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Saigon or Ho Chi Minh? Which one is correct?

There are Hotel Muse Bangkok, Anantara Bangkok Santhron in Bangkok, Intercontinental Phnom Penh in Phnom Penh,ect. and what about Ho Chi Minh City? So far as I know there is neither Ho Chi Minh Hotel nor Ho Chi Minh restaurant.

Instead, they have Intercontinental Asiana Saigon, Sheraton Saigon, Metropole Saigon, Saigon Riverside Hotel and even the SGN for the code of the airport. So are you in Saigon or Ho Chi Min? Yes, you are in Ho Chi Minh city – Viet Nam according to google maps and Saigon – Vietnam according to the local people.saigon Let’s take a short trip to the past to make it clear. This city was regconized as Saigon – capital of Republic of Vietnam untill 1975, when the government of Republic of Vietnam was abolished. In 1976, upon the establishment of the unified communist Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Saigon was combined with the province of Gia Dinhand two other suburban districts to create Ho Chi Minh city in honor of the first prime minister Hồ Chí Minh.
ho-chi-minh So, 38 years passed but the local people still use the former name of the city in daily conversations because it comes so deeply to people’s mind and everyday life. If you ask the local people, especially those who live in district 1, they will call their city Saigon. To most of young citizens, who have got used to the new name since they were born, Ho Chi Minh city is more common while the old residents are comfortable with “Saigon”.
hanoi People who live outside of the city, Hanoi for example, would rather use the official name (you can hardly hear any Hanoian call this city Saigon). There is one case in which the official name must be use, that is in formal documents contexts.
OldSaigon From the foreigners’ point of view, they prefer Saigon because it’s simply shorter and easier but it will take them quite a while to feel the difference between Saigon and Ho Chi Minh. Saigon – which is mentioned above: short and easy to say – represents the typical characteristics of Saigonese: liberal, easy-going and simple in thinking and behaviors but, though, you cannot feel all of those yet. They live a simple life and make everything simple so it’s understandable that they don’t like the official name and either official things.
ho-chi-minh2 There are also many interesting and funny allophones for this city’s name. So, its names are Sài Gòn, Sài Thành (the city of Saigon – this name is also arouse the sense of a prosperous city) or Hồ Chí Minh in Vietnamese with their specific and inimitable intonation.
communist-country However, most of foreigners prefer to call it Saigon (without a break in between and necessary intonation) and Ho Chi Min (without “H” at the end). What about HCM and HCMC? Well, just the abbreviations for Ho Chi Minh city.
ho-chi-minh-city-hcmc I hope there will be no more confusions of Sài Gòn or Saigon; Hồ Chí Minh, Ho Chi Minh or Ho Chi Min; HCMC or HCM. It would be too much for distinguishing Saigon and Ho Chi Minh, but it just works well when you come to one place, but at the same time get bothered with the question “where actually am I?”.


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