Immersing in the Lantern-Lit Charms of District 5, Saigon
Eighteen years ago, my mom took me on a ride to a local market to buy a beautiful, large traditional lantern for the Mid-Autumn Festival that year. As a 7-year-old, I didn't fully grasp the true significance of such a lovely gift back then.
Đường Lương Nhữ HọcĐ. Lương Nhữ Học, phường 11, Quận 5, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
The lantern was shaped like a fighter jet, as big as a Labrador, meticulously crafted with a bamboo frame and colorful paper. Finding a lantern of the same quality and design in 2023 is rare, as most Vietnamese traditional lanterns today are not as well-made or detailed as those from the past. However, you can still take a leisurely walk along a charming lantern-lit street in Saigon to admire these lanterns. Plus, you might get a chance to purchase one as a cherished gift or souvenir
The street showcases a selection of exquisite paper lanterns, each unique in shape and color, radiating elegance and grace. Beyond serving as mere toys for the Mid-Autumn Festival, these lanterns transform into enchanting decor pieces for homes, restaurants, and hotels alike. Additionally, bamboo-framed fabric lanterns, embellished with silk or brocade, bring a touch of sophistication, elevating the cultural ambiance of any living space.
Truth be told, these traditional lanterns are costly, delicate in rain, and easily damaged by rough handling, making their future uncertain in the next 20 years. It's disheartening, but while they still exist, I encourage you to witness their beauty in person and perhaps consider purchasing a few to support our local artisans.
Following your visit, make your way to Ha Ton Quyen Street for a culinary delight – indulge in some delectable dumplings. Renowned as the finest in Saigon, these dumplings are cherished for their traditional preparation and mouthwatering flavors, originating from Saigon's vibrant Chinese minority.