Still functioning and beautifully preserved, Saigon Central Post Office is located in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. Built during the French Indochina era, between 1886-1891, this exquisite example of French architecture features grand arched ceilings, luxurious marble floors, pristine antique telephone booths, & rich wooden countertops. While designed by French architect, Alfred Foulhoux, the building has been mistakenly accredited to Gustave Eiffel, the famed designer of the Eiffel Tower. Across the street from the post office is the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon another stunning example of French architecture in the city.
For me, the most interesting aspect of this post office is Duong Van Ngo, the elderly public letter writer who has been assisting those who need aid in writing letters for almost 30 years. Fluent in Vietnamese, English, and French, he charges 50 cents a page and writes 5-7 letters a day from a table inside this historical post office. Tragically, I did not get to meet this incredible person because I didn’t find out about him until after I had left Ho Chi Minh City. Major buzzkill. If you know me, you know I send an obscene amount of mail (especially while traveling) and this man is pretty much my hero. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to meet him someday. Cheers to you, Duong Van Ngo!