Ho Chi Minh City, commonly known by its previous name, Saigon, is the largest and most populous city in Vietnam, situated in Southern Vietnam. According to the 2019 census, Ho Chi Minh City has a population of over 8.9 million within the city proper and over 21 million within its metropolitan area. In southeastern region, the city surrounds the Saigon River and covers about 2,061 square kilometres. Ho Chi Minh City is an economic and financial centre and plays an important role in the country's cultural and scientific developments. The other two main cities of Vietnam include Hanoi in Northern Vietnam and Da Nang in Central Vietnam.