Ho Chi Minh City


Ho Chi Minh City's General Post Office

Photo of Entry:  Ho Chi Minh City

The General Post Office in HCMC is steeped in architectural history as a prominent example of the French colonial past, but nowadays it is just as well known for a wise 77-year-old employee, Duong Van Ngo.

At 2 Cong Xa Paris Square in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1, the General Post Office stands adjacent to the Notre Dame Cathedral.


The General Post Office is among the most visited sites in the southern region.


In 1886, the post office was built based upon the design specifications of renowned French architect Gustave Eiffel, who built the Eiffel Tower in Paris.


With a beautiful dome-shaped roof and an interior of exquisite decorative patterns, the grand colonial building also includes dome-shaped window panes, in which are carved the names of inventors who contributed to the fields of electricity and telecommunications such as Edison, Morse, Ohm, Ampere and Bell.


Over the main gate there is a large clock, which was installed when the building was constructed, and is still in operation.


One modern update to the post office has been the addition of a souvenir stall selling traditional crafts, post-cards, stamps and more, targeting the business of foreign travelers.


In 1998, on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of Saigon, two statues symbolizing the contributions of the post office's staff in the wartime and present day were constructed on the sides of the post office.


Besides its unique architectural history, the HCMC General Post Office is also known for another reason, Duong Van Ngo.


The 77-year-old Ngo has spent 60 years working for the post office, the last 17 years of which he has spent writing letters in English or French for Vietnamese people in need.


Each day he sits at the writing table row in the center of the main hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Neat and brisk in his manner, the old man, who is fluent in French and English, is also willing to help any tourists that want to learn more about the post office.


Ngo said, “Since the beginning of the year, some ten publications, including local and those from Canada, America and France have written about me,” as he takes copies of the articles from his bag.


Ngo began working for the post office at the age of 17 and was sent to the Vietnam-US Association to study English when he was 36.


Ngo said that he tries to learn new things everyday to be able to help people better.


Ngo expresses great happiness when he receives praise or letters of encouragement from people he has helped.


Having attached his life to the post office for some 60 years, Duong Van Ngo has become the living soul of the building.

Source ThanhnienNews

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