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Ho Chi Minh City
Thanh pho Hồ Chí Minh
—  Municipality  —
{{{official_name}}}
Top: Hồ Chí Minh City skyline; Ho Chi Minh City Hall
Center: Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica; Saigon Port; Bitexco Financial Tower
Bottom: Bến Thành Market; Municipal Theatre
Nickname(s): Paris in the Orient, the Pearl of the Orient, the Pearl of the Far East
Location in Vietnam and Southern Vietnam
Coordinates: 10°46′10″N 106°40′55″E / 10.76944°N 106.68194°E / 10.76944; 106.68194Coordinates: 10°46′10″N 106°40′55″E / 10.76944°N 106.68194°E / 10.76944; 106.68194
Country 22x20px Vietnam
Also Known As Saigon
Founded 1698
Renamed 1976
Demonym Saigonese
Government
 • Party Secretary Lê Thanh Hải
 • People's Committee Chairman: Lê Hoàng Quân
 • People's Council Chairwoman: Nguyễn Thị Quyết Tâm
Area
 • Total {{infobox settlement/impus
  |metv=2,095
  |metu=km2
  |impv=809.23
  |impu=sq mi
  |dunv=
  |dunu=dunam
}}
Elevation {{infobox settlement/impus
  |metv=19
  |metu=m
  |impv=63
  |impu=ft
}}
Population (April 1, 2010)[1]
 • Total 7,396,446
 • Density {{infobox settlement/impus
  |metv=3,531
  |metu=km2
  |impv=9,141
  |impu=sq mi
  |s=/
}}
Area code(s) +84 (8)
Website Official website

Ho Chi Minh City (Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh; Loudspeaker listen), formerly named Saigon (Sài Gòn; Loudspeaker listen) is the largest city in Vietnam. It was once known as Prey Nokor, an important Khmer sea port prior to annexation by the Vietnamese in the 17th century.

Under the name Saigon, it was the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina and later of the independent state of South Vietnam from 1955–75. South Vietnam, as an anti-communist state, fought against the communist North Vietnamese and Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, with aid from the United States of America and countries including Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. Saigon fell when it was captured by the communists on April 30, 1975, bringing an end to the War with its enemy's victory. Vietnam was then turned into a communist state with the South overtaken. In 1976, Saigon merged with the surrounding Gia Định Province and was officially renamed Hồ Chí Minh City after Hồ Chí Minh (although the name Sài Gòn is still commonly used.)[2]

The city center is situated on the banks of the Saigon River, 60 kilometers (Bad rounding hereScript error mi) from the South China Sea[3] and 1,760 kilometers (Bad rounding hereScript error mi) south of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.

The metropolitan area, which consists of the Hồ Chí Minh City metropolitan area, Thủ Dầu Một, Dĩ An, Biên Hòa and surrounding towns, is populated by more than 9,000,000 people,[nb 1] making it the most populous metropolitan area[4] in Vietnam and the countries of the former French Indochina. The Greater Hồ Chí Minh City Metropolitan Area, a metropolitan area covering most parts of Đông Nam Bộ plus Tiền Giang and Long An provinces under planning will have an area of 30,000 square kilometers with a population of 20 million inhabitants by 2020.[5] According to the Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Economist Intelligence Unit and ECA International, Hồ Chí Minh City is ranked 132 on the list of world's most expensive cities for expatriate employees.[6]

NameEdit

File:Ga-saigon2.jpg

Hồ Chí Minh City has gone by several different names during its history, reflecting settlement by different ethnic, cultural and political groups. Originally known as Prey Nokor while part of the Khmer Empire,[nb 2] it came to be dubbed Sài Gòn informally by Vietnamese settlers from the north. In the 1690s, Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, a Vietnamese noble, was sent by the Nguyễn rulers of Huế to establish Vietnamese administrative structures in the Mekong Delta and its surroundings. Control of the city and the area passed to the Vietnamese, who gave the city the official name of Gia Định (Chữ Nôm: ). This name remained until the time of French conquest in the 1860s, when the occupying force adopted the name Saigon for the city, a westernized form of the traditional name,[7] although the city was still indicated as on sinitic maps until at least 1891.[8] Immediately after the communist takeover of South Vietnam in 1975, a provisional government renamed the city after Hồ Chí Minh, the pre-eminent but by-then deceased North Vietnamese leader.[nb 3] Even today, however, the informal name of Sài Gòn remains in daily speech both domestically and internationally, especially among the Vietnamese diaspora. In particular, Sài Gòn is still commonly used to refer to District 1.[9]

