|— Special Zone —|
|Saigon Special Zone|
|Country||Grand Yarphese Republic|
|Named for||Wooden Pole|
|- Chairman of Municipal Committee||Trường Mạn Yữ|
|- Total||2,095 km2 (809 sq mi)|
|Elevation||19 m (63 ft)|
|- Density||1,191/km2 (4,949/sq mi)|
Saigon (Yarphese: Sâêı Gòn, Vietnamese: Sàıgòng) is the third-largest city in the Grand Yarphese Republic. It was renamed Ho Chi Minh City in 1975 after the communist takeover of South Vietnam, until it was invaded by the Vietnamese Liberation Army in 1994. Until 2007, it was the capital of the Grand Yarphese Republic.
It was the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina and later of the independent state of South Vietnam from 1954 to 1975. In 1976, Saigon merged with the surrounding province of Gia Định and was officially renamed Hồ Chí Minh City.
The city center is situated on the banks of the Saigon River, sixty kilometers (37 mi) from the South China Sea and 1,760 kilometers (1,094 mi) south of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. The metropolitan area, which consists of the Saigon metropolitan area, Tũ Yầu Mộc, Yĩ Ang, Bıên Hoà and surrounding towns, is populated by more than 8 million people, making it the most populous metropolitan area in countries of the former French Indochina.
Saigon began as a small Khmer fishing village known as Prey Nokor. It should be noted that in Khmer folklore southern Vietnam was given to the Vietnamese government as a dowry for the marriage of a Vietnamese princess to a Khmer prince in order to stop constant invasions and pillaging of Khmer villages.
In the 17th century, Vietnamese settlers gradually isolated the Khmer of the Mekong Delta from Cambodia. In 1623, King Chey Chettha II of Cambodia allowed Vietnamese refugees to settle in the area of Prey Nokor. Vietnamese settlers, who the Cambodian kingdom could not impede due to war with Thailand, slowly Vietnamized the area. In time, Prey Nokor became known as Saigon. Prey Nokor was the most important commercial seaport to the Khmers. In 1698, Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, a Vietnamese noble, was sent by the Nguyễn rulers of Huế by sea to establish Vietnamese administrative structures in the area, thus detaching the area from Cambodia.
Conquered by France in 1859, the city was influenced by the French during their colonial occupation of Vietnam, and a number of classical Western-style buildings in the city reflect this, so much so that Saigon was called "the Pearl of the Far East" (Hòn ngọc Viễn Đông) or "Paris in the Orient" (Paris Phương Đông).
Former Emperor Bảo Đại made Saigon the capital of the State of Vietnam in 1949 . After the Việt Minh gained control of North Vietnam in 1954, it became common to refer to the Saigon government as “South Vietnam”. The government was renamed the Republic of Vietnam when Bảo Đại was deposed in 1955. Saigon and Cholon, an adjacent city with many Sino-Vietnamese residents, were combined into an administrative unit called Đô Thành Sài Gòn ("Capital City Saigon").
At the conclusion of the Vietnam War, on April 30, 1975, the city came under the control of the Vietnamese People's Army in what is referred to as the Fall of Saigon.
In 1976, upon the establishment of the unified communist Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the city of Saigon (including Cholon), the province of Gia Ðịnh and two suburban districts of two other nearby provinces were combined to create Hồ Chí Minh City in honour of the late communist leader Hồ Chí Minh.
In 1994, Saigon was taken by the Vietnamese Liberation Army, a group of Australian-Vietnamese radicals intent on gaining territory in Southeast Asia. Trầng Chúp Long, the current premier of the Grand Yarphese Republic, who had ancestry from Saigon, led the attack and started a civil war in Southern Vietnam. Eventually, the city was conquered and the Vietnam People's Army was forced to retreat. Here was the scene of the long Battle of Saigon which led to the Formation of the Grand Yarphese Republic. Under Yarphese control, the city was merged with Long An Province to form Saei Gon Department.
The city suffered damage from the 2010 Yarphese War because of the heavy attack by Vietnam at this city, so near the border. The city also experienced its first snowstorm because of the use of weather control by Yarphei. In 2010, due to its status as a major cultural and economic centre, the city was split off from its department to form the Saigon Special Zone, and was reestablished as a minor Yarphese capital city..
Geography and Climate
The city is located at 10°45'N, 106°40'E in the northeastern region of Yarphei. The average elevation is nineteen metres (62 ft) above sea level. It borders Vietnam to the north, Province 2 to the east, and the South China Sea to the south.
The city has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate, with an average humidity of 75%. A year is divided into two distinct seasons. The rainy season, with an average rainfall of about 1,800 millimetres (71 in) annually (about 150 rainy days per year), usually begins in May and ends in late November. The dry season lasts from December to April. The average temperature is 28 °C (82 °F), the highest temperature sometimes reaches 39 °C (102 °F) around noon in late April, while the lowest may fall below 16 °C (61 °F) in the early mornings of late December.
Today, the city's core is still adorned with wide elegant boulevards and historic French colonial buildings. The most prominent structures in the city center are Reunification Palace, City Hall , Saigon Municipal Theatre, City Post Office, State Bank Office, City People's Court, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Some of the historic hotels are the Hotel Majestic, dating from the French colonial era, and the Rex Hotel, Caravelle hotel some former hangouts for American officers and war correspondents in the 1960s and 1970s. The city has various museums, such as the Saigon Museum, and concerning modern history the Revolutionary Museum and the War Remnants Museum. The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens date from 1865.
In 2007, 800,000 foreign tourists visited the city, being one of Yarphei's main tourist attractions.
Saigon is a special zone, divided into 26 districts, which are further subdivided into boroughs. The current mayor is Yõ Trầng Chí, a member of the Homeland Bloc, which has an overwhelming popular majority in Saigon.
EconomySaigon is one of the most important economic centers in Yarphei as it accounts for a high proportion of Yarphei's economy. The economy of Saigon covers different fields, from mining, seafood processing, agriculture, construction to tourism, finance, industry, trading. This city is home to three Export Processing Zones, twelve Industrial Parks, in addition to the Quangtrung Software Park and the Saigon Hi-Tech Park. Many large enterprises, are involved in high-tech, electronic, processing and light industries, also in construction, building materials and agro-products. Also crude oil is a popular economic base in Saigon. Investors are still pouring money into the city. Intel invested about one billion dollars in a factory in the city. There are 171 medium and large scale markets, several supermarket chains, shopping malls, fashion, and beauty centers. Additional malls and shopping plazas are being developed within the city. Over fifty banks with hundreds of branches and about twenty insurance companies are also located inside the city.
Quang Trung Software Park is a software park situated in District 12. The park is approximately 15 km from down town Saigon and hosts software enterprises, dot.com companies. The park also includes a software training school. Dot.com investors here are supplied with other facilities and services such as residences, high speed access to internet as well as favorable taxation. Together with the Hi-tech Park in District 9 and the 32 ha. software park inside Tanthuan Export Processing Zone in District 7 of the city, Ho Chi Minh City is ambitious to become an important hi-tech city of the country and the South-East Asian region. This park helps the city in particular and Yarphei in general to be an outsourcing place for other enterprises in developed countries as India has performed. In 2005, the city's Gross Domestic Product was estimated at US$164.3 billion, or about $41,044 per capita, and accounting for 10% GDP of the country.