VietnamActivities & AttractionsSaigon Attractions: The Saigon Central Post Office

Saigon Attractions: The Saigon Central Post Office

The Saigon Central Post Office is one of Saigon’s most beautiful French architectural structures, built in Indochina’s time. The Saigon Central Post Office has witnessed the changes in Saigon for over 120 years. It is not only famous for its gorgeous beauty, but it also serves as the oldest functional government working structure, serving many customers every day.

The History of the Saigon Central Post Office

Saigon Central Post Office old 2

French architect Villedieu and his assistant Foulhoux designed this post office. Still, other sources claim that it was the work of Gustave Eiffel, who was famous for the iconic French symbol, the Eiffel Tower. The truth is that Gustave Eiffel designed the first version, and then, in 1886, Villedieu rebuilt the construction.

As soon as the French took control of the South of Vietnam, Saigon in particular, they established a telegraph system. On January 13th, 1863, the post office was opened to service the locals, and issued their first stamp. In 1864, the Saigon Central Post Office began to gain popularity in the Southern areas. From 1886 to 1891, the building was modernized by architect Villedieu, which is the look of the Saigon Post Office today.

How to Get to the Saigon Central Post Office

This Saigon attraction is at 2 Cong Xa Paris Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. It is near the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Independence Palace, so you can easily visit these French colonial architectures in a day. If your hotel or hostel is in District 1, it will be a 20-minute walk to the place. Or, you can take a taxi or bike to get there.

Saigon Central Post Office Opening Hours

Weekdays: 7 AM – 7 PM
Saturday: 7 AM – 6 PM
Sunday: 8 AM – 6 PM

You can come to wander around the site or use the postal services.

See How to Send a Package from Vietnam

Saigon Central Post Office Exterior

The Architecture

Although the construction was long ago, the Post Office remains almost the same, modeling both Western and Asian influences. A giant clock above the gate may catch your attention at the main entrance, along with the years of construction from “1886 – 1891” sculpted below it. Other details are arranged symmetrically on the two sides of this center.

central post office architecture

Between the old green windows are names of famous French inventors who devoted to the telegram and electricity sculpted on each building post. Some other names are Benjamin Franklin – one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Alessandro Volta – an Italian inventor, and Michael Faraday – an English physicist.

central post office clock

The Building’s Color

At first, the French decorated the whole building in light pink to match the red brick of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

central post office outside

In January 2015, the City Council decided to change the original color of the Central Post Office to darker yellow but later repainted it to a lighter shade.

central post office outside

Saigon Central Post Office Interior

The Decoration

When you step into the building, you can see the dome roof covering the whole length of the Post Office. The iron pillars in four corners prop up the front dome, and rows of iron pillars support the halls’ domes on their two sides.

central post office decoration president ho chi minh
A portrait of President Ho Chi Minh in the middle of the office

On the wall at the end of the central hall is a significant portrait of Ho Chi Minh.

central post office pictures

Above the international telephone booths near the entrance. There are two maps; one shows the telecom system of Cambodia and Vietnam in 1936, and the other describes Saigon and its surrounding areas in 1892.

Saigon Central Post Office map 1
Saigon Central Post Office map 2

On the left and right wings of the building, two small staircases lead to the souvenir shops along these halls.

central post office souvernirs

You can also buy some postcards printed with Saigon’s iconic attractions at the gift shop and send them home using the mailing service at the post office. You can also get your currency exchanged in this area. Check out more souvenirs you should buy in Saigon.

vietnam souvenirs handmade central post office
Handmade souvenirs at the post office
central post office interior

Behind the souvenir counter in the central hall, there are four long wooden tables where visitors can write their letters.

The Working Area

central post office sending postcards 2

The Central Post Office offers telegrams and parcel mailing services. Every day, a significant number of Vietnamese and foreign visitors come here to use its services. Some guide signs are written in English to explain the services to foreign customers.

central post office sending postcard

The Public Letter Writer in the Saigon Central Post Office

saigon central post office duong van ngo

There used to be an elderly gentleman named Duong Van Ngo sitting at one of the writing tables in the central hall. He was born in 1930 and has been working as a public letter writer since he was 18. Not many people are literate during his time, let alone speak other languages. He would help them write letters not only in Vietnamese, but also German and French. Unfortunately, he passed away in August 2023.

Saigon Central Post Office’s Neighborhood

central post office notre dame

Opposite the Saigon Central Post Office lies Notre Dame Cathedral, another of Saigon’s famous attractions. In front of the church is a small garden with a Our Lady of Peace statue.

central post office book street

To the left of the Central Post Office is Nguyen Van Binh Book Street, which is open for pedestrians to come and buy or donate books to the public. You can enjoy Vietnamese coffee in coffee shops along the right side of the book street.

central post office surrounding
The surroundings of Saigon Central Post Office are magnificently poetic, with many plants and flowers

Summary of Saigon Attractions: The Saigon Central Post Office

The contrast between old architecture like the Saigon Central Post Office and modern skyscrapers in its surroundings shows an interesting aspect of Saigon. The Post Office has survived many historical events and plays an important role in Saigon’s history and tourism.

You may also like:

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Ho Chi Minh City

Outrageous Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City

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