Ho Chi Minh City

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Ho Chi Minh City
Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh
Saigon/Sài Gòn
Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh
Ho Chi Minh City Skyline (night).jpg
Ho Chi Minh City, Notre-Dame Basilica, 2020-01 CN-01.jpg
Ben Thanh market ,Phuong Ben Thanh, Quan 1, Ho Chi Minh, Viet Nam Cho Ben Thanh - panoramio.jpg
The Landmark 81 at night.jpg
Den Hung, Ho Chi Minh City.jpg
Independence Palace Ho Chi Minh city (38647623045) (cropped).jpg
Clockwise from top: Ho Chi Minh City downtown (District 1), Bến Thành Market, Temple of Hùng Kings (Ho Chi Minh City), Independence Palace, Landmark 81, Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica
Paris of the Orient [1] (historical)
Paulatim crescam [2] meaning "Gradually Grow"
Ho Chi Minh City
Interactive map outlining Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam relief location map.jpg
Red pog.svg
Ho Chi Minh City
Location within Vietnam
Southeast Asia location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Ho Chi Minh City
Location within Southeast Asia
Coordinates: 10°48′N106°39′E / 10.800°N 106.650°E / 10.800; 106.650 Coordinates: 10°48′N106°39′E / 10.800°N 106.650°E / 10.800; 106.650
CountryFlag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam
Region Southeast
Founded by Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh
Capital District 1
Districts 1 sub-city, 16 urban districts & 5 rural districts
  Type Municipality
  Body Ho Chi Minh City People's Council  [ vi ]
  Secretary of CPV Nguyễn Văn Nên
  Chairman of People's CouncilNguyễn Thị Lệ
  Chairman of People's CommitteePhan Văn Mãi
   Municipality 2,061.2 km2 (795.83 sq mi)
30,595 km2 (11,813 sq mi)
19 m (63 ft)
 (1 April 2019) [4] [5]
   Municipality 8,993,082 (1st)
  Density4,292/km2 (11,120/sq mi)
  Metro density697.2/km2 (1,806/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Saigonese
Ethnic groups
   Vietnamese [7] 94.77%
   Hoa 4.26%
   Khmer 0.56%
   Chams 0.12%
   Tày 0.05%
   Mường 0.04%
   Nùng 0.03%
Time zone UTC+07:00 (ICT)
Postal code
Area codes 28
ISO 3166 code VN-SG
License plate 41, 50 – 59
GRP (Nominal)2019
– TotalUS$61.7 billion [4]
– Per capitaUS$6,862
GRP (PPP)2019
– TotalUS$190.3 billion [8]
– Per capitaUS$21,163
Climate Aw
International airports Tan Son Nhat International Airport
Long Thanh International Airport (under construction)
Website eng.hochiminhcity.gov.vn

Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnamese : Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh; [tʰàjŋ̟ fǒ hò cǐ mīŋ̟] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ) or [tʰàn fǒ hò cǐ mɨ̄n] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )), commonly and formerly officially known as Saigon (Vietnamese : Sài Gòn; [sàj ɣɔ̀n] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ) or [ʂàj ɣɔ̀ŋ] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )), is the largest city in Vietnam, situated in the south. In the southeastern region, the city surrounds the Saigon River and covers about 2,061 square kilometres (796 square miles).


Prior to Vietnamese settlement in the 17th century, the city was a scarcely populated area that had been part of historic empires of Funan, Chenla, and Cambodia. With the arrival of Vietnamese, the area became more populated and officials began establishing the city from 1623 to 1698. After it was ceded by the last Vietnamese dynasty to the French in 1862, the name Saigon was adopted and the city underwent urbanization to become a financial center in the region. The city was the capital of South Vietnam until the end of the Vietnam War with North Vietnamese victory in 1975. In 1976, the government of the unified Vietnam renamed Saigon in honor of Hồ Chí Minh.

The primary economic center of Vietnam, it is also an emerging international destination, with popular landmarks related to remnants of its history showcased through its architecture. A major transportation hub, the city hosts the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, the busiest airport in Vietnam. Sài Gòn or Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh is also undergoing construction of educational institutions and transportation, and also serves as a major media and entertainment outlet.


Ho Chi Minh City has gone by several different names during its history, reflecting settlement by different ethnic, cultural and political groups. Originally a trading port city of the Khmer Empire [9] [10] known as Prey Nokor (Khmer : ព្រៃនគរ), [11] [12] [13] [14] it is still known as Prey Nokor to Cambodians today. [12] [13] In time, under the control of the Vietnamese, it was officially renamed Gia Dinh ( ), a name that was retained until the time of the French conquest in the 1860s, when it adopted the name Sài Gòn, westernized as Saïgon, [10] although the city was still indicated as on Vietnamese maps written in Chữ Hán until at least 1891. [15]

The current name, Ho Chi Minh City, was given after reunification in 1976 to honor Ho Chi Minh. [nb 1] Even today, however, the informal name of Sài Gòn remains in daily speech. However, there is a technical difference between the two terms: Sài Gòn is commonly used to refer to the city center in District 1 and the adjacent areas, while Ho Chi Minh City refers to all of its urban and rural districts. [10]


Sai Gon may refer to the kapok (bong gon) trees that are common around the city. Kapok tree Honolulu.jpg
Sài Gòn may refer to the kapok (bông gòn) trees that are common around the city.

