After fleeing postwar Vietnam in 1975, the Luong family transformed a Westwood trailer park into the Far East Center. Nearly 50 years later, in January, the 2.5-acre shopping plaza was added to the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties.

Below, five spots you need to check out.

Truong An Gifts

Originally a 1,000-square-foot video rental store, Truong An Gifts is now a 5,500-square-foot market that sells everything from herbal medicines and imported snacks to K-pop memorabilia and Japanese kawaii items that feature excessively cute designs. “Our goal is that when anyone comes in, they walk out with something, no matter their gender or age,” says Truong co-owner Mimi Luong. And if you don’t find something you like, just come back later: Luong and her mom, Fawn, are always adding to the collection. 333 S. Federal Blvd., Suite 116

Statue in the Far East Center
Photo by Sarah Banks

K-Beauty Skincare

Korean skincare has become big business in recent years thanks to its emphasis on plant-based ingredients such as ginseng, which can prevent wrinkles, and Centella asiatica, an herb known to reduce inflammation and promote skin hydration. Not sure where to start? K-Beauty Skincare offers demos for the uninitiated, whether you want to cleanse your pores or brighten your complexion. Then you can stock your medicine cabinet with your favorite cleansers, moisturizers, and serums. 333 S. Federal Blvd., Suite 201A

Little Saigon Supermarket

Little Saigon Supermarket may be petite compared with rivals Viet Hoa and H Mart, but navigating its crowded, byzantine aisles in search of dishware, exotic fruits, and fresh meat is an essential part of the experience. That intimacy extends beyond its dimensions: There are plenty of knowledgeable employees who’ll make you feel at home as they help you find that missing ingredient for tonight’s dinner. 375 S. Federal Blvd., Suite 104

Mooncake from Vinh Xuong Bakery
Mooncake from Vinh Xuong Bakery. Photo by Sarah Banks

Vinh Xuong Bakery

This family-owned bakery has mastered both sweet and savory goods. At less than $10 and served with your choice of pork, chicken, ham, or meatballs slathered in house-made sauce on fresh baguettes, the bahn mi sandwiches are a steal. But you’ll be robbing yourself if you don’t leave with a few sesame balls filled with bean paste and enveloped in a chewy rice-flour shell. 375 S. Federal Blvd., Suite 112

Event Space

One of the Far East Center’s biggest draws is its parking lot, which hosts cultural events throughout the year, including September’s Mid-Autumn Festival. The post-harvest celebration includes an Asian-inspired night market, glowing lanterns that guide participants to good fortune, and mooncakes (pictured), tender pastries with a thick, sweet filling traditionally given as gifts. The main event, however, is Lunar New Year, which typically falls between late January and late February. Expect lion dancers, tai chi demonstrations, and plenty of fireworks that are said to ward off evil spirits. 333 S. Federal Blvd.