total area of 1,500m2 with a nearly 300m2 courtyard, which was constructed according to the architectural style of the ancient Chinese shrine with the main materials of wood, rock, brick, and tile. In the middle is a courtyard or the incense offering space. The shape of the roof and the decoration of the hall reflect the typical feature of the Chinese people (from Fujian) with the sagging rooftop, the curved roof corners, making it the shape of a boat. Particularly, the roof of the front hall is delicately decorated by the statues of dragons, phoenixes, mandarins, etc., which is very vivid.
Ha Chuong Assembly Hall is one of the must-visited District 5 Ho Chi Minh City points of interest - Source: Wikipedia
The most outstanding feature in the architecture of Ha Chuong Assembly Hall is the two pairs of monolithic stone columns carved with a long dragon around the column, on which are four in the Eight Immortals, and the hexagonal base embossed with the image of apricot - bird, or grape - squirrel,...which is considered as one-of-a-kind “masterpieces” in Vietnam, according to professional experts. This hall also features various valuable artistic stone carvings such as a pair of dragon-horse reliefs and a unicorn statue at the door, etc. The doors and the door are engraved with the image of the vases of lotus flowers and peony flowers.
- The two largest festivals: March 23rd and July 9th.
- This hall was recognized as a Vietnam National Historical and Cultural historical site in 2012.
- Address: No.802 Nguyen Trai Street, Ward 14
6 - On Lang Assembly Hall in Ho Chi Minh City District 5
On Lang Assembly Hall or On Lang Pagoda, Quan Am Pagoda, and Ong Lao Pagoda was constructed in 1740 with an area of 1,800m2, featuring the Chinese ancient wooden shrines with the tubular green tiles, and the curved roof is decorated with ceramic statues.
The yard of the Assembly Hall is quite narrow. The roof of the main hall is comparatively low, so it is easy to see the status of two dragons, phoenixes, and other objects on the roof. On both sides of the main door is a pair of majestic stone unicorns.
On the facade of On Lang Assembly Hall in Ho Chi Minh District 5, walls are two gilded wooden reliefs and the embossed reliefs of the Four Heavenly Kings. The architecture of the Assembly Hall is impressive with the delicately carved lotuses, unicorns, and flowers, etc. Inside the hall, there are many special sculptures, decorations, paintings, and altars. The worship statues are carved and decorated according to certain principles which express the spirit, and characteristics of these Immortals through facial expressions and gestures. Parallel sentences written in Chinese and horizontal lacquered boards carved with the vivid images of hidden dragons in a sea of clouds, etc.
- Address: No.12 Lao Tu Street, Ward 11
- Festivals: June 19th, February 19, and November 19 in the lunar calendar.
7 - Nhi Phu Shrine - a beautiful shrine in District 5 Ho Chi Minh City
Nhi Phu Shrine - Source: Wikipedia
Nhi Phu Shrine, also known as Nhi Phu Assembly Hall and Ong Bon Pagoda, was built at the beginning of the 18th century with a total area of nearly 2,500m2. The pagoda still retains its ancient features through the traditional architecture and decoration style of the Chinese - Fujian people. The corners of the roof are curved, characterized by carved statues of fish (turning into dragons), making the pagoda the shape of a dragon boat. On the top of the roof are the meticulously decorated statues of fish, dragons, phoenixes, and flowers.
The interior of Nhi Phu Shrine in District 5 Saigon is simply decorated with tall red wooden poles hanging one or two parallel sentences. There are 30 horizontal lacquered boards and 14 parallel sentences, most of which were made between 1864 and 1901. In the middle of the main hall is the altar of Ong Bon or Phuc Duc God, who protects the land (according to Chinese beliefs). The gods and saints are represented by wooden or gypsum statues. Other valuable artifacts such as an ancient alloy bell in 1765, a cast iron bell in 1875, a stone unicorn statue, vases, and parallel sentences, etc. dating back to the late nineteenth. Nhi Phu Pagoda was recognized as an artistic and architectural relic by the Vietnam Ministry of Culture and Information in 1998.
