The Santa Ana Sentinel

Santa Ana’s Not-So Little Saigon

Posted in Little Saigon by Omar Ávalos Gallegos on June 2, 2012

It’s about time that the Vietnamese community rename “Little” Saigon to New Saigon. Truly, they should. Orange County’s “Little” Saigon has the largest concentration of people of Vietnamese origin outside of Vietnam.

Little Saigon extends from Garden Grove, Westminster and west into Santa Ana, well beyond Harbor Blvd. There are a significant amount of Vietnamese worship centers, either Buddhist or Catholic, like Our Lady of La Vang near Harbor and First, to those east of Harbor like the Bat Nha Buddhist Temple on Sullivan, or the one on First near Daisy, or the Vietnamese Catholic Center near 17th & Harbor. These are only some of the worship centers found in Santa Ana alone, and each one is an architectural spectacle.

It turns out that Santa Ana has the second-highest Vietnamese or Vietnamese-American population of cities numbering over 300,000 behind San Jose.

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  1. Dustin Nguyen said, on June 3, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Little Saigon is regarded by the Vietnamese community as Garden Grove and Westminster.
    We don’t consider Santa Ana to be a significant part of Little Saigon, although there is a small area of First Street east of Euclid before Newhope that the city of Santa Ana regards as Little Saigon, even though most of us don’t.
    While I’m sure the recognition that the Vietnamese community is growing is appreciated by most, some of the areas you mention are not part of Little Saigon, and there is no plan to change the name of our community.

    • Omar Ávalos Gallegos said, on June 3, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      Years ago there was a marker welcoming people to the Little Saigon portion of Santa Ana. It was controversial. There were people in Santa Ana that didn’t like it and judging by the tone of your writing, Dustin, there are others like you that don’t want the association with the name Santa Ana.

      That’s too bad. But can you really speak for all of the Vietnamese community? Especially those in Santa Ana? Don’t you think they’d want a marker and recognition within Santa Ana?


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