EtymologyEdit

File:Kapok tree Honolulu.jpg
Sài Gòn

A frequently heard, and reasonable, etymology of Sài Gòn is that Sài is a Chinese loanword (Chinese: , pronounced chái in Mandarin) meaning “firewood, lops, twigs; palisade”, while Gòn is another Chinese loanword (Chinese: , pronounced gùn in Mandarin) 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. 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.[10]

File:Prey Nokor.svg

Other proposed etymologies draw parallels from Tai-Ngon ( ), the Cantonese name of Cholon, which means "embankment" (French: quais),[nb 4] and Vietnamese Sai Côn, a translation of the Khmer Prey Nokor (Khmer: ព្រៃនគរScript error). Prey means forest or jungle, and nokor is a Khmer word of Sanskrit origin meaning city or kingdom—thus, "forest city" or "forest kingdom".[nb 2]

Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh

The current official name, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, abbreviated Tp. HCM, is translated as Hồ Chí Minh City, abbreviated HCMC, and in French as Hô Chi Minh Ville (the circumflex is sometimes omitted), abbreviated HCMV. The name commemorates Hồ Chí Minh, the pre-eminent North Vietnamese leader. This name, though not his given name, was one he favoured 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 "bringer of light".[11]

HistoryEdit

File:HoChiMinhcity1815.jpg

Early historyEdit

Hồ Chí Minh City began as a small fishing village known as Prey Nokor. The area that the city now occupies was originally swampland, and was inhabited by Khmer people for centuries before the arrival of the Vietnamese. It should be noted that in Khmer folklore southern Vietnam was given to the Vietnamese government as a dowry for the marriage of a Vietnamese princess to a Khmer prince in order to stop constant invasions and pillaging of Khmer villages. Script error[citation needed]

Khmer territoryEdit

Beginning in the early 17th century, colonization of the area by Vietnamese settlers gradually isolated the Khmer of the Mekong Delta from their brethren in Cambodia proper and resulted in their becoming a minority in the delta. Script error[citation needed] In 1623, King Chey Chettha II of Cambodia (1618–1628) allowed Vietnamese refugees fleeing the Trịnh–Nguyễn civil war in Vietnam to settle in the area of Prey Nokor and to set up a custom house there. Increasing waves of Vietnamese settlers, which the Cambodian kingdom could not impede because it was weakened by war with Thailand, slowly Vietnamized the area. In time, Prey Nokor became known as Saigon. Prey Nokor was the most important commercial seaport to the Khmers. The loss of the city prevented the Cambodians access to the South China Sea. Subsequently, the Khmers' access to the sea was now limited to the Gulf of Thailand. Script error[citation needed]

Nguyễn Dynasty ruleEdit

File:French capture of Saigon in 1859.jpg

In 1698, Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, a Vietnamese noble, was sent by the Nguyễn rulers of Huế by sea[12] 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. A large Vauban citadel called Gia Định was built, which was later destroyed by the French following the Battle of Kỳ Hòa (see Citadel of Saigon). Script error[citation needed]

Colonial French eraEdit

File:Busy Saigon Street Scene.jpg

Conquered by France in 1859, the city was influenced by the French during their colonial occupation of Vietnam, and a number of classical Western-style buildings and French villas in the city reflect this. Saigon had, in 1929, a population of 123,890, including 12,100 French.[13]

