Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), formerly named and still also referred to as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam famous for the pivotal role it played in the Vietnam War. Under the name Saigon, it was the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina and later of the independent Republic of South Vietnam from 1955–75. After the Vietnam War, Saigon merged with the surrounding Gia Dinh Province and was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City on 2 July 1976 after the revolutionary leader Hồ Chí Minh.
The Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) metropolitan area is populated by more than 10 million people, making it the most populous metropolitan area in Vietnam. HCMC is known for its French colonial landmarks, including Notre-Dame Cathedral, made entirely of materials imported from France, the Hotel Continental Saigon which is the first hotel in Saigon built in 1880, and the 19th-century Central Post Office. Food stalls line the city’s streets, especially around bustling Bến Thành Market. HCMC is a vibrant and dynamic city which is rapidly growing into bustling metropolitan with lots of economic activities. It is also well known for its shopping, cultural diversity and large variety of foods.