Guidebook Central Post Office, Ho Chi Minh City

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Central Post Office, Ho Chi Minh City

A mixture of Gothic, Renaissance and French influences, the Central Post Office is one of the “oldest buildings in Ho Chi Minh City,” explains Vietnam Online. It “fascinates tourists by its typical colonial French features, from exterior to interior decorations” and gives a feeling of being a “20th century railway station in Europe, rather than a post office in an Asian country.” Built between 1886 and 1891 on the site of the former headquarters of the Commandant des troupes, it was “constructed around a prefabricated cast iron frame, permitting the creation of a unique vaulted ceiling with wrought iron beams and columns reminiscent of industrial architecture,” notes Historic Vietnam.

It looks like a petite palace on the outside, says Traveller, “all apricot paintwork and neoclassical moulding.” The vaulted steel arches inside “are reminiscent of a Victorian-era railway station: no surprise when you learn the building was designed by Gustave Eiffel, who had already made his name designing bridges for French and Vietnamese railways.” When you enter the grand interior, says Viet Fun Travel, “the first things that catch your interest” are two huge maps, ‘Saigonet ses environs, 1892’ and ‘Lignes télégraphiques du Sud Vietnamet du Cambodge’. “Your eyebrows will also be raised by a huge sense of space … thanks to the big and airy interior, people feel as if there is plenty of space, even when the building is sometimes full of people and activities.” And millennials can “explore the novelty of ‘telephone booths’ for ‘international calls’ and (gasp) un-electronic mail,” and there are “desks for writing postcards and a queue for buying stamps and sending parcels,” notes Travelfish.

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