Sending mail from China

Hi all,

I’m currently in China and am looking to send some postcards back to the UK. However try as I might to find out about pricing and address format I can’t – also I’m at work over here during working hours and can’t visit the Post Office. And I don’t speak much (any ?) Chinese.

Now, my hotel will probably be able to sort this all out – my issue is that at least one of the postcards needs to have proper Chinese stamps on it for a stamp-collector friend. I’m worried if I just let the hotel use it they may just ‘bulk-mail’ it via some pre-paid system. I know I could probably just explain the situation to them but, damnit, I should be able to find this sort of information out for myself somehow.

Searches on the web have proved fruitless, so I turn to the dopers to help me out. Even a link to a handy page or whatever, personal anecdote, whatever.



Well SD, if you’re staying in the Jade Palace hotel in Beijing, I would offer to translate for you tomorrow sometime. Otherwise, you can basically just write out the address in English with a big ENGLAND in block letters and it will probably get to where you want it to go. Get the front desk to write the character for “airmail” and “England” on the postcard and the success rate will be close to 100%.

Pretty sure that even hotel mail is done with stamps rather than a bulk mail system.

If you get “airmail” and “England” written in Chinese, just go by any post office and eventually someone will probably help you find the correct window, they will weigh the postcards and then pantomine how much to pay. Depending on where you are, the post office window may have a Chinese/English sign and someone on the staff may have english language skills.

You could have someone at your office help out.

Finally, if you’re flight out of China is during work hours, there is probably a mail counter at the airport. I know the Shanghai Hng qiao domestic airport at least has a counter near the gates after you’ve checked in and gone through security.

Thanks for the info China Guy, I’m sure I’ll be able to sort it out from that I’m just suprised it’s something I’ve not been able to find in any of the ‘Travellers Guide’ type websites I’ve checked.

Thanks again,