The beautiful Central Post Office across the road from the Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the best looking colonial public buildings in Ho Chi Minh City. The building was constructed when Vietnam was part of French Indochina in the early 20th century. It has a Gothic architectural style which was designed and constructed by the famous architect Gustave Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame and has become a tourist destination in its own right.
The Post office, doesn't sound like a place to visit unless you want to buy some stamps, but here, in Ho Chi Minh city, it is a place worth a mention and visit in and outside.
This magnificent looking building started to be built in 1886 and was completed in 1891.
The building's front, has a big clock hung over the entrance way. Once inside the building , you see two historical maps, one is "Saigon and its environments" created in 1892 and "Telegraphic network in South Vietnam and Combidia" created in 1936.
There are some polished wood phone booths of old, beautiful!
For a different souvenir to take home, I bought some Stamp sets. There was a big array to choose from, ranging in price from quite cheap.
1. More than 100years old.
2. It still operate as Post Office
3. Very French Architecture :
- designs on the walls
- very spacious inside
- 2 big maps on each side of the wall
- A big protriat of Uncle Ho Chi Minh at the Central.
4 with handicraft shops along the corridors of building
Ho Chi Minh has lots of incredible structures where you can pose to your hearts delight and no one will bother you or nudge you to go along your way.
A great example is the Post Office (PO) building. Scenic and architecturally pleasing to the eye. The best thing about it, there is NO entrance fee.
People can also make overseas phone calls from the PO using their credit card or by paying a certain fee in of the booths.
Another example of French colonial architecture, Saigon’s post office (Buu dien) was designed by Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame. The glazed and vaulted roof and arched windows is a reminder of early European railway stations. Suspended ceiling vans turn lazily against the backdrop of a huge Ho Chi Minh painting against the back wall. An island counter in the middle of the hall sells tourist memorabilia.
There are some giant maps and a number of clocks near the entrance, indicating the time of cities such as Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul and Pretoria.
Staff members are quite relaxed about visitors taking photographs.
The Saigon Post office has been built by the French colonisers at the end of the 19th century, as the dates remind it above the main entrance; it was the time of the French third republic, and lots of the public buildings you see in France (schools, prefectures, city halls, post offices, train stations. . . ) were built in a typical style; this style is also present in the former colonies and the post office of Saigon is an example; it is a big welcoming building, where it must be a pleasure to go to the shelters placed on the sides, and buy stamps, give the mail to the employees. . . Just, mail takes lots of time, leaving Vietnam for overseas; I do not know why, but my postcards arrive in Europe always very late after I returned . . . Ah, not very important, the postcards are more for a “hi” or a souvenir, and they arrive finally.
Uncle Ho smiles, looking at the customers (picture 1), not stressed, under the green-gold-white décor; this employee (picture 2) is just making the check for postcards and stamps I purchased here. You also can buy collection stamps, and for those who like, there are some nice assortments (picture 3).
Let us now leave the post office, with a last look at the façade and the medallions with the names of great physicists between the closed green windows (picture 4), and a bye to the heroes at the left of the entrance (picture 5). Even you have no mail to send, it is worth to go to the Saigon post office!
Yes there is an intruder on the façade of the post office; if you look at the medallions decorating the buildings you will see the names of famous scientists, most of them having contributed to electricity and telecommunication; do you see him on picture 2? Ampere, Gay Lussac, Volta, Oerstedt, Ohm, Arago, Galvani, Foucault, Franklin, Laplace, . . . and. . . Louis XI! What is this guy doing here? This austere and severe king of France from the end Middle Age, is more known for having integrated Burgundy to France, and for his “orchard” (The Orchard of King Louis –Le verger du Roi Louis, a short song by Georges Brassens inspired from “La Ballade des Pendus”–a poem from François Villon, a great French Middle Age poet); the orchard being the trees on public places in Paris where usual convicts and political opponents were hung. . . His presence here is strange, a shtick from the builders? From the new Vietnamese rulers? I couldn’t find any clue.
May be there are other strange details to discover at the post office. This is a beautiful colonial building, vast, with a high vaulted ceiling, supported by cast iron pillars and arches designed by Eiffel (yes, the one who built the famous tower); the recent renovation did very well with the colours (first picture). You cannot miss Uncle Ho, of course, placed strategically on the wall opposite the entrance.