Address: No.264 Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street, Ward 14
8 - Soai Kinh Lam market - the most bustling market in District 5 Ho Chi Minh City
Soai Kinh Lam market or Thuong Xa Dong Khanh is well-known as the most long-standing and bustling one in Ho Chi Minh City. The market was established in 1989, famous for being the fabric paradise in the city. The market features approximately 500 stalls, each of which specializes in selling a certain type of fabric; therefore, you just need to describe the products you wish, then the sellers will enthusiastically assist you to get the desired ones of yours. There is a myriad of cloth types from the ordinary to high-end at affordable prices. If you are looking for a cloth to sew costumes for stage performances, birthday celebrations, weddings, and anniversaries of craft villages, this market is absolutely an ideal suggestion. Over 30 years of operation, the Soai Kinh Lam market is always colorful and attracts a large number of visitors.
Address: Tran Hung Dao Street, Ward 14
Opening hours: 7:30am - 4:30pm
II - The best places to eat in District 5 Ho Chi Minh City
1 - Hoa Binh market
Hoa Binh market - Source: Internet
Hoa Binh market is typical of numerous delicious dishes, especially street food, such as crab paste vermicelli soup, baked bread, dumplings, and doughnuts, etc. at very reasonable prices.
Address: No.37 Bach Van Street, Ward 5, District 5
Opening hours: 7am - 10pm
2 - Pedagogical university snacks area
The area starts to be busy from 4pm thanks to a wide array of street food such as popiah, grilled octopus, milkshake, etc. at extremely affordable prices.
Address: An Duong Vuong Street, Ward 4, District 5
3 - Cho Lon area
Cho Lon market - Source: Wikipedia
Cho Lon is a hustling and bustling area where many of the Hoa people are living. It also reflects the cultural values of Eastern architecture. Coming here, you should not ignore scrumptious dishes such as roasted duck, dim sum, sweet soup, and hand-pulled noodles, etc.
Address: near Tau Hu canal in both District 5 and District 6
4 - The best restaurants in District 5 Ho Chi Minh City
Cat Tuong Restaurant
Cat Tuong restaurant mainly serves Chinese dishes and fresh seafood, especially stonefish (the price is about 400,000 VND/ kg ~ $17.4). There are more than 300 dishes from many different provinces in China such as Sichuan, Guangzhou, etc. The restaurant is comparatively spacious, airy, which is appropriate for parties.
- Address: No.105 Tran Hung Dao Street, Ward 6
- Opening hours: 6:30am - 10pm
- Contact: 028 3853 7869
- Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/CatTuongRestaurant
Sai Gon 2 Restaurant
There are a myriad of choices in the restaurant from the basic and ordinary dishes to the luxurious ones, which definitely satisfy every guest. The signature dish here is dim sum such as dumplings, shumai, fresh shrimp stuffed pancake, Beijing roasted duck, goby, and roasted suckling pig, etc.
- Address: No.877 Tran Hung Dao Street, Ward 1
- Opening hours: 7am - 10pm
- Contact: 028 3836 6087
- Website: http://www.saigonrestaurants.vn
Be Vang Restaurant
Be Vang restaurant - Source: Be Vang
Be Vang restaurant is one of the best restaurants in District 5 Ho Chi Minh City. It has a spacious and airy space with a sophisticated and luxurious design, featuring a modern lighting system, making the whole restaurant glorious. This is a perfect choice for gatherings, parties, romantic dates, or even business appointments. The signature dishes here are Beijing roasted duck, grilled giant freshwater prawn, and baked potato, etc.
- Address: No.261 - 262 An Duong Vuong Street, Ward 3
- Opening hours: 10am - 10pm
- Contact: 0938 261 263
- Website: http://bevang.nhahangbevang.com
An Duyen “Green Kitchen”
An Duyen restaurant mainly serves vegetarian dishes which are meticulously processed and decorated, which creates amazing colors and wonderful flavors. The outstanding dishes you should try in this Saigon District 5 restaurant can be listed as Cung Bao fried mushroom, salted tofu with melted cheese spring roll, fried asparagus with garlic, and steamed rice in lotus leaves, etc.