An etymology of Saigon (or Sài Gòn in Vietnamese) is that Sài is a Sino-Vietnamese word (Hán tự: ) meaning "firewood, lops, twigs; palisade", while Gòn is another Sino-Vietnamese word (Hán tự: ) meaning "stick, pole, bole", and whose meaning evolved into "cotton" in Vietnamese (bông gòn, literally "cotton stick", i.e., "cotton plant", then shortened to gòn). This name may refer to the many kapok plants that the Khmer people had planted around Prey Nokor, and which can still be seen at Cây Mai temple and surrounding areas. [17] It may also refer to the dense and tall forest that once existed around the city, a forest to which the Khmer name, Prey Nokor, already referred. [18]

Other proposed etymologies draw parallels from Tai-Ngon ( ), the Cantonese name of Cholon, which means "embankment" (French: quais), [nb 2] and Vietnamese Sai Côn, a translation of the Khmer Prey Nokor (Khmer : ព្រៃនគរ). Prey means forest or jungle, and nokor is a Khmer word of Sanskrit origin meaning city or kingdom, and related to the English word 'Nation' – thus, "forest city" or "forest kingdom". [nb 3]

Truong Mealy (former director of King Norodom Sihanouk's royal Cabinet), says that, according to a Khmer Chronicle, The Collection of the Council of the Kingdom, Prey Nokor's proper name was Preah Reach Nokor (Khmer : ព្រះរាជនគរ), "Royal City"; later locally corrupted to "Prey kor", meaning "kapok forest", from which "Saigon" was derived ("kor" meaning "kapok" in Khmer and Cham, going into Vietnamese as "gòn"). [21]

Ho Chi Minh City

The current official name, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, first proclaimed in 1946, later adopted in 1976. It's abbreviated TP.HCM, and translated as Ho Chi Minh City, abbreviated HCMC, and in French as Hô-Chi-Minh-Ville (the circumflex is sometimes omitted), abbreviated HCMV. The name commemorates Ho Chi Minh, the first leader of North Vietnam. This name, though not his given name, was one he favored throughout his later years. It combines a common Vietnamese surname (Hồ, ) with a given name meaning "enlightened will" (from Sino-Vietnamese ; Chí meaning 'will' or 'spirit', and Minh meaning 'light'), in essence, meaning "light bringer". [22] Nowadays, "Saigon" is commonly used to refer to the city's central business districts, whereas "Ho Chi Minh City" is used to refer to the whole city. [23]


Early Settlement

The earliest settlement in the area was a Funan temple at the location of the current Phụng Sơn Buddhist temple, founded in the 4th century AD. [14] A settlement called Baigaur was established on the site in the 11th century by the Champa. [14] Baigaur was renamed Prey Nokor around 1145, [14] Prey Nokor grew on the site of a small fishing village and area of forest. [24]

The first Vietnamese people crossed the sea to explore this land completely without the organization of the Nguyễn Lords. Thanks to the marriage between Princess Nguyễn Phúc Ngọc Vạn - daughter of Lord Nguyễn Phúc Nguyên - and the King of Cambodia Chey Chettha II in 1620, the relationship between Vietnam and Cambodia became smooth, and the people of the two countries could freely move back and forth. Vietnamese settlers began to migrate to the area of Saigon, Dong Nai. Before that, the Funanese, Khmer, and Cham had lived there, scattered from time immemorial.

The period from 1623 to 1698 is considered the period of the formation of later Saigon. In 1623, Lord Nguyen sent a mission to ask his son-in-law, King Chey Chettha II, to set up tax collection stations in Prey Nokor (Saigon) and Kas Krobei (Ben Nghe). Alhough this was a deserted jungle area, it was located on the traffic routes of Vietnamese, Chinese,... to Cambodia and Siam. The next two important events of this period were the establishment of the barracks and residence of Vice King Ang Non and the establishment of a palace at Tan My (near the present-day Cong Quynh – Nguyen Trai crossroads). It can be said that Saigon was formed from these three government agencies.

Nguyễn Dynasty rule

A French drawing of the French Siege of Saigon in 1859 by joint Franco-Spanish forces French capture of Saigon in 1859.jpg
A French drawing of the French Siege of Saigon in 1859 by joint Franco-Spanish forces

In 1679, Lord Nguyễn Phúc Tần allowed a group of Chinese refugees from the Qing Dynasty to settle in My Tho, Bien Hoa and Saigon to seek refuge. In 1698, Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, a Vietnamese noble, was sent by the Nguyễn rulers of Huế by sea to establish Vietnamese administrative structures in the area, thus detaching the area from Cambodia, which was not strong enough to intervene. He is often credited with the expansion of Saigon into a significant settlement. [25] [26] In 1788, Nguyễn Ánh captured the city, and used it as the base for resist against Tây Sơn. [27] Two years later, a large Vauban citadel called Gia Định, or Thành Bát Quái ("Eight Diagrams") was built by Victor Olivier de Puymanel, one of the Nguyễn Ánh's French mercenaries. [28]

The citadel was captured by Lê Văn Khôi during his revolt of 1833–35 against Emperor Minh Mạng. Following the revolt, Minh Mạng ordered it to be dismantled, and a new citadel, called Phụng Thành, was built in 1836. [29] In 1859, the citadel was destroyed by the French following the Battle of Kỳ Hòa. [29] Initially called Gia Dinh, the Vietnamese city became Saigon in the 18th century. [14]

French colonial era

The crest of Saigon. Coat of Arms Saigon.svg
The crest of Saigon.

Ceded to France by the 1862 Treaty of Saigon, [30] the city was planned by the French to transform into a large town for colonization. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, construction of various French-style buildings began, including a botanical garden, the Norodom Palace, Hotel Continental, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and Bến Thành Market, among many others. [31] [32] In April 1865, Gia Dinh Bao was established in Saigon, becoming the first newspaper published in Vietnam. [33] During the French colonial era, Saigon became known as "Pearl of the Orient" (Hòn ngọc Viễn Đông), [34] or "Paris of the Extreme Orient". [35]

On 27 April 1931, a new région called Saigon–Cholon consisting of Saigon and Cholon was formed; the name Cholon was dropped after South Vietnam gained independence from France in 1955. [36] From about 256,000 in 1930, [37] Saigon's population rose to 1.2 million in 1950. [37]

