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.

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Where To Stay

Sanouva Saigon Hotel

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The Reverie Saigon

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Where To Eat

New York Steakhouse

Indulge in a seductive dining experience at the famed Saigon ...

Jaspas Gets a Makeover

With an array of restaurants, cafes and bars available in ...

Orientica

Experience a delectable feast in a beautiful fengshui inspired restaurant, ...

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Market 39 Restaurant

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Where To Drink

Catwalk Club, Karaoke and Casino

Catwalk Nightclub is one of the best entertainment venues in ...

Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar

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Premiere venues

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 ...

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

Embracing the traditional family values that emanate from the family owners; ABCIS students are modest, highly motivated learners, engaged in a ...

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 ...

European International School Ho Chi Minh City (EIS)

• EIS, inspiring students to become responsible local and global citizens. • A truly unique educational environment. • Primary School, ...

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

Of course, it’s the job of a school to teach students the basics like how to read and do long ...

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 ...