Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) - or is it Saigon? Well, it was known as Gia Định when it was conquered by the French in the 1860s, who Westernised the traditional name to Saigon (Sài Gòn). After the reunification of the country in 1975, the provisional government renamed it to its current moniker in honour of the late North Vietnamese leader and father of independent Vietnam, Hồ Chí Minh.

That said, many Vietnamese still call it Sài Gòn, especially when they refer to the built-up city centre rather than the whole municipality.

The train station officially is still Ga Sài Gòn, and the IATA code for the airport is SGN. The municipality, however, is known as Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, or Tp HCM.

Make sure you always say Ho Chi Minh City (or HCMC) when dealing with officials and filling in forms.

Living in Ho Chi Minh City has never been easier. As Saigon becomes more modernized by the day, the standard of living for expats inches closer and closer to what you'd expect at home - with, of course, the added benefit of being much more affordable.

With a budding job market, an abundance of affordable residences, a wealth of international schools and universities, and enough charm to last a lifetime, living in Saigon has become a real choice for many foreigners looking for something different.

Those moving to Vietnam will need to go through a bit of hassle getting a working permit and temporary residence cards. Adjusting to the local community, getting used to the hectic mode of transport, anachronistic banking practices and insurance tribulations are not out of the question. In exchange, however, expats get the rare chance to settle in cosmopolitan areas built amidst local streets and historic buildings, full of delicious local and international restaurants, malls and entertainment centers, and fun activities for the entire family.

A roaring nightlife - active most days of the week - offers classy, affordable entertainment, while art and culture lovers will get a kick out of the artistic community in Saigon.

Affordable housing becomes a sound investment as the city's real estate market gets more and more attention from foreign investors. As evidenced by District 2's and District 7's momentous growth, middle-to-upper-class expats and locals are getting bargain rates for potentially lucrative properties. Violent crime is almost non-existent, adding safety to the growing list of reasons to settle in Ho Chi Minh City.

With a bit of hassle, the charm and affordability of living in Ho Chi Minh City far outweighs the initial burdens. Check out our living section to find all the information you need on the best health care providers, serviced apartment complexes and more.

most popular articles in Ho Chi Minh City

Events April 2016

WINE NOT? New World Saigon Hotel, 76 Le Lai, D1 Every Thursday | 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Join us ...

Best International Schools in Saigon

Find the ideal international school for your child in Ho Chi Minh City with our guide to the city's top ...

What Vietnamese Children Learn in School

What do Vietnamese kids actually learn in public schools here? Former educator Frank Fox provides a glimpse into the local ...

Choosing the Right School Curriculum

The word curriculum is a bit daunting to non-educators. Sometimes it seems so vast that it encompasses everything and at ...

Meet the Expert: Ellen Thompson on International School Life

Ellen Thompson is an American who has lived in Ho Chi Minh City for close on 14 years. She came ...

Top things to do in Saigon for Kids

Ho Chi Minh City offers superb opportunities for people who decide to make a life here. But what about your ...

Keeping Good Counsel

We sat down to interview Michelle Parker, the Guidance and College Counsellor at The American School, on what it means ...

Why Children Need to Play

Representational Thought Source: Steve Bridger Through imaginary play the child practices many different ways of representing reality, by creating symbols. ...

Adult Education in Vietnam

Adult Education in Ho Chi Minh City, and in Vietnam in general, is not as widely available as it is ...

How to obtain a work permit in Vietnam?

What are the qualifications for obtaining a work permit in Vietnam? Being an expat living in HCMC, in order to ...

How to obtain a temporary resident card in Vietnam?

What are the cases in which a foreigner can obtain a temporary resident card in Vietnam? - He/she is member ...

What should you consider when choosing a school in HCMC?

The first step in choosing a school is to be clear on what you are looking for. Then, visit each ...

The Best Place to Live in Saigon

What is the best place to live in Saigon? The answer depends on who you are and how much you ...

Are You Insane Enough to Drive in Saigon?

Driving in Saigon requires a high level of skill, yes, but even more than that it requires daring. Bravery. Heck, ...

12 Things that Happen when You Move To Vietnam

Any expat living in Vietnam will agree that a lot of things change when you move here. In fact, your life is ...

17 Weird and Surprising Saigonese Habits

Some of the best things to see when you visit HCMC are directly related to the daily habits of local ...

Cost of Living in Saigon/HCMC

Everybody keeps filling my ears with how marvelously cheap life in Vietnam is, but I have my doubts on that. ...

