Saigon Central Post Office, Vietnam
For a long time, there was confusion about who the architect was that designed the Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh City. Today we know it was not Gustave Eiffel – as was long reported – but in fact, a lesser-known character named Alfred Foulhoux who envisioned and created the grand structure that still captivates everyone who comes through its doors.
One of a set of colonial-era buildings designed by the French in the late 1880s, the Central Post Office still looks very much as it did when it opened in 1891. Renaissance, Gothic and French elements all combine to create a singular aesthetic, which echoes European railway stations of the past.
Inside, the beautiful patterned tiled floors inspire many a photo, as do the shuttered green windows and elegant old phone booths -- some of which are now converted into ATM booths and some of which still have charming rotator dial phones installed. Two painted maps high on the walls show Saigon and surrounds in 1892, and the postal route from Cambodia in the same year. The high arched ceiling extends the length of the central hall, where a photograph of Ho Chi Minh presides over the comings and goings of the busiest post office in the country.