Republic of Vietnam era

Saigon City Hall (1968) Saigon City Hall, 1968.jpg
Saigon City Hall (1968)
Street view of Saigon in 1968 Saigon street scene.jpg
Street view of Saigon in 1968
Saigon Opera House in 1967 Saigon Opera House, 1967.jpg
Saigon Opera House in 1967

In 1949, former Emperor Bảo Đại made Saigon the capital of the State of Vietnam with himself as head of state. [38] In 1954, the Geneva Agreement partitioned Vietnam along the 17th parallel (Bến Hải River), with the communist Việt Minh, under Ho Chi Minh, gaining complete control of the northern half of the country, while the southern half gaining independence from France. [39] The State officially became the Republic of Vietnam when Bảo Đại was deposed by his Prime Minister Ngô Đình Diệm in the 1955 referendum, [39] with Saigon as its capital. [40] On 22 October 1956, the city was given the official name, Đô Thành Sài Gòn ("Capital City Saigon"). [41] After the decree of 27 March 1959 came into effect, Saigon was divided into eight districts and 41 wards. [41] In December 1966, two wards from old An Khánh Commune of Gia Định, were formed into District 1, then seceded shortly later to became District 9. [42] In July 1969, District 10 and District 11 were founded, and by 1975, the city's area consisted of eleven districts, Gia Định, Củ Chi District (Hậu Nghĩa) and Phú Hòa District (Bình Dương). [42]

Saigon served as the financial, industrial and transport center of the Republic of Vietnam. [43] In the late 1950s, with the U.S. providing nearly $2 billion in aid to the Diệm regime, the country's economy grew rapidly under capitalism; [41] by 1960, over half of South Vietnam's factories were located in Saigon. [44] However, beginning in the 1960s, Saigon experienced economic downturn and high inflation, as it was completely dependent to U.S. aids and imports from other countries. [41] As a result of widespread urbanization, with the population reaching 3.3 million by 1970, the city was described by the USAID as being turned "into a huge slum". [45] The city was also suffered from "prostitutes, drug addicts, corrupt officials, beggars, orphans, and Americans with money", and according to Stanley Karnow, it was "a black-market city in the largest sense of the word". [40]

On 28 April 1955, the Vietnamese National Army launched an attack against Bình Xuyên military force in the city. The battle lasted until May, killing an estimated 500 people and leaving about 20,000 homeless. [40] [46] Ngô Đình Diệm then later turned on other paramilitary groups in Saigon, including the Hoa Hao Buddhist reform movement. [40] On 11 June 1963, Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức burned himself in the city, in protest of the Diệm regime. On 1 November of the same year, Diệm was assassinated in Saigon, in a successful coup by Dương Văn Minh. [40]

During the 1968 Tet Offensive, communist forces launched a failed attempt to capture the city. On 30 April 1975, Saigon fell, ending the Vietnam War with a victory for North Vietnam, [47] and the city came under the control of the Vietnamese People's Army. [40]

Post–Vietnam War and today

In 1976, upon the establishment of the unified communist Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the city of Saigon (including the Cholon area), the province of Gia Ðịnh and two suburban districts of two other nearby provinces were combined to create Ho Chi Minh City, in honor of the late Communist leader Ho Chi Minh. [nb 4] At the time, the city covers an area of 1,295.5 square kilometers with eight districts and five rurals: Thủ Đức, Hóc Môn, Củ Chi, Bình Chánh, and Nhà Bè. [42] Since 1978, administrative divisions in the city has been revised numerous times, [42] most recently in 2020, when District 2, District 9, and Thủ Đức District were consolidated to form a municipal city. [48]

Today, Ho Chi Minh City, along with its surrounding provinces, is described as "the manufacturing hub" of Vietnam, and "an attractive business hub". [49] It was ranked the 111th-most expensive major city in the world according to a 2020 survey of 209 cities. [50] In terms of international connectedness, as of 2020, the city was classified as a "Beta" city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. [51]


Ho Chi Minh City is located in the south-eastern region of Vietnam, 1,760 km (1,090 mi) south of Hanoi. The average elevation is 5 metres (16 ft) above sea level for the city center and 16 metres (52 ft) for the suburb areas. [52] It borders Tây Ninh Province and Bình Dương Province to the north, Đồng Nai Province and Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu province to the east, Long An Province to the west, Tien Giang Province and East Sea to the south with a coast 15 km (9 mi) long. The city covers an area of 2,095 km2 (809 sq mi or 0.63% of the surface of Vietnam), extending up to Củ Chi District (12 mi or 19 km from the Cambodian border) and down to Cần Giờ on the Eastern Sea. The distance from the northernmost point (Phú Mỹ Hưng Commune, Củ Chi District) to the southernmost one (Long Hòa Commune, Cần Giờ District) is 102 km (63 mi), and from the easternmost point (Long Bình ward, District Nine) to the westernmost one (Bình Chánh Commune, Bình Chánh District) is 47 km (29 mi). [ citation needed ] Due to its location on the Mekong Delta, the city is fringed by tidal flats that have been heavily modified for agriculture. [53]


The city has a tropical climate, specifically tropical savanna (Aw), with a high average humidity of 78–82%. [54] The year is divided into two distinct seasons. [54] The rainy season, with an average rainfall of about 1,800 millimetres (71 in) annually (about 150 rainy days per year), usually lasts from May to November. [54] The dry season lasts from December to April. [54] The average temperature is 28 °C (82 °F), with little variation throughout the year. [54] The highest temperature recorded was 40.0 °C (104 °F) in April while the lowest temperature recorded was 13.8 °C (57 °F) in January. [54] On average, the city experiences between 2,400 and 2,700 hours of sunshine per year. [54]

