You just gotta love the postcards from Vietnam. Friends from other countries are just amazed by the wide variety of subjects showcased in such small cardboard papers from here (although Vietnam postcards are large compared to other non-Asian countries).
Since I joined Postcrossing, I think I became mailing-happy and compulsive in buying postcards. It has become a very expensive activity but reading words of thanks from people who receive my cards fills my heart with joy. And honestly, seeing my mailbox with postcards instead of bills is a welcome change.
If you happen to be in Ho Chi Minh and would like to purchase some postcards, here are the best places to go:
Central Post Office
2 Cong Xa Paris
The post office or the buu dien has a souvenir shop which should be at your left when you enter this French-designed building. The postcards are sold at 5,000 VND each and you can buy stamps there too. I think this souvenir shop has an extensive collection. And if you collect old stamps too, this is a good place to buy.
At the center of the post office, is an area where postcards and other souvenirs are sold too. The postcards here are the same with what is sold in the souvenir shop mentioned above but their collection is a bit less and you would have to go through a pile by hand. But this shop sells limited edition postcards sold by set.
Vendors outside the Post Office
I’m not referring to the peddlers going around the Post Office selling postcards because these vendors sell the same postcards inside the post office at 2x the price (or more). I’m talking about the vendors along Nguyen Du St. They sell their postcards at a higher price but if you buy a lot, you can bargain to the same price in the Post Office at 5,000 VND too! What’s nice about their collection is that they do have a lot of postcards that the souvenir shops in the Post Office aren’t selling (like the postcard above). But be adamant about the price you want to pay.
158ED Dong Khoi St.
From the vendors, you can walk down Dong Khoi St. a bit and you’ll see TRI Books at your left. The shop sells postcards like that in the Post Office plus some “occasion” postcards. They also sell a lot of Peter Pham postcards which are around 20,000 VND — but are one of a kind. The usual postcards in TRI cost 5,000 VND each too.
28 Dong Khoi St.
This small shop sells lots of postcards (5,000 VND each) and real old ones too! Of course the old ones are a bit more pricier. If you are up for it, there’s a lot of old postcards at the back of the shop. But I must warn you that it’s pretty dusty back there. You can check the pre-loved books there too.
[Note: Closed in August 2011 after 25 years of operation. 😦 ]
43 Dong Khoi St., D1
If you walk a bit further, you’ll find Artbook sells postcards and contemporary books, including books on the arts and architecture. There are recipe books as well. And there’s an art gallery at the back. Postcards here are at 4,000 VND each but the variety is limited although you might get lucky getting postcards you don’t usually find in the other shops mentioned above.
40 Nguyen Hue St. D1
If you go up the 3rd floor of Fahasa bookstore, you’ll see lots of postcards especially on the subject of the Vietnamese people — lots of postcards on President Ho Chi Minh too! Best of all, the cost is just 4,000 VND each.
You can walk around Dong Khoi St. and the smaller streets nearby and check out the different souvenir shops. More or less, they’d be selling postcards too but the prices are much higher. There even is a vendor selling along Dong Khoi St. right outside Paris Deli selling at 10,000 VND each — the thing is I can’t seem to haggle the price lower. Too bad the vendor have nice postcards that I haven’t seen elsewhere. I just hope that some of his cards will appear in Artbook which is just a few steps away.
Postcrosser or not, I hope this helps you find postcards to send to family and friends and share a piece of Vietnam. 🙂