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Asian Migration and Global Cities

Anne Cong-Huyen, Jonathan Young Banfill, Katherine Herrera, Samantha Ching, Natalie Yip, Thania Lucero, Randy Mai, Candice Lau, Authors
Randy Mai Biography, page 2 of 14

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Critical Maps of Ho Chi Minh City

Consulates and Hotels: Strategic Placement

These are the maps that display Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) through our perspectives.

A little over the size of Los Angeles Koreatown, HCMC District 1 is located at the center of the city. It is the core for business and politics within the city. District 1 contains over 20 consulates, easily making it a very powerful district. These consulates facilitate trade and negotiations between powerful countries from around the world.


“Ca Phe” or “Vietnamese Coffee,” is a famous coffee drink that reminds people about the taste of Vietnam. Vietnamese coffee, introduced by the French, is now the second most exported agricultural product in Vietnam, after rice of course. With the mass production from the Doi Moi economic reforms, Vietnam houses a lot of coffee shops around the country. Within HCMC, coffee shop has proliferated in order to meet the demand of coffee-goers.

The following map shows the locations of prominent coffee shops in HCMC, and more specifically around District 1.

View Ho Chi Minh City Cafes in a larger map

The naming of the Vietnamese coffee shops is a method to attract foreigners and investors. Because Vietnam is emerging in the global context, it is strategic to incorporate ways to attract new customers. By naming the Vietnamese coffee shops in French, the Vietnamese people are not necessarily moving looking at the past. They are doing two things; they are reclaiming the French influence and creating an international and business-like atmosphere for their future guests. The name as well as coffee shop interior reminds people and reinforces the notion that HCMC is a place where the east meets the west, where investment centers, and where residents and visitors come to congregate over the similar taste and smell of Vietnamese coffee.

While there is no literature that fully examines and explains the phenomenon, I simply suggest that the naming creates a welcoming atmosphere for foreigners who are seeing a modern, yet familiar setting in an emerging country.

The following pages are examples of critical maps that have been collected throughout the course.
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HCMC DIstrict 1 Critical Maps  View all tags
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