Is it saigon or ho chi minh city?

Not only does Vietnam have two overwhelming and important cities of almost the same size, but one of them seems to have two names that are in use at the same time. In addition to Hanoi, the capital of the north of the country, there is also the city of Ho Chi Minh in the south. Or was it Saigon? Well, the official name is Ho Chi Minh City (often abbreviated “HCMC”), although the southern metropolis has been called saigon for centuries. People in Vietnam often call Ho Chi Minh City “Saigon” as a habit because it's a shorter way to get to the city.

Another reason for the popularity of the name “Saigon” is that many foreign visitors find it easier to remember than “Ho Chi Minh City”, and the abbreviation “SGN” is also used for flights to or from Ho Chi Minh City. Known as Saigon (pronunciation) until the end of the Vietnam War, it was the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina, and later of the former state of South Vietnam from 1954 to 1975. During the French colonial occupation since 1859, Saigon was considered the Pearl of the Far East because of its wealth and many Western-style buildings. In 1679, China's merchant communities first arrived and established a new city called Cholon, where trade flourished, alongside Saigon until 1931. Each show is a 60-minute trip to the culture of Vietnam, from wild tribal culture in the highlands, peaceful life in culture, to the vibrant energy of the city. When I asked their tour guide about the name of the city, he gave me a very complete answer, then I went online to check and found his article on how they are dedicated to promoting the traditions and culture of Vietnam in the most insightful and authentic way possible.

Ho Chi Minh City is located at 10°45' N, 106°40'E in the southeastern region of Vietnam, 1,760 km (1,094 miles) south of Hanoi. Recently, due to the cheap import of motorcycles, especially from China, the number of motorcycles has increased to about 3 million. You have many options to choose from in Saigon, which offers the largest variety of Vietnamese and international food in the country. The main economic center of Vietnam, it is also an emerging international destination, with popular landmarks related to the remains of its history shown through its architecture.

Another etymology that is often proposed is that Saigon comes from Sai Con, which would be the translation of the Khmer words prey kor () meaning forest of bait trees (prey% 3D forest; o% 3D tree of stocks). This is not to be confused with the airport departure tax, which should have been included in the price of your flight ticket. Most of the bars and restaurants that thrived in Saigon during the Vietnam War have closed their doors. Seventy percent of those who visit Vietnam also visit Ho Chi Minh City, and the city offers tourists a wide variety of activities.

After the Japanese surrender in 1945, the Viet Minh organization, under Ho Chi Minh, declared Vietnamese independence in Hanoi, but the celebrations in Saigon turned into riots. I think that the name change is not a sensitive issue, simply a political issue and, as such, it has very little in terms of offending anyone. The word “Saigon” first appeared in 1776 in a document by Le Quy Don, a scholar in Vietnam, and in that of the French government in 1784, but the name could have appeared much earlier.

John Smith
John Smith

John is an expatriate in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) of 14 years and enjoys writing about questions that he often sees online, places he has visited, and food he has sampled in HCMC. Please note John suffers from Dyslexia and apologizes in advance.