A Brief Hisstory of Ho Chi Minh City


Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city and is also the most attractive tourist destination in Vietnam. Traveling Ho Chi Minh City, perhaps we also need to know about the history of this land. However, from past to present, the land of Ho Chi Minh City has been changed many times about administration. This makes the researchers face many difficulties. Over a long period of research, through many related documents, we summarize the city history as follows.

How to present

To help readers an overview of the history of Ho Chi Minh City easily, we first talk about the current land of Ho Chi Minh City. On that basis, we will present the lands through historical periods corresponding to it.


1975 – 1920

On April 30, 1975, the Republic of Vietnam regime collapsed. On July 2, 1976, the National Assembly changed the country’s name to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and established Ho Chi Minh City.

Ho Chi Minh City now (1920) has an area of 2,061.04 km2, with coordinates of 10 ° 10 ‘- 10 ° 38’ North and 106 ° 22 ‘- 106 ° 54’ East, the North borders Binh Duong province, the Northwest borders Tay Ninh province, the East and Northeast borders with Dong Nai province, the Southeast borders with Ba Ria -Vung Tau province, the West and Southwest borders with Long An and Tien Giang provinces. Ho Chi Minh City has 24 districts including 19 districts of inner-city: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Bình Tân, Bình Thạnh, Gò Vấp, Phú Nhuận, Tân Bình, Tân Phú, Thủ Đức, and 5 districts of suburb: Bình Chánh, Cần Giờ, Củ Chi, Hóc Môn, Nhà Bè.


1698 – 1857

In 1698, Lord Nguyễn Phúc Chu (1675-1725) ordered Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh to Southern Vietnam now established Phủ Gia Định (Phủ is the name of an administrative unit in former East Asia). Phủ Gia Định corresponds to the land of Southeast now. The land of Ho Chi Minh City now was part of Phủ Gia Định at that time.

In 1832, King Minh Mạng divided Đại Nam (Vietnam now) into 3 Kỳ: Bắc Kỳ, Trung Kỳ and Nam Kỳ. Nam Kỳ (Southern Vietnam now) was divided into 6 Provinces: Biên Hòa, Phiên An (in 1836, Changed into Gia Định), Định Tường, Vĩnh Long, An Giang, Hà Tiên. The land of Ho Chi Minh City now is part of the land of Phiên An Province at that time.

1858 – 1953

In 1858 French colonialists invaded Đà Nẵng. In 1859, they invaded Gia Định Citadel. In 1862, they invaded 3 the Eastern provinces of Nam Kỳ (Biên Hòa, Gia Định, Định Tường) and in 1867 invaded 3 the Western Provinces of Nam Kỳ (Vĩnh Long, An Giang, Hà Tiên), then invaded all Đại Nam. French colonialists divided Vietnam now into 3 regions: Tonke (corresponds to Bắc Kỳ before), Annam (corresponds to Trung Kỳ before), Cochinchine (corresponds to Trung Kỳ before). Through many changes, in 1944, Cochinchine was divided into 21 provinces including Gia Định Province and Chợ Lớn Province, and 2 cities:  Sài Gòn City, which was the headquarter of Cochinchine and Chợ Lớn City (different from Chợ Lớn Province).  The land of Ho Chi Minh City now included Sài Gòn City, Chợ Lớn City, Chợ lớn province, Gia Định province at that time.

1954 – 1974

In 1954, the Geneva Conference was signed. In 1956, the Republic of Vietnam was established, with the land from the 17th Parallel to Ca Mau Cape. In 1974, the Republic of Vietnam was divided into 44 provinces including Gia Định province, and Saigon Capital City. The land of Ho Chi Minh City now included Saigon Capital City, Gia Dinh Province and some land of nearby land at that time.


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