Climate data for Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Ho Chi Minh City
Record high °C (°F)36.4
Average high °C (°F)31.6
Daily mean °C (°F)26.0
Average low °C (°F)21.1
Record low °C (°F)13.8
Average rainfall mm (inches)13.8
Average rainy days2.
Average relative humidity (%)72707072798283838584807778
Mean monthly sunshine hours 2452462722391951711801721621822002262,490
Source 1: Vietnam Institute for Building Science and Technology, [55] Asian Development Bank [54]
Source 2: World Meteorological Organization (rainfall) [56]


Population density and elevation above sea level in Ho Chi Minh City (2010) Urban-Rural Population and Land Area Estimates, v2, 2010 Thanh Po Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam (13874141364).jpg
Population density and elevation above sea level in Ho Chi Minh City (2010)

Ho Chi Minh City is considered one of the cities most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, particularly flooding. During the rainy season, a combination of high tide, heavy rains, high flow volume in the Saigon River and Dong Nai River and land subsidence results in regular flooding in several parts of the city. [57] [58] A once-in-100 year flood would cause 23% of the city to flood. [59]


Ho Chi Minh City Hall at night Ayuntamiento, Ciudad Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, 2013-08-14, DD 09.JPG
Ho Chi Minh City Hall at night
Night view of the city from Bitexco Financial Tower Vista de Ciudad Ho Chi Minh desde Bitexco Financial Tower, Vietnam, 2013-08-14, DD 13.JPG
Night view of the city from Bitexco Financial Tower
Administrative divisions of HCMC's urban districts and municipal city
1-12. Districts 1 to 12
2. Thu Duc City
13. Binh Thanh
14. Binh Tan
15. Go Vap
16. Phu Nhuan
17. Tan Binh
18. Tan Phu Sai Gon districts coloured numbered 2.png
Administrative divisions of HCMC's urban districts and municipal city
1–12. Districts 1 to 12
2. Thủ Đức City
13. Bình Thạnh
14. Bình Tân
15. Gò Vấp
16. Phú Nhuận
17. Tân Bình
18. Tân Phú

Ho Chi Minh City is a municipality at the same level as Vietnam's provinces, which is subdivided into 22 district-level sub-divisions (as of 2020):

They are further subdivided into 5 commune-level towns (or townlets), 58 communes, and 249 wards (as of 2020, see List of HCMC administrative units below). [60]

On December 9th 2020, it was announced that District 2, District 9 and Thủ Đức District would be consolidated and was approved by Standing Committee of the National Assembly. [61] [48]

City government

The Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee is a 13-member executive branch of the city. The current chairman is Nguyễn Thành Phong. There are several vice chairmen and chairwomen on the committee with responsibility over various city departments.

The legislative branch of the city is the Ho Chi Minh City People's Council and consists of 105 members. The current Chairwoman is Nguyễn Thị Lệ.

The judiciary branch of the city is the Ho Chi Minh City People's Court. The current Chief Judge is Lê Thanh Phong.

The executive committee of Communist Party of Ho Chi Minh City is the leading organ of the Communist Party in Ho Chi Minh City. The current secretary is Nguyễn Văn Nên. The permanent deputy secretary of the Communist Party is ranked second in the city politics after the Secretary of the Communist Party, while chairman of the People's Committee is ranked third and the chairman of the People's Council is ranked fourth. [ citation needed ]


Historical population
YearArea km2PopulationPerson/km2UrbanRural
Census [65]
Sources: [66] [67] [68] [69]

The population of Ho Chi Minh City, as of the 1 October 2004 census, was 6,117,251 (of which 19 inner districts had 5,140,412 residents and 5 suburban districts had 976,839 inhabitants). [60] In mid-2007, the city's population was 6,650,942 – with the 19 inner districts home to 5,564,975 residents and the five suburban districts containing 1,085,967 inhabitants. The result of the 2009 Census shows that the city's population was 7,162,864 people, [70] about 8.34% of the total population of Vietnam, making it the highest population-concentrated city in the country. As of the end of 2012, the total population of the city was 7,750,900 people, an increase of 3.1% from 2011. [71] As an administrative unit, its population is also the largest at the provincial level. According to the 2019 census, Ho Chi Minh City has a population of over 8.9 million within the city proper and over 21 million within its metropolitan area. [4]

The city's population is expected to grow to 13.9 million by 2025. [72] The population of the city is expanding faster than earlier predictions. In August 2017, the city's mayor, Nguyen Thanh Phong, admitted that previous estimates of 8–10 million were drastic underestimations. [73] The actual population (including those who have not officially registered) was estimated 13 million in 2017. [74] The Ho Chi Minh City Metropolitan Area, a metropolitan area covering most parts of the southeast region plus Tiền Giang Province and Long An Province under planning, will have an area of 30,000 square kilometres (12,000 sq mi) with a population of 20 million inhabitants by 2020. [75] Inhabitants of Ho Chi Minh City are usually known as "Saigonese" in English and "dân Sài Gòn" in Vietnamese.

Ethnic groups

The majority of the population are ethnic Vietnamese (Kinh) at about 93.52%. Ho Chi Minh City's largest minority ethnic group are the Chinese (Hoa) with 5.78%. Cholon – in District 5 and parts of Districts 6, 10 and 11 – is home to the largest Chinese community in Vietnam. The Hoa (Chinese) speak a number of varieties of Chinese, including Cantonese, Teochew (Chaozhou), Hokkien, Hainanese and Hakka; smaller numbers also speak Mandarin Chinese. Other ethnic minorities include Khmer with 0.34%, and Cham with 0.1%. Also, various other nationalities including Koreans, Japanese, Americans, South Africans, Filipinos and Britons reside in Ho Chi Minh City, particularly in Thủ Đức and District 7 as expatriate workers. [76]


The three most prevalent religions in Ho Chi Minh City are Mahayana Buddhism with Taoism and Confucianism (via ancestor worship), which are often celebrated together in the same temple. Most Vietnamese and Han Chinese are strongly influenced by these traditional religious practices. There is a sizeable community of Roman Catholics, representing about 10% of the city's population. [77] Other minority groups include Hòa Hảo, Cao Đài, Protestants, Muslims, Hindus, and members of the Baháʼí Faith.


