Situated in the southern region of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon, or HCMC (take your pick!) is Vietnam’s largest city and is the economical and commercial centre of the country. Its unofficial title of Saigon comes from just one district (called Saigon) which lies on the western banks of the Saigon River that flows through the city.
Captured by the French in 1859, it was made capital of their colony called Cochinchina over 90 years later. It was then divided into 16 urban districts, or ‘quans’ which came from the French word ‘quartier’, and 5 rural districts called ‘huyens’.
While it may lack some of the history that is found in other Vietnamese towns and cities, this doesn’t mean it is totally devoid of any sense of the past. What it does have to supplement its lack of history is a strong sense of character not found in too many other South-East Asian cities.