The holy trinity – The Saigon Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon and Book Street. These icons of Saigon are a must-visit for all and they are all within a stone’s throw of each other.
Saigon Central Post Office
The Saigon Central Post Office is one of the main landmarks of the city. There is no doubt as to why. The architecture is just stunning.
It was built from 1886-1891 and the city maintains it beautifully as it still operates as a full functioning post office and tourist attraction. Additionally, it stands out with its epic yellow facade and French colonial architecture. Its interior boasts magnificent arches and ornate tiles floors. The post office holds some amazing old relics including two huge painted maps that were painted in 1892. One showing the telegraph lines of Southern Vietnam and Cambodia and the other a map of Saigon and its surrounds. There are also some stunning original phone boxes that hold a reminder of an era long gone.
The Saigon Post Office was designed by Alfred Foulhoux. In fact, it is widely thought that Gustav Eiffel did (a famous architect of the Eiffel Tower, Paris). Even me…I have been telling people this every time we visit.
The best highlight of visiting the post office is not only its iconic architecture but a gorgeous old man that has been working at the post office for over 30 years. Mr Duong Van Ngo is in his 90’s and works as a writer and translator at the post office. The writes letters in Vietnamese, French and English.
Address: 2 Công xã Paris, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 7 am – 7 pm and Weekends 8 am – 6 pm
Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon
The Notre Dame Cathedral was built in the 1880s as the French Government wanted a prominent place of worship for the French Colonialists. Today it stands as one of Saigon’s most well-known icons. Besides that, it is absolutely stunning!
I have lived here for over two years and have sadly never stepped inside. The city has undertaken a huge restoration of the Cathedral which started in August 2017. Hopefully, we are still living here for the reopening!
It does however currently does hold regular mass, including Sunday service in English at 9:30 am.
Address: 01 Công xã Paris, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
To me, this is one of the most charming spots in the city. A small street tucked away around the corner from The Post Office. Certainly a must visit for locals and tourists alike.
The tiny street is lined with book stores and cafes. Most books are in Vietnamese but you can find a few stores that have English books. There is also a lovely second-hand book store and an exhibition space. It only opened in 2016 so it is relatively new to the city. It effortlessly blends with the old and new Saigon.
Address: Đường Nguyễn Văn Bình, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Opening Hours: 7 days 8 am – 10 pm