Published: August 15th 2012August 15th 2012
To be honest, I did not have a great expectation towards the city. Many travel books said that Ho Chi Minh was a 'Little Paris'. Well, first, when we are talking about French protectorate, it was over 60 plus years ago. As a rapid growing city just like other in Asia region, I assumed Saigon won't have much Paris-ness left for recognition. The title is a soundbite only. Secondly, the communist party must have decolonized the city as a manifest to uphold its sovereignty. There shouldn't a lot to be left. But I was wrong.
One thing that startled me was the trees. The trees just lavished their every drop of vigour towards the sky and sometimes the twigs and branches just entered into the inside of the house and become part of the decoration. The face of the building was concealed by the leaves and somehow subtly showed itself in the scattered space of the leaves. It gave some streets a very intellectual ambience.
I was sitting at the Post Office for an hour. The structure is a total masterpiece and in many details showing the features of the time! I really felt sorry for those who just
The spporting structure
They are steel! We are talking about 150 years ago!
went there and check-in on facebook and then came out. The structure worths spending sometime on it. Here are some recommendation for the appreciation:
1) Go straight to the hall and look at the enormous space, discover anything? Barely can you see a visible pillar. In fact, this building was evidently a product of Industrial Revolution when machines were god. People demanded a great space to house the gigantic machine and the people had to remove the pillar so they were not going to block the way of the installation of machines.
2) Look at the white roof just immediate overhead after you have entered the post office. There are steels at the edge! Steels!~~ Steels are the symbol of Industrial Revolution because the production of these is a combination of several techniques found in the Age of Machine, including the use of furnance and the availability ofbetter quality coal. What's weird is, France was willing to spend a fortune in this Far-East Asia at that time to build such a structure! In Hong Kong, the colonial building that remains do not have a great application of steel! I guess France Empire really really wanted to establish a
long-term colony in this country at that time and the majestic structure was to demonstrate such a statement.
3) Pay attention to the wall decoration. You can see those are rods, they are very elaborated. You can imagine how much money had been spent! Royal features are everywhere, find the sun pattern and the rods. Napoleon III seems to restore an empire that he cannot build in Europe (well, he was very much governed by the code)in this Asia country!
4) Pay tribute to the government there too! It is amazing to find that although many modern facilities like lamp, fans have been installed, the wires had been hidden in an ingenious way! Find them out! Also, The building was in white paint and this maximizes reflection of the natural light so that extra artifical light is not necessary! SMART!
And... if that is an idea being used once the building was constructed, that would be totally incredible.
5) Then, it's time to go out. Before existing, look at the alleys beside the entrance. The window are classic tropical features. The shades can be adjusted according to the angle of the sun. Even the ray goes
Iconic feature of Industrial Revolution. The building at that time is a combination of classic appearance but in modern technology. It's a hybrid of romance and steel!
into the building, the alley is wide enough to act as a barrier to reduce a direct shining on the inner part. Therefore, the inner part will be relatively cooler. You see, no air-con wisdom!
6) Now, you can take your time to look at the facade. The rooftop decoration and OH! Remember to find the subtle modification the communist party has made!
There are many other modern buildings that worth exploring. Please roam in the city slowly and appreciate the structures! That's an amazing architectural journey!
There are more photos below