Saigon was officiallly renamed as Ho Chi Minh city in 1976 (one year after the victory against US to unite the country) to honour Ho Chi Minh, a great leader of our country who has devoted all his life to the independence of Vietnam. The choice of name was made by the Government which governs the whole country (North and South).Is there, by chance, a difference between north and south in this regard? Saigon being far less communist than Hanoi (from how it appears to me) and therefore effecting choice of names. Or is it just easier to say?
I live in Hà Nội and I find that both of them are equally popular here. In official documents you must you the official name, Ho Chi Minh city, but in everyday speech you can use both. In the name of restaurants, hotels etc. it seems Saigon is more popular, maybe because it makes the name shorter and therefore more economicalSo, what is more used by people living in this city, people in Vietnam or by people from Vietnam in other countries? Let aside what is "correct", I'm interesed in everyday speech.
I checked with a couple of Vietnamese colleauges, and they say they always call it Ho-Chi-Min-city. They are not 'overseas Vietnamese' by the way, only 'residing temporarily in a foreign country Vietnamese'.
The official name of the city is HCM city after the Communist took country of Viet Nam. But the people will call it Sai Gon for aesthetic, historical, and cultural reasons- as well as for convenience. Sai Gon is also used over HCM city for political reasons particularly by those who were persecuted and suffered at the hands of HCM and the Communist Regime. When speaking to the Vietnamese diaspora, it is sensitive and comforting to refer to the city as Sai Gon. HCM city just leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth, unless if you're a Vietnamese youth who grew up under the Communist Regime.
It refers to a region where called District 1 nowadays - the center of city
HCMc is an official name on map, for instance.
Saigon or HCMc, I don't think they are same. If we live in the suburb of city, such as Cu Chi, we don't call that place is in Sai Gon, it's in HCMc .