Capital of South VietnamEdit

Former Emperor Bảo Đại made Saigon the capital of the State of Vietnam in 1949 with himself as head of state. After the Việt Minh gained control of North Vietnam in 1954, it became common to refer to the Saigon government as “South Vietnam”. The government was renamed the Republic of Vietnam when Bảo Đại was deposed by his Prime Minister Ngô Đình Diệm in 1955 in a fraudulent referendum. Saigon and Cholon, an adjacent city with many Sino-Vietnamese residents, were combined into an administrative unit known as the Đô Thành Sài Gòn (Capital City Saigon). Script error[citation needed]

Post-Vietnam War and todayEdit

At the conclusion of the Vietnam War on 30 April 1975, the city came under the control of the Vietnamese People's Army. Among Vietnamese diaspora communities and particularly the U.S. (which had fought the communists), this event is commonly called the "fall of Saigon", while the communist Socialist Republic of Vietnam refers to it as the "Liberation of Saigon". In 1976, upon the establishment of the unified communist Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the city of Saigon (including Cholon), the province of Gia Ðịnh and two suburban districts of two other nearby provinces were combined to create Hồ Chí Minh City in honour of the late communist leader Hồ Chí Minh. The former name Saigon is still widely used by many Vietnamese, especially in informal contexts.[14] Generally, the term Saigon refers only to the urban districts of Hồ Chí Minh City.

GeographyEdit

File:Binh Quoi Traditional River Hut Jun2005.jpg

Hồ Chí Minh City is located at 10°45'N, 106°40'E in the southeastern region of Vietnam, 1,760 km (Bad rounding hereScript error mi) south of Hanoi. The average elevation is 19 metres (Bad rounding hereScript error ft) above sea level. It borders Tây Ninh and Bình Dương provinces to the north, Đồng Nai and Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu provinces to the east, Long An Province to the west and the South China Sea to the south with a coast 15 km long. The city covers an area of 2,095 km2 (Bad rounding hereScript error sq mi) (0.63% of the surface of Vietnam), extending up to Củ Chi (12 mi (Bad rounding hereScript error km) from the Cambodian border) and down to Cần Giờ on the South China Sea coast. The distance from the northernmost point (Phu My Hung Commune, Củ Chi District) to the southernmost one (Long Hòa Commune, Cần Giờ District) is 102 kilometers (Bad rounding hereScript error mi), and from the easternmost point (Long Binh Ward, District Nine) to the westernmost one (Bình Chánh Commune, Bình Chánh District) is 47 kilometers (Bad rounding hereScript error mi). Script error[citation needed]

ClimateEdit

The city has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate, with an average humidity of 75%. The year is divided into two distinct seasons. The rainy season, with an average rainfall of about 1,800 millimetres (Script error in) annually (about 150 rainy days per year), usually begins in May and ends in late November. The dry season lasts from December to April. The average temperature is 28 °C (Script error °F), the highest temperature sometimes reaches 39 °C (Script error °F) around noon in late April, while the lowest may fall below 16 °C (Script error °F) in the early mornings of late December.

Climate data for Hồ Chí Minh City
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31.6 32.9 33.9 34.6 34.0 32.4 32.0 31.8 31.3 31.2 31.0 30.8 32.3
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.4 27.7 29.2 30.2 29.6 28.5 28.2 28.1 27.9 27.6 26.9 26.1 28.0
Average low °C (°F) 21.1 22.5 24.4 25.8 25.2 24.6 24.3 24.3 24.4 23.9 22.8 21.4 23.7
Rainfall mm (inches) 13.8 4.1 10.5 50.4 218.4 311.7 293.7 269.8 327.1 266.7 116.5 48.3 1,931
Avg. rainy days 2.4 1.0 1.9 5.4 17.8 19.0 22.9 22.4 23.1 20.9 12.1 6.7 155.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 244.9 248.6 272.8 231.0 195.3 171.0 179.8 173.6 162.0 182.9 201.0 223.2 2,486.1
Source: World Meteorological Organisation (UN)[15]

