Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City? - Saigon cultural walking | SaigonWalks

Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City? - Saigon cultural walking | SaigonWalks

Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City? - Saigon cultural walking | SaigonWalks

When referring to the largest city in Vietnam, should it be called Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City? This question is commonly asked by travelers. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of this remarkable city.

To address this question, let's delve into its history.

A slice of history of both names


The city was originally a fishing harbor known as Preah Reach Nokor (ព្រះរាជនគរ), which translates to "Royal City" of Cambodia, according to the Khmer Chronicle. In the late 1600s, it became part of Vietnam's territory as a result of annexation by the Nguyen Dynasty.

During the French colonial occupation starting in 1859, Saigon was referred to as the "Pearl of the Far East" due to its wealth and numerous Western-style structures.

Chinese trading communities had established the town of Cholon since 1679, which grew alongside Saigon until 1931. These two cities remained separate until the independence of South Vietnam from France in 1955 when they were combined and named Saigon.

From 1965 until 1975, Saigon served as the capital of the Republic of Vietnam.

Saigon or Hochiminh city
 The map 1882 - Saigon cultural walking 

Ho Chi Minh City

The city was renamed in honor of the first leader of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, after the Northern Vietnamese Army took control of Saigon on April 30, 1975. 

Should the city be addressed as Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City?

Both Saigon and Ho Chi Minh City are commonly used to refer to the city, with locals still predominantly using the name Saigon, especially for informal context. 

For a more enriching travel experience, check out our blog for tips and join our cultural walking tours in Saigon.

Vietnam Travel Tips before walking in Hochiminh city to explore the culture 


To enhance your travel experience, kindly refer to our blog and join our Saigon cultural walking tours for a well-planned trip. Saigon cultural walking tours