Saigon is the old name of present-day Ho Chi Minh City, which is located in Vietnam . Under the name Saigon this largest city in Vietnam was known until 1975 as it was the capital of the Republic of South Vietnam (from the 1954 to 1975). On 30 April 1975, after the uniting of the country, Saigon was named Ho Chi Minh City, which was actually the leader of the Vietnam Communist Party and president of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Even today there are people who still can not get used to the new name of the city and still call it Saigon.
The name Saigon city still appears in quite a few registers.
Saigon is located on the western shore of the Saigon River, which passes through the central part of this largest city in Vietnam. The city is located north of the Mekong River Delta, from the South China Sea it is only 60 km away and from the capital of Vietnam - Hanoi, Saigon is located more than 1750 km away. Today in Saigon live about 3, 5 million inhabitants and with the surrounding villages’ population, the number increases to around 6 million people.
Today's Saigon is an interesting, noisy, cultural city, but he (like every major Asian center), but it has its problems. For Saigon, a big problem is the significant spread of AIDS in the city. More than 12 000 people are infected with HIV in Saigon . The city ranks first in seropositive numbers in Vietnam. Another significant problem for Saigon is the public transport and movement in the streets. The city has a total lack of bus lines, metro or tram lines, forcing most residents to travel with bicycles, mopeds and taxis. Thanks to U.S. funding, currently in Saigon the first two metro lines are busy being built.
The original settlement at the site of today's Saigon began as a small fishing town named after Prey Nokor. Saigon rose to an important commercial port, which was decisive for the Cambodian trade. At the end of the war in Vietnam on April 30, 1975, it falls under the control of the Vietnamese People's Army.
When you walk today in Saigon you can not help but be impressed by the European architecture of this Asian city. The center of Saigon is still adorned with wide elegant boulevards and historic French colonial buildings.
The main attractions that you can see in the center of Saigon are the Reunification Palace, which is a symbol of unity, the Municipal Theatre and the so called Ho Chi Minh City National City Court. Particularly remarkable is the Notre-Dame, which is a small version of the French church of Notre Dame. In Saigon are some historic hotels such as "Majestic", whose construction dates from the French colonial era. Do not forget also to visit the Museum of Vietnamese History, Museum of Contemporary History. Particularly interesting is the tour of the zoo and botanical garden in Saigon, which were built back in 1865