Ho Chi Minh City is the economic center of Vietnam and accounts for a large proportion of the economy of Vietnam. Although the city takes up just 0.6% of the country's land area, it contains 8.34% of the population of Vietnam, 20.2% of its GDP, 27.9% of industrial output and 34.9% of the FDI projects in the country in 2005. [78] In 2005, the city had 4,344,000 labourers, of whom 130,000 are over the labour age norm (in Vietnam, 60 for male and 55 for female workers). [79] In 2009, GDP per capita reached $2,800, compared to the country's average level of $1,042. [80]

YearGeneral description
2006As of June 2006, the city has been home to three export processing zones and twelve industrial parks. Ho Chi Minh City is the leading recipient of foreign direct investment in Vietnam, with 2,530 FDI projects worth $16.6 billion at the end of 2007. [81] In 2007, the city received over 400 FDI projects worth $3 billion. [82]
2007In 2007, the city's GDP was estimated at $14.3 billion, or about $2,180 per capita, up 12.6 percent from 2006 and accounting for 20% of the country's GDP. The GDP adjusted to Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) reached $71.5 billion, or about $10,870 per capita (approximately three times higher than the country's average). The city's Industrial Product Value was $6.4 billion, equivalent to 30% of the value of the entire nation. Export – Import Turnover through HCMC ports accounted for $36 billion, or 40% of the national total, of which export revenue reached $18.3 billion (40% of Vietnam's total export revenues). In 2007, Ho Chi Minh City's contribution to the annual revenues in the national budget increased by 30 percent, accounting for about 20.5 percent of total revenues. The consumption demand of Ho Chi Minh City is higher than other Vietnamese provinces and municipalities and 1.5 times higher than that of Hanoi. [83]
2008In 2008, it attracted $8.5 billion in FDI. [84] In 2010, the city's GDP was estimated at $20.902 billion, or about $2,800 per capita, up 11.8 percent from 2009. [85]
2012By the end of 2012, the city's GDP was estimated around $28,595 billion [ dubious ], or about $3,700 per capita, up 9.2 percent from 2011. [86] Total trade (export and import) reached $47.7 billion, with export at $21.57 billion and import $26.14 billion. [71]
2013In 2013, GDP of the city grew 7.6% by Q1, 8.1% by Q2, and 10.3% by the end of Q3. By the end of 2013, the city's GDP grew 9.3%, with GDP per capita reaching $4,500. [87]
2014By the end of 2014, the city's GDP grew 9.5%, with GDP per capita reaching $5,100. [88]


Saigon Port SaigonPort1.JPG
Saigon Port

The economy of Ho Chi Minh City consists of industries ranging from mining, seafood processing, agriculture, and construction, to tourism, finance, industry and trade. The state-owned sector makes up 33.3% of the economy, the private sector 4.6%, and the remainder in foreign investment. Concerning its economic structure, the service sector accounts for 51.1%, industry and construction account for 47.7% and forestry, agriculture and others make up just 1.2%. [89]

The city and its ports are part of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road that runs from the Chinese coast via the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean, there to the Upper Adriatic region of Trieste with its rail connections to Central and Eastern Europe. [90] [91]

Quang Trung Software Park is a software park situated in District 12. The park is approximately 15 km (9 mi) from downtown Ho Chi Minh City and hosts software enterprises as well as dot.com companies. The park also includes a software training school. Dot.com investors here are supplied with other facilities and services such as residences and high-speed access to the internet as well as favorable taxation. Together with the Hi-Tech Park in Thủ Đức, and the 32 ha. software park inside Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone in District 7 of the city, Ho Chi Minh City aims to become an important hi-tech city in the country and the South-East Asia region.

Hi-Tech Park, District 9. Saigon Hi-Tech Park.JPG
Hi-Tech Park, District 9.

This park helps the city in particular and Vietnam in general to become an outsourcing location for other enterprises in developed countries, as India has done. Some 300,000 businesses, including many large enterprises, are involved in high-tech, electronic, processing and light industries, and also in construction, building materials and agricultural products. Additionally, crude oil is a popular economic base in the city. Investors are still pouring money into the city. Total local private investment was 160 billion đồng (US$7.5 million) [92] with 18,500 newly founded companies. Investment trends to high technology, services and real estate projects. [ citation needed ]

As of June 2006, the city had three export processing zones and twelve industrial parks, in addition to Quang Trung Software Park and Ho Chi Minh City hi-tech park. Intel has invested about 1 billion dollars in a factory in the city. More than fifty banks with hundreds of branches and about 20 insurance companies are also located inside the city. The Stock Exchange, the first stock exchange in Vietnam, was opened in 2001. There are 171 medium and large-scale markets as well as several supermarket chains, shopping malls, and fashion and beauty center. [ citation needed ]


Some of the larger shopping malls and plazas opened recently include:

In 2007, three million foreign tourists, about 70% of the total number of tourists to Vietnam, visited the city. Total cargo transport to Ho Chi Minh City's ports reached 50.5 million tonnes, [93] nearly one-third of the total for Vietnam.

