Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnamese: Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh), commonly known as Saigon (Vietnamese: Sài Gòn) or by the abbreviations HCMC or HCM, is the largest city in Vietnam (population and area) and the former capital of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam).
Following the fall of Saigon in 1975, Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City. However the old name Saigon is still widely used by both Vietnamese and foreigners, especially when referring to the most central part of the city to which most tourists flock. Although the capital of a united Vietnam is Hanoi in the north, Ho Chi Minh City remains Vietnam's main economic and financial centre. While it does not have the long history that cities like Hanoi and Hue have, it is Vietnam's most modern and cosmopolitan city, with influences from the French former colonial rulers and the ethnic Chinese community in Cholon deeply embedded in the local culture, perhaps most visible in its cuisine.
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