Le Cong Kieu Antique Street

For a long time, the street of Le Cong Kieu, which is located behind Ham Nghi Road, has been known as the only one in Ho Chi Minh City selling various kinds of antiques.

In the past, Le Cong Kieu Street was a small alley. In 1920, the French Government expanded and named it Reims Street. In 1955, the Sai Gon authority changed the street name to Le Cong Kieu, the name of an army chief in the Can Vuong Movement against the French colonialists.

The street, about 200m long, is considered the oldest in Saigon and it seems unchanged with each passing day. On the street, all the antique shops do not have any nameplates, but are numbered which helps customers easily find the types of antiques they want. For instance, ceramic and pottery antiques are sold in shops No. 19, 21 and 23, ancient gongs and statues of Khmer are available in shops No. 34, 36, 38 and 40, and furniture antiques are in shops No. 15 and 36. There are also some shops selling old lacquered and wooden objects and sentence parallels at the end of the street.

Bao Tam, an owner of an antique shop who has more than 20 years experience trading antiques, said: “The shops on the street open from 9am to 5pm daily and attracts many antique collectors. Here, there are various kinds of ancient objects and connoisseurs in antiques sometimes can buy valuable objects at a cheap price.

Le Cong Kieu Street, about 200m long, has been well known in Ho Chi Minh City.

Antique collectors can buy rare objects on Le Cong Kieu Street.
Visiting the street, tourists have a chance to learn interesting stories about unique antiques. For example, the story about an elder who brought some paintings to sell on the street but no one bought them because they were ignorant about these paintings’ value. Then, one antique enthusiast discovered that these paintings dated back the Ming Dynasty, each was worth thousands of dollars. There is another story about a French trader who bought a small crystal pot on the street for 50,000 euros. This pot is very unique and valuable because it can make the water have seven colours.

Besides antiques, the locals on the street also sell delicate fake ones which are favourites for interior decoration.

The antique street becomes one of the “must see” destinations in Ho Chi Minh City that attracts many foreign tourists. Visiting the street, tourists not only see old objects of different ages, but also learn about the culture and life style of people in the past. Here, they can buy some objects as presents for their relatives.  

An antique shop on Le Cong Kieu Street.

The street attracts a large number of foreign tourists.

Chinese tourists learn about a statue of the Goddess of Mercy dating back to the Qing Dynasty.

The shops on the street open from 9am to 5pm daily .

In 2000, during her visit to Vietnam, Hillary Clinton, wife of former US President Bill Clinton, went shopping on the street and in 2008 the President of Switzerland Pascal Couchepin and his wife also called at the street.

Le Cong Kieu Street has become a unique feature of Ho Chi Minh City because it not only brings about great economic benefits but also shows many cultural and historical values.

Story: Nguyen Oanh – Photo: Dang Kim Phuong