New urban areas

Saigon Railway Station Medical Checkpoint at Saigon Railway Station.jpg
Saigon Railway Station

With a population now of 8,382,287 (as of Census 2010 on 1 April 2010) [94] (registered residents plus migrant workers as well as a metropolitan population of 10 million), Ho Chi Minh City needs increased public infrastructure. [60] To this end, the city and central governments have embarked on an effort to develop new urban centres. The two most prominent projects are the Thu Thiem city centre in District 2 and the Phu My Hung Urban Area, a new city centre in District 7 (as part of the Saigon South project) where various international schools such as Saigon South International School and Australia's Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology are located. In December 2007, Phu My Hung's new City Centre completed the 17.8 kilometres (11.1 mi) 10–14 lane wide Nguyen Van Linh Boulevard linking the Saigon port areas, Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone to the National Highway 1 and the Mekong Delta area. In November 2008, a brand new trade centre, Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre, also opened its doors. Other projects include Grandview, Waterfront, Sky Garden, Riverside and Phu Gia 99. Phu My Hung's new City Center received the first Model New City Award from the Vietnamese Ministry of Construction. [ citation needed ]


Reunification Palace, District 1 . Independence Palace(Reunification Palace).JPG
Reunification Palace, District 1 .
Saigon Opera House Tphcm - nha hat tp.jpg
Saigon Opera House
Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral Nha tho.jpg
Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral

Tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City are mainly related to periods of French colonization and the Vietnam War. The city's center has some wide American-style boulevards and a few French colonial buildings. The majority of these tourist spots are located in District 1 and are a short distance from each other. The most prominent structures in the city centre are the Reunification Palace (Dinh Thống Nhất), City Hall (Ủy ban nhân dân Thành phố), Municipal Theatre (Nhà hát thành phố, also known as the Opera House), City Post Office (Bưu điện thành phố), State Bank Office (Ngân hàng nhà nước), City People's Court (Tòa án nhân dân thành phố) and Notre-Dame Cathedral (Nhà thờ Đức Bà) the cathedral was constructed between 1863 and 1880. Some of the historic hotels are the Hotel Majestic, dating from the French colonial era, and the Rex and Caravelle hotels are former hangouts for American officers and war correspondents in the 1960s & '70s. [95]

The city has various museums including the Ho Chi Minh City Museum, Museum of Vietnamese History, the Revolutionary Museum, the Museum of south-eastern Armed Forces, the War Remnants Museum, the Museum of Southern Women, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Nha Rong Memorial House, and the Ben Duoc Relic of Underground Tunnels. The Củ Chi tunnels are north-west of the city in Củ Chi District. The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, in District 1, dates from 1865. The Đầm Sen Tourist and Cultural Park, Suối Tiên Amusement and Culture Park, and Cần Giờ's Eco beach resort are three recreational sites inside the city which are popular with tourists. Aside from the Municipal Theatre, there are other places of entertainment such as the Bến Thành theatre, Hòa Bình theatre, and the Lan Anh Music Stage. Ho Chi Minh City is home to hundreds of cinemas and theatres, with cinema and drama theatre revenue accounting for 60–70% of Vietnam's total revenue in this industry. [ citation needed ] Unlike other theatrical organisations found in Vietnam's provinces and municipalities, residents of Ho Chi Minh City keep their theatres active without the support of subsidies from the Vietnamese government. The city is also home to most of the private film companies in Vietnam. [ citation needed ]

Like many of Vietnam's smaller cities, the city boasts a multitude of restaurants serving typical Vietnamese dishes such as phở or rice vermicelli. Backpacking travellers most often frequent the "Backpackers’ Quarter" on Phạm Ngũ Lão Street and Bùi Viện Street, District 1. [96]

It was approximated that 4.3 million tourists visited Vietnam in 2007, of which 70 percent, approximately 3 million tourists, visited Ho Chi Minh City. [97] According to the most recent international tourist statistic, Ho Chi Minh City welcomed 6 million tourists in 2017. [98]

According to Mastercard's 2019 report, Ho Chi Minh City is also the country's second most visited city (18th in Asia Pacific), with 4.1 million overnight international visitors in 2018 (after Hanoi with 4.8 million visitors). [99]



Tan Son Nhat International Airport is the busiest airport in Vietnam Tan Son Nhat International Airport.jpg
Tan Son Nhat International Airport is the busiest airport in Vietnam

The city is served by Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport, the largest airport in Vietnam in terms of passengers handled (with an estimated number of over 15.5 million passengers per year in 2010, accounting for more than half of Vietnam's air passenger traffic [100] [101] ). Long Thành International Airport is scheduled to begin operating in 2025. Based in Long Thành District, Đồng Nai Province, about 40 km (25 mi) east of Ho Chi Minh City, Long Thành Airport will serve international flights, with a maximum traffic capacity of 100 million passengers per year when fully completed; Tân Sơn Nhất Airport will serve domestic flights. [102]


Ho Chi Minh City is also a terminal for many Vietnam Railways train routes in the country. The Reunification Express (tàu Thống Nhất) runs from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi from Saigon Railway Station in District 3, with stops at cities and provinces along the line. [103] Within the city, the two main stations are Sóng Thần and Sài Gòn. In addition, there are several smaller stations such as Dĩ An, Thủ Đức, Bình Triệu, Gò Vấp. However, rail transport is not fully developed and presently comprises only 0.6% of passenger traffic and 6% of goods shipments. [104]


The city's location on the Saigon River makes it a bustling commercial and passenger port; besides a constant stream of cargo ships, passenger boats operate regularly between Ho Chi Minh City and various destinations in Southern Vietnam and Cambodia, including Vũng Tàu, Cần Thơ and the Mekong Delta, and Phnom Penh. Traffic between Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam's southern provinces has steadily increased over the years; the Doi and Te Canals, the main routes to the Mekong Delta, receive 100,000 waterway vehicles every year, representing around 13 million tons of cargo. A project to dredge these routes has been approved to facilitate transport, to be implemented in 2011–14. [105] HCMC Ferrybus was also established as a maritime public transport.

Public transport


Proposed Metro Map Metro Saigon Lines.png
Proposed Metro Map

The Ho Chi Minh City Metro, a rapid transit network, is being built in stages. The first line is under construction, and expected to be fully operational by 2024. [106] This first line will connect Bến Thành to Suối Tiên Park in District 9, with a depot in Long Binh. Planners expect the route to serve more than 160,000 passengers daily. [107] A line between Bến Thành and Tham Luong in District 12 has been approved by the government, [108] and several more lines are the subject of ongoing feasibility studies. [107]


Public buses run on many routes and tickets can be purchased on the bus. Ho Chi Minh City has a number of coach houses, which house coach buses to and from other areas in Vietnam. The largest coach station – in terms of passengers handled – is the Mien Dong Coach Station in the Bình Thạnh District.

