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Like many cities in Vietnam, Saigon did not escape the wrath of war. Since the
beginning, Saigon has had quite a traumatic history. There are many citations to
the birth of Saigon and the origin of its name. In the 15th century, this area
were swamps, marshes and thick forests. By the early 17th century, a small
township was formed. According to one theory, Saigon or Sai Con has its root in a Khmer
word Prei Kor (Kapok Tree Forest).
The name Saigon was used officially in 1698, when Lord Nguyen
Phuc Chu sent Mr. Nguyen Huu Canh to this region to create various districts and
to form a government for this southern outpost. Because of its strategic
location for trade and commerce as well as military importance, Saigon continued
to grow and became a bonafide city. By 1772, Mr. Nguyen Cuu Dam began to fill
many of the canals to form streets.
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