A few old colonial decoration has been kept, like the map showing the telegraphic network of South Vietnam and Cambodia you see on the left when entering (picture 3); at night (picture 4), it looks almost like a baroque construction, and the statues of heroes in the garden left and right of the main entrance (picture 5) look a bit out of place to me!
Our tour in Ho Chi Minh City started from the famous post office. This remarkable building just attracts you inside and we decided with my wife to send postcards to our parents, something we have never done before. You can see some famous scientist names on left and right wings of the entrance who contributed to development of communication. The post office is next to Notre Dame Cathedral so you can visit both places in one go.
There's nothing special in their post office. There's just a huge picture of Ho Chi Minh by the wall. Got to buy cute postcards in here. It's a big place, pretty clean and it's located right across the Notre Dame Cathedral.
It is interesting how this post office has become a tourist spot frequent by people who just want to come here and grab nothing but pictures. I don't blame them especially when they have maintained sure a beautiful architecture with an amazing paiting on the top left and right of the wall upon entering the place ( I think its a painting of the world map). Since its free, no harm just visiting this place.
Well, dont think of it as just another post office - though you can still send your postcards, letters and parcels to your family and friends all over the world from here. But the rich architecture is from Colonial times, and that means grandiose art.
You are warmheartedly welcome by a supersize portrait of Uncle Ho inside the hall.
It's nice to take a walk and visit the Post Office in HCMC with it's French architecture. An impressive building where you will be greeted by the large photo of Ho Chi Minh in the main building under the clock. Here you can make a phone call from the elegant phone booths or buy postcards, cards and stamps to send back home.
You can also see the Notre Dame Cathedral across the road and the People Commitee Hall and City Opera House nearby.
Beautiful old Post Office with a big picture of President Ho Chi Minh.
What I bought from this place:
1. Dozens of HCMC postcards. 1 Dozen = Dong 6,000. International stamp to Asia cost me around Dong 7,000 to 10,000.
2. Fridge magnets. There're two small souvenir counters in this post office, both selling small local handicrafts. The price is about 1,5 times of Ben Thanh market or An Duong Plaza. Fixed price. 1 pair of fridge magnet around Dong 15,000.
3. Small lacquerware statue of Vietnamese girl in Ao Dai, around 12cm in height. Also about Dong 15,000.
BEING A POSTMAN MYSELF I REALLY HAD TO HAVE A LOOK AROUND SAIGION'S MAIN POST OFFICE. THIS STUNNING EXAMPLE OF FRENCH STYLE ARCHITECTURE WAS BUILT BETWEEN 1886 AND 1891, BY NONE OTHER THAN GUSTAV EIFFEL (OF TOWER FAME)
THE OUTSIDE OF THE BUILDING IS BEAUTIFUL BUT THE INSIDE IS STUNNING,
THE FLOORS ARE GLEAMING AND THE WHOLE PLACE IS A HIVE OF ACTIVITY.
BUT THE THING THAT REALLY CATCHES YOUR GAZE IS THE HUGE PICTURE OF UNCLE HO.
ALSO ON THE WALLS ARE LARGE MAPS OF BOTH SAIGON AND VIETNAM.
BEING A POST OFFICE THIS IS THE PERFECT PLACE TO BUY STAMPS, AND THERE ARE SOME LOVELY COLLECTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM, THE POSTCARD RACK HAS SOME OF THE BEST TO BE HAD IN THE WHOLE OF SAIGON..WITH SOME REALLY NICE BLACK AND WHITE EXAMPLES.
AND WHILE YOU ARE HERE WHY NOT BUY A PHONE CARD AND USE ONE OF THE LOVELY POLISHED WOODEN PHONE BOOTHS TO CALL HOME AND TELL EVERYONE ABOUT YOUR TRIP.
SO FOR A BIT OF SIGHT SEEING AND SHOPPING MAKE SURE YOU PUT THIS LOVELY OLD BUILDING HIGH ON YOU LIST OF THINGS TO SEE AND DO.
Because of the high cealing and wide open door, the inside is naturally cool and relaxing. There are wooden benches inside you can sit and relax your feet after walking from the nearby presidential palace and notre dame cathedral. There is a souviner shop wherein you can buy silkscreen painted postcards, excellent giveaways for people back home.