*Its interesting, I have visited VietNam and everyone there refers to Ho Chi Hinh City as Saigon, even youngsters born after the war.....the name change was a political move that has never really caught on with the polulation.(
The reason most don't refer to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) as that, and instead prefer to call it Saigon, is because of discontent with the communist government. If you don't know, Ho Chi Minh was the communist leader who died before the end of combat in Vietnam. It was his dream that the French influence be removed, and thus the horrible conflict ensued. When the Vietnamese "won" the war, the head government officials renamed the city after him.
The same issue that you mentioned exists in other parts of the world today. When UA
initiated its PR
campaign in San Francisco, it received numerous complaints because of the negative connotations many Vietnamese nationals (and children of nationals) had with the late leader's name. As a result, UA
had to change their advertisements to say "Also known as Saigon."
Ultimately, people just want to distance themselves from a government many do not support. Either way, HCMC/Saigon is an amazing city and I would recommend everyone go provided they have the opportunity!