Political and administrative systemEdit

File:People's Committee.jpg

Saigon is a municipality at the same level as Vietnam's provinces. The city has been divided into twenty-four administrative divisions since December 2003. Five of these {Area: 1,601 km2} are designated as rural (huyện). The rural districts are Nhà Bè, Cần Giờ, Hóc Môn, Củ Chi, and Bình Chánh. A rural district consists of communes () and townships (Thị trấn). The remaining districts {Area: 494 km2} are designated urban or suburban (quận). This includes districts one to twelve, as well as Tân Bình, Bình Thạnh, Phú Nhuận, Thủ Đức, Bình Tân, Tân Phú and Gò Vấp. Each district is sub-divided into wards ("Phường"). Since December 2006, the city has had 259 wards, 58 communes and 5 townships (see List of HCMC administrative units below).[16]

People's CommitteeEdit

The Hồ Chí Minh City People's Committee is a 13-member executive council for the city. The current chairman is Lê Hoàng Quân. There are several vice chairmen and chairwomen on the committee with responsibility for various city departments. The legislative branch of the city government is called the People's Council and consists of 95 deputies. Both the committee and the council are subordinate to the city's Communist Party, currently led by Party Secretary Lê Thanh Hải. The chairman of the People's Committee is the No. 2 position in the city government while chairman of the People's Council is No. 3. Script error[citation needed]

DemographicsEdit

File:Hội quán Tuệ Thành.jpg
The population of Hồ Chí 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).[16] 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,[17] about 8.34% of the total population of Vietnam, making it the highest population-concentrated city in the country. As an administrative unit, its population is also the largest at the provincial level. The majority of the population are ethnic Vietnamese (Kinh) at about 93.52%. Hồ Chí 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. Other ethnic minorities, include Khmer 0.34%, Cham 0.1%.[18]

The inhabitants of Hồ Chí Minh City are usually known as "Saigonese" in English, "Saigonnais" in French and "dân Sài Gòn" in Vietnamese. The Hòa, in addition, speak Cantonese, Teochew (Chaozhou), Hokkien, Hainanese and Hakka dialects of Chinese, with only a few speaking Mandarin Chinese. A varying degree of English is spoken especially in the tourism and commerce sectors where dealing with foreign nationals is a necessity, so English has become a de facto second language for some Saigonese. Script error[citation needed]

According to some researchers [who?] the religious makeup of Hồ Chí Minh City is as follows: Buddhism (all sects and/or including Taoism, Confucianism) 80%, Roman Catholic 11%, other groups (Protestant, Hòa Hảo, Cao Đài, Islam, Hinduism, Bahá'í Faith) 2%, and no religion/unknown 7%. Script error[citation needed].

EconomyEdit

File:Saigon skyline.png

Hồ Chí 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 7.5% 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.[19] In 2005, the city had 4,344,000 laborers, of whom 130,000 are over the labor age norm (in Vietnam, 60 for male and 55 for female workers).[20] In 2009, GDP per capita reached 2,800 US$, compared to the country’s average level of $1042 USD in 2009.[21]

File:SaigonPort1.JPG

In 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, Hồ Chí 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 Hồ Chí Minh City is higher than other Vietnamese provinces and municipalities and 1.5 times higher than that of Hanoi.[22]

As of June 2006, the city has been home to three export processing zones and twelve industrial parks. Hồ Chí Minh City is the leading receiver of foreign direct investment in Vietnam, with 2,530 FDI projects worth 16.6 $ billion at the end of 2007.[23] In 2007, the city received over 400 FDI projects worth $US 3,000,000,000.[24] In 2008, it attracted $US 8.5 billion in FDI.[25]

SectorsEdit

The economy of Hồ Chí 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%.[26]

File:Saigon Hi-Tech Park.JPG

Quang Trung Software Park is a software park situated in District 12. The park is approximately 15 km from downtown Hồ Chí 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 District 9, and the 32 ha. software park inside Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone in District 7 of the city, Hồ Chí Minh City aims to become an important hi-tech city in the country and the South-East Asia region. 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 agro-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 160,000,000,000 dong (USD $10,000,000,000) with 18,500 newly founded companies. Investment trends to high technology, services and real estate projects. Script error[citation needed]

