Monday, July 03, 2017

Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office (and Café de la Poste)

One of the beautiful conserved buildings in Saigon reflecting European influence during the French colonial times is the city’s Central Post Office.

Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office, Vietnam

The building was built in the late 19th century (1886-1891).

This building is a functioning postal office and a well-known tourist attraction as well. From the main road of Cong xa Paris in District I (old city centre), the striking palatial edifice in bright yellow colour is quite difficult to ignore. The façade looks very grand from the outside, something the Vietnamese I am sure are quite proud of.

We were here late in the morning. Our plan was to explore this area of Saigon. My parents cannot walk that far and will need to rest from time to time from the walking and standing, so we took the very slow sightseeing route. We were practically here the whole morning.

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When we arrived, the outside area was already very busy with locals and tourists. When we entered the building, we noticed quickly the picture of Ho Chi Minh hanging in the middle of the building hall. Ho Chi Minh is not just the name of the city, but it is also the name of its communist revolutionary leader who is a key figure in the foundation of Democratic Vietnam. Go here: Ho Chi Minh

Just before walking into the centre area of the building lobby, we managed to witness a gallery of shops flanking from both sides of the main entrance. Most of the shops here are souvenir/handicraft shops and really have nothing to do with the post office or mailing in general. I guess the postal company earns extra income from the rental money.

Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office, Vietnam

Towards the left side of the lobby are old-fashioned telephone booths which are divided into sections by glass enabling phone booth users to see each other through the other booths, although you won’t be able to hear each other's conversations of course. It’s quite cool actually and I saw a couple of tourists taking photos of themselves inside and through the booths. At the top of the phone booths are maps of old Saigon and the nearby surroundings.

As we moved towards the inner hall of the postal office building we could see the cashiers manning separate cubicles along the sidelines. In the middle of the hall are table counters where people can prepare their packages, parcels and letters. There is also a mini shop counter where one can buy mailing related supplies.

My parents quite enjoyed this architecture sightseeing because they do not have anything similar in the Philippines. My parent's company uses postal services a lot but they mostly rely on private courier companies such as TNT, UPS and DHL.

Just beside the Ho Chi Minh Post Office is the Café de la Poste.

This is a lovely café and a perfect place to settle in a bit, especially when you need to quench yourself from thirst from the tropical heat before. Here at Cafe de la Poste one can relax before moving on to the next sightseeing destination. Highly recommended!

Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office, Vietnam

Portrait of Ho Chi Minh as the central focal point of the post office.

Phone Booths Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office, Vietnam
Phone Booths and Wall Map of Saigon - Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office, Vietnam

Posing at one of the wooden phone booths. You can see old map drawings of Saigon on the wall just above the telephone booths.

Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office, Vietnam
Shop Gallery Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office, Vietnam

The shop gallery at the entrance of the Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office.

Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office, Vietnam
Floor tiles - Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office, Vietnam

Loving the floor tiles of the post office.

Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office, Vietnam
Cafe de la Poste in Ho Chi Minh City

Just located beside the post office!

Cafe de la Poste in Ho Chi Minh City
Menu cards Cafe de la Poste in Ho Chi Minh City

Very nice menu cards of the Cafe de la Poste.

Drinks Cafe de la Poste in Ho Chi Minh City
Cafe de la Poste in Ho Chi Minh City

The family having some drinks to cool off the tropical heat.

Travel Period: November 2016
Destination: Ho Chi Minh City (Southeast), Vietnam

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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