During your trip in Ho Chi Minh City, besides exploring numerous stunning attractions and enjoying delectable local specialties, you should not miss out on an opportunity to visit Saigon Central Post Office. Coming here, you can not only admire the architectural features of a bygone era but also catch a glimpse of the old Saigon.
1. Where is Saigon Central Post Office? How to get there?
- Address: No 2, Cong Xa Paris Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- Opening hours:
From Monday to Friday: 7 am - 5 pm
Saturday: 7 am - 6 pm
Sunday: 8 am - 6 pm
- Entrance fee: Free
Since Saigon Central Post Office is located in the center of Ho Chi Minh City, it is very convenient for tourists to get here from any part of the city. There are some popular means of transportation for tourists to choose from, including public buses, motorbikes, taxis, and cars.
If you have a personal vehicle, there are some parking areas near the post office. If you want to take the bus, you can catch buses number 03, 06, 19, or 45. They all make a stop on Cong Xa Paris Street, which is only a short walk away from Saigon Central Post Office.
2. The long-established Saigon Central Post Office history
The history of Saigon Central Post Office dates back to the late nineteenth century, when Vietnam was part of French Indochina. After successfully invading Saigon in 1863, the French started establishing a communication system by constructing Saigon Telegraph-wire Department, which was the precursor of Saigon Central Post Office. The designer of this building was Gustave Eiffel, who was the architect of some iconic constructions including the Eiffel Tower (Paris), Statue of Liberty (New York) and Long Bien Bridge (Hanoi).
On January 13th, 1863, the department was inaugurated to serve the locals. As it could not meet the steadily increasing demand of the people, the Saigon Telegraph-wire Department was reconstructed in 1886 based on the architectural idea of Villedieu and his associate Foulhoux. After five years of construction, the new Saigon Central Post Office was officially put into operation. As one of the most iconic and attractive symbols of Ho Chi Minh City, the post office is maintained periodically and has been standing until now.
3. What are the highlights of Saigon Central Post Office architecture?
The magnificent Saigon Central Post Office, Vietnam's largest post office and oldest colonial structure, is a vital part of Ho Chi Minh City's colonial legacy, which attracts visitors with its aesthetic and historical values. Despite having been in operation for more than 100 years, Saigon Central Post Office's enduring beauty has not faded over time. It features a distinctive mix of elegant French architecture and artistic Asian elements.
Saigon Central Post Office, like other architectural works built during the French colonial period in Vietnam, has a stunning facade that feature the spectacular characteristics of French architecture with yellow walls, arched doors and windows, and decorative reliefs.
Right at the top of this magnificent post office Saigon, there is a massive clock that has been running for more than 130 years. Notably, the names of numerous well-known scientists and inventors of the telegraph industry, such as Benjamin Franklin, Alessandro Volta, and Michael Faraday, are engraved on rectangular cells stretching from the center to the sides of the building.
Entering the post office, you will see a hanging huge portrait of President Ho Chi Minh in the center, who was the great leader of the Vietnamese revolution in the twentieth century. Covering the whole length of the post office is a dome roof created in a highly sophisticated arched structure and supported by a row of pillars on the two sides.
On both sides of the post office’s walls, there are two large meticulously drawn maps, one depicts Saigon and its neighborhoods in 1892, while the other illustrates the network of telegraph lines across Vietnam and Cambodia in 1936. If you want to find somewhere to rest after exploring this charming post office, you can freely sit on the rows of wooden chairs along the hall.
4. Top 5 not-to-be-missed destinations near Saigon Central Post Office
Saigon Central Post Office, situated in the center of Ho Chi Minh City, is unquestionably a must-see attraction for any traveler coming to this beautiful city. After exploring the post office, you can also visit many nearby historical and cultural landmarks as well as recreational areas:
4.1. Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral
- Address: No. 1, Cong Xa Paris Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- Opening hours: 8 am - 11 am and 2 pm - 4 pm
Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, standing out in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, is recognized as one of the world's 19 most majestic cathedrals and the only Southeast Asian representative on the list. This timeless masterpiece, regarded as an architectural icon of Ho Chi Minh City, attracts a large number of both domestic and foreign visitors every day, especially those who are in search of a magnificent background to take charming photos.
Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral’s solemn and grand overlook is formed by a distinctive mix of neo-Romanesque and Gothic styles. Twin bell towers, stained-glass windows, and red-brick exterior are some prominent features that significantly contribute to the spectacular magnificence of the church.
4.2. Independence Palace
- Address: No. 135, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- Opening hours: 7.30 am - 11 am
Another interesting attraction near Saigon Central Post Office that tourists should also visit is the Independence Palace. During the past war, this place functioned as South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu's residence and office. Having witnessed many significant changes in Saigon's history, the Independence Palace is considered one of the most precious historical monuments in Vietnam.
The Independence Palace possesses a classic design. It has hundreds of rooms with top-notch furnishings and decorations, and a spacious and beautiful exterior. It is the ideal place for travelers to learn about Vietnamese history, enjoy the fresh cool air, and explore one of Ho Chi Minh City's most spectacular constructions.
4.3. Ben Thanh Market
- Address: Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City
- Opening hours: 6 am - 7 pm
Situated in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Thanh Market has been one of the biggest and most bustling markets of Saigon for a long time. Here, travelers can find some great bargains on souvenirs, household items, and specialties, and immerse themselves in the hustle and bustle of the city. Inside the market, there is a food court with a lot of tasty dishes. If you get fatigued after wandering around the market, just take a quick break and enjoy some delectable local dishes such as avocado ice cream, Vietnamese pancakes, Quang noodles, etc. The explosive flavor of the freshly prepared Vietnamese delicacies here will fulfill your appetite.
In addition, Ben Thanh Market is famous for its unique architecture and is widely considered another symbol of Saigon.
4.4. Ho Chi Minh City Opera House
- Address: No. 7, Lam Son Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- Opening hours: 8 am - 10 pm
Constructed in 1898 by the talented French architect Eugene Ferret, Ho Chi Minh Opera House stands as one of the most charming and impressive sites in Ho Chi Minh City. The architecture of this opera house follows the flamboyant style of the French Third Republic, with three doors on the facade, stone-carved decorations, and statues at the entrance. Many big cultural and entertainment events were held here. This majestic edifice, designated a national relic in 2012, is a must-see in Ho Chi Minh City.
4.5. Nguyen Hue Walking Street
- Address: Nguyen Hue Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- Opening hours: All day
Nguyen Hue Walking Street was inaugurated on April 30, 2015, after about 7 months of construction. It has a length of 670 meters and a width of 64 meters, with a square entirely paved with modern granite. The best time to visit Nguyen Hue Walking Street is in the evening, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays, when there will be a variety of intriguing and amusing activities to enjoy.
>>> Don’t forget to visit Bui Vien Walking Street - the “Western Street” in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City!
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Saigon Central Post Office, one of the most iconic symbols of Ho Chi Minh City, is a must-visit Ho Chi Minh tourist attraction for those who are fond of French architecture and want to send a letter or postcard to their beloved. If you are planning a trip to Vietnam's beautiful Ho Chi Minh City, make sure to include this location in your itinerary!