As of June 2006, the city City had three export processing zones and twelve industrial parks, in addition to Quang Trung Software Park and Hồ Chí 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 centers. Script error[citation needed]

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

File:Diamond Plaza.jpg
File:Bitexco Financial Tower in morning sunlight.jpg
  • Saigon Centre (1997) – 65 Le Loi Blvd, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
  • Tax Plaza (1998) – 135 Nguyen Hue Blvd, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
  • Diamond Plaza (1999) – 34 Le Duan Blvd, District 1
  • Big C (2002)- 138A To Hien Thanh St, 15th Ward, District 10
  • Crescent Mall
  • Parkson's (2005–2009) – Multiple locations
  • Saigon Paragon (2009) – 3 Nguyen Luong Bang St, Tan Phu Ward, District 7
  • NowZone (2009) – 235 Nguyen Van Cu Ave, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1
  • Kumho Asiana Plaza (2010) – 39 Le Duan Blvd, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
  • Vincom Centre (2010) – 70–72 Le Thanh Ton St, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
  • Bitexco Financial Tower (2010) – Hẻm số 2 Hàm Nghi Blvd, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1

In 2007, three million foreign tourists, about 70% of the total number of tourists to Vietnam, visited the city. Total cargo transport to Hồ Chí Minh City's ports reached 50.5   million metric tonnes,[27] nearly one-third of the total for Vietnam.

New urban areasEdit

With a population now of 7,162,864 (as of Census 2009 on 1 April 2009)[17] (registered residents plus migrant workers as well as a metropolitan population of 10 million), Hồ Chí Minh City needs increased public infrastructure.[16] To this end, the city and central governments have embarked on an effort to develop new urban centers. The two most prominent projects are the Thu Thiem city center in District 2 and the Phu My Hung Urban Area, a new city center 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. In December 2007, Phu My Hung's new City Center completed the 17.8   km 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 center, Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center, 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. Script error[citation needed]

TransportEdit

AirEdit

File:Tan Son Nhat International Airport.jpg

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[28][29]). Long Thành International Airport is scheduled to begin operating in 2025. Based in Long Thành, Đồng Nai Province, about 40   km northeast of Hồ Chí 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.[30]

RailEdit

Hồ Chí Minh City is also a terminal for many Vietnam Railways train routes in the country. The Reunification Express (tàu Thống Nhất) runs from Hồ Chí Minh City to Hanoi from Saigon Railway Station in District 3, with stops at cities and provinces along the line. Script error[citation needed]

WaterEdit

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 Hồ Chí 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.[31]

Inner city transportationEdit

File:Xe buýt.JPG

The main means of transport within the city are motorbikes, buses, taxis, and bicycles. Motorbikes remain the most common way to move around the city. Taxis are plentiful and usually have trip meters, although it is also common to agree on the trip price before taking a long trip, for example, from the airport to the city centre. Public buses run on many routes and fare can be purchased on the bus. For short trips, "xe ôm" (literally, "hug vehicle") motorcycle taxis are available where the passenger sits at the rear of a motorbike. 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. Script error[citation needed]

Light railEdit

The Hồ Chí Minh City Metro, a light rail rapid transit network, is currently in the preparation stages, with the first line currently under construction, to be completed by 2014. 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.[32] A line between Bến Thành and Tham Luong in District 12 has been approved by the government,[33] and several more lines are currently the subject of feasibility studies.[32]

SocietyEdit

Public healthEdit

File:FV hospital.JPG

The health care system of the city is relatively developed with a chain of about 100 government owned hospitals or medical centers and dozens of privately owned clinics.[16] The 1,400 bed Chợ Rẫy Hospital, upgraded by Japanese aid and the French-sponsored Institute of Cardiology, are among the top medical facilities in Indochina. The Hòa Hảo Medical Diagnosis Center (Medic) and FV Hospital have recently attracted many clients, including foreigners, because of their good quality of service and modern equipment. Patients come from cities in nearby provinces and Cambodia as well. The Franco-Vietnam Hospital (FVH) is certified to French health standards. Script error[citation needed]

