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[Photos] Cho Lon’s First-Ever Post Office, as Seen in the 1920s

Located at the junction of Hai Thuong Lan Ong, Chau Van Liem and Cha Va Bridge in today’s Saigon, the Post Office of District 5 is a well-known landmark in the mind of denizens living in the area. Not many are aware, however, that the post office used to be based a few blocks away.

From 1920 to 1929, the Cho Lon Post Office as we know today used to be called Bureau des Postes et Télégraphes, the area’s first-ever post office. It sat at the corner of Hong Bang and Tong Doc Phuong (now Chau Van Liem) street. The blocks it was facing later became the lot for Thuan Kieu Plaza.

A view from the post office in 1929. The street pictured is now Thuan Kieu Street; Thuan Kieu Plaza will be built in the blocks to the left of the photo.

The post office, as seen in 1920s, at the intersection of Hong Bang (left) and Chau Van Liem (right).

In 1928, Chinese entrepreneur Quach Dam used his own money to fund the construction of a new building for Cho Lon. The project was finished in 1930 and became the site for Binh Tay Market, which still exists in District 6 of Saigon. Where the old market used to be became the new site for the Cho Lon Post Office, a colonial-style building facing the roundabout connecting Chau Van Liem and Hai Thuong Lan Ong.

A funeral procession in front of the building on Hong Bang Street, 1968.

The structure that used to house the old post office on Hong Bang was renovated and later repurposed into the tax office of District 6, 7 and 8 in the 1960s and 1970s. In modern-day Saigon, the lot is now a branch of Saigonbank, its façade now bears little resemblance to the old post office building.

After a bout of heavy rain, the street corner was inundated. The photo was taken in 1967, after the building was converted into a tax office.

[Photos via Flickr user manhhai]

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