One of Ho Chi Minh City’s most popular attractions, Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office (aslo known as Saigon Central Post Office) is the largest post office in Vietnam and also in Southeast Asia. The emblematic architectural structures of the post office will make you think that you have been temporarily whisked out of Asia and transported to a 20th century European train station. It is an enormous picture of the city that you should not miss when traveling to Ho Chi Minh city.
History of Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office
The Saigon Central Post Office was constructed from 1886 -1891, when Vietnam was part of French Indochina. It was designed by French architect Alfred Foulhoux, based on the design of Gustave Eiffel – a famous architect of France. It is the biggest post office in Vietnam and is one of the most important commercial centers of the city. Many years ago, when the Internet access was not available in Saigon, this post office served as a major communication center of the city where natives and tourists got in touch with the rest of the world.
The architecture of Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office
The post office’s architecture is the mixture of Gothic, Renaissance, and French architectural style. The building is highlighted with its typical French colonial features which fascinate the visitors from the first sight by the exterior and interior decorations. Striking vaulted ceilings and an enormous portrait of Ho Chi Minh make a first impression upon entering. Two original maps are flanking the entrance: one of Saigon and its surrounds in 1892 and the other of telegraphic routes of South Vietnam and Cambodia in 1936. The post office features polished original oil paintings on the walls, old-school phone booths, wooden countertops along the sides, old glue pots to place stamps on envelopes, and areas to write a letter to a loved one.
What to do in Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office
The Post Office offers traditional postal services like mailing, selling postcards or stamps. Convenient foreign money exchange is also available. Millennials can explore the novelty of “telephone booths” for “international calls” and un-electronic mail. Other than sending selfies to loved ones, the post office is still operating so give the old fashioned way a go. There are desks for writing postcards and a queue for you to buying stamps and sending parcels. There are also souvenirs shops that you can find some beautiful gifts for your family members and friends.
Last but not least, do not forget to see Mr. Duong Van Ngo, a man who has been recognized by the Vietnam Guinness Book of Records for 27 years spent writing letters for those who cannot write for themselves. Despite his advanced age, this 87-year-old writer is reportedly fluent in both English and French and continues to write letters every day. Mr. Duong has become an icon at this post office over the past several years.
When and how to go to Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office
The Central Post Office is located right in the heart of the city, near Diamond Plaza, a big shopping venue and Notre Dame Cathedral. It is quite easy to get there on foot, bike or motorbike from other attractions of the city like Reunification Palace or War Remnants Museum are suggested. It opens from 6 am to 10 pm every day and the admission is free.
Over a hundred years of existence, Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office is still a beautiful and impressive architecture. Along with Notre Dame Cathedral, the post office making into an interactive architecture, creating a unique point for the city not only at its founding but also now today. To make your trip to Vietnam ever memorable, spend some time to visit the famous Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh City
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