An old wharf in Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh city, Binh Dong is located on Tau Hu Canal, parallel to Vo Van Kiet Boulevard, in District 8.
Binh Dong wharf was formed in the 19th century, in the process of the urban development of Gia Dinh - Saigon. Along with other wharfs in old Saigon such as Ben Thanh, Ben Nghe, Ben Ham Tu, Ben Chuong Duong, and Ben Bach Dang on the Saigon River, Binh Dong wharf is an important transport and trade gateway for Saigon and the neighboring areas - especially the southwest region. Binh Dong wharf used to be the busiest shopping center in Saigon - Cho Lon.
In the 18th century, there was a community of Chinese immigrants from Cu Lao Pho (Bien Hoa, Dong Nai) to settle in Tau Hu Canal area, which later became a busy business center. Currently, Chinese style houses built in the early 20th century are seen there, creating the distinctive landscape of Binh Dong wharf.
This block of houses is built with a total length of over 100m, a two-storey height and a tiled roof; with the function of both living and trading. The architecture has undergone many changes but the overall structure is preserved.
Most of the ground floor of the building is still used as a shop.
Opposite the ancient house row, on Tau Hu Channel, is the wharf. Although the wharf is no longer crowded as it used to be, this place is still the destination and anchoring spot for merchant boats from far away to Ho Chi Minh City.
These boats mainly come from the southwestern provinces such as Long An, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Vinh Long, Soc Trang, and An Giang. Goods transported to Ho Chi Minh City are mainly fruit, flowers, and other agricultural products.
Most of the fruit from the Mekong Delta can be found in Binh Dong wharf like bananas, jackfruit, coconuts, mangoes, and papayas.
The boats and markets on Binh Dong wharf is a familiar, beautiful image, evoking old memories amid rapid urbanization.
Customers just need to stop on the dock to be able to buy goods. Goods are transported straight from the Mekong Delta gardens to the city, so they are much cheaper than in the supermarkets.
Mr. Du (left), in Vung Liem district, Vinh Long province, said that he has been selling goods for 20 years in Binh Dong wharf. His boat docks twice a month and each time he stays for 5 to 10 days.
Mr. Bui Van Tham, from Vung Liem district, Vinh Long province, said that it takes him 12 hours to transport fruit from his garden to Binh Dong wharf.
During the Lunar New Year, Binh Dong wharf looks beautiful with the crowded boats and the colorful flowers from the Mekong Delta. Binh Dong wharf also attracts many domestic and foreign tourists.