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Subsequently, the only remaining Khmers' sea access was south-westerly at the Gulf of Thailand e.g. to establish Vietnamese administrative structures in the area, thus detaching the area from Cambodia, which was not strong enough to intervene.He is often credited with the expansion of Saigon into a significant settlement.Following the death of Franklin Roosevelt and the abandonment of anti-colonialist policies the U. supported France in regaining its control over the country, with effective control spanning mostly in the Southern half and parts of the Red River Delta region like Hanoi, Haiphong and Thái Bình.Former Emperor Bảo Đại made Saigon the capital of the State of Vietnam in 1949 with himself as head of state.The area that the city now occupies was originally forested, and was inhabited by Khmer people for centuries before the arrival of the Vietnamese.Beginning in the early 17th century, colonization of the area by Vietnamese settlers gradually isolated the Khmer of the Mekong Delta from their brethren in Cambodia proper and resulted in their becoming a minority in the delta.This name may refer to the many kapok plants that the Khmer people had planted around Prey Nokor, and which can still be seen at Cây Mai temple and surrounding areas.
An etymology of Saigon (or Sài Gòn in Vietnamese) is that Sài is a Sino-Vietnamese word (Hán tự: 柴) meaning "firewood, lops, twigs; palisade", while Gòn is another Sino-Vietnamese word (Hán tự: 棍) meaning "stick, pole, bole", and whose meaning evolved into "cotton" in Vietnamese (bông gòn, literally "cotton stick", i.e., "cotton plant", then shortened to gòn).
Truong Mealy (former director of King Norodom Sihanouk's royal Cabinet), says that, according to a Khmer Chronicle, The Collection of the Council of the Kingdom, Prey Nokor's proper name was Preah Reach Nokor (Khmer: (the circumflex is sometimes omitted), abbreviated HCMV.
The name commemorates Hồ Chí Minh, the first leader of North Vietnam.
On 2 July 1976, Saigon merged with the surrounding Gia Định Province and was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City after revolutionary leader Hồ Chí Minh (although the name The Ho Chi Minh City Metropolitan Area, a metropolitan area covering most parts of the southeast region plus Tiền Giang Province and Long An Province under planning, will have an area of 30,000 square kilometres (12,000 sq mi) with a population of 20 million inhabitants by 2020.
Ho Chi Minh City has gone by several different names during its history, reflecting settlement by different ethnic, cultural and political groups.