CommunicationsEdit

File:TW Dec 2008 Cover.jpg

The city's media are the most developed in the country. At present, there are seven daily newspapers: Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Saigon), and its Chinese, investment and finance, sports, evening and weekly editions; Tuoi Tre (Youth), the highest circulation newspaper in Vietnam; Thanh Nien (Young Men), the second largest circulation in the south of Vietnam; Nguoi Lao Dong (Labourer); The Thao (Sports); Phap Luat (Law) and the Saigon Times Daily, the 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 mìllion books. Locally-based Hồ Chí 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 southern Vietnam. Script error[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 Hồ Chí 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. As in all of Vietnam, Internet access is regulated; websites containing sensitive political or religious content are routinely blocked,[34] and certain websites such as Facebook have been blocked, though government officials deny that this is intentional. 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 S-Fone.

EducationEdit

File:HCMC Uni Drawing Class 01.JPG

There are such notable high schools in Hồ Chí Minh City as the 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, among others. There are two main high school systems in Hồ Chí Minh City, public schools and private schools. High school consists of grade 10–12 (sophomore, junior, and senior). Script error[citation needed]

Higher education in Hồ Chí Minh City is concentrated over 80 universities and colleges with a total of over 400,000 students[16] in such places as: Vietnam National University with 50,000 students, the most important university in the Southern Region, consisting of 6 main member schools: The University of Sciences (formerly Saigon College of Sciences); The University of Social Sciences and Humanities (formerly Saigon College of Letters); The University of Technology (formerly Phu Tho National Institute of Technology); The International University, The University of Economics and Law and the newly-established University of Information Technology.

File:GD&HT tai SIU.JPG

Some other important higher education establishments include: HCMC University of Pedagogy, University of Economics, University of Architecture, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Nong Lam University (formerly University of Agriculture and Forestry), University of Law, University of Technical Education, University of Banking, University of Industry, Open University,[35] University of Sports and Physical Education, University of Fine Arts, University of Culture, the Conservatory of Music, the Saigon Institute of Technology, Van Lang University, Saigon University and Hoa Sen University.

The RMIT University with about 6,000 students, the unique foreign-invested higher-education unit in Vietnam at the present, was founded in 2001 by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) of Australia. This is one of the best private institutions in Vietnam at the moment and the tuition fee here, with an average of USD $20000[36] for the whole program which is still lower than the price of studying abroad in Australia or the United States for many Vietnamese students.[37]

TourismEdit

File:HCMC Reunification Palace.jpg

Today, the city's core is still adorned with wide elegant boulevards and historic French colonial buildings. The most prominent structures in the city center are Reunification Palace (Dinh Thống Nhất), City Hall (Ủy ban nhân dân Thành phố), the 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). 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.

File:CuChiTunnelEntrance.JPG

The city has various museums, such as the Ho Chi Minh City Museum, Museum of Vietnamese History, the Revolutionary Museum, the Museum of Southeastern Armed Forces, the War Remnants Museum, the Museum of Southern Women, the Museum of Fine Art, the Nha Rong Memorial House, and the Ben Duoc Relic of Underground Tunnels. The Củ Chi tunnels are northwest of the city in Củ Chi district. The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, in District 1, dates from 1865. Aside from the Municipal Theatre, there are other places of entertainment such as: the Bến Thành and Hòa Bình theatres and the Lan Anh Music Stage. 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. Hồ Chí Minh City is home to hundreds of cinemas and theatres, with cinema and dramatic ticketing revenue accounting for 60–70% of Vietnam's total revenue in this industry. Script error[citation needed]

Unlike other dramatic teams in Vietnam's provinces and municipalities, residents of Hồ Chí Minh City keep their theaters active without being subsidized by the Vietnamese government. The city is home to most of the private movie companies in Vietnam. 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 travelers most often frequent the "Western Quarter" on Phạm Ngũ Lão Street, District 1, Hồ Chí Minh City. Script error[citation needed]

Sports and recreationEdit

File:Thống Nhất Stadium.JPG

As of 2005, Hồ Chí Minh City was home to 91 football fields, 86 swimming pools, 256 gyms.[38] The largest stadium in the city is the 25,000-seat Thong Nhat Stadium, located on Đào Duy Từ Street, in Ward 6 of District 10. The next largest is Army Stadium, located near Tân Sơn Nhứt 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.

