A reminder of Vietnam’s complex history, and now a tourist magnet, Saigon Central Post Office is a significant fulcrum in Ho Chi Minh’s historical, architectural and cultural past.
It may remind you of the interiors of a 20th century European railway station with its French-Gothic architecture blending with rich Asian history. This structure dates back to the time span of 1886-1891.
Its magnificent high arched ceilings are supported by a series of steel columns. With mahogany furniture and Asian-themed ornate frescoes, it is a post office that, in a metaphor, ‘dwells in its quaint and charming past’.
Read: 48 Hours in Hanoi
Telephone booths do not just feature in music videos that are '90s themed, they remain well-preserved at this post office. With a clock on top, seven of these booths are used for telephone calls and the rest have been converted into ATMs.
Oil paintings line the walls, in the backdrop of striking tiles on the floor. Traditional glue pots add to the touch of old-school.
Visitors can buy an exquisite array of postcards and stamps as souvenirs.
The post office remains fully functional, with a museum and souvenir shops within the building. It is open for visitors from 6am to 10pm.
A large portrait of Ho Chi Minh hangs at the end of the hall. It is believed that Ho Chi Minh, the popular Vietnamese revolutionary, who served as the Prime Minister and then, the President, of Vietnam, worked at Saigon’s post office when he was 17. The post office is also a part, of the tour of Ho Chi Minh’s French Quarter.
Read: Visit Vietnam Virtually
A Visual Delight