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[Photos] The Streets of Cho Lon, as Seen Through Old Postcards

From downtown Saigon, take Tran Hung Dao Boulevard, drive past rows of towering dipterocarp trees, and one will arrive in the colorful quarters of Cho Lon.

While some buildings might be gone and packed residential neighborhoods have sprouted from empty fields, the route from Saigon to Cho Lon remains mostly unchanged from the early 20th century, when these postcards were taken. Saigon and Cho Lon were even separate towns back in the day, and to commute between the two, residents perched on bouncy horse-drawn carriages or took the Saigon-Cho Lon Tramway, now a relic that exists purely in photographs like the ones below.

Commerce-filled thoroughfares like Trieu Quang Phuc, Chau Van Liem and Tran Hung Dao made up the main arteries of Cho Lon, and still do today. Chinese merchants set up stores selling homemade food, spices, silk and other craft products, making the community the best place to shop until you dropped.

Step into the sepia-tone world of past Cho Lon in the postcards and photos below:

From left to right: stores selling silk, chili pepper and tea.

A busy market in the morning.

Tan Da Street.

Shoppers crowd the pavements of a small street.

Tran Hung Dao B Street.

Trieu Quang Phuc Street.

The homestead of the governor.

Trieu Quang Phuc Street.

A rickshaw man looks for riders while barefoot.

A view from above the Tran Hung Dao B-Chau Van Liem intersection.

A view on the street of the intersection.

Along the Tau Hu Canal.

The U-shaped bridge connecting the two banks of the Tau Hu Canal.

Ceramic workshops and stores.

The now-defunct Saigon-Cho Lon Tramway.

Shophouse architecture.

A weaver's workshop with wicker furniture on display.

Trieu Quang Phuc Street.

A festive arch on Trieu Quang Phuc.

On Chau Van Liem Street.

[Photos via Flickr user manhhai]

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