Saigon Central Post Office
Who said post offices were boring?
What we say:
From outside, the building's wide arched windows and doorways, statuesque carvings and enormous clock -- which hasn't stopped ticking since the late 1800s -- give the post office an imposing presence. Step through the gates, and you'll find a domed glass roof and a gaping cream and white hall, which lends the feel of being in an old train station. The building was based on designs by Gustav Eiffel, an architect famed for -- well, can you guess?
Two massive nineteenth century maps are impossible to miss on opposite walls; one features central Saigon and surrounds while the other details the web of telegraph lines that once covered southern Vietnam and Cambodia.
If looking for some conversation with an interesting Saigon personality, head to the "Information and Writing Assistance" desk towards the back of the post office, where Duong Van Ngo may be found on most days. Fluent in Vietnamese, French and English, Mr Van Ngo's job is to translate Vietnamese letters into English (and vice versa), but he's eager to chat with tourists and provide hints and advice on things to do in Saigon.
Aside from its historical value, the post office is still one of the best places in the city to send a postcard or make an international call.
More details2 Cong Xa Paris, District 1
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