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Vietnam is a wonderful country to visit with a lot of history but there are some commonly asked questions such as should you drink tap water in Vietnam or is it OK to call Ho Chi Minh city by its original name Saigon. So is it offensive to say Saigon instead of Ho Chi Minh city?

No, it is not offensive to call it either name since people use both names. Officially it is called Ho Chi Minh city but it used to be called Saigon until North Vietnam won the Vietnam war. And changed its name to Ho Chi Minh city. Generally, it is ok to use either name.

In this post, we will go through if it is offensive to say Saigon instead of Ho Chi Minh city. So let’s get started!

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Is It Offensive To Say Saigon?

No, it is not offensive to call it either name since people use both names. Officially it is called Ho Chi Minh city but it used to be called Saigon until North Vietnam won the Vietnam war. And changed its name to Ho Chi Minh city.

The name Ho Chi Minh City is named after the North Vietnam leader Ho Chi Minh. Generally, it is ok to use either name. For official documentation, you should use Ho Chi Minh City.

Why Is Hanoi The Capital Of Vietnam Not Saigon?

Simply, Hanoi was the capital of North Vietnam and Saigon was the capital of South Vietnam. After North Vietnam won the Vietnam war and took control of South Vietnam. It was only common sense that Hanoi would become the capital of Vietnam.

Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon

How Dangerous Is Ho Chi Minh City?

Ho Chi Minh city is a safe city but you need to use common sense for example don’t be too flashy like showing off an expensive phone. In my opinion, the biggest danger in Ho Chi Minh city is traffic.

Here is a list of the biggest dangers that tourists may experience.

  • Traffic.
  • Bag Snatching.
  • Pickpocketing.
  • Scams.

Traffic

Traffic in Ho Chi Minh city is crazy. The streets are always crowded with bikes and the rules of the road are often ignored. So expect there to be speeding, running red lights, driving on pavement, an odd wheelie, and more.

Also, crossing the street is a challenge at the best of times. Just remember that generally, the rules of the road are not enforced or obeyed. Expect drivers to ignore traffic lights and pedestrian crossings.

moped traffic

Bag Snatching

This is one of the most common street crimes in Ho Chi Minh city. Simply a motorcyclist drives up to someone and then snatches either their bag, phone, or jewelry and then drives off. They are really good at this and often they have well gone before you realize something has happened.

To avoid being a victim don’t stand in the street holding your expensive phone or valuable jewelry. Also, wear your backpack over both arms, and hold your handbag in front of your body.

Pickpocketing

This is something that happens in most big cities. Just be aware if you feel someone makes physical contact with you with a bump, quickly check your belongings, especially in a busy touristy area and local markets.

You need to keep your wallet deep in your pocket or wear a hidden neck/belt wallet. Also, leave any large amounts of money and important cards at your hotel. Just to be safe.

Pickpockets Warning Sign

Scams

Expecting to encounter scams in Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh city is no expectation. Scammers do target tourists mainly in tourist areas.

These scams do occur around the local markets, at night in a bar, and in taxis not using meters.

Wrapping Up

Finally, it is not offensive to call it either name since people use both names. Officially it is called Ho Chi Minh city but it used to be called Saigon until North Vietnam won the Vietnam war. For official documentation, you should use Ho Chi Minh City.

And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on it is offensive to say Saigon instead of Ho Chi Minh city has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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Is It Offensive To Say Saigon
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