As a rather special tourist attraction, the Ho Chi Minh City Post Office is the largest post office in the country. It was built Vietnam was part of French Indochina. This is one of the few remaining colonial officials made their mark on the urban fabric of Ho Chi Minh city.

History of Ho Chi Minh City Post Office 

The history of the City Post Office, also call Saigon Central Post Office, began around the end of the 19th century. At that time, Vietnam was part of the French colony in Indochina. In 1863, after France successfully conquered Saigon, the government apparatus wanted to build a very modern communication system. Therefore, the Saigon Telegraph Department was born, this was the forerunner of the later Saigon Central Post Office.

Ho Chi Minh City Post Office

The architect responsible for designing this project was Gustave Eiffel. He was the designer of many world-famous buildings such as the Eiffel Tower (Paris) and the Statue of Liberty (New York). In Vietnam, in addition to the City Post Office, Long Bien Bridge in Hanoi were also designed by Gustave Eiffel.

On January 13, 1863, the Saigon Telegraph Department was officially inaugurated and put into operation. However, because people’s postal needs were increasing, the telegraph department at that time was often overloaded. So in 1886, this work was rebuilt, still based on part of the original work of architect Gustave Eiffel.

Ho Chi Minh City Post Office in the past

The people in charge of building the City Post Office at this time were Villedieu and his partner Foulhoux. It took 5 years to build, the new project was officially completed and put into operation. The European, luxurious and classic architecture has made the Post Office a symbol of Ho Chi Minh City. Until now, the building is still periodically maintained to preserve its architecture and postal functions. 

Unique architecture of the Ho Chi Minh City Post Office

Ho Chi Minh City Post Office is one of the famous architectural works in Vietnam. Unlike the above-mentioned French architectural works, the Post Office has many characteristics of European architectural style combined with Asian. The overall structure has a yellow tone which is the original color of the building and the color of the postal industry.

Ho Chi Minh City Post Office

The outlook of the post office

There is a giant clock hanging above the main entrance. Above the clock is a figure of a person wearing a laurel wreath and the words “Post Office of Ho Chi Minh City”. The below was the year of construction and inaugurated the post office “1886 – 1891”. Surrounded by delicate white embossed reliefs, in the middle is the messenger god Hermes in Greek mythology. 

Ho Chi Minh City Post Office

Outside the post office is a giant clock with a classic decorative style

Stretching the front of the post office is decorated in rectangular boxes. Many names of inventors on the telegram and electricity industries are put in here. Among the names engraved on the rectangular plots are President of the United States – Mr. Benjamin Franklin, Italian inventor – Mr. Alessandro Volta, English scientist – Mr. Michael Faraday, French mathematicians André-Marie Ampère, Gay Lussac, Oerstedt, Ohm, Arago, Galvani, Foucault and Laplace.

Ho Chi Minh City Post Office

Stepping inside the office, there are two painted maps. The first one located on the left side of the building is a map of Southern Vietnam and Cambodia titled Lignes telegraphiques du Sud Vietnam et Cambodge 1892 which translates to “Telegraphic lines of Southern Vietnam and Cambodia 1892”. The second map of greater Saigon is titled Saigon et ses environs 1892 that translates as “Saigon and its surroundings 1892”.

map of Ho Chi Minh City Post Office

The “Telegraphic lines of Southern Vietnam and Cambodia 1892”

map in Saigon post office

The “Saigon and its surroundings”

The most impressive features when visiting building is the large round arches at the entrance, along with the ceiling. The connection points between the pillar and the iron truss are elaborately designed, carved with beautiful patterns. At the end of the central hall, there is a portrait of former President Ho Chi Minh.

Ho Chi Minh Post office

Besides European culture, the architecture of Ho Chi Minh City Post Office is also mixed with Asian features, shown through decorative motifs on the roof inspired by Khmer temple art.

Ho Chi Minh Post office

Also, the Post Office still preserves 14 phone booths divided into two sides of the main hall to serve residents and visitors wishing to communicate and nostalgia about a past.

What to do in Saigon post office?

Admire the unique architecture

City Post Office is one of the very few buildings that still retain their architectural structures from hundreds of years ago. The harmonious combination turns this place into an ancient beauty and the breath of modern life.

admire Ho Chi Minh Post office

Writing letters and postcards

There is a unique service here: hire a public writer. One of the last professional public writers in the city is Mr. Duong Van Ngo. He was born in 1930 and has been working in the office since he was 17, writing letters for those who cannot write for themselves or are confident on handwriting skills.

Mr.Duong Van Ngo

In spite of his age, the old man is still diligently working for customers, serving in both English and French language. It’s a really interesting way to store past memories in this modern time.

Buying souvenirs

Inside the post office, there are many souvenir stalls selling stamps, pictures, photos postcards with iconic buildings of Ho Chi Minh City, such as Ben Thanh Market, Notre Dame Cathedral, Independence Palace, Cholon Market, etc. At a cheap price, these gifts are always suitable for both locals and foreigner visitors for buying as presents.

souvenirs in Ho Chi Minh Post office

Reminisce about the past

For many people, sending postcards from Ho Chi Minh City Post Office to relatives and friends is an interesting way to keep memories in the midst of modern times.

You can also rest on wooden benches polished and varnish, whose life is easily hundreds of years. Entering the post office, you will feel like time is passing much slowly because at any corner, it is possible to catch a glimpse of the old Saigon.

saigon post office

Over a hundred years of existence, the building is still a beautiful and impressive architectural work. It goes hand in hand with Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica. Forming an interactive architectural cluster, both of them have been creating a unique highlight for the city.

Useful information

Source: collected by An

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