Private transport

The main means of transport within the city are motorbikes, cars, buses, taxis, and bicycles. Motorbikes remain the most common way to move around the city. Taxis are plentiful and usually have meters, although it is also common to agree on a price before taking a long trip, for example, from the airport to the city centre. For short trips, "xe ôm" (literally, "hug vehicle") motorcycle taxis are available throughout the city, usually congregating at a major intersection. You can also book motorcycle and car taxis through ride-hailing apps like Grab and GoJek. A popular activity for tourists is a tour of the city on cyclos, which allow for longer trips at a more relaxed pace. For the last few years, cars have become more popular. [109] There are approximately 340,000 cars and 3.5 million motorcycles in the city, which is almost double compared with Hanoi. [104] The growing number of cars tend to cause gridlock and contribute to air pollution. The government has called out motorcycles as the reason for the congestion and has developed plans to reduce the number of motorcycles and to improve public transport. [110]


HCMC-LT-DG Expressway Cau Long Thanh, Duong cao toc TP.HCM - Long Thanh - Dau Giay.JPG
HCMC-LT-DG Expressway

Ho Chi Minh City has two expressways making up the North-South Expressway system, connecting the city with other provinces. The first expressway is Ho Chi Minh City - Trung Luong Expressway, opened in 2010, connecting Ho Chi Minh City with Tiền Giang and the Mekong Delta. [111] The second one is Ho Chi Minh City - Long Thanh - Dau Giay Expressway, opened in 2015, connecting the city with Đồng Nai, Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu and the Southeast of Vietnam. [112] The Ho Chi Minh City - Long Khanh Expressway is under planning and will be constructed in the near future.


Franco-Vietnamese Hospital in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City FV hospital.JPG
Franco-Vietnamese Hospital in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City

The health care system of the city is relatively developed with a chain of about 100 government owned hospitals or medical centres and dozens of privately owned clinics. [60] The 1,400 bed Chợ Rẫy Hospital, upgraded by Japanese aid and the French-sponsored Institute of Cardiology and City International Hospital are among the top medical facilities in the South-East Asia region.


High schools

Notable high schools in Ho Chi Minh City include Lê Hồng Phong High School for the Gifted, Phổ Thông Năng Khiếu High School for the Gifted, Trần Đại Nghĩa High School for the Gifted, Nguyễn Thượng Hiền High School, Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai High School, Gia Định High School  [ vi ], Lê Quý Đôn High School  [ vi ], Marie Curie High School, Võ Thị Sáu High School and among others. Though the former schools are all public, private education is also available in Ho Chi Minh City. High school consists of grade 10–12 (sophomore, junior, and senior). [113]

List of Public High Schools in Ho Chi Minh City (limited list)

List of Private High Schools in Ho Chi Minh City (limited list)


RMIT Saigon South Campus Saigon south campus facilities.jpg
RMIT Saigon South Campus
The headquarters of the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City is in Linh Trung ward, Thu Duc University Village Nha dieu hanh Dai hoc Quoc Gia TPHCM.jpg
The headquarters of the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City is in Linh Trung ward, Thu Duc University Village

Higher education in Ho Chi Minh City is a burgeoning industry; the city boasts over 80 universities and colleges with a total of over 400,000 students. [60] Notable universities include Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, with 50,000 students distributed among six schools; The University of Technology (Vietnamese: Đại học Bách khoa, formerly Phú Thọ National Center of Technology); The University of Sciences (formerly Saigon College of Sciences); The University of Social Sciences and Humanities (formerly Saigon College of Letters); The International University; The University of Economics and Law; and the newly established University of Information Technology.

Some other important higher education establishments include HCMC University of Pedagogy, University of Economics, University of Architecture, Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine, Nong Lam University (formerly University of Agriculture and Forestry), University of Law, University of Technical Education, University of Banking, University of Industry, Open University, [114] University of Sports and Physical Education, University of Fine Arts, University of Culture, the Conservatory of Music, the Saigon Institute of Technology, Văn Lang University, Saigon University and Hoa Sen University.

In addition to the above public universities, Ho Chi Minh City is also home to several private universities. One of the most notable is RMIT International University Vietnam, a campus of Australian public research RMIT University with an enrollment of about 6,000 students. Tuition at RMIT is about US$40,000 for an entire course of study. [115] Other private universities include The Saigon International University (or SIU) is another private university run by the Group of Asian International Education. [116] Enrollment at SIU averages about 12,000 students [117] Depending on the type of program, tuition at SIU costs US$5,000–6,000 per year. [118]


Museums and art galleries

War Remnants Museum Phuong 6, Quan 3, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam - panoramio.jpg
War Remnants Museum

Due to its history, artworks have generally been inspired by both Western and Eastern styles.

Famous art locations in Ho Chi Minh City include Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts, and various art galleries located on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia street, Tran Phu street, and Bui Vien street.

