Saigon Central Post Office, the old face of Ho Chi Minh City
- on Dec 9, 2019       By: Bảo Ngọc
Ho Chi Minh City or former Saigon is known to be a bustling metropolis day and night, with full excitement. Nevertheless, this city is equally endearing to travellers, because alongside the extremely modern features, the face of Saigon of yesteryear remains very visible and irreplaceable in the hearts of its inhabitants. It is this amazing reconciliation between past and present that makes it an unmissable part of a trip to Vietnam.
If it is necessary to talk about one of the most appreciated sites of the tourists, it is incontestably the Saigon Central Post Office. This beautiful building is an integral part of the colonial heritage of Ho Chi Minh City, which seduces visitors with remarkable aesthetic and historical values.
As the largest post office in the country and one of the oldest colonial buildings, this place stops the step of many curious travellers about the history of the city. Its typical yellow is made brilliant in the afternoon sun of Saigon where locals and passengers do not pass without contemplating the beautifully decorated clock that has been running for nearly 130 years.
Some key dates
This is the story of the telegraph service of Saigon which was built in the city centre by the French in 1860 and inaugurated in 1863. Its design was entrusted to the architect Gustave Eiffel. A year later, the first letters with a stamp were sent from Saigon to different parts of the world.
In March 1888, the first telegraph line with a length of 2,000 kilometres linking north to south was put in operation. It served the cities and provinces of Saigon, Quy Nhon, Da Nang, Hue, Vinh and Hanoi.
In 1889, the first cross-border telegraph line was established, connecting Saigon to Bangkok, in the service of commercial affairs and colonial exploitation.
Overloaded after a while, the Telegraph Service was replaced by a new building erected on the plans of the architect Villedieu and his assistant Foulhuox. Inaugurated in 1891, Saigon Central Post remains upright with its form intact until now.
From July 1894, were born the first telephone cabinets in Saigon.
The architecture of Saigon Central Post Office
Designed in an eclectic style, the building attracts visitors with remarkable architecture combining western and oriental styles. It welcomes you with an elegant facade marked in particular by the low-reliefs that decorate the above of the clock and the windows on the first floor. Famous characters and scientists of the world are honoured at the entrance where you will find, among others, the name of Benjamin Franklin, Alessandro Volta, Michael Faraday, Andre-Marie Ampere...
The ceiling, arches, beams and pillars illustrate a meticulous work that gives the place a unique charm. We still admire the famous metal frame signed by the father of the Eiffel Tower.
To immerse yourself in the old-atmosphere of Saigon, two great maps of Saigon's telecommunication evolution are sure to impress you. One map presents Saigon and its surroundings in 1892 and the other on the network of the telegraph lines of Vietnam and Cambodia in 1936.
The 14 telephone booths are there to serve the daily communication, also is a place frequented to make the photograph. Either as an architectural heritage or restful stopover, this post office remains as it has been for more than a century where people come to send letters, gifts, flowers... at any time.
A nostalgic place and popular with young graduates and fiancés who come to take photos
No 2 Cong xa Paris, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
The Saigon Central Post Office is opposite another building which is equally famous and you will not be able to miss in any case, the Notre Dame Cathedral.
From Monday to Friday: 7 AM – 5 PM
Saturday: 7 AM – 6 PM
Sunday: 8 AM – 6 PM
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