Sunday, 5 August 2012


The former colonial name of Ho Chi Minh is the largest city in Vietnam. It was once known as Prey Nokor, an important Khmer sea port prior to annexation by the Vietnamese in the 17th century. Under the name Saigon, it was the capital of the French colony of Cochin-china and later of the independent state of South Vietnam from 1955 to 1975. In 1976, Saigon merged with the surrounding Gia Định Province and was officially renamed Hồ Chí Minh City after Hồ Chí Minh (although the name Sài Gòn is still commonly used.) The city centre is situated on the banks of the Saigon River, 60 kilometers (37 mi) from the South China Sea.

Lowry refers to the city in his novel Ultramarine; "Or Saigon. Or Trebizond, Or Samarkand." I said."(Pg.84).

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