Sai Gon Central Post Office - unique architectural complex in Ho Chi Minh City
Update: Oct 19, 2017
The Sai Gon Central Post Office, the largest in South Viet Nam, is one of the city’s most emblematic architectural structures. Built between 1886 and 1891, it embraces the Western architectural style and Oriental decorations.

The Sai Gon Central Post Office, at 2 Paris Commune Street opposite Notre-Dame cathedral is one of Viet Nam’s most beautiful examples of French colonial architecture.

Tran Minh Hai is a tour guide: "The Central Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral are the most visited sites in Ho Chi Minh City. They are recommended in virtually every guidebook. The Post Office is special because it exemplifies French architecture."

There are many stories about the architect of the Sai Gon Central Post Office. Some sources say the building was designed by French architect Gustave Eiffel, the man who built the Eiffel tower and New York’s Statue of Liberty. Some other sources say the Post Office was designed by architect Villedieu and his assistant Foulhoux. One account says it was first designed and built by Eiffel and 23 years later Villedieu and Foulhoux rebuilt it. Notably features are its curved windows, the big clock above the main entrance.

While all the windows on both sides of the building are arched, windows in the middle hall are rectangular. Decorative lines around the windows resemble rail stations in Europe. All the pillars in the front hall of the building are intricately decorated. The main pillars supporting the second floor are decorated with reliefs made of rectangular stones engraved with the names of scientists who have contributed to civilization, particularly in electricity and communications.

The post office is particularly impressive for its interior architecture. The building is large and spacious. The large metal arches on the ceiling and the wooden countertops along the sides are more like a train station than a post office. Two large maps are painted on either side of the entrance. One depicts Sai Gon and its surroundings. The other depicts the telegraph lines of South Viet Nam and Cambodia. At the back of the room stands a large portrait of President Ho Chi Minh. The Sai Gon Central Post Office also has 38 customer counters service.

Original wall paintings, old telephone booths, old glue pots for stamps and spaces reserved for writing... the passage of time seems to have had little effect on the Sai Gon Central Post Office.

The Sai Gon Central Post Office and the Notre-Dame cathedral are the two popular tourist destinations attracting a lot of tourists every day. There time is pleasantly suspended.

VOV World