Where To Stay

Hotel Equatorial Ho Chi Minh City

Hotel Equatorial Ho Chi Minh City sits in the middle ...

Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon

Situated in the heart of Saigon's business and entertainment district, ...

Hotel Nikko Saigon

Hotel Nikko Saigon is a five star luxury hotel featuring ...

Lafayette De Saigon

Lafayette De Saigon is among the most high-ranking serviced apartment ...

InterContinental Saigon Hotel

InterContinental Saigon, Where Local Knowledge Makes A Genuine Difference. InterContinental ...

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Where To Eat

Sushi Hokkaido Sachi

With beautifully crafted Japanese dishes, fresh seafood and imported ingredients, ...

Kacyo Restaurant

Located on the first floor of the New World Hotel, ...

Kabin Restaurant

One of the best Chinese restaurants in HCMC, Kabin specializes in ...

Sorae: Sushi & Sake Lounge

Three female chefs carefully cut skins off pieces of salmon ...

Sushi Tei

Sushi Tei’s new flagship outlet is located by Ben Thanh ...

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Where To Drink

Liquid Sky Bar

This is a chic venue where the ambience changes as the ...

Level 23 Wine Bar

Perched on the 23rd floor of Sheraton Saigon, Level 23 ...

Klasik Coffee Roasters

Klasik is Ho Chi Minh City’s friendly neighborhood roaster. Formerly ...

Cay Da Café

Cay Da Café is the ideal location for a quiet ...

Chill Skybar

The original open-air rooftop club and bar in Ho Chi ...

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Premiere venues in Ho Chi Minh City

Saigon Scooter Centre

This shop specialises in the restoration and export of classic vintage Italian motor scooters. You can also rent bikes here.

Chaocom

CHAOcom has been founded in June 2003 and became one of the leading real estate & car rental in Hochiminh ...

Stamford Skin Centre: Skin Treatment Redefined

Did you know that some $200 cosmetic creams are manufactured for $5, and are basically glorified moisturisers? What about the ...

Diamond Island Luxury Residences

Fully-furnished one to four-bedroom apartments with private balconies providing panoramic views of the stunning surroundings. Each space features plush interiors, ...

New Indo-China International

Services: House/office relocations, express service, logistics, travelling packages, water filter products for homes and shops. New Indo-China International offers relocation ...

Allied Pickfords Vietnam

Services: This provider is known for a number of top-quality services. These include doorto-door services, international moves, local moves, office ...

Relocation Vietnam

Run by three expat relocation consultants from diverse backgrounds, Relocation Vietnam orients clients with the complexities of the city, helps ...

Santa Fe Relocation Services

Services: Moving, relocation, immigration, document storage and home search. All of Santa Fe’s services are conducted inhouse by experienced staff, ...

ABC International School

The oldest international school in the city (founded in 1995) to remain under family ownership, the ABCIS retains a warm ...

Saigon South International School

"At SSIS we begin with those ideas that bind us together, our core values of the pursuit of Academic Excellence, ...

The American School (TAS)

The American School is a school with a short history but with a long list of accomplishments. From Early Childhood ...

The EUROPEAN International School Ho Chi Minh City (EIS)

The EUROPEAN International School Ho Chi Minh City (EIS) is a Nobel Talent school (NEN) located in Thao Dien, District ...

VietNam Australian International School

Established in 2004 and licensed by the Vietnamese Government, Vietnam Australia International School (VAS) is a private school group within ...

Saigon Star International School

Saigon Star International School delivers the globally respected English National School Curriculum. Currently we cater for children from the ages ...

CMI - Centre Médical International

Centre Médical International is an international standard, fully equipped outpatient clinic. Near Notre Dame Cathedral in central Saigon, CMI offers ...

Hoan My Sai Gon Hospital

Hoan My Sai Gon Hospital, the first private general hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, was established in 1997 and ...

European Medical Center

European Medical Center provides high quality medical and cardiovascular care for patients. Headed by a French cardiologist and using the ...

Dental Arts of Saigon

Accadent is a German owned dental clinic located in the city center. The German dentists offer top-notch dentistry with know-how ...

Starlight Dental Clinic

Starlight dental clinic was established in 1996. Our commitment is to provide you the highest standard of personalized dental care ...

Smile Dental Clinic

The Clinic’s team uses the latest techniques and strictly adheres to the international standards of sterilisation and cross infection control. ...

Saigon Hospital of Cosmetic Surgery

This centre was the first hospital of cosmetic surgery in Vietnam to be licensed by the Ministry of Health in ...

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