- Address: No.10 Nguyen Tri Phuong Street, Ward 6
- Opening hours: 10am - 2:30 pm and 5pm - 10pm
- Contact: 028 2212 9947 - 0908 421 461
- Website: https://www.bepxanhanduyen.com/
Hoa Bien Seafood & Cuisine
Hoa Bien Seafood and Cuisine - Source: Hoabien
This restaurant serves a wide range of dishes from more than 80 different varieties of fresh seafood. It is spacious, featuring 2 floors with a capacity of over 800 guests, including private rooms, a banquet hall for gatherings, meetings, and parties, etc. The most popular dishes on the restaurant’s menu are Hong Kong salt-roasted king crab, grilled five-spice crab, grilled Alaskan lobster with garlic, steamed goby, and Chaozhou steamed salmon, etc.
- Address: No.780 Tran Hung Dao Street, Ward 7
- Opening hours: 7am - 11:30pm
- Contact: 090 277 76 80
- Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/hoabien780/
III - Top hotels in District 5 Ho Chi Minh City
There is a myriad of options of accommodations in District 5 you can take into consideration:
The hotel is impressive with a lavish design and large space with three restaurants, an outdoor swimming pool, gyms, an entertainment area for kids, dry and wet saunas. Windsor Plaza serves complimentary breakfast and drinks and provides free shuttle service on campus.
- Address: No.18 An Duong Vuong Street, Ward 9 - about 4km from Ben Thanh market & 3.7km from Independence Palace.
- Contact: 028 3833 6688
Hotel Equatorial Ho Chi Minh City
Hotel Equatorial Ho Chi Minh City - Source: Hochiminhcity.equatorial
This is a type of large apartment, characterized by grand but cozy design, consisting of seafood restaurants, bars, event venues, an outdoor swimming pool, spa with saunas, gyms, and beauty salons.
- Address: No.242 Tran Binh Trong Street, Ward 4 - 3.2km from Notre Dame Cathedral
- Contact: 028 3839 7777
Dong Khanh hotel
This hotel in Ho Chi Minh District 5 is situated on the busiest street of Tran Hung Dao, which is a 1-minute walk to the nearest bus station, and 8 minutes to An Dong market. The hotel features cafes, a spa, and event revenues. It serves meals to all rooms 24/7 and offers complimentary breakfast with Chinese and Vietnamese dishes (the restaurant will suggest the menu).
- Address: No.02 Tran Hung Dao B Street, Ward 7
- Contact: 028 6296 2015
Natural House hostel
The hostel is located near the western street Pham Ngu Lao, so you can easily get to many nearby attractions. It features 12 rooms, equipped with air-conditioners, shared bathrooms, and full-equipped furniture inside the rooms. Room services are available, so you can request if needed.
- Address: No.39 Hung Vuong Street, Ward 4
- Contact: 094 455 95 50
The District 5 Ho Chi Minh hotel is 2.3km from Cho Lon market and about 2.7km from Bui Vien Street, which is full-equipped. Besides, Valentine also has a minibar and lounge. Next to Valentine's are several Italian restaurants such as Pizza 4P’s, R&J Italian Lounge & Restaurant, and Ciao Bella.
- Address: No 93/1 Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, Ward 9
- Contact: 028 3830 3833
District 5 today still retains the harmonious beauty of both modern architecture and the bold cultural values of the Hoa people in the area of the old market of Cho Lon, which is impressive not only by a myriad of ancient architectural works such as communal houses, Assembly halls, or the old market, etc. but also the quintessence in culinary art which is a harmonious combination between the Chinese and Vietnamese food. Thanks to all of these attractions, District 5 Ho Chi Minh City is definitely a worth-visiting place.