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Saigon to close iconic Chinatown market for $4.6 million renovation

By Trung Son   November 3, 2016 | 08:22 pm PT
Saigon to close iconic Chinatown market for $4.6 million renovation
Binh Tay Market in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Nguyen
The 88-year-old Binh Tay Market will be closed soon.

Ho Chi Minh City will close its 88-year-old Binh Tay Market in Vietnam’s biggest Chinatown for a year for renovation.

Le Tan An, vice mayor of District 6 (where the market is based), said at a meeting on Thursday that it would close the wholesale market, the busiest in the city, from November 15 as it has been deteriorating after nearly a century in use.

An said the project will overhaul most parts of the market and add new toilets.

The repair work is expected to cost more than VND104 billion ($4.66 million). The city will fund the project with advance payments from tenants for the next 10 years.

More than 1,000 shops will be relocated to a temporary market right in front of the old one on Thap Muoi Street. The temporary booths will open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. every day.

An said the facelift project will preserve the original architecture.

Binh Tay Market was built in 1928 by a rice trader from China. The 25,000-square-meter market is appreciated for its bagua-shaped design. Bagua is a Chinese religious motif that incorporates eight trigrams such as the sky, fire and wind and the trigrams are arranged around a circle symbolizing yin and yang.

Binh Tay, also popular for its clock tower and a central courtyard, receives more than 120,000 foreign visitors every year.

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