As a rather special tourist attraction, the Ho Chi Minh City Post Office is the largest post office in the country. It was built between 1886 and 1891 when Vietnam was part of French Indochina. It has been said that few colonial officials made their mark on the urban fabric of Ho Chi Minh city.
About the Ho Chi Minh City Post Office
Ho Chi Minh City Post Office, or the Saigon Central Post Office is one of the famous architectural works of the city. Unlike the above-mentioned French architectural works, Saigon Central Post Office has many characteristics of European architectural style combined with Asian. The office is located at 2 Cong xa Paris St, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1.
When coming to the main entrance, there is a giant clock hanging above the gate, above the clock is a figure of a person wearing a laurel wreath and the words “Post Office of Ho Chi Minh City”, below has the year of construction and inaugurated the post office “1886 – 1891”. Stretching the front of the post office is decorated in rectangular boxes, on which the inventors of the telegram and electricity industries are registered. 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 mathematician – Galvani and others.
Stepping inside the office, there are are two painted maps that were created just after the post office was built. 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”
The most impressive features when visiting the inside of the building are the large round arches at the entrance, along the ceiling. The connection points between the pillar and the iron truss are elaborately designed, carved with beautiful patterns.
On the wall at the end of the central hall, there is a portrait of the Former President Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam.
It 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 the post office?
1. 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.
2. Writing letters and postcards
There is an unique service in here: hire a public writer. One of the last professional public writer in the city is 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 not confident on handwriting skill.
In spite of his age, the old man is still diligently working for customers, serving in both English and French language. It’s really interesting way to store past memories in this modern time.
3. 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. With a cheap price, these gifts are always suitable for both locals and foreigners visitor for buying as presents.
4. 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.
Over a hundred years of existence, the Ho Chi Minh City Post Office building is still a beautiful and impressive architectural work. It goes hand in hand with Notre Dame Cathedral, forming an interactive architectural cluster, creating a unique highlight for the city not only when the project is new but also valuable until the day.