Phước Lộc Thọ, also known as Asian Garden Mall is the first and largest Vietnamese American shopping mall in the world opening in 1987. Phước Lộc Thọ is located in Westminster, California which makes it apart of Little Saigon. Little Saigon describes an area with a high concentration of Vietnamese Americans which notable areas including those located in Orange County, California (where Westminster is in), San Jose, California, and Houston, Texas. These areas are known to house a multitude of Vietnamese American owned businesses such as restaurants, supermarkets, and clothing stores. Westminster is also home to various Vietnamese television stations, newspapers, and radio stations and hosts a large Vietnamese pop music industry. Adjacent to Westminster is the city of Garden Grove which also has a strong Vietnamese American population. Here, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year festival is held.
Little Saigon was formed in the last 1970s and early 1980s as approximately 50,000 refugees living in Camp Pendleton located in Southern California had to search for a place to call home. With affordable housing available in cities such as Westminster and Garden Grove, it made those locations appealing options. Additionally Orange Country was also home to many refugee resettlement agencies that helped Vietnamese refugees slowly integrate themselves within American society through the learning of speaking English and the allocation of resources. Furthermore, with a climate similar to that of Vietnam, job opportunities, and Frank Jao’s development of the Vietnamese business district here, Westminster became the popular choice for many Vietnamese to move into.
Today, Little Saigon persists but concern is growing for the continued existence of this area because of an aging 1st generation Vietnamese population and a gradual Americanized younger generation that is slowly losing interest in living in the area. It is important to keep such a moment of rich history and culture alive because it demonstrates the values of the Vietnamese American people and showcases their ability to thrive in the United States as well as gives others the opportunity to enjoy their culture in a way that no one else can.