Introduction of Ho chi minh city
Former capital city of South Vietnam, on the right bank of the Saigon River, between the Mekong River delta and the South China Sea. The country’s largest and most important city, it began as an ancient Khmer settlement. Occupied in the 1680s by Vietnamese who had lived in the north for 15 centuries, it was captured by the French in 1859 and ceded to France in 1862. While Cholon, a city that was merged with Saigon in 1932 had a very strong Chinese influence, Saigon reflects its French background and is very European in its architecture and city plan. Capital of the Union of Indochina from 1887 to 1902, the joined cities were included in the new prefecture of Saigon in 1956, after Saigon became the capital of the new state of South Vietnam in 1954. Headquarters for U.S. and South Vietnamese troops during the Vietnam War, Saigon was severely damaged during the Tet offensive in 1968 and was inundated after the war with millions of rural refugees, now numbering nearly 13,000 persons per square mile. Under the victorious North Vietnamese the city was renamed Ho Chi Minh City.