The original Nam Bộ was established just opposite the present one, in the corner house of a line of 1930s' Comptoirs d'Indochine buildings, to which markings on top of the doors and windows, as well as the whole tiled roof bore witness.
The Comptoirs were for a time the main commercial venue for the French colonial power to gather agricultural produce to be brought back to feed Saigon, and also, maybe more prominently, the outlet for many basic commodity goods, from rice to wheat, to salt and spices, and notably opium.
A spin-off of the Messageries Fluviales de Cochinchine, which had built and maintained a monopoly over postal transportation in the South-Western provinces, the Comptoirs disappeared in the second world war, and its buildings were nationalized in the second half of the XXth Century.
The original Nam Bộ was set in the corner house, which was previously employed as a closed restaurant of sorts under the name Mỹ Cảnh, 'nice view'. The place was ill-reputed and ill-fated as it was facing the main market place of Cần Thơ. The view is the only thing surviving that period.
Over the years since 1998, the Nam Bộ restaurant has established a solid reputation for simple yet tasteful ambiance and affordable quality meals.
In 2010, we left the beautiful old Comptoirs d'Indochine house of the original Nam Bộ, which was to be demolished, overhauled the building right in front of the old location, and in April 2011, the Nam Bộ Restaurant reopened.
This is how the small hotel was named Nam Bộ, and how its restaurant, on the 4th floor, took the name l'Escale, (the Port of Call), as history has given the name Nam Bộ to the restaurant on the ground floor.
The Nam Bộ Boutique Hotel is located in the middle of the Ninh Kiều pier, facing the statue of president Hồ Chí Minh and the bus boat pier, with the Cần Thơ bridge in the distance.
Newly renovated with a classic style, the Nam Bộ offers the services of the Nam Bộ Restaurant on the ground and first floors, the seven suites of the Nam Bộ Boutique Hôtel on the second and third floor, and those of l'Escale on the fourth floor.