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Ho Chi Minh City History, Vietnam

City History

A number of portions of Ho Chi Minh’s history have been depicted in movies and musicals, but there isn’t any one that really captured the drama and the glory that Ho Chi Minh City is all about.

The early years of Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon, was once part of the Kingdom of Cambodia until the seventeenth century, when it later formed part of Vietnam. Much of its population was composed of Chinese settlers.

In the eighteenth century, the French arrived in Vietnam, acting as traders and missionaries. The spread of the Christian message was greatly opposed by the Chinese, and factionalism soon existed. Nevertheless, France was able to colonize the country in 1858. The capital, which was then called as Cochin China, was ceded by Emperor Tu Duc to the French in 1862. Vietnam was then transformed into an Asian version of Paris.

Saigon, along with the rest of the provinces, soon saw the rise of villages, colonial buildings, nature parks, and boulevards lined with trees. The port was developed and became a focal point in the commercial industry of the country. It also ushered better communication and transportation facilities in Vietnam.

The uprising of Ho Chi Minh

The twentieth century was a very memorable time in Saigon. Political revolution was the main theme of the era. It started with the arrival of Ho Chi Minh from Russia, where he trained, and his uprising against the French. Though political tension arose, a large part of Saigon still remained very quiet, even during the Japanese occupation.

However, a series of Indochina wars erupted right after the surrender of Japan in 1945. By then, Ho Chi Minh already proclaimed the independence of Vietnam from the French. The streets of Saigon became very bloody from the riots. By 1954, through the Geneva agreement, Vietnam was divided into two: south and north. Saigon then became the capital of the south.

Vietnam War

Ngo Dinh Diem was declared the first president of southern Vietnam. But he was infamous because of his authoritarian rule and nepotism. When he failed to hold an election in 1956, outrage from the Buddhist monks and the rest of the populace created a lot of instability. The Viet Cong, on the other hand, were moving southward from the north, prompting the United States to participate in the political tension. This eventually led to the tragic Vietnam War.

Saigon was later captured by the north, and there was reunification of Vietnam. Saigon was then changed to Ho Chi Minh City, in honor of Uncle Ho.

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  • PhotoguySaigon Central Mosque
    travel tip by Photoguy posted more then 30 days ago
    Saigon Central Mosque is one of the 12 mosques in Ho Chi Minh City. Muslims from all over the world would come here to worship. This mosque is usually crowded on Fridays. This a very peaceful place to go to understand the Muslim culture...
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