Hồ Chí Minh City is home to a number of association football clubs. One of the city's largest clubs, Hồ Chí Minh City F.C., is based at Thong Nhat Stadium. As Cảng Sài Gòn, they were four-time champions of Vietnam's V-League (in 1986, 1993–94, 1997, and 2001–02). The team currently plays in Vietnam's First Division. Navibank Saigon F.C., founded as Quân Khu 4, also based at Thong Nhat 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 Ðà Nẵng F.C., played for the Police F.C. from 1995–2000, setting a league record of 25 goals in the 1996 season. In 2011, Hồ Chí Minh City was awarded an expansion team for the ASEAN Basketball League.[39]

SSA Saigon Heat is the first ever international professional basketball team to represent Vietnam. Hồ Chí 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. Script error[citation needed]

NotesEdit

  1. Đồng Nai Province's Populations: 2.254.676 (2006), Bà Rịa Vũng Tàu Province's Populations:862.081 (2002), Bình Dương province's Population: 1,2 million (2007), Hồ Chí Minh City's population: 5.037.155 (1999)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "The Khmer name for Saigon, by the way, is Prey Nokor; prey means forest, nokor home or city." Script error
  3. 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."Script error
  4. "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 repidement 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’envinron 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 francaise, au SAIGON actuel dont la dénomination locale est BEN-NGHE ou BEN-THANH." Francis Garnier, quoted in: Script error

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.pso.hochiminhcity.gov.vn/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=5fdc62bc-0523-453a-b596-57ad36af9831&groupId=18
  2. Brown, Ben. "Letter from Ho Chi Minh City, A Tribute to My Vietnam Vet Father". Counterpunch Magazine. Retrieved 19-12-2007.
  3. Script error
  4. About Hồ Chí Minh City (HCMC). MyVietnam.info; retrieved 13-08-2009.
  5. Script error
  6. Script error
  7. Script error
  8. Script error
  9. Script error
  10. Trương Vĩnh Ký, Souvenirs historiques sur Saigon et ses environs, trong Excursions et Reconnaissance X. Saigon, Imprimerie Coloniale 1885
  11. Script error
  12. The first settlers, http://www.hochiminhcity.gov.vn/eng
  13. "Yearbook of the Encyclopedia Americana (2006)", p. 175.
  14. Script error
  15. Script error
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Script error
  17. 17.0 17.1 Script error
  18. Script error
  19. Statistics in 2005 on the city's official website.
  20. Hồ Chí Minh City Economics Institute.
  21. "Forbes profile of Vietnam".
  22. Minh Anh, "Quy mô tiêu dùng 41,5 tỉ USD: Đầu kéo phát triển!" Tuổi Trẻ, 20 August 2007.
  23. Hàn Ni, "TPHCM dẫn đầu thu hút vốn FDI vì biết cách bứt phá". Sài Gòn giải phóng, 2007.
  24. "TPHCM sau 1 năm gia nhập WTO – Vượt lên chính mình...", Trung tâm thông tin thương mại.
  25. Script error
  26. Chỉ tiêu tổng hợp giai đoạn 2001–06, Hồ Chí Minh City government website.
  27. Script error
  28. "Expansion of Saigon – Tan Son Nhat International Airport on", Sài Gòn Giải Phóng Newspaper, 13 October 2007 [1]
  29. Two more Hanoi<>Saigon flights per day for Pacific Airlines on “Vietnamnet.net, accessdate 11 November 2007, (Vietnamese)Script error [2]
  30. Script error
  31. Script error
  32. 32.0 32.1 Script error
  33. Script error
  34. Script error
  35. Script error
  36. RMIT University website
  37. University fee guides
  38. Exercise and sports. PSO Hồ Chí Minh City.
  39. ASEAN Basketball League website

External linksEdit

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