Food and drink

Ho Chi Minh City cultivates a strong food and drink culture with lots of roadside restaurants, coffee shops, and food stalls where locals and tourists can enjoy local cuisine and beverages at low prices. [119] It's currently ranked in the top five best cities in the world for street food. [120]


HTV Headquarters in Saigon HTV headquarter.jpg
HTV Headquarters in Saigon
Book Street in Saigon Street life in Saigon.jpg
Book Street in Saigon

The city's media is the most developed in the country. At present, there are seven daily newspapers: Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Saigon), and its Vietnamese, investment and finance, sports, evening and weekly editions; Tuổi Trẻ (Youth), the highest circulation newspaper in Vietnam; Thanh Niên (Young People), the second largest circulation in the south of Vietnam; Người Lao Động (Labourer); The Thao (Sports); Pháp Luật (Law) and The Saigon Times Daily , an English-language newspaper as well as more than 30 other newspapers and magazines. The city has hundreds of printing and publishing houses, many bookstores and a widespread network of public and school libraries; the city's General Library houses over 1.5 million books. Locally based Ho Chi Minh City Television (HTV) is the second largest television network in the nation, just behind the national Vietnam Television (VTV), broadcasting 24/7 on 7 different channels (using analog and digital technology). Many major international TV channels are provided through two cable networks (SCTV and HTVC), with over one million subscribers. The Voice of Ho Chi Minh City is the largest radio station in south Vietnam. [ citation needed ]

Internet coverage, especially through ADSL connections, is rapidly expanding, with over 2,200,000 subscribers and around 5.5 million frequent users. Internet service providers (ISPs) operating in Ho Chi Minh City include the Vietnam Data Communication Company (VDC), Corporation for Finance and Promoting Technology (FPT), Netnam Company, Saigon Post and Telecommunications Services Corporation (Saigon Postel Corporation, SPT) and Viettel Company. The city has more than two million fixed telephones and about fifteen million cellular phones (the latter growing annually by 20%). Mobile phone service is provided by a number of companies, including Viettel Mobile, MobiFone, VinaPhone, and Vietnam Mobile.


Thong Nhat Stadium is the largest stadium in Ho Chi Minh City Thong Nhat Stadium.JPG
Thống Nhất Stadium is the largest stadium in Ho Chi Minh City

As of 2005, Ho Chi Minh City was home to 91 football fields, 86 swimming pools, 256 gyms. [121] The largest stadium in the city is the 25,000-seat Thống Nhất Stadium, located on Đào Duy Từ Street, in Ward 6 of District 10. The next largest is Army Stadium, located near Tan Son Nhat Airport in Tân Bình district. Army Stadium was of the venues for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup finals. As well as being a sporting venue, it is also the site of a music school. Phú Thọ Racecourse, another notable sporting venue established during colonial times, is the only racetrack in Vietnam. The city's Department of Physical Education and Sports also manages a number of clubs, including Phan Dinh Phung, Thanh Da, and Yet Kieu.

Ho Chi Minh City is home to a number of association football clubs. One of the city's largest clubs, Ho Chi Minh City F.C., is based at Thống Nhất Stadium. As Cảng Sài Gòn, they were four-time champions of Vietnam's V.League 1 (in 1986, 1993–94, 1997, and 2001–02). Navibank Saigon F.C., founded as Quân Khu 4, also based at Thống Nhất Stadium, emerged as champions of the First Division in the 2008 season, and were promoted to the V-League in 2009. The city's police department also fielded a football team in the 1990s, Công An Thành Phố, which won the V-League championship in 1995. Celebrated striker Lê Huỳnh Đức, now manager of SHB Đà Nẵng F.C., played for the Police F.C. from 1995 to 2000, setting a league record of 25 goals in the 1996 season. Since 2016, Sài Gòn F.C. has competed in V.League 1.

In 2011, Ho Chi Minh City was awarded an expansion team for the ASEAN Basketball League. [122] SSA Saigon Heat is the first ever international professional basketball team to represent Vietnam. [123]

Ho Chi Minh City hosts a number of international sports events throughout the year, such as the AFF Futsal Championship and the Vietnam Vertical Run. Several other sports are represented by teams in the city, such as volleyball, basketball, chess, athletics, and table tennis. [124]

International relations

Twin towns – sister cities

Ho Chi Minh City is twinned with: [125]

Cooperation and friendship

In addition to its twin towns, Ho Chi Minh City cooperates with: [125]

See also


  1. The text of the resolution is as follows: "By the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 6th tenure, 1st session, for officially renaming Saigon-Gia Dinh City as Ho Chi Minh City.
    The National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Considering the boundless love of the people of Saigon-Gia Dinh City for President Ho Chi Minh and their wish for the city to be named after him;
    Considering the long and difficult revolutionary struggle launched in Saigon-Gia Dinh City, with several glorious feats, deserves the honor of being named after President Ho Chi Minh;
    After discussing the suggestion of the Presidium of the National Assembly's meeting;
    Decides to rename Saigon-Gia Dinh City as Ho Chi Minh City." [16]
  2. "Un siècle plus tard (1773), la révolte des TÁYON (sic) [qu’éclata] tout, d'abord dans les montagnes de la province de Qui-Nhon, et s'étendit rapidement dans le sud, chassa de Bien-Hoa le mouvement commercial qu'y avaient attiré les Chinois. Ceux-ci abandonnèrent Cou-lao-pho, remontèrent de fleuve de Tan-Binh, et vinrent choisir la position actuele de CHOLEN. Cette création date d'environ 1778. Ils appelèrent leur nouvelle résidence TAI-NGON ou TIN-GAN. Le nom transformé par les Annamites en celui de SAIGON fut depuis appliqué à tort, par l'expédition française, au SAIGON actuel dont la dénomination locale est BEN-NGHE ou BEN-THANH." [19]
  3. "The Khmer name for Saigon, by the way, is Prey Nokor; prey means forest, nokor home or city." [20]
  4. The text of the resolution is as follows: "By the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 6th tenure, 1st session, for officially renaming Saigon-Gia Dinh City as Ho Chi Minh City.
    The National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Considering the boundless love of the people of Saigon-Gia Dinh City for President Ho Chi Minh and their wish for the city to be named after him;
    Considering the long and difficult revolutionary struggle launched in Saigon-Gia Dinh City, with several glorious feats, deserves the honor of being named after President Ho Chi Minh;
    After discussing the suggestion of the Presidium of the National Assembly's meeting;
    Decides to rename Saigon-Gia Dinh City as Ho Chi Minh City." [16]

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