Ho Chi Minh City, formerly and still commonly known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam, situated in the south. In the southeastern region, the city surrounds the Saigon River and covers about 2,061 square kilometres.
Prior to Vietnamese settlement in the 17th century, the city was a scarcely populated area that had been part of historic empires of Funan, Champa, and Khmer. With the arrival of Vietnamese, the area became more populated and officials began establishing the city from 1623 to 1698. After it was ceded by the last Vietnamese dynasty to the French in 1862, the name Saigon was adopted and the city underwent urbanization to become a financial center in the region. The city was the capital of South Vietnam until the end of the Vietnam War with North Vietnamese victory in 1975. In 1976, the government of a unified Vietnam renamed Saigon in honor of Ho Chi Minh.
The primary economic center of Vietnam, it is also an emerging international destination, with popular landmarks related to remnants of its history showcased through its architecture. A major transportation hub, the city hosts the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, the busiest airport in Vietnam.