The Saigon Central Post Office, in Ho Chi Minh City, acts as a stark reminder of a time gone by. The building’s dazzling architecture will take you back to the pre-internet days, and although retro, this site is still operating, allowing those who visit to send a postcard home.
History and Architecture
Located next to the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, the Central Post Office remains one of Ho Chi Minh City’s most popular tourist attractions. It was built between 1886 and 1891 and offers an amalgamation of French architectural designs.
Both Gothic and Renaissance styles are evident in the building design and the yellow cladding on the exterior is typically European.
The building’s interior is so opulent it evokes images of Europe’s grandest train stations. The soaring ceilings are underlined with an elaborately tiled floor and its walls are decorated with maps and retro phone-booths which make the post office feel like Ho Chi Minh City’s navigational center.
Contrasting with the European architecture is a large portrait of Ho Chi Minh, which serves as a bold juxtaposition between the two differing cultures.
A Local Legend
An enduring icon of the Saigon Central Post Office is Mr. Duong Van Ngo. For almost 70 years, he has been the building’s resident letter writer.
His illustrious career has seen him pen thousands of letters in Vietnamese, French, and English on the behalf of those unable to do so. A true living legend, Ngo can still be seen traveling to work on his bicycle and is a true remnant of a dying tradition.
Send a Postcard Home
When visiting the Central Post Office, it’s highly recommended to pick up a postcard at one of the souvenir booths and send it home. More personal than a text or an email, a postcard is a charming reminder from the days of yesteryear.
The post office is, however, a lot more than an old-fashioned gimmick. It retains a fully operational postal service system and visitors can also make international phone calls and get their money exchanged into the Vietnamese dong.
Both locals and tourists use the post office’s services regularly and it remains an important part of day-to-day life in Ho Chi Minh City.
The Notre Dame Cathedral is barely a two-minute walk away, so it’s recommended to visit both places for a cultural day out. You’ll definitely have fun marveling at the wonderful architecture and rolling back the years by sending a postcard home.
Address : 2 Công xã Paris, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Season: Daily | Monday – Friday (7 AM – 7 PM) | Saturday & Sunday (8 AM – 6 PM)
Phone: +84 28 3822 1677