Ho Chi Minh/ Rural Exploitation

The take-over of Ho Chi Minh City by the communist government meant stability to the people at that period of time. Locals moved into the city in search of living with new chances. With the population expanded, land was conquered for building houses, especially villages in rural area. The resource in the jungle around Ho Chi Minh city was noticed by the government, creating new jobs for migrants.


Sawmills were constructed to sell timber to Japan. Land was cleared for new farmland and accommodation of the new population and workers. Settler’s houses which were made of rough-sawn planks were common in the ‘jungle’ at that time.


“The tigers and the elephants were gone, a casualty not of the war but of Vietnam’s alarming population growth. The rain forest was receding rapidly before the saws and axes of settlers seeking new farmland and loggers feeding the Saigon sawmills and the export trade to Japan.”

(Neil, 1992, p.83)


“The officials at the postwar district centre created to administer the area, now called Tan Bien – literally, “New Border” – were getting rich on their rake-off from the smuggling from Cambodia and the logging operation. “

(Neil, 1992, p.84)



With the development of the industry and the emerge of the new society, the Vietnam government eve set up a new administration area “Tan Bien”, meaning “new border” in the newly urbanized area. This marks the uncontrolled expansion of the city after the Vietnam War, giving rise to the present cityscape and social instability.

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