Ho Chi Minh City (Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh; listen), formerly named Saigon (Sài Gòn; listen), is the largest city inVietnam.
Under the name Saigon, it was the capital of the French colony of Cochin-china and later of the independent republic of South Vietnam from 1955–75. South Vietnam, as an anti-communist, capitalist republic, fought against the communist North Vietnamese and Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, with aid from the United States and countries including Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. Saigon fell when it was captured by the communists on 30 April 1975, ending the war with a Communist victory. Vietnam was then turned into a communist state with the South overtaken. On 2 July 1976, Saigon merged with the surrounding Gia Định Province and was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City after Hồ Chí Minh (although the name Sài Gòn is still commonly used).
The city center is situated on the banks of the Saigon River, 60 kilometers (37 mi) from the Indochine[disambiguation needed] and 1,760 kilometers (1,090 mi) south of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.